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Telling A Story With A Must-Scrap Picture

Every so often one of these pictures comes along that you know you just must scrapbook. For me, this relatively ordinary looking image of my daughter is one of those pictures. There’s a story behind this snapshot!

[Disclosure: Graphic 45 provided some of the product that was used in this layout, and my company is the social media manager for 28 Lilac Lane’s manufacturer. Some links in this article are affiliate links that provide a commission to this site when a purchase is made after a click.]

Our daughter has always had really long hair. But recently, it had become very dry due to her medical treatments. Her hair being so dry led to really nasty tangles that were virtually impossible to get out, especially since one of her autistic sensitivities is having her hair brushed. Many battles were fought and tears shed. We finally decided that long hair was not worth the trouble and reluctantly took her for a haircut.

We weren’t prepared for the result…our little girl grew up right before our eyes in just a few minutes! She adores what she calls her “Taylor Swift hair” and there’s no more tears when it comes time to do her hair!

A couple of days later, I had her model a t-shirt for me that I’d made for a website project. My normally awkward and shy in front of the camera child flashed a rock star smile and posed like a pro. Where did this grown-up kid come from?

I’ve been dying for a reason to use this Portrait of a Lady collection that Graphic 45 sent to me, and this seemed the perfect reason! It’s even covered in roses, and Rose is my daughter’s middle name. The pink on the t-shirt was a bit bright for this collection, but since this image isn’t about the t-shirt, I just printed the photo in black & white. Problem solved!

Hello Beautiful scrapbook layout

Supplies:

Patterns like the large roses are gorgeous but can be visually overwhelming. I prefer to use them in small doses, like this vertical strip that takes up 1/3 of my layout. The roses are carried over to the right side of the layout in the borders of the two cards that I used on that side, to create balance.

The secret to layering visually busy papers is to create the pattern version of contrast. Layer a pattern with a light base over a pattern with a dark base (such as the pink text paper in the photo mat being layered over the rose pattern). Or layer a more open pattern over a more dense pattern (such as the green text paper that is over the tan background pattern). And of course you can layer different sizes of patterns to create visual contrast, as well.

Hello Beautiful scrapbook layout

To enhance the visual divide between busy patterned papers, I like to ink my paper edges. Sometimes I just barely run an ink pad along the white edge of the paper to darken it. Other times, such as on the photo mat on this layout, I shade more in from the edges to create more of an edge.

What’s your favorite trick for working with busy patterned papers?

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Easy Happy Father’s Day Shaker Card with Cricut Explore Air 2

One of my favorite things about the new generation of Cricut machines is the way that Cricut Design Space makes it easy to visualize what I am cutting on my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, and to place your cut shape precisely where you want it in relation to other elements. Without that ability, this Father’s Day Shaker Card would not be possible. With it, the card can be created and cut perfectly in a matter of minutes!

Cricut Father's Day Card

Supplies:

This card is created from several colors of Cricut cardstock, along with two other specialty items from the Cricut supply closet. One (which I am totally in love with) is the black 0.8 gel glitter pen from the black Multi Pen Set. And because that just wasn’t enough glitter, I also decided to use the gold sheet from the Classic Sampler of Cricut Glitter Cardstock!

Cricut Father's Day Card supplies

I designed this card from scratch in Cricut Design Space, and it’s surprisingly easy! It’s simply a series of basic shape and text elements layered together and with their properties set to make them behave a certain way to create the design I want. Below on the right side, you can see all of the layers of the design.

Since I wanted to make a 6×6 card with a 1/4″ border showing all of the way around this blue center part, I started by setting my canvas to be a 5.5″ square. I colored it cream – that is what you see peeking through the large star.

Cricut Design Space screenshot

To create my background “paper” I first drew a square exactly on top of my canvas, and colored it blue. Then I added my 3 stars to the top of the card front’s design, making two varying smaller sizes and one larger. (We’ll get to that really big blue star in a minute.) I colored the smaller ones a bright yellow to signify the gold glitter paper.

Once I had the three stars in place how I wanted them on the card front, I turned off the visibility of the smaller ones. Then I drew a box with my mouse around the blue paper and the large star on the card and hit the “slice” button. This cut the star out of the blue background, and I moved the blue star that it created off of the card front and to the side. Once there, I enlarged it quite a bit to serve aa a backer for my shaker box.

Finally, I added my text elements. For the “one of a kind” I made sure to choose a “writing” style font and set my text to writing. I chose a nice clean sans serif Cricut font in a deep red color to cut the text for DAD. Then I turned off the visibility of the “DAD” letters, drew another box around the blue background, the star cut out, and the “one of a kind” writing, and clicked “attach”.

I made the yellow stars and “DAD” text visible again, and the card design was done. I hit my “Go” button and started feeding my different papers into my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine. I almost forgot to insert my pen in the machine before cutting the blue piece, but fortunately Cricut Design Space is smarter than I am and reminded me!

After my pieces were cut, I just assembled them into a shaker box. A piece of scrap page protector went on the back behind the star opening to serve as the front of my shaker card. Then I began cutting pieces of foam adhesive tape to place two layers around the edges of the star shape on the back of the card (with the page protector scrap between the cardstock and the foam tape). After building my foam tape “walls” for my shaker box, I filled it with the metal colored sequin mix, peeled the backer tape from the foam tape, and pressed the large blue star down on top of it to seal the sequins in.

Cricut Father's Day Shaker Card-1371

Once the shaker was done, it was easy to adhere the rest of the elements (DAD text, glitter stars, and a few star sequins) to the front of the card. Then with a little more foam tape put along the edges of the back of the blue cardstock, I adhered it to a brown card base. (I made the 6×6 card base by folding a 6×12 piece of cardstock in half).

Cricut Explore Air 2 Father's Day card

This fun and easy Father’s Day shaker card will delight Dads and Granddads (and the kids too)! This same technique can be easily adapted to working with other shapes to make shaker cards for a variety of occasions and I can’t wait to see how many other variations I can make. I also look forward to trying this technique to write titles and make “peek a boo” windows in elements for my 12×12 layouts.

Don’t underestimate the basic shape tools in Cricut Design Space. They may be “basic”, but with some imagination, their possibilities with your Cricut machine are limitless!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Quick Card | Stamped Watercolor Butterfly Hello Card

Sometimes when I’m working on a project, another one will happen by happy accident as I’m playing and experimenting with materials. This stamped watercolor butterfly card is one of those happy accidents, a bonus project that grew out of work I did while creating another butterfly card that I made for Buttons Galore awhile back.

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay a commission at no extra cost to our readers when a purchase is made after a click.]

Watercolor Butterfly Card

Supplies:

  •  card blank
  • Bazzill “Walnut Cream” Smooth Cardstock [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Amy Tangerine “A Sweet Life” 6×6 paper pad
  • Hero Arts “Newsprint Butterfly” stamp [Amazon]
  • Hero Arts “Layering Butterflies” stamp set [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Abandoned Coral” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Worn Lipstick” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Faded Jeans” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Foam Adhesive [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • water spray bottle

This card has a super simple background – it’s just three strips of patterned paper, with the sentiment stamped on one of them.

The centerpiece of the card is the butterfly, which the card was actually designed around. I created the butterfly while playing with my stamps and inks to see what effects I could get while creating the other card . When I created this particular butterfly, I first dabbed the stamp with a combination of Abandoned Coral and Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. Then I spritzed it with water before stamping it. The effect was a blotchy liquid look that eliminated the newsprint design filling the butterfly but I thought was still really cool. So I decided to cut out the image and ink the edges and create a card base for it.

Sometimes happy accidents are the happiest way to create! This fun little butterfly will be flitting someone’s way to say “hi” soon!

Stamp a watercolor butterfly card in 15 minutes | from www.scrapbookupdate.com

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Getting Started with Make It Now on the Cricut Explore Air 2

Because it requires using software on a computer (or a phone app), a lot of people are intimidated initially by using the Cricut Explore family of machines. But Cricut Design Space has a built-in shortcut for learning how to do almost anything with the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine: the library of Make It Now projects!

Cricut Design Space

The Make It Now library of projects, which is what you are looking at when you open the main screen of Cricut Design Space, is like having training wheels for your Cricut Explore machine. Whether you are trying to use the machine itself, or trying a new material or accessory tool (like the stylus) for the first time, a Make It Now project will hold your hand while you do it. The Make It Now projects have been set up by the expert designers at Cricut to create an entire project flawlessly from start to finish. It takes the guesswork out of working with new tools or materials. There’s no guessing, so you can get perfect results the first time!

One very popular use for the Cricut family of machines is to cut iron-on material to create custom shirts, bags, and other items. Cricut sells an extensive palette of iron-on materials that the machine’s built-in settings are calibrated to cut. Working with iron-on, though, has a bit of a learning curve. Make It Now projects to the rescue!

Probably my all time favorite Make It Now project is the “C’est La Vie” t-shirt designed by my friend Anna Rose Johnson. This fun t-shirt features two layers of iron-on that together create the phrase and a glittered heart.

Cricut Make It Now t-shirt project

Remember, just because you are using a Make It Now project, doesn’t mean that you have to make it look exactly like the Cricut sample! Changing the color scheme is as simple as feeding different colors of material into the machine. Cricut Design Space does allow you to edit a Make It Now project – or any other one – to change the colors of elements. But on a simple two color project like this one, it’s not worth taking the time to make the change in the software. Just feed the colors you want into the machine when it’s time for each cut!

For making my t-shirt this time, I chose to make the design with white lite iron-on and pink glitter iron-on. My 13 year old daughter, who the shirt was for, is all about the pink glitter.

Cricut iron-on cutting

The Smart Set dial on the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine makes it easy to set the machine to cut Cricut Iron-On material. Just spin the dial to “Iron-on” to set it and you’re done!

Cricut Explore Air 2 Smart Set Dial

The other key to cutting iron-on material is that you have to cut your images in reverse. There is a handy checkbox alongside each layer of your design in the first cut window that you can check to have Design Space reverse the design for you. If you proceed to the final cut window with your machine set on “Iron-on”, but have forgotten to check the “mirror” box for your layers, the machine will yell at you with a bar that pops up to remind you!

Cricut Iron On WarningWhen your material comes out of the machine, and your design has been cut in reverse, it will look something like this. The plastic is underneath it on the mat, and then becomes the transfer tape to carry your design to the item you want to iron it on.

Cricut iron-on

The weeding tool makes it 100x easier to weed (remove the waste from) designs cut from iron-on material. Just use the hook part to stab a piece that you want to remove, and then pull to remove it.

Cricut iron-on weeding

To iron on your material and get good results, it’s important to pay close attention to the package instructions. Before your begin, make sure to pre-wash your item (and don’t use fabric softener) so that your iron-on will stick well.

Cricut iron-on t-shirt

It only took a few minutes to cut my Cricut Make It Now design and iron it on, but the results were gorgeous! My fashionista was very happy with the results and the new addition to her wardrobe!

Cricut iron-on t-shirt on model

Tips for Using Iron-On Material:

  • Iron-on material goes plastic side down on your cutting mat
  • Don’t forget to check the “mirror” boxes when cutting
  • Items being ironed on should be 100% cotton if possible and pre-washed with no fabric softener before ironing designs on
  • Make sure to turn the steam off on your iron
  • Use a nice firm ironing surface

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Fast & Easy Christmas Layout with Echo Park

Christmas is over, and that means stacks of Christmas photos to scrap! Coordinated collection packs, like this Lori Whitlock one from Echo Park, are one of my favorite ways to quickly scrap seasonal photos.

[Disclaimer: I am the social media manager for Buttons Galore, the manufacturer of 28 Lilac Lane. I also am a design team member for the Layout-A-Week blog run by Jennifer Priest and received a complimentary copy of her book as part of my work there. Some links on the supply list are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay me a commission at no cost to you when a purchase is made after a click.]

Easy Christmas Layout using Echo Park papers by Nancy Nally for Scrapbook Update

Supplies Needed:

This layout is based on a pattern from the eBook Scrap Free Scrapbooking eBook by Jennifer Priest. It’s my go-to resource when I want to make a fast and easy layout. The book contains pattern sets that are not only simple to use, but also conserve paper by showing you how to cut several pieces of paper apart to create multiple layouts with no waste!

Scrap Free Scrapbooking ebook by Jennifer Priest

For the background of my layout, I followed the pattern to combine several patterned papers. (Before assembling I inked the edges in dark green so that the patterns would be better separated visually.) All of the papers were easy to coordinate because they are from the same collection pack, the gorgeous “I love Christmas” by Lori Whitlock for Echo Park Paper Co. Then I added another strip at the seam of the bottom two papers by adding a candy cane striped border sticker that added some red to the bottom of the layout.

At the top of the layout, I die cut a tag to add sticker numbers to for the year. A pop dotted sticker tag holds a little journaling, and then I dug into the 28 Lilac Lane “Holly Jolly” kit for some embellishment touches. A row of felt Christmas trees, some beads for the poinsettia centers, and a flat back pearl to finish the tag added just a bit of color and texture.

Easy Christmas Layout close up

At the bottom, another tag die cut from the Hero Arts “Kelly’s To Do List” set holds my main journaling, and another sticker calls attention to it while adding a pop of red to this area. If you look on the right side you can see that the big photo of my daughter next to the tree is matted in black. It’s an unusual choice, but it matches her dress and really highlights the photo nicely.

Easy Christmas Layout close up 2

Have you scrapbooked your Christmas pictures yet? Do you scrap your seasonal pictures right away, or wait until the next year?

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Project | Travel Album: Project Life Modern Core Kit

The Frankfurt Creativeworld travel album is moving along! This final layout of the Creativeworld 2014 show is using the Project Life Modern Core Kit, a feminine kit with lots of bold colors.

The Project Life Modern Core Kit goes to Frankfurt in this installment of my Creativeworld 2014 album.

Supplies:

The Project Life Modern Core Kit is a flowery kit doesn’t exactly scream “travel”. But not everything we do when we travel is suitable for a heavy travel theme. Sometimes we need to think outside the box (or core kit?) to find something that works for a specific activity. The Modern core kit worked nicely for my photos of trends at the Creativeworld and Christmasworld shows.

Creativeworld Project Life Modern Core Kit left

The photos on the left page are very brightly colored and busy. Because of this I kept the colors and designs of the cards muted to avoid it being too busy. Shades of pale pink and peach draw from the photos without competing with them.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

For my page title, I pulled out my trusty Dymo Organizer Express to create a custom piece of text to add to the card. And then I added rub-ons to the card to show the days that I was at the show.

I loved the journaling card with the black & white roses pattern but wanted to add another dimension to it. I settled on highlighting part of the design with the frame, and giving it a caption with a rub-on. This added another layer without overwhelming the softness of the card’s pattern that I loved. It also gave the eye a focal point on a very busy card.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

The journaling card about Christmasworld was a relatively plain pink card with a “thoughts” caption. A gold holly rub-on added a touch of Christmas theming without seeming out of place alongside all of the pink and floral elements on the page.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album right

Some of my favorite elements in the Project Life Modern core kit are the bold graphic and floral elements. They need to be used sparingly however, to avoid drowning out the photos. On this layout I was able to get two of them in on the right page. Plus there was a small one of the bright flowers on the left page. It was important to spread these bright spots out to create balance in the layout.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

I can’t get enough of use these small text stickers on my Project Life layouts! Several companies make them and they always seem to find their way into my layouts. They are just right for adding a little extra something to my cards, like I did here on the floral card. The white sticker really pops off of the black background!

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

These clear Heidi Swapp butterflies have been in my stash for several years and every so often one of them is just what I need to add a little something to a project. I like adding dimension to my Project Life, but this side of the layout was totally flat. Adding the butterfly balanced out the dimension of the frame on the left side.

Don’t forget to look beyond your “travel” supplies when creating travel projects! You may be surprised what you can create!

Check out the rest of the album so far:

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