Here we go again

So I was featured again by the DCWV challenge entry for February. I entered both the layout sketch challenge (10th photo down) and the card sketch challenge (7th photo down) and was chosen as a top 10 for each category. From those top 10’s, prize winners were chosen. And guess who won a prize again? Yep, me. Woot! Check this cool prize out…

Premium Paper Collections from DCWV

I won eight Premium Paper Collections as well as a mini album this go around. Each collection contains 5 sheets of specialty paper, from glitter to gloss to laser cut. These collections really are very beautiful with wonderful textures and finishes included. I only wish there was less packaging involved as each sheet was individually wrapped.

I wanted to put this prize to use right away on this month’s sketch challenges! I used the same Premium Collection Pack for both the card and the layout.

Layout Sketch…

And my take…

Then the card sketch…

And my take…

Wish me luck on another top 10 (and who knows, maybe another prize?).

Now YOU go enter. It’s fun!

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Hedgehugs

Normally I don’t go for the really cutsie images (read: inanimate objects with smiley faces). But the Lawn Fawn hedgehogs really spoke to me for some reason. I think they are really cute creatures in life so the stamp set felt more realistic and less over the top cute. I have to admit that it made me squee, which I don’t usually do over stamp sets. Plus, the low price point and the matching die makes the set really a great deal.

When I saw the DCWV stack-a-holic card sketch challenge for March, I knew I had the perfect idea for combining the sketch, the stamp and a needed get-well card.

First up the sketch…

And my take…

I used the DCWV Glitzy Glitter 6×6 paper pad. This paper is not simply a glitter glued down to cardstock. I’m not sure how this is manufactured, but the “glitter” is really fine and embedded/printed in a way that it does not come off. When you rub a hand over the glitter you can’t feel flakes, just a rougher texture. I love, love this paper since I can’t stand loose glitter flakes everywhere. I knew I wanted to use this paper since it had color gradient that worked well for the ground, grass and sky, plus pink for the hearts. And the card is a get-well card for a lovely little girl who had to spend a few days in the hospital. I wanted something very sweet and sparkly to cheer her up.

At first I tried stamping the images in regular dye ink on the glitter paper and that did not work well. The image was really faint. I could have tried Staz-On next but I decided to go straight for heat embossing to give it extra pop. When I heated the glitzy paper I soon realized something: there is a plastic quality to the paper that does not react well to heat. The paper curled quite badly very quickly. I was able to ease out some of the curling but didn’t get an entirely flat piece again. This made it harder to die cut since I had to tape the die down well to the cutting plate to get it to stay in place in the die machine. Once I got it cut, the continued curling didn’t matter to me as it gave the banner and little animals additional texture which I found I actually liked. However if you need something really flat this may be a problem. I may try to experiment with the heat more or squashing the pieces under heavy books for a while. If I don’t come up with more tips, just know for now, that you will run into this issue.

Once the embossing and die cutting was done, I added color to the hedgehogs (stamped on the same silver paper as the banner) using Copic markers. The paper did take well to the ink and I was able to add just a little shading and detail. Since it is such a small image, I don’t know how well true Copic blending would work on this surface, but I’d say give it a try and see what happens. I may try it with some floral images to test it out. I will let you know if I do.

(Note: The little hearts I ended up die cutting came from another lawn fawn set that had just a slightly larger heart die that cut in multiple.)

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Final CKC

The last class I’m showing you about the CKC convention is Home Grown Cards with Basic Grey. Check out the YouTube video on the class presentation. For the most part I just followed right along with the instructions. There were a few techniques like using glue dots with micro beads (far right pear card), using stencils with mist and pen-work (direct middle, back; hard to see). The techniques were nothing very new to me. Also the colors of the collection felt to grunge for my current color taste. Most of the sentiments were not wording I would use for everyday cards. All in all, it was not my favorite class, but I think it was really taste dependent. If you like Basic Grey or this color pallet, I would say go for it.

My favorite card was the front one that I made inspired by one of the design layouts but I mixed it up since I had accidentally cut apart the intended greeting image. I like the brighter pink/yellow/green pallet with brown just for contrast. Plus the four color-blocked design works really well I think. I don’t know why I’ve not tried the color-blocking on cards before.

Final thoughts, look over the instructions and projects first to make sure you have all the parts you need for making the projects you want to follow step by step. Then feel free to mix, match and even change entirely the things you want to change.

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Playing with Watercolor

I’ve been intrigued with watercolor for some time now. The loose flow and blending of colors is surely a favorite. I’ve never been good at drawing real, representational images but I’ve been practicing here and there with a few things. Last week I decided to just pull out my watercolors and try my hand at that. I had fun, but I must say the real life representation is still lacking. My flowing watercolor gets very tight and restricted when trying to capture the image. Well, more practice is in my future. For now, enjoy some zero calorie cake!

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Quick & Sassy Pocket Pages: A CKC class

In this class the approach was simple, spice up some pocket sized cards and use them in some pocket pages. I’m not a pocket scrapper and didn’t pre-register for this class. I ended up adding it because, like I said in an earlier post, the convention was small and the vendor fair didn’t keep me busy between classes. I’ve been keeping pocket page ideas in the background with the thoughts of adapting them to traditional layouts. The reason I don’t like pockets is that the page confines me to specific photo size & orientations and I don’t want that limit. But adapting the pocket products to traditional layouts certainly seems easy and can make scrapping faster to get more stories told. So that is what I did.

But first up, what the class shared…
There were ideas on small embellishments, inking, doodling, journaling tips, hiding elements that don’t fit the theme & still being able to use the cards, storage & organization and of course how to bring them onto traditional 12×12. Of all the classes I took, I am likely to really read the instructions from this one to get those last couple of tips a good look.

And the two layouts that I pulled out of the pockets…

Okay this one I admit I just used up some cardstock base that was leftover so the color isn’t the best fit and I tried to connect it in with a few sequins and one pocket-card of similar tones. It is a stretch, I know, but sometimes you have to put things together and call it done!

(Look closely there is a spider near that sticky note. The overlay reflection certainly didn’t photograph well!)

Of course this being a pocket page class, I didn’t pull the layouts together in class. Instead I spent time at the crop playing with the materials & ideas provided in class to put these together.

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Trendy Techniques with Gossamer Blue: A CKC class

This class (visit their YouTube description for more information) was sponsored by CKC and as usual, their class kits & print instructions were generous, modern and trendy. I’m happy with the  results of the pages that I came away with but the class format could use some improvement. The class could have been called “spend all your time misting things.” Our class was large and we had to work in groups to take turns with the materials. It took a long time to get through misting all the elements. And that was the end of the trendy techniques, or rather technique.

If you have experience with mist and dripping, then you may want to skip this class. Even though I get misting and use it often, I am still glad I took this class because I wasn’t very familiar with Gossamer Blue as a company and I found I liked their products (loved the printed transparency overlays in gold on one side and silver on the other for color options! And I have plenty leftover to play with).

My take on the top layout: I didn’t have as many photos as the layout so I just used what I had. I think this layout may have been better with the higher number of photos. As is, it is a little too busy for my two photos. But that is okay. I’m happy anyway.

And my take on the bottom layout: For this one I had a huge amount of photos I was trying to squeeze in to one layout and I managed to do it. I took the flag/banner border pieces and drew them together across the layout to create an upper and lower section to fit all these photos. I think the layout works well. But I think the style & color of some of the elements didn’t fit (the woodgrain card? Where does woodgrain fit in ). The misted scallop journal card was particularly unsuccessful. The outlining the scallops with black pen was too overwhelming; I would have left that off and used a lighter misting for a less busy journal card.

So there you go, my thoughts on that class. Watch their video (linked above) and see if you are up for this mist-tacular class.

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Heart of Gold: A CKC class

The first class I took at the CKC convention this year was Heart of Gold sponsored by CKC and designed by Megan Hoeppner. Megan was also on location teaching this class. I love taking classes with her. As a teacher she is mellow & sweet. She interacts with the class to encourage sharing ideas and ways students like to mix up the kit/class to make it more personal. Plus she has a lovely design sense.

This class focused on a large 12×12 wood veneer heart piece and using it in different ways to spice up pages. We used it as a stencil, as a misting mask and then as an actual page element using varying techniques to dress it up and make it pop.

Below you can see the intended layout designs (from the actual instruction sheet) and what I ended up doing with it. Please do click the class link above to see their YouTube video that shows more of the product you get in class. CKC classes have generous product included, clear instruction sheets, and modern, sophisticated design & techniques.

You can see two layouts here in the instructions. I’ve only finished the first.

I shifted the layout only slightly to make room for one more focal photo and shifted the title. To give a landing place for the title I added some strips of paper that span both pages of the layout.

This was my favorite class. The combination of that unique wood piece and the techniques you can do with it were exciting. And the rest of the product kit was lovely. I recommend this class for sure.

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CKC Portland

I attend the CKC Scrapbook Convention event each year in Portland, Oregon since it is near enough to me that I don’t need to travel and get a hotel room. That leaves more budget for classes & shopping. This year the event, especially the vendor fair, was very small. It turns out that the Scrapbook Expo was hosting their event at the same time in California and many of the vendors and likely teachers were there instead of here. I was quite disappointed with that. However, I did manage to take some nice classes. Over the next few days I am going to highlight the classes I took and show you what I came away with out of the class. That way you have a better idea if the class is right for you (should you happen to have the chance to take it). Our show starts of the year of conventions so we as students are often the guinea pigs for the teachers to see what is right and wrong with the kit contents, instructions and flow of the class! We get to give tips and suggestions to the teachers so all you later students get a better experience. You’re welcome. 😉

Stay tuned for later posts highlighting those classes. But in the meantime, here are some projects I worked on during the crop time.

Layout 1: For this one I found some selfie photos on my phone that my daughter took of her cosplay (costume/fashion playing for those not in the know). I just couldn’t stop smiling when I found these little gems. So sweet. Tips: print low quality phone photos in a small size and use a grid layout. Extend the page design using vertical and horizontal elements to create flow across the page.

Layout 2: Here we have same daughter and sister getting ready for their first day of “school”. We homeschool but they take classes at a non-profit school for homeschoolers in our area. I had just picked up a 6×6 pad of paper from Authentique called Curiosity. Tip: Messy layer 6×6 papers in the center of the page and top with a couple of prominent photos. Keep the eye focused on the photos by adding border strips of pattern paper to the photos. Top with embellishments with a little pop of color (here yellow) to make just a few, small embellishments have bigger impact. I love pulling simple layouts together quickly.

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DCWV Stack-a-holic March

I’ve been having a really good time playing along with the DCWV monthly sketch challenge lately. So far this is my favorite result. I wasn’t excited about the sketch at first and was having a hard time with it as I was working. But in the process I figured out a few things. Matting the photos with enough contrast made for a much better result. Adding in a really unexpected pop of color (the pink journaling tags) gave it something extra. I used the Day to Day Photo Real stack for this and threw in some washi tape, a transparency & some wood veneer. Clean and simple.

The Sketch

My take

I encourage you to give it a try. They don’t have many entries each month, so your chances of winning some goodies are high 😉

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Winner, winner

I like to play along with the DCWV blog monthly sketch challenges. For the January sketch I entered both the card sketch and the layout sketch and I was highlighted as one of the Top Ten entries for the layout sketch. Here are the sketches and my takes.

And… the layout

I was excited to be highlighted for sure. But the most fun part? They also give away goodies for entering and I was selected as one of the winners of a goody box. It arrived yesterday and it is wonderful. They sent six 6×6 specialty “paper” stacks– Burlap, printed corck, embossed papers, glitzy (glittery), foiled velum and chalkboard. Check it out…

There is still time to entry their February challenge and you might win some lovely goodies like these! Now I am off to make a thank you card to send to Megan, who organizes the entries for the challenge.

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