Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Beautiful Place

This summer, I went with Colleen Baxter, Brenda Abdoyan and Viva Décor to Portland, Oregon for a trade show. The place is beautiful, the food fabulous and the company perfect. Larry went with me and after the show, we stayed an extra few days on the west coast.

 We had been to the Pike Street Market on my birthday in 2005. We both knew we had to make the drive up to Seattle again, because it is one of our favorite cities. Of course, Pike Street did not disappoint. I was so glad to have a digital camera so I didn't have to worry about running out of film. I took more than 15 shots within one 5' x 5' area, so with the size of this place, you can only imagine the number of photos I came back with.

The last time we went, I made at least ten traditional scrapbook pages, just about the different elements of this amazing market. It took a long time, and I kept having to run to the computer and printer to add just one more tag or pic or headline. This time, I settled for one page and used Duetica Lettering Arts Studio software fonts and their new Summer kit, to make a digital page which was complete in about half an hour. Here is the result:

 And here's how I made it:

Duetica Lettering Arts Studio Software and Summer kit
Digital photos
Adobe Photoshop Software

1. Open flower photo in Photoshop and crop to a square format. Enlarge to 12” x 12” and screen layer to 42 percent. Add a slight border using pink (sampled from photo) and the airbrush tool. Save as background. 

NOTE: The reason for this is that you can re-use this background for additional pages should you need them or even use it in a completely different layout or background for a card without having to recreate the wheel. Your layers will be separated so you can easily add and delete what you need/don’t need.

2. Import Paper Edge from Duetica Summer Kit and place left edge 3” from the page top. Select one of the pink colors from the photo and use the brush tool to slightly darken both sides of the Paper Edge .

3. Open the flower photo and enlarge to 7” wide. Place it below the paper edge ½” from the right side. Draw a box ¼” larger than the photo all around and fill with deep purple. Add a slight shadow below the purple block using the airbrush tool at approximately 20 percent opacity.

4. Repeat the purple box approximately 2.5” tall  and 12” wide and place it ½” above the lower margin.

5. Size three photos to fit the purple box and leave a ¼” margin above, below and between each. Place into layout.

6. Draw a journaling box 3.5” x 5.25” and fill with pink. Use the airbrush tool to place a slight haze of purple around the inside edge. Place two flowers from the Summer kit at upper left and lower right. Add journaling with Piper font in black.

7. Set headline in the Duetica Lettering Arts software using Tin Whistle font and fill with the same purple as the boxes. Use a different color, sampled from the photo, to write the date in the Saxi font. Place both into the layout.

8. Save as a Photoshop document to preserve layers.

It actually took me longer to write the directions for this layout as it did to create the project. That's my kind of memory preservation! 

Now, go check out Duetica Lettering Arts Studio and then make a digital page about someone - or some place - you love!

I received software from Duetica Lettering Arts Studio.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Who'd a thunk it?

My post today is a project that is the first of what I call, Using Up My Stash. I've had this cute book box for some time, but it was in a plastic bin (the clear kind so you can see what you have). Of course, it was packed so full and stacked on the top shelf of my storage area that I never saw this box until one day when I needed something else and didn't want to drive to Memphis to get it.

The Who'd a thunk it? title for this post is because I discovered something really cool about the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio. Now, you know how I love Duetica. I have posted a lot of projects using their fabulous lettering system, all (or most) with pretty detailed instructions for making even more changes once the type is set. I usually use either Photoshop or Illustrator, select the area I want to edit, and just drop in my color of choice. AND I had noticed the the outline option in the Duetica software. It just never occurred to me to actually use it, cut out the letters and color them to match my project. I've been digital for so long that the old tried and true ways have almost disappeared from my vocabulary.

I've been wanting to make a chronicle about my life. Most of you who know me well know that I am a firm believer of preserving memories. If you don't preserve them, who will, right? When I found this box, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and here's how I did it:.

 Note: Every edge on my book and pages was sponged with ColorBox Chestnut Roan Chalk Ink, which I absolutely love.

Box inside
Book Box (Hobby Lobby)
HP Presentation Paper, 32#
Ink Jet Printer
Colorbox Chalk Ink, Chestnut Roan
Photoshop Software
Cream Card Stock
Golden Acrylic Paint, Copper
Graphic 45 Card Stock, assorted prints
Spectrum Noir Markers
Pop Dots
3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive
Viva Décor Pearl Pen, Bronze
Swirl Stamp
Zutter Bind-it-all and binding rings

1. I first set my type using Duetica's Tin Whistle font. I saved it twice, once with colored letters and once as an outline.

2. In Photoshop, I pulled up a scan of one of my abstract paintings, Delta Afternoon. Measuring the front, back and side of the box, I created three files and dropped the painting into the open spaces on each. On the spine portion, I set the colored title into the painting. They were printed out on  HP 32# Presentation Paper, which is a little heavier than copier paper, but not as thick as card stock and it has a really creamy finish.

3. For the front cover, I printed out the painting and then printed Me as a black outline on cream colored card stock and It's all about on a separate file with the painting in the background. I painted the exposed edges of the book with Golden Copper acrylic paint. Graphic 45 striped card stock was used on the page edges to simulate sheets. The inside was lined with Graphic 45 card stock. Before adding the printed painting to the covers, I stamped swirls using the Chestnut Roan ink. Super 77 was used to adhere all cover and liner card stock.

Pop dots bring the title forward.
4. I cut two pieces of chipboard and mounted the It's all about tag on it, then trimmed and inked the edges. A couple of twists of copper wire and a tiny key complete the tag. I attached it with pop dots.

5. I colored the Me with Spectrum Noir markers and fussy-cut it, then mounted the pieces onto large pop dots and adhered them to the book box front. I added my name to the front, then framed it with the nameplate. Bronze Pearl Pen added to the nameplate holes give the illusion of brads. Bronze Pearl Pen dots were added randomly to the cover for texture.

Close up of inner book cover.

NOTE: If you need a slimmer pop dot, just fold the excess paper from the roll over the dot and trim it to fit. Keep the excess for another project.

6. I assembled my book pages, which are several different sizes, mostly from scrap card stock, glassine and paper envelopes and heavy paper coasters. They were bound with the Zutter Bind-it-all.

This is a work in progress. I will add to it as I come across photos or think of stories to include. Hopefully, this will give my descendants a glimpse into the person I am and how I became that way.

I hope you will take the time to record some things about yourself. You don't have to have a book. Just a decorated box with individual notes or photos contained would be a treasure for your grandchildren to find some day.

Now, go write a little snippet about yourself, then hug someone you love.

First inside page of inner book
Second page of inner book.

Note: I received software from Duetica Lettering Arts Studio, Pearl pens from Viva Décor and ink from Clearsnap.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I am so honored to have received a Leibster Blog Award from my friend and traveling buddy, Barbara Rankin.. 

In Barbara's words:...

"What is the Liebster Award?

Well. . .the origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear and this seems to be blog folklore but it goes like this: 
"Some time (in the recent past), somewhere (rumor has it that it might be Germany), someone (I guessing he/she was named Liebster) decided to do something nice for a whole lot of bloggers and started the Liebster Blog Award. It’s an award you receive, but it is also an award that you give."
Liebster is a German word, so translated from a few sources it means favorite, sweetheart, beloved, darling.

If you receive a Liebster Blog Award you are asked to choose 3-5 other bloggers and send them one as well. It is an award meant to highlight smaller blogs - less than 200 followers. Let them know that we care and are reading. The idea is that the blogger receiving the award links back to the blogger who awarded him/her, and then chooses 3-5 people to send the award to. There is no obligation to continue this award. It is a lovely way to share the love and also a way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs you enjoy."

I'm not sure how many followers these blogs have, but these are the ones I would like to pass the love on to:

Shelly Hickox
Beth Watson
Trudy Sjolander
Vicki Conquest
Eileen Hull

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Designer Crafts Connection: Back-to-School Framed Chalkboard

I can hardly believe it's been two months since my last post. Between working with the fabulous Colleen Baxter and Viva Décor in Portland, Oregon and the the Craft and Hobby Convention in Chicago, my summer has just gotten away from me.

I don't have any little ones going back to school, but this time of year always reminds me of buying school supplies, the anticipation of seeing my friends again after the summer break and fall football games.

The Designer Crafts Connection theme for this month is using school supplies to create a project. Nothing says new school year to me as much as new pencils and fresh box of Crayolas. Take advantage of the sales (Crayolas were four 24-packs for $1 at one local store!) and tax-free weekends to stock up on these items. Use this cute, quick and easy chalkboard to write a message for your budding scholar. It can be used on a small easel for a desktop or wired with a hanger to display in a locker.

Be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection button at left to hop through the designers' blogs and see more great projects created on this same theme.

Darice Framed Chalkboard, 11” x  8 ½”
Dixon Pencils, 24 pack
Crayola Crayons
Alleene’s White Tacky Glue
Midwest Products Easy Cutter
Black woven cord
Black craft paint

1. Lightly sand frame edges to remove any rough spots and paint with black craft paint. Note: it will be easier if you tape off the chalkboard edges to prevent the paint from coming in contact with the chalkboard.

2. Cut pencils with Easy Cutter and arrange on frame. When you’re satisfied, adhere with Tacky Glue.

Note: If you prefer the look of mitered corners, the Easy Cutter has several settings so you can adjust the setting to get a nice 45° angle for your corners. It also cuts wood up to ½” thick.

3. Add black cording around inside of frame.

4. Tie three crayons together with black cord and adhere to each side of frame.

5. Add your message in chalk and give it to your favorite student.

Note: I received product from Midwest Products.