Monthly Archives: August 2012

shabby congrats

Things are pretty exciting around here right now. With my daughter moving out and wedding plans in full swing, there is certainly lots of things happening. I  seriously can’t believe how much my son’s fiancee and her mother have accomplished in one week. It’s going to be a beautiful wedding and things are all planned for next February.

There hasn’t been a lot of time for me to get in much creating but I did manage to create a couple projects for this weeks’ Maya Road and Epiphany Crafts blog hop. This card is created for my daughter-in-law-to-be. I wanted her to know how happy we are for them both.

I’ve combined lots of Maya Road goodies  with the Epiphany Crafts Oval Shape Tool. I love how the glossy ovals contrast beautifully with the textures of the other embellishments. Ovals don’t always nest well, depending on their proportions so I was really excited to see how well the Epiphany Crafts ovals layered over Maya Road’s chipboard oval shapes.

Today I’m sharing this project and another one on the Maya Road blog. Stop by for some inspiration and also a chance to win some Maya Road and Epiphany Crafts goodies!

Happy creating!

Card Design Handbook Blog Hop

Design is one of those essential elements of card making. You know how you look at a card and think, something’s wrong but I’m not sure what? Well, usually there is something wrong with the design.

Design is one of those things that may come naturally to some but it is something that everyone can learn. I like that. Learning is a good thing. I’ve learned a lot since I started creating card designs. I must admit I cringe a little to see those old designs from years ago but that’s OK. It’s all part of the process.

Now that the kids are headed back to school, how about learning some new things yourself? The newest special publication from Paper Crafts magazine is called Card Design Handbook and it is packed full of inspiration and most importantly, lessons in design.

Today ten of the designers from this issue are having a blog hop and each are featuring an element of design. I’m not quite sure why I picked white space to tackle as a design element as it’s a bit of a tricky one. I mean really…white space doesn’t even have to be white! How’s that for confusing?

So let’s talk white space.

White space is a term talking about space where nothing is going on. It’s the negative space and I’ve often thought of it as the space  where a design breathes. Not every design has white space and that’s OK. Let’s focus on designs that do use it and how to think about it.

First of all I’ve created a card that has some white space in it. There’s not a ton but there is a nice white space border around the edges of the card. The white space allows your focus to be drawn into the center of the design.This card is really pretty but perhaps a little boring. I think it could be better with a little more white space.

Remember that this space doesn’t have to be white like this design. It can be black or any hue you wish. It’s just a quiet space. White space is especially lovely in clean and simple or elegant design styles.

Now here’s my second card design. I’ve used exactly the same product to create this card but just changed up the layout a bit.

By making a small change on where I’ve placed my embellishment cluster, I’ve added more white space and changed up the design. By placing my embellishment cluster at the sweet spot (another design term you’re going to learn about in the Card Design Handbook), it draws your eye to the sentiment. The sentiment is now easy to read, not hidden like an afterthought and the main focus of the design.

I’ve created a couple sketches to help you visualize the white space in these designs. Focus on the black areas of the design. That is the white space. The negative space. I’ve made it black so that it will jump out at you. Look at the shapes it makes in the black when designing with white space. Note that these are NOT full detail sketches. They are simple so that you can focus directly on that white/negative space.

This first design is a very classic sketch. I admit I’ve turned to it time and time again and a very simple design. Central focal point. Sentiment below.

This second sketch is of my improved white space design. Focusing on the black area, I really like the shape of the “white” space. It’s a nice large area to the right of the design. The design may be heavy in embellishments on the left side but having such a large area of white space balances out the design. Having that sentiment surrounded by the white space makes it really easy to read. Your eye naturally wants travel from left to right along with the text. A lovely card is important but really, you are giving this card to say something, right?

You see? White space and movement and the sweet spot and balance…they all work together. Design is cool like that!

Now that we’ve gotten through this long tutorial, you may decide you like the first project best. That’s fine. Design is all a matter of taste. Guidelines are just that. Simply guidelines to follow and there is always exceptions to the rule. Learn the guidelines, think about them and then decide how you want to use them to make your own creations that much better.

Now if you’ve stayed with me this long, hopefully you’ve learned a little something about design and you definitely deserve a prize. I have ONE copy of the Card Design Handbook to give away to one lucky person. For a chance to win simply comment on this blog post before midnight EST Tuesday August 28th One comment per person please! I’ll be randomly drawing a winner and posting on this blog the winner as soon as I can afterwards. Please be patient as I’m moving my daughter next week and I’ll get it done as soon as I can.

There are so many talented designers participating in this blog hop with some great ideas about design. Make sure you hop along to each of these blogs to learn more and also be sure to comment on their blog posts as well for more chances to win a copy of the new Card Design Handbook from Paper Crafts Magazine.

  1. Chan Vuong
  2. Kalyn Kepner
  3. Julia Stainton *you are here*
  4. Jocelyn Olson
  5. Angeline Yong Jeet Leen
  6. Jaclyn Miller
  7. Lorena Cantó Lavería
  8. Amy Wanford
  9. Emily Branch
  10. Vanessa Menhorn

Next you are hopping along to see what Jocelyn Olsen has to share with you today!

Have a fabulously fun and creative weekend!


Back to School

For us, back to school is just around the corner. I always have mixed feelings about this time of year. Once again I’ll be saying goodbye to my daughter as she goes back to university. It’s been wonderful having her home for four months and I’ll miss her so much. It makes it much easier knowing that she’s excited to get back to continuing her education and settling into her new place.

This coming year will bring lots of changes. My son is moving out of town for a new job starting shortly. He’ll also be getting married in February. My little boys will be in grade 2 and grade 5 and my middle child, he’ll be in grade 12 finishing up his high school years. I’m getting a little dizzy just thinking about it all!

Because it is now back to school season, I thought I’d share this fun little card I created for the Maya Road booth at Summer CHA. While I love making feminine cards, it’s a nice change to make something a little more unisex. Just take off that flower and it’s definitely a more masculine design.

Now that I’ve been thinking on the imminence of back to school, I really need to get shopping. Perhaps some shoe shopping might by in order today.


Happy creating!

Looking Back

With a new computer comes all the joys of reinstalling all your software. More of a hassle than I joy I should say. I did however, have some fun backing up and reloading some older digital photos. Looking back through them made me nostalgic and more than a little shocked at how quickly time is passing by.

Over the weekend we had some exciting news. My son proposed to his girlfriend in a hot air balloon Saturday night. We are so happy for them and looking forward to their big day. But I have to ask… How can I be old enough to be a mother-in-law?!

Here’s a photo of their hands that I snapped on Saturday night…

Flashback now seven years to the summer my youngest was born. It was a busy crazy summer and I was so thankful for my daughter’s help with her little brothers. Her love for them hasn’t changed and she has the biggest heart. Today’s layout is about that. She doesn’t care for the photos but I think she was so cute in that red surfboard tshirt and her mirrored sunglasses. So glad I found the photos.


Today’s layout was created for the Lily Bee Blog sketch challenge. It’s a wonderful sketch by Cindy Liebel and you can join us for more details here.

Quick Tip: It’s never too late to go back and scrapbook those older memories.

Happy Monday!

Feeling Krafty

For the most part, I only use three colors of cardstock. White, black and my favorite, Kraft cardstock. Now and then I’ll use something else but usually the color in my projects comes from patterned paper, embellishments or art mediums. Kraft is so beautifully understated that I tend to go through reams of it.

Today I’m in the CLASSroom sharing some card designs featuring Kraft. I hope you’ll pop over and join me!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Playing House

Now and then you make a project that brings you a lot of joy. Playing with this sweet little altered shadowbox house did that for me. It reminded me of the doll house my dad built for me as a child that brought many hours of enjoyment. Part of the fun of the doll house was decorating it with paint and wallpaper and bits of carpet. When my daughter was small I had my husband build her almost the exact replica of my doll house which was a huge hit for Christmas one year. Down the road I’m looking forward to having a granddaughter or two and hoping to make more  little houses for play.

This shadowbox house is a new Maya Road release that can be quickly altered any way you like.

Today I’m blogging on the Maya Road Design Team Blog. I hope you’ll come and join me!

Have a beautiful day!

watercolor butterflies

I’ve been doing a little computer housekeeping this past week. We had ordered a new computer as our other one was ancient and giving last dying gasps. I thought we’d better replace it and back up the files before I lost everything. Last Friday and Saturday I ended up with lots of time on my hands to purge out some of the files. An electrical storm early Friday morning woke us up and fried out phone and internet lines. No internet kept me from uploading and also getting distracted and made it the perfect time to do a digital clean up.

With all this file organizing, I ended up finding a few card designs that I had never shared. Here’s one using Avocado Arts stamps and a watercolor type stamping technique.

To create the background on this card, I started off with watercolor paper and sponged it with lots of ink. When misted with water the distress ink blends beautifully. After creating the background, I stamped the butterflies onto the damp paper to make them subtly blend into the paper.

The crisper stamped images are stamped after the image is very dry. I like to heat set it a bit with a heat gun to make very sure when I want that final image to make a crisp impression.

Now that my new computer is here, I’ve been busy getting it set up and everything installed. I’m excited to have internet again and once I get caught up, I’ll be back with some new designs.

Happy creating!