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Trend Watch: Clouds

It’s the plaintive cry uttered by scrapbookers everywhere, that phrase that escapes your lips in a fit of frustration when your frazzled brain just can’t fathom what in the world you should add to your layout. The nearly complete page just sits there, silently mocking you as you begin to weep, fervently wishing you knew the answer to that universal question, the one that is destined to be the bane of scrappers’ existence until the very end of time itself: “what else does this page need?”

As scrapbookers we’ve all been there. I’ve been there, and I’m here to proclaim to all who are suffering from this plight that’s at the very heart of the human condition that I’ve survived it, and so will you! And not only am I here to spout platitudes (ha!), but I’m also going to give some concrete advice as to how you can move past your worse case of scrapper’s block into the shining sun of a fresh, creative dawn.

What is this miracle advice, this holy grail of all scrapbooking tricks, you may ask?

Allow me to present to you Exhibit A (and scrapbooking’s latest trend): The Cloud.

Above: My Mind’s Eye Fine and Dandy True Blue (Daydream)

Yes, dear friends, the cloud, while not the only answer to this burning question, is a powerful tool to have in your creative arsenal. What was once merely a hot trend in scrapbooking is quickly moving into the pantheon of basic shapes that are universally accepted on layouts no matter the context. Much as flowers, hearts, stars, and butterflies (oh, those lovely butterflies) have become as common as basic shapes such as circles, triangles, and squares, clouds are making their way onto scrapbook pages about every subject and in every style under the sun. Having an array of such shapes (whether that be product or the tools to make them) at your fingertips and training yourself to turn to them in your darkest hour of need can provide a powerful jumpstart to an otherwise flatlined cropping session.

The first line of defense for most scrappers, and arguably the most popular scrapbooking supply, is patterned paper. If this is your scrappy drug of choice you’re in luck, as there are many, many cloudy options for you to choose from. Many papers stick to the standard “blue skies and fluffy white clouds” theme, such as the patterns shown below.

Above, from top left: American Crafts City Park (Skyline Park Glitter), My Mind’s Eye Lime Twist (Genuine Sky), My Mind’s Eye Good Day Sunshine (Head In The Clouds), Echo Park Summer Days (Clouds).

Sassafras’ Sunshine Broadcast line features a near-photo realistic print in the common blue and white color scheme with touches of vintage aging and distressing, called “Enlighten” (below).

Some papers add a bit of embellishment, such as this playful piece from the Echo Park “Little Boy” line called “In the Clouds” (below).

Doodlebug Designs proves that clouds can carry a holiday theme, as well, as shown in this pattern from their “Spooky Town”  Halloween collection, “Midnight Sky” (below).

Bella Blvd adds a funky patterned touch to the fun collection of doodled clouds in this bright yellow print called “Creamsicle Clouds” (below) from their “Sunny Happy Skies” line.

There’s no shortage of cloud embellishments on the market today and, like patterned paper, they’re available in a wide variety of styles and colors.

Studio Calico’s cloud rub-ons (pictured below) come in several different colors and patterns, including popular wood grain and ledger prints.

Above: Studio Calico Cloud Rub-Ons (Woodgrain, Blue, Grey, Ledger).

Sassafras includes a cloud shape in one of their paper lines’ coordinating cardstock sticker sheets. Sunshine Broadcast, Sweetly Smitten, and Ellie’s Tale are just a few examples.

 

 

Above, from top: Sassafras Sunshine Broadcast, Sweetly Smitten and Ellie’s Tale cardstock stickers.

My Mind’s Eye’s “Fine and Dandy: True Blue” line features several cute patterned clouds in its chipboard set (pictured below).

DIY types will appreciate the number of cloud-related tools on the market.

Fiskars produces both large and extra large versions of a cloud shape for their popular (and oh-so-easy-to-use) squeeze punch line. Both of these punches are now staples of my personal scrapbooking tool arsenal and have a place of honor in the tool basket next to my crafting desk.

 

Both My Favorite Things and Papertrey Ink carry cloud dies that are compatible with almost any manual die cutting machine on the market.

My Favorite Things Clouds Trio Die-namics

 

Papertrey Ink Cloud 1 and 2 Die Collection

Papertrey even makes a coordinating stamp set so you can color, pattern, and customize your cloud cutouts to your heart’s content.

Papertrey Ink "Up Up and Away" Stamp Set

The American Crafts City Park line also features this stamp set, complete with – you guessed it – clouds!

Above: American Crafts City Park stamp set (Fountain Accents & Phrases)

Now that we’ve taken a tour of some of the available cloud products, let’s look at an example of how we can use them.

I recently scrapped a page about my latest 5K run, held on Memorial Day. It’s a very patriotic event, so I chose a vibrant red, white, and blue color scheme and broke out some stars and a sheet of pennant banner paper. The top right corner, though, looked a little lonely when it had only the glittered blue flourish to keep it company.

Supplies - Patterned Paper: My Mind’s Eye American Made (Celebration Banner). Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (Stonehenge). Gems: Imaginisce (I-Rock). Cardstock Die Cuts: K & Company (Americana). Letter Stickers: American Crafts Thickers (White Subway Foam, Red Sprinkles Vinyl), My Little Shoebox (Gumball Mini). Spray Mist: Studio Calico Mister Huey’s (Calico White).  Punches: Fiskars Squeeze Punch (Large Cloud and Extra Large Cloud). Date Stamp: office supply. Pen: Zig Millenium.

The solution? I broke out my trusty cloud punches (the same Fiskars set that I talked about just a little earlier), and punched both the large and extra large out of the “B” side of my patterned paper. The result was the perfect finishing touch for a page about a fun outdoor event on a hot, sunny day.

In the real world, clouds come in all shapes, sizes and types: stormy gray rain clouds, wispy thin clouds that sail through the air during a day at the beach, flat, white clouds on snowy days, and of course the big, fluffy clouds that we’ve all come to associate with sunny spring days. Cloud products in scrapbooking are just as diverse and can be used for any variety of page subjects.

Next time you’re stuck on a page and searching for the perfect accent, pick up one of these cloud products and give it a try. It might just be the finishing touch you’re looking for!

Scrapbooking the Everyday: 34 fresh new ways to celebrate your daily life

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Trendwatch: Cabochon Resin Flowers

With all of the cross-over happening from scrapbooking to jewelery making, we shouldn’t be surprised to see cross-over the other way from jewelry supplies back to scrapbooking as well. Lately, the cabochon has been popping up in my crafting.

What is a cabochon? All the definitions I’ve found describe it as a gemstone that is cut flat on the bottom, and domed or otherwise cut on top (but not faceted). Cabochon (or cabachon) also is a common term for a flat-bottomed resin flower.

Let me correct myself: beautiful, amazing, use-them-in-all-kinds-of-projects resin flowers.

Last fall is the first time I recall seeing resin flowers quite like these. Making Memories (pictured above) released them as a part of their Paper Reverie line. Their offerings are low profile and work beautifully on scrapbook layouts as well as for other crafting project applications.

I was happy to see the next CHA show reveal lots more spring and summer releases planned with these beauties from many manufacturers, making them even easier to find.

shown above: Prima below: Girls’ Paperie

There are two problems I have with these beauties. First, they tend to be on the pricey side. Second, most are more bulky than I’d like for use on my scrapbook layouts. I have been utilizing them more on mixed media, gift tags, and other projects where the dimension won’t really be an issue to combat this problem.

shown above (left to right): GCD Studios, Webster’s Pages, Scarlet Lime

I have found that some are lower profile and thus work on my pages better than others. Be sure to take a look at how high they sit before purchasing. The material and look of these flowers is perfect for creating a vintage feel on a project, but they can also be used to evoke a more modern look. If you’re feeling like doing some leg work, I recommend surfing sites like Etsy.com where these treasures are used for more than paper crafts, and where prices can be lower. Etsy has a smorgasbord of options. I found these lovely roses below priced at $6 for twenty – and you can pick the colors!

See more of these cabochons at Sun & Moon shop on Etsy. The flat bottom of these flowers makes them very easy to adhere with either liquid or strong double sided tape adhesives.

One of my new favorite resin flower products are the Pebbles flower brads. While they are a bit bulky because of the brad backing, the small circumference of the flower makes them ideal for embellishing my layouts. Here is where I put them to use on a recent page:

Supplies – Pebbles patterned paper, brads, buttons, alphabet stickers, dimensional stickers (Floral Lane); Fancy Pants filter paper circle; Hero Arts woodblock stamp (Fabulous Flourish); Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad (Brushed Corduroy); Bazzill Cardstock (Kraft).

Thanks to the wide selection of colors available, and the range of styles and flower types, these can be useful on not just feminine pages – but pages for vacations, holidays, boys, and any other subject!

I’m glad to have this new floral option in my scrapbook embellishment palette – and I look forward to working them into many of my future projects.

If you have used these in any of your papercrafting, let us know what you think about them!

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Pantone Forecasts the Hot Colors of Fall 2011

Pantone released its Fall 2011 color forecast in mid-February during New York Fashion Week.

Honeysuckle, Pantone’s 2011 color of the year, is still the major player in this palette, but unlike the near-pastel hues of the Spring color forecast we now see it matched with deeper tones that add more contrast to the overall palette. Neutrals in this collection shift noticeably away from the grays of 2010 toward rich browns.

Pantone Fall 2011 forecast Continue Reading →

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Trend Watch: Rosettes

As the new year gets underway and winter CHA products are revealed, there is an obvious trend that continues to grow and flourish: Rosettes. Whether made from crepe paper, ribbon, or patterned paper, they are a hot item to purchase and make. Something I like about them is that they can be used as a circle embellishment, as a center to a larger embellishment, or as a flower. They don’t have the super feminine look that flowers so often do, and the colors and designs can vary from a bright and graphic look, to a more vintage and soft look. In other words – rosettes can be made to suit most any style!

(shown above: American Crafts)

To see how rosettes can be used in something besides a scrapbook layout, check out this Jennifer Gallacher tutorial on making cupcake toppers on the American Crafts blog.

Rosettes are created from strips that are either folded, crumpled, or otherwise pleated into a circle. It’s simple enough to make your own, though I tend to find the process time consuming unless you’re going for a more rustic crumpled look. Here is a link to a great vintage rosette tutorial video by Lain Ehmann.

To make your own folded paper rosette, you’ll simply need to fan fold a strip of paper. I find this tends to be tedious. I never can keep the folds the same size (without considerable amount of effort and time), and the look is never just right when I’m done. When I want to make this style of rosette, I reach instead for my Tim Holtz Alterations rosette die.

If you like the convenience of the die too, you’ll be happy to hear that Tim recently showed a sneak peek on his blog of a new (smaller) rosette die coming soon. So there will be more size options available for those choosing this method of making rosettes.

For a full how-to on using the die, I recommend Tim’s how-to video for his rosette die, as well as a custom rosette video where he doubles up the die cuts to make a bigger (very cool!) rosette.

The Girls’ Paperie has some cool crepe paper layered rosettes available, and I’ve heard that in 2011 the Girls’ Paperie will be one to watch for more vintage inspired rosettes. In fact – as a design team member – I’ve been able to work with some new designs already, and I believe they’re going to be a hit!

In researching for this article, I also found these new K & Co. ribbon rosettes. So lovely! I am excited to see not only new products featuring rosettes, but also more tutorials and project examples with handmade ones popping up on my favorite blogs.

I have been wishing rosette ribbons would start to pop up, and Jenni Bowlin just released this sneak peek of ribbons coming soon. So fantastic! They will be available in several colors, and are already at the top of my wish list.

To show how I put rosettes in action for my own personal style, I created a layout featuring a few of my favorite photos from my girls’ recent meeting with Santa to share today:

Supplies:
Fancy Pants Tradition flocked transparency and buttons
The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig alphabet stickers, snowflake rosette, and chipboard letters
American Crafts City Park rosette sticker
Tim Holtz Distress Stickles in Rock Candy
Hipstamatic iPhone application
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L foam adhesive squares
other: rhinestones, kraft cardstock, black pen

From childhood pages filled with whimsy to vintage inspired pages, and for every color out there, there’s likely a way to make a rosette work. I’m sure that the rosette trend is here to stay for a while. It goes so well with many other existing trends (such as banners, vintage, etc) and the materials and options are nearly endless – I’m glad to play with them more this year.

Do you like this product trend? What is your favorite way to put rosettes to use? Please feel free to share with us in the comments!

[Disclosure: May Flaum does design work for The Girls Paperie and Tim Holtz.]

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Pantone Announces Color of 2011

Pantone has announced its 2011 Color of the Year. The color is Pantone 18-2120, known more familiarly as “Honeysuckle”.

Described by the company as a “reddish pink” the tone definitely plays into the ongoing vintage theme in the scrapbook industry. Because it also coordinates well with the 2010 color of the year, turquoise (which was seen widely in scrapbook products the past year) we’ve actually already been seeing some of this tone in product lines that are already on store shelves. Continue Reading →

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Trendwatch: Tickets

Left in a strip, used for journaling, as the perfect little paper accent, or as a part of a layered embellishment…I love tickets. They are nothing new in scrapbooking, but recently I have noticed an increase in the number of manufacturers that are creating ticket products. From actual paper tickets to stamps, stickers, and die cuts – tickets are all the rage.

Supply list:

Large and small, printed and plain, vintage or new, I do adore tickets! There’s something about such a classic piece of ephemera that just works for me, whether I’m scrapbooking a trip to the fair or just an ordinary day in my life.

If you’re looking for the real deal, I suggest visiting www.etsy.com and searching for tickets.

I did a vintage ticket search, and I’m almost sorry I did. There’s a lot of fantastic stuff available, and I want it all! That said, real tickets aren’t acid free or made to last, so you’ll either need to be comfortable with that, treat them with an archival mist or acid free preservative spray, or look for reproduction products made for scrapbooking. Today I am going to share some favorites I’ve found in my CHA Summer 2010 sneak peek hunting, as well as some that are available from previous releases.

Kaiser Craft has these printed chipboard elements (which I absolutely adore) that include several tickets.  The line that this chipboard sheet is from includes some other ticket items as well.

Making Memories Je t’Adore line is filled with sweet Parisian inspired details – including a set of tickets shown above.

Pink Paislee is releasing a roll of tickets with the House of 3 Parisian Anthology line. I really like how they’ll be so useful and easy to ink, paint, write on, and otherwise customize.

While the new Fiskars border punch says postage stamp, when I look at it I see the edge of a ticket! I could use this along the left and right side of a paper to make myself my own punched ticket – I think it will be very cute, especially on a larger journaling “ticket”.

These ticket stamps will work with Tim Holtz’s Alterations Ticket Strip die from Sizzix [Scrapbook.com|Two Peas]. Tim isn’t new to the ticket scene – in fact some of my favorite tickets to use at the moment are his Journaling Tickets [Scrapbook.com|Two Peas] that I showed in my layout example.

Looking to get your hands on more tickets right away? Here are a few fantastic products you’ll find on shelves now:

Pink Paislee’s Starlight collection is a favorite of mine (see more of it in this article), especially the sticker sheet. [Scrapbook.com|Two Peas]. The glitter accented ticket stickers are just the thing to add to any layout or project.

Little Yellow Bicycle has these [Scrapbook.com|Two Peas] tickets that come with a cute pocket – I love both the idea and colors. Taken apart or used all together, this is a lot of fun.

Maya Road has a variety of tickets. I like these [Scrapbook.com|Two Peas] kraft tickets a lot. The variety is nice.

If digital is more your style, check out Katie Pertiet’s variety of ticket products.  I especially like the ones with the months on them (shown above).

Rhonna Farrer also has some lovely digital tickets available now at House of 3 – they are one of my most printed and used digital kits.

Need even more? Jenni Bowlin also makes a variety of tickets, some of them themed [Scrapbook.com|Two Peas], and Making Memories’ Vintage Findings [Scrapbook.com|Two Peas] and Panorama lines also included tickets. [Two Peas]

Tickets are not a new idea in scrapbooking, but they have been gaining in popularity, and this scrapbooker couldn’t be happier about that!

Do you have a favorite ticket product? How do you use tickets on your layouts? Please feel free to share!

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