Monday, June 30

My VSBN Pages

My planet's really messy right now.  That's because I participated in the June Virtual Scrapbooking Night in SplitCoast Stampers for 2 consecutive days.  There were a total of 10 challenges, and I was able to do 6 of them.  Six LOs in 2 days.  That's not bad at all.  That's the most I have ever made in two days.  And this time, I wanted to finish each page by the time the next challenge is announced.  I have a choice of doing the challenges at a later date, but I didn't want that.  I wanted the adrenalin rush.  The thought of creating the pages at the same time with other people from other countries was exciting.  I really enjoyed this VSBN.  The best among all the ones I've joined.

The pages had to be done in 2 hours or less, unless otherwise noted.  With no further ado, here are my pages from this weekend.

Here, we had to use only black and white in our pages, including the photos.


In this challenge, we had to create a layout to our favorite military person using 7 Cs: Cardstock bg, cut-out or chipboard letters, cropped shpaed photo other than circle, corner rounder, circles, clear embellishment or charm, and creative expression. 


 For this challenge, we were to do a page about somewhere we would like to be besides where we are at that time. We need to include the place we would be, who we would be with and why.


 In this one, we must create a page where we use our own handmade embellishments. I created the cloth flowers using a Japanese sewing template. I also made the owl on the right, using all but epoxy stickers.   


This one is quite hard. We had to do a stamping technique called "Rock & Roll", which I've never done before. You can see the tutorial here. Plus, the time limit is only 90 minutes! I did feel the pressure in this LO.


This is the last challenge I was able to make. In 90 minutes, we were to create a page using 'circles': circle brads, buttons, circle punches, simply cut circles and/or paper with circles. Also, use the wonderful assortment of 'Rub-Ons' somewhere on the page, or we can doodle to achieve a similar effect. And if we would like to kick it up a notch, we create a 'porthole' by using Vellum Paper cut into the shape of a circle somewhere on the page. The vellum can be used for journaling area or creating an actual porthole on the page. For my LO, I decided to make a big circle as the base.


It's my first time to make a LO that's not 12x12 square. If I had more time, I would have done other things. But I still like the end result.

At this time, let me say kudos to all the people involved in a very succesful VSBN in SplitCoastStampers.  You guys voluntarily spent your entire weekend, not to mention the time you spent in the planning stage, to help a lot of scrapbookers create LOs is really admirable.  I am looking forward to the next one!

Friday, June 27

Virtual Scrapbooking Night and My 1st Video Tutorial

This might be a new terminology for some.  I learned about Virtual Scrapbooking Night (or VSBN) from SplitcoastStampers.  They set a weekend when they post different scrapbooking challenges based on a chosen theme, and people do these challenges and post them in the gallery.  The catch is, you have to finish each challenge in 2 hours.  In a day, there might be 4-6 or more challenges.  The goal of the VSBN is to make the members create more layouts than they used to.  Hey, 4-6 challenges in a day... why not?  That means you get to create 4-6 layouts.  Of course, you don't have to do all the challenges.  But it would be really cool if you'll be able to do them all.  There might be prizes involved per challenge.  But the fact that you can do all these layouts is a prize in itself.  I participated in their June VSBN, and I was able to create 2 layouts.  That's pretty rare for me to make 2 traditional pages in a day. 


One challenge is to use at least three different edges in your layout.  I thought that would be a good excuse for me to take out those buried edged scissors and make use of them.  I also got to use a lot of my scrap paper and cardstock.  I had to make a page about this month primarily because of new jobs for both me and my husband.  I would say it is a big relief for us.  And I won $88 in the casino!  hahaha!  I sure need some juice for all these many hobbies I have.



The other challenge I took was the use of maps in your layout.  Another good reason for me to make a layout about my recent trip to the Philippines and Japan.  Additional points if you use arrows.  I love that Kimono 3d sticker and I finally got to use it! 

There's going to be another VSBN this weekend and I'll definitely participate.  This time, I want to be able to do all the challenges.  If you can, give it a shot.  You don't have to be a member to do the challenges.  But you can't post on the boards and upload your photos.  Just create an account at SplitcoastStampers (it's free!), and join in the fun.  The link to this weekend's VSBN is here.




I'm pretty proud of myself because I was able to make 3 layouts yesterday.  The 3rd one is a digital page from a freebie I got from The Daily Scrapper (TDS).  The kit is called "A Little Breeze" by ChereKaye.  Today's the last day it's available for download so go get it by clicking here.  The white embellishments are by LynnG of Designer Digitals.  The font is CK Ali's Writing and the word "Family" is from the Thankful Kit by JBaechtold.

Watch out for the new publication of TDS today!
  
Guess what my nephew Tim gave me yesterday?  A big Ziplock bag of empty TicTac containers!  


These would be perfect for altering and putting embellishments in.  I can't wait to play with these!  He's such a sweetie.  I remember telling him about saving those for me months ago, but I have totally forgotten about it.  I guess he didn't forget.  Thanks a big bunch Tim! 
  
I finally was able to make my first video tutorial yesterday.  While I was making my "Vacation" page above, my adhesive ran out in my Scotch ATG Gun, so I had to install a refill.  I thought that would be a good thing to make a tutorial of, because it's easy and it doesn't take that long to do.  I made the title graphics using BluffTitler, and edited the video with Adobe Premiere Elements.  Video editing is something I'm pretty good at, and I guess it's a good idea mixing my crafts and video editing skills together.  You can watch the video by clicking here.  I would really appreciate it if you can let me know what you think, and if you can actually view the video.  Sometimes, depending on your internet speed/connection, you may have to wait for the video to load.  I already have an idea for my next video tutorial, and it's going to be very soon

Come to think of it, I was able to do quite a number of things yesterday:  3 page layouts and a video tutorial.  I would say that that's quite an accomplishment

Monday, June 23

Goodie Day

My day started out right this morning with 2 packages from my Secret Girlfriends in SplitcoastSTampers. 



I have been waiting for these goodies, and I'm so happy with what I got.  This is a kind of swap, where you send scrapbooking/stamping goodies worth a specific amount to your designated "secret girlfriend."  Each member posts a wish list on the bulletin board, so the person who's supposed to send to you can have an idea on what to buy for you.  In this round, I joined the $15 and $20 group.  It's sort of like a "Kris Kringle" during Christmas time, or  "Exchange Gift" (popularly known in the Philippines).  Then the swap hostess sets a "reveal date" when everybody knows who sent to whom.  This kind of swap runs on an "honor system."  If you're lucky, you might receive something more than the supposed value.  Sometimes less.  And sometimes there will be "flakers" - somebody who doesn't send anything even though they got something.  I've experienced being flaked before, and it's not fun at all.  That's when an "angel" comes to the rescue, which is usually the swap host.  Sometimes other swappers volunteer to be an angel.  After the reveal date and somebody is proven to have "flaked", the angel will send you something.  It may not be the amount of what you signed up for, but at least you got something.  I've joined secret girlfriend swaps like this for several times already.  I know I can always buy what I want anytime, but I still like the element of surprise.  Everytime a package arrives, the excitement about what's inside sure is fun.  And I also like to shop for goodies for people who have the same interests as mine.  I joined another secret girlfriend swap in SCS, and that's another one to look forward to.

For some update, I was able to install a sliding shelf under my craft desk.  It's sort of like a keyboard drawer, only bigger.  Also, I got to paint my small wood crates black, and stamped them with foam stamps and white acrylic paint, to match my craft room.  I like how it turned out :)  I'll post photos in my next blog.

There are still a lot of stuff I want done in my craft room.  I can't wait to finish them all!

Friday, June 20

Friday


I was in a dilemma.  There were two things online that I really really want but I told myself that I can only get one.  One is the Arietta Pullip Doll and the other one is the Paper Doll Dress Up Cricut Cartridge



Arietta is being sold at a very cheap price:  $63.96, originally around $100.  While the Paper Doll Cartridge is being sold at $54.99, originally $89.99.  I don't know what's up with me, but I'm just so into dolls lately.  I already have a Pullip Doll, Zuora, which you can see here and here.  And I have already decided that I will collect Pullips.  But I really don't like Arietta's style, and the only reason why I want to buy her is because it's very cheap.  Now for the Paper Doll Cartridge, I already have 10 Cricut cartridges on hand, but I know I can create a lot more things if I add that cartridge to my Cricut library.  In fact, I already have a lot of ideas in mind. 



So while pondering while taking a shower, I decided to purchase the Paper Doll Cartridge.  As soon as I got dressed, I went online to Cherished Scraps and Cards and bought my cartridge.  I can't wait to lay my hands on that darn cartridge, and make more use of my Cricut machine.  And right now, I'm still sour graping about Pazzles Inspiration.  hehehe.



However, I still want to pre-order Yuutudu Pullip Doll, which is to be released in August.  You might be interested to buy Arietta from Atamaii.  It is a really good price.

Earlier this week I received 5 cards from a swap I joined in SplitcoastStampers.  It is nice to see cards made by other people right in my hands.  This one on the right is my favorite by RMK. 


The layout and design is simple but the colors are eye catching.  I love the stamping, and the glitter.  I'm wondering if the cardstock (where the image is) actually has glitter, or if it was purposely done.  You can see the other cards by clicking here 
I was able to improvise an organizer for my pens and markers.  I wanted to custom-make something out of wood, but I just don't have the tools, and I don't know how to use those tools even if I have them.  So I went to our storage and gathered what I can get. 


These are 4 pen holders and 3 yellow floppy disk organizers.  I bought them all for 100 Yen each (about a dollar) in Japan a few years ago.  Again, I'm glad that I didn't throw them away.  They are nestled on this wood thing that originally was a glass jar rack (set of 4).  I bought it in ReStore last year for a few bucks.  On the left, you can see how it looks. 

It will work for now, but when I have a chance, I want one custom-made.  The question is who and when.  


I have more projects in mind concerning my Craft Room.  I know, I know... I'm just never satisfied.  It just feels like there's still something I can add to it.  Sometimes I wonder when it will ever end.  This time, I plan to:
  • change how I organize my leftover ribbon
  • attach a pull-out drawer under my craft desk
  • make a holder for my new heat gun so I won't have to hold the heat gun when I'm embossing and the like.
  • assemble and alter my wooden Ikea drawers (4 of them)
  • update my rotating shop fixture
  • color coordinate my organizers and fixtures to black and white (there are still some blue mini drawers and brown organizers)
Before I forget, Creating Keepsakes has another digital kit for free.  It's called Wonderful by Michelle Coleman.  I always love her kits!  This is a shot of me riding the train to Narita Airport in Japan. 


It marked the end of my month long trip.  I was kinda sad, but I missed my husband and craft room a lot, so I was also eager to come home.  You can download the wonderful Wonderful Kit by clicking here.  The alphas are Floral Monograms by K. Petiet.  The font I used in the mini-jounraling is LD Quick Note by ScrapNFonts, which I also got for free from their website.  In fact, if you click here right now, you'll be able to download 13 pretty fonts.  I hope you enjoy all those freebies as much as I did :)

And finally, I was able to find enclosures for the necklaces I started last week.  I joined a jewelry swap at SplitcoastStampers, and this is what I'm swapping.  I made the red pendant itself, which you can read more about in a previous blog entry


I made 9 of them, and decided to put them in some personalized packaging.


Before I end this long enough blog entry, I want to thank you, my fellow crafters, for taking time to visit my homepage and craft blog.  I am really happy to meet new friends, and also learning from you all.  I am always amazed at what other people can create in any form of craft they like.  :) 

Thursday, June 19

Review: Martha Stewart Opaque Marker Set

I was a little leary about the Martha Stewart scrapbook line because I thought that they were expensive simply because they carry the Martha Stewart name. When the MS products first came out, you can only buy them in Michael's. I'd see them there, and I'd look. There are some interesting products, but again, the cost hinders me from buying. The good news is, Walmart now carries the Martha Stewart scrapbooking line. It made me excited to go to Walmart when I heard the news. If it's cheaper, I can't reallly tell. But I still decided to give it a shot and test some of the MS products myself. However, Walmart carries more of the basic stuff. So I decided to buy the MS Opaque Marker Set. 


The package says "Visible on light or dark backgrounds". When I tried it the first time, I loved it! The colors are vivid on dark colored cardstock and it doesn't bleed. I also tried them on photos I printed myself, and they worked great! I just hope that they come out with fine tipped ones, because the ones they had available were only 1mm. I'm definitely going to buy more of the colors, and I will have to say that maybe buying the Martha Stewart brand is worth it because of its good quality. 

Sunday, June 15

Cards

I am so glad that I bought the Big Shot Machine.  It accepts dies from other companies.  I have tried Sizzix, Quickutz and Wizard Nestabilities.  The Big Shot works just like a charm!  I also love how it takes all those embossing folders.  I found better use with my Fiskars embossing plates now.  I have also tried embossing folders from Sizzix, Cuttlebug, Nestabilities and even brass stencils.  As long as you have the Big Shot Multi-purpose Flatform, you're ready to go. 



This lazy Sunday morning, I played with my Big Shot.  I dug my old brass stencils and embossed with it (flowers in the circle).   After embossing, I cut the circle and scalloped circle using my new Nestabilities.  The white flower stamps are from Autumn Leaves by Rhonna Farrer, bought from the dollar section in Joann's.  So far, I would consider ColorBox Frost White Pigment Stamp as the best white ink for dark cardstock.  For embellishmets I used leftover paper strips, ribbon, chipboard tag and a flower brad.  "You're Special" is a rub-on by ColorBok.  The one thing I like about making cards is I get to use a lot of my left-over supplies.  It's just so hard for me to throw away stuff, and everytime I make cards, I'm glad that I didn't throw a particular scrap of bg paper or piece of ribbon.

Last week I got inspired from a pop-up card Jerosha made.  You can see her really cool card here.  I remember buying a book about pop-up cards (The Pop-Up Book by Paul Jackson), and took it out.  I thought making pop-up cards was going to be easy.  If I counted it right, it took me about 4 or 5 tries to finally create a "satisfying" one.  It involves a lot of folding, and folding it right.  And my mistakes involved folding where I shouldn't be folding.  One wrong fold, and you have to start from scratch.


For this card, I used Simply Chick stamps by Provo Craft, and I colored them using Copic Markers.  These markers are so cool because they just color so evenly, and don't bleed.  I'm so glad I bought them when I was in Japan.  They may be a little expensive than most markers, but I think it's worth the investment.  After making this card, I decided to make a different design for a card-making swap I joined in SplitcoastStampers.  Using the same set of stamps, I decided to make a simpler one.


 


This involved a lot of cutting, though.  So it took longer to make, especially when I had to make 7 of them.  But I like how there's more space to write inside the card, unlike the first one above.  And I wanted the element of surprise that's why I only stamped a short phrase in front.

Here's another card I made for another swap.  We are supposed to use a stamping technique, and I chose the "Chalkboard" technique, which I learned from Splitcoast Stampers. 

 

I was in the mood for some "oriental" look when I made this card.  This technique is pretty simple.  Just stamp on a dark cardstock (preferrably black) using white pigment ink, then daub chalk on the image with your preferred colors, using a cotton bud or sponge daubers.  I used The Stencil Collection chalk for this one.  It's also better to apply the chalk while the ink is still wet, so it clings better.  If you want, you can spray a little bit of hair spray to set the chalk.  I love this BG paper from the DCWV Far East Mat Stack.

Time to eat my late lunch...

Wednesday, June 11

Happy Day

I really don't know how to start this blog entry.  But all I know is I'm happy.  I got an email from Alice Koh yesterday, letting me know that her "baby" was just launched.  It's called The Daily Scrapper, which creates, collects and publishes news, entertainment, opinion, and information to the digital scrapbook community. 


The overall concept of this website is patterned on newspapers we read everyday, only the main topic is about scrapbooking.  I can still remember that day when Alice asked me to take part in this venture, to which I said yes right away.  I was really excited!  I can't count the many emails Alice and I exchanged, even during my month long trip in the Philippines and Japan.  And of course, in any endeavor we take, the road to the goal is not always smooth.  The whole process was like a rollercoaster ride, especially for Alice.  I am sure it was very frustrating, but cutting to the chase....  the launch was successful!  Yey!!!  The Daily Scrapper has so much to offer.  It has articles that tackle all the aspects of our hobby - traditional, digital and hybrid.  What makes it special is that this new website also talks about the people behind this beautiful craft.  If you're into the scrapbooking business, it has the Retailer Listings, which is also a good place to advertise.  I love the Classifieds section, where you can see all those scrapbook related ads, from vacancies, services, new products  to special events.  In fact, there are two ad spaces being given for free right now until June 25th.  Just email tds.adsales@gmail.com and put "Free Classified Event" on the subject line.  Like most regular newspapers, The Daily Scrapper has an Opinion section where you can see product reviews, reader comments and discussions. Of course, a newspaper won't be complete without an Editorial.  And yes, my favorite of all:  FREEBIES!  The Daily Scrapper has three digital scrapbooking kits in line, and one of them is Happy Freebie by Amy Leigh.  You have to register (free) or log in first, then you can download by clicking here.  This is my take on this kit. 


For the title, I used Alice Koh's Cardboard Alphas, and the journaling font is Doodolonomy Fred.  I enjoyed creating this layout because the colors are perfect for the photo of my niece. 

Going back to The Daily Scrapper, it is special to me too, because this is where my work was featured for the first time.  That in itself is a blessing!  You can see my contributions here and here.  And my name is right on this page under Features Department.  I wish you could see the big smile on my face :D.  Congratulations to Alice Koh for a successful launch of a great website with a really cool concept!  Hats off to you for having such a brave heart and facing all those challenges head on.  I don't think I can ever do that!
As for more freebies, Memory Makers has several digital kits available for download.  Their latest one is the Bohemian Summer Kit by Michelle Coleman, which I adore!  I always love Michelle's work, and this is no exception.  Her kit comes with cool papers, embellishments and alphas. 


For this layout, I also used CK Alis Writing, LDJ Shop Til You Drop and Gang of Three fonts.  All with the aid of Memory Mixer.  You can get the rest Memory Maker's free digital kits by clicking here.

Another reason to be happy is being able to create three layouts in a day.  You've seen two of them above, and my third one is a traditional layout for my 2008 Scrapbook Calendar


This is actually a kit by Creating Keepsakes, which I bought from QVC a couple of years ago.  I always like CK products because they are so user friendly!  In fact, I made this page in less than 30 minutes.  There's a boo-boo on this page, actually.  I guess one of my ink tanks are low, so when the photo came out of my printer, it had lines around the image of my niece.  But it kinda blended with the stripe BG paper so I decided not to print another one.  I still like the result :)

And OMG!!!  I just saw my name in Paula Pascual's blog:  CRAFTY STORAGE under Great Real Life Studios.  This IS a happy day :D

Monday, June 9

Monday

Yeah, it's been a while.  I have been busy IRL, and rearranging stuff in the basement.  In fact, I'm just taking a break, and I'll be going back down there to do more work after this.  I know, excuses, excuses!  hehehe. 


My new OTT-Lite Lamp arrived, and I'm really happy!  No other kind of lighting really beats this lamp.  There's such a big difference.  With that, I'm hoping to finish my cross stitch WIP soon.  I'm thinking about finishing the darn thing by the end of the month.  We'll see...

Now that it's back to normal for me, and my jetlag's gone, I went back to my normal internet browsing, especially for craft stuff.  In SplitCoastStampers, I joined 10 swaps, excluding the other three that I'm already in.  Six of these swaps are for card making, one is for jewelry making, two are image swaps and one goodie bag swap.  I guess I got too excited, and now I realize that I joined too many.  But that's ok.  I have more reasons to make cards, now that I have 3 of the Spellbinders Nestabilities die sets.


I am almost done for the jewelry swap, where I had to make 9 necklaces.  It's been a while since I made some accessories like these.  I decided to create my own pendant using UTEE (Ultra thick embossing enamel).  I melted it on my Ranger melting pot, add a few drops of Suze Weinber's To Dye For (Magenta) and two hues of Pearl Ex powders.  When I was happy with the color, I poured the melted UTEE on a non-stick craft sheet, and pressed an "O" shape cookie cutter.  UTEE hardens up pretty fast, so when it does and while it's still warm, I take off the UTEE I don't need, and smoothen the edges with a regular craft knife.  It took a while for me to decide on what to do next.  Especially because my heat gun quit working.  I tried a bunch of things - from adding some dimensional embellishments using Inkssentials Glossy Accents and Beadazzles micro beads, to adhering "bling" stones with KandiKane Applicator Wand.  But they didn't work.  Somehow, they just can't adhere "permanently" to the UTEE.  Until yesterday when I thought of just using beads and trim instead.  This is how they look so far.


 I still have to put "enclosures", but I'm happy with the the way it looks.  This is really easy to do.  I'll make a tutorial of this one soon :)

Last week, my DSIL asked me to make a poster for her son's graduation party. 



With this project, I am again thankful that I have the Cricut machine, because the poster was done in a snap.  For this one, I used Mini Monograms and George and Basic Shapes cartridges.  I don't think I'll get rid of my Cricut anytime soon.

OK, time for me to go back down the basement....

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