Monday, April 30, 2012

Catalog Inspiration

Written for the Oscraps blog today:

I love browsing through magazines and catalogs, especially home dec or clothing catalogs that are photographed in interesting places. It's hard for me to recycle these, thinking I might just want them for inspiration some day. 

Last week I talked about some of the frame treatments I am seeing in current catalogs and junk mail. Today I thought I would touch on some color, pattern and theme trends. 

This is an inspiration board from a Calico Corners catalog. I loved the colors, the mix of patterns, the textures, and the themes. I decided it would be a fun exercise to put together some digital goodies to support this inspiration board.


To the O-shop I go! First, the seafoam/turquoise colors, so soft and fresh! Right there on the front page of the shop, I found this lovely paper collection from Charlize Creations featuring some soft and pretty blue/seafoam papers, and a wonderful stripe!   

This lovely ArtPlay Palette Wander from Anna Aspnes also features these colors, and oh look, the fish and the seashells!


Now I wanted some roses...a simple search, 'rose', did the trick. Boy Meets Girl from Vicki Stegal gave me not only the perfect rose clusters, but some rosy pink colors as well.

 More perfect colors, more pretty roses, in Beloved from Jennifer Labre.   

 Now where to find a plaid...this is where it helps to 'know your designers'. For geometric patterned papers, I go straight to Ashalee Wall!

Or, digging a little deeper, I found this wonderful plaid hidden in this An Autumn Affair to Remember kit from Creations by Tinamaria:

 Now I need me some animal about these Wild Thangs tags and frames from Joanne Brisbois?

 I could not pass up more beachy elements, as I LOVE beachy elements. These Beach Clusters Element Pack from Joanne Brisbois would make a beachy page a snap to create!  

Joanne must love the beach as I do, for her shop is full of beachy beauty, like this from the a la plage collection. 

Notice there is some textured fabric in the inspiration photo. I love the rough textures of burlap, a current trend! I found this wonderful textured 'Naturally Woven' alpha from Danielle Young.  

The facing page from the Calico Corners magazine featured a letter sporting the animal print.   

To achieve this design addition to your page, choose any of the hundreds of alphas available in the O shop to fit the mode and design of your page, the chunkier the better. I like this Classic Letter Alpha from Kitty Designs.

Or use a font you like, type out your title and rasterize it. Then simply clip the animal print paper of your choice to it. OK, I have to admit, I had some trouble finding an animal print. I am sure they exist, but my searches were not turning up the print I was looking for, so I made one. 

Click on the preview to be taken to a page to download this free animal print in the four colors from the inspiration photo - beige, brown, rose and teal. These papers can be tweaked via a hue/saturation layer to achieve the colors you want in your page. 

 And finally, putting my scrapping where my words are, here is what I put together to match the inspiration.

 Unsure of color, design or trends? Let the experts help you! You don't have to save tons of paper, just rip out some 'tear sheets' and reach for them whenever you are feeling a little stuck. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the gallery!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Revisiting Monterosso

This week's AnnaLift was about could I resist? It's so nice when I can find the photos easily, well labeled, ready to use. I used 3 different photos for the focal area, blending them into a blue composition, then extracted the Monterosso sign from a 4th photo. 
I love using these map and atlas edges on my pages.

I think about Cinque Terre often, hoping the people there find the strength to rebuild their towns after last year's rain and mud, and that tourists continue to frequent this incredibly beautiful area.  I count this as one of the highlights of my life, having hiked the Cinque Terre and spent time in these beautiful towns.
AnnaLift 0503 Monterosso 
Credits: Uses Anna Aspnes ArtPlay palettes Metro Graffiti, Seafoam, Girl Craze, Find My Way 2, Anna Sampler No 2, Multi Fotot Double Template 9, Warm Glows No 1 and Warping Frames (currently in love with warping frames).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cherry Blossoms

The cherry blossom trees down the street are now in full bloom, and gloriously so! 

Cherry Blossoms
Credits: All from Anna Aspnes: Original FotoBlenz No 5, Laced Frames No 1, Multimedia Flowers No 2, ArtPlay Palette Girl Craze, ArtPlay Palette Crazy Life, ArtPlay Palette Sophistica, Warm Glows No 1, Everyday Word Transfers

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Good Hair Day

Silly fun :-)  Oscraps member Adryane sent me a template and some instructions for doing this Warhol-like collage.  I used all those pictures I took when I got my hair highlighted, then just used hue/saturation adjustments to color the rows.  Added a few elements from Maya de Groot's Artsy Fartsy against Maya's Not So Basic Blacks paper, then a bit more embellishment from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Crazy Life.

The quote is from Maya Angelou, used for this month's Quote Me Challenge at Oscraps.

 Hair Collage

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Week 16

In which it got really hot!

Week 16

Monday, April 23, 2012

Week 15

In which Easter dinner occurred...lasagna, the rain hopefully stopped, I got my hair highlighted, and off Ms AC and I went to San Diego.

Week 15
Credits: All from Anna Aspnes: FotoInspired Layout No 2, ArtPlay Palette Everyday, ArtPlay Palette Strawberry Preserve, ArtPlay Palette Girl Craze, ArtPlay Palette Find My Way 2

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Swatches

In honor of Earth Day, the April Web Inspiration challenge at Oscraps, and because I love these colors, some pictures from the country club...those wonderful blue spiky bushes that grow everywhere around here, and a shot of the 9th hole.

As I usually do, I love to incorporate the actual swatches somewhere in the page, this time along the right side, repeated and brushed up a bit.

Earth Swatches 
Credits: Anna Aspnes Artsy Layered Template No 10, Oscraps Facebook kit, Maya de Groot Aero Toni and Dido Earth Song

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Moustache Madness

I love every scrapbooking layout I make, but this was the most fun I have had with a layout with a while, adding moustaches to an otherwise bad picture of Ms AC and I at Mission Beach in San Diego, taken last weekend.

I am anxious to do more with my San Diego pictures.  It was a fun trip :-)

San Diego Moustaches

Friday, April 20, 2012

Up Up and Away

It's gonna be in my head all day...wouldn't you like to ride in my beautiful balloon, way up in the air in my beautiful balloon.... New kit Up Up and Away from Jen Maddocks at Zig Zag scrap.

There is something magical about flying imagery...old fashioned propellers, balloons, compasses, with perhaps nothing to do with my jade plant, but I felt like the forms were similar and the colors perfectly refreshing.

This jade plant lived indoors for most of its life, and I was nervous about putting it outside.  It's done very well, except I have not seen a jade with so much red on its leaves, do hope its not a bad sign, it does look fresh and lovely, hopefully attributable to the full sun of the back yard.

 Jade UUA

Looking at the preview for Up Up and Away, I wish I had done more with this pretty kit, but alas, scrapping time is sparse as the weather improves.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Week 14 on the 14th

Week 14 started the transition to full-blown spring.   While we have had plenty of blooming already, the temperatures are actually getting steadily warmer and threatening to stay that way!
The jasmine is blooming beautifully on the back fence, the cherry trees are blossoming, and it is Easter week, complete with a Easter-decorated table.

On a walk this week, I discovered a St. Francis statue, reminding me of our wonderful visit to Assisi.

Week 14 
Credits: Anna Aspnes FotoInspired Layout No 2, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Everyday

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week 13 on the 13th

Keeping up!
Week 13, the last week of March, was about cold, so cold there was snow on the mountains, golf despite the cold, my new bistro set and refinished floors.

I can't believe how beautifully different the kitchen floor looks, newly cleaned and polished.  I hated the way it looked before, and now it is good as new.

One of the fun things about having the new bistro set out on the front porch, not only do I get to sit and have afternoon tea out there, but the mail and package deliverers will often leave little presents on the table for me, like my spring 2012 book from Shutterfly.

Featured in the upper right of this page is another of the journaling cards I made for the Oscraps birthday hop.

Week 13 
Credits: Anna Aspnes FotoInspired Template no 11, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Crazy Life and Everyday, Anna Aspnes Warm Glows No 1, Oscraps Collabs Soiree and Evolution, Jen Maddocks Designs Tell Your Story

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Morning Light

Before the rain started this morning, there was this wonderful light, the light that can only be reflected against a darkening sky, letting the colors show forth true and not washed out by too much sun.  There were a few openings in the dark clouds and the rising sun cast a pink glow through them.

On the ground, the browns of the wet waterfall, the greens of the budding rose of sharon tree, and the light and dark pinks of the jasmine on the fence combined to create one of those "nature's palettes" that only comes on such a morning.

It was beautiful morning light!

Created for the copycat challenge at Oscraps. Morning Light Copycat 
Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Crazy Life, Special One, Warm Glows No 1, Dido Designs Earth Song, Tiffany Tillman Artistic Photo Masks 5, Fonts - Leaf1, JaneAusten, Edwardian Script

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Created for Free

There was so much activity during the Oscraps 6th birthday bash that I forgot to post one of my challenge layouts, the challenge to create a page using 6 freebies from 6 different designers in the Oscraps store. 

The pictures were taken in the back yard, one of the March sunsets that was so colorful.

The freebies:
  • Joanne Brisbois Photography Frames  
  • Charlize Creations Now Brewing Stacked Papers  
  • Ashalee Wall Torn n Tattered Notes  
  • Taylor Made Spa Getaway Word Art  
  • Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Saffron Villa  
  • Maya de Groot Art Journaling Freebie  
  • Vicki Stegal Rock On 
6 Freebies sunset

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Tulips

Created for the April color challenge at Oscraps, the swatch colors being those little squares of green, orange-red, peach, yellow and brown that I attached at the bottom of the frame, achieved with tulips and brushes, and lots of glows!
I love art like this!

Tulips April Color Challenge 
Credits: Anna Aspnes: ArtPlay Palette Barren Sunrise, ArtPlay Palette Ablaze, ArtPlay Palette Autumnal 2, ArtPlay Palette Crazy Life, Warms Glows No 1, Hipster Plume Clipping Masks, Magic FofoBlenz Album 1A. VinnyPearce Canvas Elements Freebie, One Little Bird Worn, Dido Queen Freebie

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Bunny Tail

It being Easter, it seems appropriate to create a page about a bunny.  It's funny that there are so many bunny statues in the neighborhood.  Is it an acknowledgement of the inevitable or a tribute to the critters?

I especially like this tall bunny statue that looks like he is scratching his back on a tree.  If he were mine, I would paint a blue jacket on him with gold buttons.

I also love this weeping cherry tree and admire it every time I pass.  It is just now coming into bloom.  I took the photo late in the day, so the strong sunshine caused it to appear almost sepia-toned, which I found rather lovely.

The pages was created as an AnnaLift of a similarly toned/colored page.
AnnaLift 0412 Easter Bunny  
Credits: From Anna Aspnes: Anna Sampler No 2, ArtPlay Palettes Ablaze, Ablaze Freebie, Barren Sunrise and Sweet Christmas, Winter Frame Transfers No 1, Numbered Overlays No 1, Warm Glows No 1. From Charlize Creations, Now Brewing Stacked Paper Freebie. Font is Harrington, quote is from the Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Butterbeer Challenge

This month's creative techniques challenge at Oscraps was quite a challenge. I wrote about it on the Oscraps blog this week.

Yes, challenges are fun.

But when we take on challenges, we can not only have fun, but learn and grow in our skills, our technique repertoires, our artistry, our storytelling. And let's face it, no matter how young or old, learning it good! It keeps our mind active, it keeps our spirits up, it keeps the scrapping mojo well, mojo-ing!

So here it is April, and we have a new set of monthly challenges for your learning and growth.

I thought I would draw attention to a particularly challenging challenge which is rocking the gallery after only a few days into the month. In this month's Creative Techniques Challenge, our dear Ona has challenged us to really stretch and incorporate multiple techniques.

1. Merging photos - This sounds tricky, but here is a hint...your ERASER is your friend! Here is an erasing tutorial from Nov 2010 that will have you merging like a pro.

2. Using stamps/brushes - there are such a variety of brushes and stamps and overlays to choose from and they really can be used quite effectively in any type of layout.

3. Clipping masks - virtually anything can be used as a clipping mask, simply make sure the paper is on top of the thing you want to clip to whether it be a stamp, an element or shape etc. Be creative! Clip to something you have never clipped to before! You never know what wonderful things might happen. Here is a clipping Mask tutorial from Sept 2010.

4. Blending - If you can use your up and down arrow keys, you can blend :-) We have lots of tutorials for blending! Blending Tutorial #1 Blending Tutorial #1 Blending Tutorial #1 Blending Tutorial #1 I know this may sound like a lot, but remember, it's a challenge, and just take it one step at a time.

Now, let's look at what some Oscrappers have been doing with this challenge:

First, this gorgeous page from Ona. The photos are seamlessly blended and full of liveliness and loveliness! And what vibrant color, beautiful brushes and creative clipping!

This page from Alegna just plain rocks with action, color and amazing impact.

Speaking of action, I fully expect to be splashed with water from these rambunctious dogs jumping right out of the page. And I love the impact from minimalist color. Plus, as mentioned once before, I am a sucker for dog pages.
I think it is their sweet and loving faces, totally natural, so loving and trusting, which makes dog photos and dog pages totally irresistable.

How captivating is this beautiful little girl as she gets closer and closer to the camera, with her engaging smile and pretty dress, in this lovely challenge page from Kaliki.

Children also are the perfect subject for this challenge, since the repetition of photos conveys action that simply cannot be translated with a single photo. And if you haven't picked up on this yet, as in many things design, three is a charm in this page by Dumpty.

... and this one by Lilly-10. This seems like a boy who does not sit still!

These techniques are not limited to puppies and children. Check out this lovely imagery captured by Bluetansy in this tribute to India.  

I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated by this challenge, and I don't intimidate easily. First of all, I have no babies or fur babies in my household. I tend to take a lot of pictures of flowers and landscapes, which don't convey a lot of action. But I remembered some successive photos I took on our recent trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and was able to merge, blend, stamp, brush and clip into this:

Try it, you'll like it! And we'll see you in the gallery.

And remember, the more challenges you complete, the greater your chance for our monthly prizes!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Tale of Tulips & Peony

Made with Jen Maddocks Peony Berry kit.  Photo taken along Country Club Drive.  It was only after I completed this layout that I noticed the snail in the picture...yuk!

 Tulips PB2 
 Additional credits - Jen Maddocks Garden Party and Film Strip 2, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Special One.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nuts 'n' Bolts and a Bistro Set

I have wanted a bistro set for a long time.  There is something cozy and comforting about a small table and chairs tucked into a secluded space, something inviting and relaxing.  I look at them, but never seem to find the right one, at the right price.

Recently there was a Groupon Goods offer for a bistro set for $109, regularly $209.  It looked pretty cute, had the requisite curliness, but without things like ladybugs or hummingbirds or anything else that I am not especially enamored with thematically.  But still, I am not an impulse buyer.  I waited for Mr. AC to come home and asked if he thought it would be ok.  I had investigated the source website and it looked like a good deal.

But, because I snoozed, by the time I hit 'buy' it was sold out.  They sold 450 of these in less than a day.  At least the darker colored one that I wanted.  But they still had ones they called 'antique white'.  Well, ok, I can do antique white.  So I bought.

When it came, it was not really white, but instead a rather sandy color, the same color in the bricks of our house.  So quite a good match!  I was very excited to put it together.  So excited I decided to mostly do it myself.

So here is the story, scrapped with Maya de Groot's Nuts 'n' Bolts alpha and papers. Bistro Nuts & Bolts Additional credits - Maya de Groot Not So Basic: Blacks and Contrast.

I am quite pleased with the purchase.  The alcove outside the front door is protected from the wind so very warm and sunny, the perfect place for afternoon tea or just a break to get warm and listen to the fountains.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Week 12

If every picture tells a story, this one tells seven stories.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one is worth 7000 words.

I will mostly let it tells its stories, but have to mention a few special, the use of my Soiree journaling tag in the upper right corner, and two, my love of that dynamic azalea brush in CS5! 

Week 12

And the credits of course.  From Anna Aspnes, FotoInspired Layout No 9, ArtPlay Palette Girl Craze and ArtPlay Palette Everyday.  Oscraps Collabs Soiree and Evolution.
Branch from Jen Maddocks Designs Apple Blossom.

Here is the tag I used...I just clipped it to a rounded-corner mask to have the shape match the frames in the page, and increased the saturation a bit to have it contrast with the background paper.
Hmmm, this would look really pretty printed and bound in a journal.  Shrunk down just a little, one could print 4 on a page, and print the background paper on the back...the wheels are always turning!

 Soiree Journal Tag 4 

And here are all the tags, available for free download here. Soiree Journal Tags Freebie

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

One Last "6"

The Oscraps Birthday Bash is over, as all good things that must come to an end.  But that doesn't mean the scrapping is over.

Here is one last "6" created in celebration of the 6th Birthday Bash, this one created with a unique set of templates from Simply Kelly, Numbers Template.

These would be great for birthday or anniversary cards, for party invitations, or scrapping the pictures from a celebration.  Or how fun as a way to showcase the pictures from baby's first years, or how about a child's number learning may ideas!

Birthday 6
Additional credits: Oscraps collab Soiree and Jennifer Labre's Pixie Dust, plus papers and elements from Simply Kelly Celebrate.

Such a fun and unique idea...would love to create a whole numbers book! a page with each and every one, or even double pages with number combinations...more ideas, but even less time.

Monday, April 2, 2012


The newest collab kit from Oscraps is called Evolution.  I found the color palette a little challenging at first, until I found the perfect photo, just some jasmine on the repainted back fence, covered with spring raindrops as it begins to bloom.

The green in the kit is exactly the same color as the fence, the pink a nice mix of the pale newly opened flowers and the darker buds.

Jasmine Evolution 

Here is the preview for this packed collab kit.  I must find a way to use those measuring tapes!