Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Banner - My Creative Scrapbook LE kit

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in our home. The kids are off school, we no longer need to adhere to a morning schedule to get everyone up and out of the house (a gift in and of itself!), I'm being serenaded with French Christmas songs sung at the top of his lungs by my 5 year old, and the house smells like fir thanks to our glorious 8 foot Noble fir tree, with a counterpoint of orange blossoms thanks to the little orange tree that is wintering inside.

I think I've mentioned before that I am rubbish at getting good photos of the family at Christmas, being so caught up in the festivities myself, but fortunately I love nothing more than making altered items and off-the-page projects for Christmas. When I saw the 12x12 Prima Sweet Peppermint paper stack in this month's My Creative Scrapbook Limited Edition kit my heart gave a flutter - enough paper to layer and make large-format projects to my heart's content!

The fireplace insert in our chimney is ugly; installed by the previous owners, it doesn't actually fit the opening, sticking out a good 3 inches, with tufts of insulation stuffed into the cracks and peeking over the top. One of these years we will replace it, but in the meantime I was on a chimney beautification mission, and decided to use the kit contents to make a banner to help draw attention away from the eyesore.

For my banner pieces I took a shortcut, tracing one of the Julie Nutting banner pieces from her tag pad onto the papers and cutting them out. I cut a total of 10 banner pieces out of patterned paper, and an extra 5 out of white cardstock to place between the layers. I trimmed an inch off the top edge of the 5 banner pieces that were to be the top layer of each piece, and about 3/4 of an inch off of the white cardstock pieces. I edged the white pieces with gold leafing pen for some definition.

To create the edges of the banner pieces, I punched 2 inch strips of patterned paper left over from cutting out the banner pieces.

Ribbon detailing was added to each piece using a variety of trims included in the kit. I punched two holes in the top of the banner to thread these through and fastened them to the back of the banner piece.

I wanted a big textural element to ground each of the clusters, and added corrugated cardboard to provide a base for each letter and its associated elements. Each torn corrugated cardboard strip was winterized by adding artificial snow and glitter.

I didn't have letters big enough for the banner pieces. To create bigger letters, I chose a font I liked and made it bold, then printed it out onto computer paper, and cut them out, then traced them onto chipboard (I traced them upside down onto the backside to prevent any ink marks showing on the final product) and fussy cut those out. I then coated them in embossing ink and heat embossed them with several layers of gold embossing powder.

Each of the banner pieces was then adorned using flowers and chipboard pieces from the kit.

To string up the banner pieces, I created paper loops on the back of each banner with scraps leftover from the previous steps. Rather than having to string through the mess of twine and raffia, I adhered one end of each paper strip to the back, lay the mass of twine on top, and folded it over and secured the other end.

Here's a closeup of the banner on my mantle.

If you haven't picked up your December Limited Edition kit yet, be sure to head over to the My Creative Scrapbook store. If you aren't yet following the My Creative Scrapbook blog, be sure to check it out and become a follower for loads of inspiration from the design team.

Wishing you and yours all the magic of the Christmas season, and all the best for a healthy, happy 2017.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hanging Advent Calendar Tutorial *** My Creative Scrapbook ***

Today I'm sharing a tutorial for making a hanging advent calendar using the Prima Sweet Peppermint collection included in the December Limited Edition kit from My Creative Scrapbook. I don't know about you, but in our house the Christmas season starts as soon as December 1st rolls around and the advent calendars come out. In addition to helping mitigate questions of "how much longer until Christmas?" the little goodies contained in the advent calendar help to get my boys out of bed on time in the morning during some of the darkest days of the year. And despite the fact that they are starting the day with a candy, I'll take it for not having to bodily drag them out of their beds kicking and screaming.

I generally like to open a kit without having any idea of where the contents will take me stylistically. When I came upon this sheet in the Sweet Peppermint 12x12 paper pack, I knew immediately that I wanted to create an advent calendar; I'm sure you can see why.

I had seen an image of a hanging advent calendar on Pinterest, and decided that I wanted to alter little brown paper bags to suit my needs. I bought a pack of 100 - 3 x 5.5" bags at a local packaging store for about $5. As you can imagine, paper bags don't always hold up to heavy applications of wet media, so I started by laying down a waterproof base coat of clear gesso.

The bag on the left is the uncoated original, while the bag on the right has been treated with a coat of clear gesso brushed on with a paintbrush to ensure even coverage. Take care of the open edge at the top of the bag, as if you get gesso inside it it will seal closed. It will be rolled over in the final stages, so you do not need to ensure your media goes all the way to the top.

For the next step, I randomly applied super heavy white gesso. This does not need to be pretty or follow any kind of rhyme or reason. A lot of it will be covered by later steps, and the idea is to build layers of texture, not a predetermined composition.

Allow each layer to dry before proceeding to the next step. I prepared all 25 of the baggies at the same time.

Next, add a layer of stenciling using light modeling paste (you could also use regular modeling/molding paste, it will just be heavier). The modeling paste will absorb color differently than the gesso, giving you additional texture. I used a snowflake stencil (being extremely Type A), but again, you will be covering up a lot of the background, so the pattern isn't important.

With my background textures in place, I started laying down colour from lightest to darkest. I used my lighter colours heavily, and each progressively darker colour more and more sparingly. I started with some gold and beige sprays.

To prevent muddying of the colours, I used my heat gun to dry each layer of colour before proceeding. You can use any brand of sprays you have on hand; I mixed and matched from my collection to get the right colours and for the different effects achievable with the different sprayers.

Next, I laid down some light blue and blue-green.

You can see that I left some of the base layer of gold showing; with subsequent layers of colour I endeavoured to do the same by spraying only on top of the colour I had sprayed in the previous layer.

I finished off with a pop of an accent colour.

For some additional texture and a pop of shimmer, I water down some embossing ink (about 1:1 with water), and splattered it across the background using a paintbrush, then heat embossed it with gold embossing powder.

Here is a closeup of the finished background. It looks like a bit of an abstract mess, but when you look closer you can see all the different layers.

The baggy is then ready to embellish. For my embellishments I primarily used the chipboard elements from the kit along with the numbered strips from the background paper and elements from other papers in the paper pack, adding some trim and glitter glue here and there.

To hang the baggies, I folded the top of each over twice (after filling them with a little treat), and punched two small holes side-by-side with my Cropadile. I threaded through baker's twine in varying lengths from the back, and tying a bow in the front.

I admired white-painted, glitter encrusted branches in stores, but was unwilling to pay the exorbitant prices they commanded. Armed with a canister of spray gesso and some glitter, I figured I could replicate the effect at home.

I cut three 3.5 - 4 foot branches from a maple tree in my backyard to make the frame to hang the baggies from. Working with green wood has a couple of advantages. Because it is still moist, it is flexible, which means that it bends rather than breaks. It also has the advantage over windfallen branches of not being rotten and waterlogged.

I tied the branches together to make a haphazard lattice (I used a plastic mock-raffia, but a natural material trim will take the paint better).

Now, a note about spray gesso (and about other spray media by extension): it needs to be applied it a well-ventilated area. Take my word for it. Even applied in the great outdoors, the fumes pack a punch! I apply mine on our covered porch - it has the circulation needed but is protected from the elements (a necessity in rainy Vancouver). After spraying my projects with anything, I leave them outside for at least 15 minutes, but often overnight, to allow the fumes to dissipate.

Because the spray gesso is a paint, be sure to use some kind of a drop-cloth to prevent inadvertently painting the surface you have your project resting on. I used impermeable plastic.

The above branches are smaller than those used on my original project, as in between completing the project and photographing the tutorial we got a dump of snow, but you get the idea.

Don't worry about complete coverage; having traces of the natural wood peek through adds to the effect of a snowy branch. Be sure to flip your project over and spray the underside as well.

As mentioned, I then leave it outside to dry and for the smell to dissipate.

To add to the snowy effect, I then dabbed gel medium on randomly, and sprinkled on Distress Glitter (any glitter would work, but I like the chunky texture of the Distress Glitter).

Once that was dry, I tied each of the baggies to the branches, hanging at different heights.

Here are a couple of closeups of some of my favourite baggies.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and that you are motivated to go out and make your own advent calendar (it may be a bit of a late start this year, but it also makes a lovely Christmas decoration).



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Li'l Elf *** My Creative Scrapbook ***

Today I'm sharing my second layout with the My Creative Scrapbook December Limited Edition kit. This time I went for a Christmas layout, featuring one of my favourite little elves (who is now 10 and not so little anymore!).

I started by adding some Shimmerz Texturez to the background through a 13 Arts stencil, then added watercoloring using Shimmerz Inklingz splatters of white paint.

The papers of this collection are so versatile, which plenty of 12 inch strips and 3 x 4 rectangles for cutting, and lots of imagery perfect for fussy cutting. I started with some layered strips, and added in a fussy cut pine bough behind my flower cluster.

The shiny gold Thickers included in the kit are a perfect holiday embellishment. Beneath them you can see the webbed trim from the kit tucked under the torn paper layer.

Thank you for stopping by today! If you haven't already, be sure to check out all 4 December kits from My Creative Scrapbook in the store, and be sure to check out the blog all month for inspiration and tutorials from the Design Team!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wonderland - My Creative Scrapbook December LE kit

I confess, I am terrible at taking pictures at Christmas. I either get too carried away with the gift unwrapping, or I have photos, but with 6 kids between our kids and their cousins, plus all the extended family, the photos end up looking like they were taken in a mosh pit. What I do have lots of are photos of family members in the snow, so I was delighted that this month's My Creative Scrapbook LE kit could be used not only for Christmas layouts, cards and projects, but also for snowy layouts.

For this layout of my in-laws, I began by adding stencilling to the background with a snowflake stencil and super heavy gesso, and sprinkled glitter over the gesso while it was wet for some sparkle and shine.

I love the Snow Medley chipboard piece from Blue Fern Studios included in the kit. I heat embossed it with white embossing powder, before adding a mixture of aqua and silver embossing powder, and coloured the stars in with gold leafing pen. To make the piece go farther, I cut it in half so I could tuck half under each side of the photo.

I then added the sequins from the kit to the background using gel medium on a paintbrush.

The "Wonderland" title is fussy-cut from one of the papers included in the kit, along with the cute little bird and some of the other details.

Thank you for stopping by today. If you haven't already checked out this month's My Creative Scrapbook kit offerings (remember, there are 4 different kits each month!), you can find them in the store. And remember to follow along on the My Creative Scrapbook blog all month long for tons of inspiration and tutorials from the design team.

Monday, December 5, 2016

My Creative Scrapbook December Limited Edition Kit Reveal

Hello Scrappers! The December My Creative Scrapbook Kits are now on sale. Not one, not two, but four amazing kits to choose from (but why limit yourself to just one?).

The stunning Limited Edition kit features the Prima Sweet Peppermint collection and matching embellishments.

A mix of traditional and contemporary Christmas colours, this kit was a ton of fun to design with. Here are a couple of sneak peaks of my projects this month:

For photos of all four kits, check out the My Creative Scrapbook store, and check out the blog all month long for inspiration from the Design Team.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Video Tutorial - Altered Wine Canister for My Creative Scrapbook

I'm up on the My Creative Scrapbook blog today with a start-to-finish video tutorial on how I converted a S'well water bottle cylinder into a wine bottle canister for a housewarming gift using the November Limited Edition kit.

Here's a preview of the completed project:

And the video, which includes instructions on how to make your own vine from the flowers in the kit:

A couple closeups of the project:

Gosh I love those beautiful Blue Fern Studios poppies!

And one more of the completed project.

Thanks for stopping in today! Be sure to visit the My Creative Scrapbook store to check out the available kits, and visit the blog to find inspiration, including loads of tutorials, from the talented design team.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Creative Scrapbook - I Like Big Trucks (And I Cannot Lie)

I'm back today with my third project with the glorious November My Creative Scrapbook Limited Edition kit.

The Tale of Treasures paper has gorgeous subtle blue patterning which I built on with some stenciling. To get a subtle blue, I mixed two colours of Dazzlerz with clear crackle paste, and sprinkled clear glitter on top. For a little added definition, I traced the outline of the damask pattern with a grey Aquarelle pencil and blended it into the background with water.

To create a masculine look I used corrugated cardboard, and diecut then dry embossed some gears out of Kraft Glassine, which I distressed with blue and gold paints.

I added a couple rustic handmade blooms made from kraft glassine and burlap, and diecut some vines from green cardstock.

I love the fussy-cuttable images on the Blue Fern papers, and had cut out this pocket watch with a bird inside from one of the calling cards to use on a project. I also tucked one of the metal Prima trinkets into the cluster.

I painted the canvas Thickers from the kit with mists to colour match them to my picture as a final touch.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Products Used:

From the Kit:
- Blue Fern Studios Memoires collection: Tale of Treasures
- Trim
- Thickers DIY: Ali
- Prima Vintage Trinkets

From My Stash:
- Corrugated cardboard
- The Crafter's Workshop 12x12 Damask stencil
- Shimmerz Dazzlerz: Sea U in the Mornin', Spun Sugar
- Prima Crackle Paste: Clear
- Gesso: White
- Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine
- Prima Metallique paint: Light Patina
- Inka Gold: Gold
- Tattered Angels Chalkboard spray: Cherry Cola & Apricot Nectar
- Shimmerz Inklingz: Me & Blue, Brass Knuckles
- Distress Ink: Walnut Stain
- Faber-Castell Aquarelle pencils
- Stampendous Crystal Glitter Ultra Fine