Monday, July 29, 2013

Chillin' At The Zoo

Today I am showcasing one more page created with the colorful Rock Lobster kit from Scraptastic. This great sketch by Susan Stringfellow was the source of my inspiration:

Five of us flipped, turned, and otherwise twisted this sketch for our use. You can see all of them on Scraptastic's Sketchy Thursday Challenge Post. This is my interpretation:

With so many cards, pennants, and sticker embellies in the kit, it was easy to string up a bunch for a fun summery banner:

I love the riot of color found in the Simple Stories' I *heart* Summer collection:

It's hard to believe that August is on our heels already! I am relishing this look back at the start of our "school's out" adventures, and wish I could hang on to these carefree summer days just a little bit longer.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Good Times

I'm finally getting around to posting my first ever project life style layout. is not easy to create in this format when your mind is used to an unobstructed 12x12 inches of space! As you can see, I only added three photos, opting for the larger "play area". 


Using Fancy Pants' Down By The Shore collection, I enjoyed creating little "vignettes" such as the one below:

Will I do this again? Probably so. These spreads are great for showcasing multiple photos when I don't want to include them all on a traditional layout.  Actually, the back of this page will hold even more pictures from my day with friends, and the cool craft projects that we created.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Paper Gumbo

It is sad that I've put it off for so long. When I first started this blog some odd years ago, I put up a placeholder title, Still Thinking..., THINKING I'd dream up something awesome within a few short weeks. At that time I'd create this equally awesome paper pieced banner for a header. Yeah, right. Never happened. Fast forward to 2013, and I've been on a mission to update and get some sort of proper title/header done. Of course that would mean I have to finally settle on a permanent name. So I've been thinking... Hahaha! Can you see how I came up with the original name for my blog?!

Anyway, I thought up all sorts of generic artsy-craftsy names, but nothing stood out, until a friend suggested that I make it more personal with a local nod. It clicked. My friend was right. I had been throwing around names like Got Paper?, Paper Cuts, Paper Capers, etc., but they could have been anyone's blog. I added that bit of local flavor and Paper Gumbo was born.

You might know gumbo as that delicious soup or stew, indigenous to Southeast Louisiana cooking...

But, stretching the definition a bit, that same word is used around here to describe a mix or melange of well...anything. And that is beginning to sound a lot like my scrapbook projects, a mix of patterns, colors and texture. It sure was beginning to fit.

So now it's on to that header. I hope it doesn't take as long as it did to come up with a name! ;)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Extra! Extra!

A few days ago I opened an email that contained a bit of exciting news, news that I had to keep under wraps...until today. That email contained an invitation to join the 2013-2014 American Crafts Design Team. Pinch me! I must be dreaming! Of course, I ecstatically accepted.

You know the brands...Dear Lizzy, Amy Tangerine, and all their other fabulous collections, some of the most popular lines in today's paper craft market. And Thickers! Need I say more? I am over-the-moon thrilled to have the opportunity to work with products from this innovative company and along with these most talented ladies:

Allison Waken from Phoenix, AZ
Angie Gutshall from James Creek, PA
Ashley Horton from Spanish Fort, AL
Becki Adams from Blackfoot, ID
Corrie Jones from Dallas, GA
Davinie Fiero from Redmond, OR
Diana Waite from Gilbert, AZ
Elizabeth Gardner from Lexington, KY
Erin Stewart from El Paso, TX
Gina Lideros from Elk Grove, CA
Heather Leopard from Cypress, TX
Janna Werner from Oldenburg, Germany
Jill Cornell from Windsor Heights, IA
Katie Ehmann from Bloomfield Hills, MI
Kelly Goree from Shelbyville, KY
Lilith Eeckels from Bertogne, Belgium
Madeline Fox from River Ridge, LA
Meghann Andrew from Katy, TX
Paige Evans from Grafenwoehr, Germany
Patricia Roebuck from Mandeville, LA
What better way to start off this adventure, than to share a couple of my favorite layouts created with American Crafts products. this boy cute or what?! When he was a toddler, Kevin would wrinkle up his nose whenever you asked him to smile. He couldn't help it! Papers from the Dear Lizzy Neapolitan collection are layered along with scraps from several other projects. I love the delicious colors here!

Papers and stickers from the Amy Tangerine Sketchbook collection go perfectly with the vivid colors in this photo of us enjoying a calm day in the Gulf. Two sets of Thickers helped me put together this fun title, thought up by LOOKING UP some encyclopedic facts about the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, it contains 643 quadrillion gallons of water!

I hope this has inspired you to check out the new American Crafts products, as peeks are now underway in advance of the CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) show in Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? Not a chance! I'll be checking out booth photos everyday next week! Until now, here is a look at three new collections by American Crafts:

Dear Lizzy's Polka Dot Party (Love the frames, tags, and fringe flowers!)

Amy Tangerine's Cut & Paste (Delicious colors. Check out the embroidery stencils, and the Project Life mini kit!)

Peppermint Express (So many fun elements, including Christmas themed bingo cards!)

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This Way To Happy

I am just a little proud of myself! This is the second month in a row (maybe third?) that I have used my scraps and leftover supplies to create a card. If I keep this up, I'll be able to cover all of this year's birthdays, baby showers, weddings, Christmas, etc. OK...well, maybe not Christmas. That's being a bit too ambitious!

Here is the Happy (Birthday) card that I created with papers, stickers, and brads from Scraptastic's Rock Lobster kit:

Now that I've gotten over the fact that all birthday cards don't have to say "Happy Birthday" on the front, I'm trying to develop of list of other appropriate birthday sentiments. If you make cards, what are some that I should add to my repertoire?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Carving A Stamp

Well...that little prototype/draft drawing of a fox that I posted the other day seemed cute at first, but once I began perusing the gallery of hand-carved signature stamps at the Atlas Quest Letterboxing Community, he lost some of his allure. Whew...those people "over there" are uber talented, and have the best designs! So back to the drawing board I went. Actually, I went back to google and looked up images of REAL foxes. Then I took my favorites and altered them with the Photoshop Elements photocopy filter to see what they would look like as a less defined, stamp-like image. I combined my favorites into the sweet design below:

Much better! I'm still a bit intimidated by the talent of long-time letterboxers and stamp carvers, but I'm pretty proud of this cute little fellow. And now that I have my first hand-carved stamp under my belt, I'm anxious to try some more designs!

Here's a great little tutorial, complete with video: How To Carve Your Own Stamps.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Letterboxing-Stamping Meets Geocaching

A recent pin about ways to get your teen and tween-aged kids off the couch caught my eye. I am always looking for ways to engage my 13-year-old in non-electronic activities, especially during these long school-free summer days. He swims at least two hours six days a week, so I'm not concerned about a lack of exercise. I just want him to DO SOMETHING ELSE! It thrilled me to stumble upon this fun looking activity...letterboxing.

A creative precursor to geocaching, letterboxing is similar in that you seek treasures hidden in places far and wide, often times using clues and fun puzzles to find your way. Instead of a little trinket, a letterbox will contain a stamp, usually handcarved, and a log book. Everyone who finds the letterbox will then use the stamp to stamp in their own record book, and then stamp a "signature" stamp in the logbook of the letterbox. How fun! Everything is then furtively put back in place for the next seeker to discover.

What really excites me is the creative aspects of letterboxing. I can't WAIT to try my hand at stamp carving, and have sketched out a simple image to use as my signature stamp:

Already a little modification will be needed, as I found out there is another letterboxer with the "MadFox" moniker. I might just have to go with "Foxy" for my trail name! Tee-hee! Oh yes, it's a whole other language!  If you're interested, here are two places with information on this family friendly, outdoors activity:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Paradise Found

For my third page created with Scraptastic's Rock Lobster kit, I pulled together all of the softer colors to highlight this picture of my husband and I at the beach. I love the casual look of this photo, taken by my sister. We had already posed for all the requisite face forward shots and then decided to do some silly "model" shots. The goofing around photos turned out to be the most remarkable!

Several patterned paper rectangles and scraps are layered beneath the photo, with stickers, brads, and a die-cut tucked in here and there.

Gold striped washi tape was folded over toothpicks to fashion tiny flags.

Wow...I can hardly believe that pictures taken two weeks ago are already scrapped! That's some kind of record for me. :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Surf 'N Sand (Washi Tape Tutorial)

Our first day at the beach began with rain, driving rain. But as soon as the skies cleared, Kevin and his cousins hit the beach with their boards. They rode the waves for hours. When I wasn't videoing the boys coming in on a big wave, I was snapping pictures of their rears as they headed back out:


This layout, created with Scraptastic's Rock Lobster kit and add-on, features two pretty cool ways that washi tape can be used to embellish a page.


First, several pieces of tape folded over a length of bakers twine were cut into flag shapes for a colorful banner.

I also used washi tape with my sewing machine to create the large sun icon underneath the title. A few simple steps can be used to fashion any basic shape (heart, star, etc.) from tape:
  1. Lightly draw a shape directly on the background paper in pencil.
  2. Layer strips of washi tape to generously cover the penciled in shape. Do not press hard, as the excess tape will need to be removed after stitching.
  3. Machine stitch over the pencil lines. Repeat stitching. A tight stitch is recommended. 
  4. Carefully peel back the tape pieces outside of the stitching and tear away to reveal the washi tape shape.
Finally, white embossed anchors dress up the flags along the bottom of the page:

I definitely had fun with this page!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Time To Eat

I've been back from the beach for a little over a week, and have amazed myself with all I've done. The Scraptastic kit that landed at my doorstep right before we left for vacation has already inspired me to create four layouts, three with photos from our trip! First up, a photo taken with my phone ends up on this road trip diner page.

The title alludes to the name of the little strip mall eatery where we stopped for lunch on the drive over to our Florida beach vacation. It had an interesting decor...walls covered with clocks of every style, shape, color, and size.

I decided to have a little fun creating my title, die-cutting a place setting from the kit's red cardstock, and adding clock numbers on the plate.

Yep, it was time to eat onion rings, chicken "fangers", and fries. Uh-oh, that's a lot of fried food!
This page was created entirely from Scraptastic's July kit and add-on, Rock Lobster! Such a fun kit!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Making Memories

It's been a while, and this is why:

The Gulf was like a gigantic swimming pool on this particular day!

Sandy toes were the norm.
We even snuck in a few photos of the cousins...
...and let them have fun posing as "models"!
When we left the beach two days early to attend a wedding
Kevin remained behind with his cousins (and aunts, uncles, and grandparents).

They attended a Billabong Surf Camp one day...
...and really took to the waves!
Hang Ten! (Sorry, but that's the only surf slang I know.)
Now that we're home, I'm ready to get busy scrapping the fun, fun times. So check back in a few days when I hope to have some beachy pages created with the new Scraptastic Rock Lobster kit, add-on, and stamps!
Aren't these the cutest?!