Wednesday, February 25

Memory Mixer V3

I got my Memory Mixer 3 yesterday!  Woot!  I was excited to check it out, and it's finally installed.  I like the new look, and of course, the new features.  I love the new quickpages - updated and fresh designs.  The main function buttons are still the same, located on the left panel, with some new buttons for the added features.  There is a new panel on the right where you can easily access your photos.  If you don't like that panel, you can always hide it away.  Among the new features, I like the Fill A Font, where you can change the looks of your font with another bg paper or any photo.  It's like covering a chipboard letter with bg paper, if we're talking about traditional scrapbooking.  Another new feature I like is Fit Text to a Shape.  However, it's limited because there are only 2 shapes involved:  circle and square.  But hey, I'll take it.  The new search feature is cool, and it helps me save a lot of time to search for a particular element.  Before, I had to browse through all my folders just to find a bird embellishment - and that usually takes forever!  However, I do find the search a bit slow.  Maybe because I have so many elements already stored in my folders.  I love the Additional Background feature!  Now it's a breeze to add as many layers on my page. 

Here's a digital page I made with MMV3.  The baby is my highschool friend's boy, who is only a few month's old.  I saw this photo in Friendster and I was just blown away.

Overall, I like Memory Mixers V3.  A big improvement from the previous one.  I believe it's a good digital scrapbooking software for scrapbookers of all levels. 

Sunday, February 22

A Crop and 4 Cards in a Day (VSN Part 2)

I've never had a crop ever in our house.  I've attended crops many times before, but it's my first time to host one.  It was sure fun to have some friends over from work, and see how they create. 

What I like most about crops is that you get ideas from the way they create and how they use tools.  Our pet Chichay was excited as well.  I'm pretty proud of her because she didn't give us a hard time and she just stayed in her bed most of the crop.  Also, I cooked Pansit Bihon (Rice Noodles) for lunch.

The crop lasted for about 4 hours.  One friend was able to finish her invitations for a St. Patty's party, and another one was able to fill up one entire 12 x 12 scrapbook album.  Me and another friend just helped out and played with the tools.  I was able to use some tools that I haven't used for a long time like the Creative Memories shape cutter and my edged scissors.  It was a productive 4 hours.  We're thinking of doing this a regular monthly thing.  That would be more fun!  Do you notice we're not in my planet?  Because there's no room for 4 people there.  Makes me wish about having a bigger craft room.... hahaha!

After the crop, it's Virtual Stamp Night time again!  I was almost going to pass because I suddenly had a headache (too much excitement).  But then, I decided to keep making cards and just retire earlier for the night.  I ended up creating for 4 challenges.

For this one, the challenge was to make a card inspired by a celebrity crush.  Of course I have a bunch... but I decided to pick The Beatles.  I actually wanted The Queen, but I couldn't find a stamp that could work.  So going back to the Beatles, I happen to have a stamp of one of their songs "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."  It's in the Feeling Groovy stamp set by Verve.  The image is by 'A la Art, which is one of my first Ebay purchases.  Then I stamped it with Memento and colored with Copics. I used Bazzil Institcz for the swirls, and just used Spica glitter pen to connect the dots. I also used Nestabilities long rectangle and long scalloped rectangle.

For the next challenge, we had to create a card using only items that start with the letter L , except for the card stock/paper and adhesive. I found that pretty challenging.  I ended up cutting Layers of Leftover paper using Large Circles Nestabilities, a Ladybug accent, Lace, Liquid Pearls and Label Maker.  How about you?  What other supplies that start with the letter L can you think of?  You know what, I just realized that this card has no stamped image at all.... LOL!
In this challenge, we had to make a Joy Fold card.  I've never heard of that before.  But they gave us a link to the tutorial, which is totally cool!  I lived in Japan for 5 years, and that was my inspiration for this card. I used Japanese rice paper (washi paper), and a bunch of Japanese embellishments. For the images, I used Sweet Little Sentiments and the Curly Label Punch Bundle from Stampin Up. To match the Curly Label shape, I cut one side of the inner card with Nestabilities Labels 1. 

Want to learn how to make a Joy Fold Card?  Click here.

I like the next challenge a lot.  Ok, let me rephrase that.  I love it!  We had to make a card that a MAN would send to any female, and that can be a wife, girlfriend, mom, sister, daughter, etc.  I had to put myself in DH's shoes while making this card. I know that if he'll make me a card, it will be very simple. Then, I showed him the Feeling Groovy stamp set by Verve and asked him to choose a sentiment he will put on a card, if he'll make one for me. He chose "You're Still the One".  With that being said, I'd say that he "collaborated" with me on this one. The image is SU Definitely Decorative Pinecones, stamped with SU Night of Navy. Then I touched up the image with Spica AtYou Glitter Pen.
Click here for more detailed photos.

But for now, time for me to go to bed... Good night!


Saturday, February 21

6 Cards in 1 Night (VSN Part 1)

SplitCoastStampers is currently hosting a Virtual Stamp Night (VSN).  It's an event where participants, who are anyone, create cards based on challenges posted in their message boards.  But it doesn't end at that.  You need to finish your card in 45 minutes.  So every hour, a new challenge is posted.
This is my first time to join VSN.  I have joined Virtual Scrapbooking Night (VSBN) several times before, but was a little leary about VSN because I just didn't have the confidence.  Before, I was more of a scrapbooker than a cardmaker/stamper.  But I guess, now I can say I can be both.

I enjoyed doing the challenges, even though I wasn't able to do all of them.  But 6 cards in one night, and another 4 the following night, is an achievement, I should say.  Hurray for me!  Woot!

So without further ado, I'd like to share with you the cards I created for VSN.

On the first night, which started at 5 pm, there were 7 challenges.  I was able to do the first 6.

For the first challenge, we had to make a standard size card (4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches) with a mounted piece of paper, one big circle and one big heart.

Materials used:
- leftover cardstock and ribbon
- CTMH Free Spirit
- Signo White Gel Pen
- Stickles
- leftover Christmas alpha foam sticker (YOU)
- Nestabilities scalloped heart
- Colorbok White Pigment Ink
*I hand cut the red heart.

For the second challenge, The challenge was to pick a color scheme according to your favorite chocolate:

White Chocolate - Very Vanilla (vanilla), Certainly Celery (celery), Rose Red (sweetheart), Handsome Hunter (bluegrass)
Milk Chocolate - Close to Cocoa (mocha), Real Red (maraschino), Almost Amethyst (lavender)
Dark Chocolate - Chocolate chip (chocolate), Apricot Appeal (apricot), Cameo Coral (flamingo)

I love Dark Chocolate!  So this was the card I was able to make.

On the third challenge, we had to take a stamp set that we have but don’t like or never used, and incorporate it into a lovely, luscious card.

For this card, I used three never been used stamp sets:

The first one is a Michael's dollar stamp bought a long time ago.  The second stamp I bought in Japan a little over 2 years ago.  And the third one is a stamp I bought in Indiana a year and a half ago.  And yes, I've never used them.  Here, I used the black & white with a punch scheme. The rose I colored with Copics and touched it up with Spica glitter pen.

In the next challenge, we had to make a card using the new things we love and everything on the card (except the cardstock and ink) should be new within the past two months or something we've been hoarding and have never used before.  It so happened that my Verve Stamps just arrived that day.  That was a perfect opportunity for me to play with them right away.  I used Artful Elegance, Notes of Prayer and Jeremiah 29:11 by Verve Stamps. I embossed the cross and adhered it with foam double adhesive tape. I also used Nestabilities Labels 1.  This card is a bigger sized one, and I meant to give it to the mother of the former owner of our house.  He is DH's distant relative, and he just passed away very recently.

For the 5th challenge, we had to make a monochromatic card with one neutral color.  This challenge encouraged me to use my scrap paper. The border punch is Martha Stewart Simple Scallop. I cut the flowers with Nestabilities Daisies, and the image is SU Sweet Little Sentiments. I wrote the brackets myself.

For the 6th challenge, and my last card for the night, we had to make a card using the Split Negative Technique.  I've never done this technique before and it's very interesting.  I decided to go simple with my card so the eyes will focus on the "mirror image".

Materials used:

- CTMH Adorable
- SU Baroque Burgundy
- ColorBox Fluid Chalk Inkpad in Yellow Ochre
- Memento Inkpad in Tuxedo Black
- Stickles in Frosted Lace (love this!)

Curious about the Split Negative technique?  Learn it here.

I wasn't able to do the last challenge because it was already late and I needed to wake up early next morning because I was going to have a crop at home.  I'll tell you more about that next blog.

Want to try the VSN challenges and play?  Check it out here.  And you can learn more about Virtual Stamp Night here.  Just remember that you need to make an account in SCS to upload your cards in the gallery. And don't forget, you need to make each card in 45 minutes or less.  It's more of an honor system.  Who knows, you might win some prizes.  The deadline to upload your cards is Sunday 10 pm Eastern Time.  But if you don't want to join, you can still use the challenges as inspiration to making cards.  They sure made my creative juices flowing.

For more detailed photos, click here.

Thursday, February 19

Stamped JustRite!

I have been reading about JustRite Stampers in SplitCoastStampers for quite some time now.  And I have received flyers about it in the mail too.  But it just didn't tickle my fancy.

Then one day, my co-worker asked me to help her shop in Arnie's.  She just joined the scrapbooking bandwagon, and she didn't know what tools and supplies to start with.  With hubby's permission, we drove an hour and a half away to go to this cool craft store, keeping in mind my 2009 resolution of not buying any more craft stuff.  When we got there, I tried to stay away from the "good deals" because they always "invite" me to buy.  I just browsed as much as I can.  And while looking through the stamps, I saw a pretty good selection of JustRite stamps.  After looking through each one, and carefully studying how they work, I decided to give them a try.  So I bought 3 items:  Damask Borders Monogram Stamper Kit, 2 5/16" Harmony Classic Circle Stamper II and a Small Letter Set.

And only tonight was I able to play with it.

I carefully opened the stamper kit, and this is what's inside:

  • 1 5/8" Harmony Circle Classic Stamper 1
  • 3 interchangeable "Damask" borders

  • Times New Roman 36 character font set
  • Stackable type storage container
For this set, you just press the border piece onto the grooves of the stamp, and then attach the letter of your choice in the middle.

I read in an SCS tutorial that you need to "prep" your JustRite stamps before first use for a good impression.  I followed the tutorial which you can read here.  All you need is a stamp cleaner, and sandpaper in various grits (if you call it that).

As you can see, the first image is the first impression of the stamp fresh from the box.  The second image is the impression after I rubbed the stamp with a stamp cleaner.  The third image is after the first sanding, and the fourth is after a little more sanding.  It's amazing how big the difference is from the first to the 4th one.

I did the same procedure with the other 2 borders, and this is how they look.

After playing with the kit for quite a bit, I would say that this is a good buy.  It's something that's not "usual" and I like the fact that they are interchangeable.  Reading more about JustRites, you can customize more than what you think.  But of course, you'll have to buy more kits and accessories.  However for now, I'm happy with my purchase and I'll play with them more before I think about buying more.  Plus, I still have a promise to keep until November...  hehe!

You can view my first mini JustRite project here.

And part 2 to follow ;)

Tuesday, February 17

Digital Glimpse

It's been a while since my last digital LO.  I blame it on the past holiday rush and my new work.  But that doesn't mean I've forgotten about digital scrapbooking.

And guess what?  My favorite digital scrapbooking software, Memory Mixer v.2  is coming up with a new and better version, Memory Mixer v.3.  This time, it will allow you to:
  • Fill a Font
  • Background Builders
  • Patterns
  • Drag & Drop Photo Panel
  • Additional Photo Effects
  • Create Borders & Frames
  • Fit text to a Shape (I'm looking forward to this one!)
  • View albums before you open them
  • Embellishment Search
  • Favorite Embellishments
I find Memory Mixer easy to use, and it will make digital scrapbooking a breeze if you're not computer savvy, and if you have little or no knowledge about PhotoShop and the like.  I like to use Memory Mixer when I'm crunching for time and I need to make a LO pronto.  I like PhotoShop, but it usually takes me longer to create a LO with it because of all the commands you need to know and refresh with, especially if you haven't done it for quite a while.  With Memory Mixer, I can just launch the program even months later, and I won't have any problems.

Memory Mixer v.3 will be launched on QVC's Paper Crafting with the Pros tomorrow, Wednesday, ET from 1 to 3 pm.  I don't know how much the price will be, but you can also pre-order from the official website.  So the big question is, will I buy it?  YES!  The bad news is, I have work until 4 pm tomorrow and won't be able to watch QVC or go on the internet to see the Memory Mixer launch and place an order.  Oh well, I'll be able to purchase it one way or another ;)

And while you're browsing the Memory Mixers website, search and download their freebies here.  If the price is $0, then it's yours!

Speaking of freebies, I found a bunch of downloads in the following websites:
I hope you enjoy creating with all these freebies :)

My Very Own Stickles Organizer

I love Stickles!  If you haven't tried them, you should give it a shot because it rocks :D

But I have been thinking of a good way to store them.  I've read in the SCS message boards that it's best to store the Stickles upside down for an even flow and to avoid air bubbles during application.  So far, the best idea I've seen is placing round velcros underneath each stickle, and attaching them to another strip of velcro underneath a shelf or desk.  But I wanted a system where I can see the color of each Stickle while they're stored upside down.

And then one night, a light bulb almost literally popped above my head.  I chanced upon a Two-Tier Stainless Steel Turntable on sale at Lowe's for $4.  I just can't pass such a good deal, especially when I know I can put it to good use in the future.  And then I remembered how I store my small alpha stamps (click here to see).  That could work with my Stickles - and won't require much sweat.  So I assembled my newly acquired steel turntable and cut styrofoam block to fit the top.  I secured my now round styro to the top of the turntable with lots of large Glue Dots.  Then I made holes by pushing a Stickles bottle against the styrofoam.  And that's it.  Now, I can see my Stickles according to color, and they are stored the way they're supposed to be.  In the bottom, I put more supplies that I often use.  What I like most about this new addition to my craft room, it rotates! 

I am really happy with this one.  It kinda looks like a two-tiered cake.  And it's one of the very few I can call my own.
To see more photos, click here.

To see some projects I made using Stickles, click on the links below:

Monday, February 16

My Latest Project

A little over a year ago, my friend had to undergo a Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery, or Lapbypass for short, due to health issues.  We both were living in Japan in a US Navy Base.  She made life easier for me, and a lot more Navy wives, through the Navy Spouses Association over there.  She and her DH are now back in the US, like me, and we keep in touch.

When I learned about her surgery, I told her to document and take before and after photos - and I'll make a scrapbook album for her.  I think that kind of surgery is special and delicate, and it would be nice to have an album to look back to sometime in the future.  I admire her courage and I'm very thankful that the operation was a big success.

My friend did send the photos to me late last year, and I was able to finish the album yesterday.  She didn't want anything big, so I limited my size to a 4 x 6 mini album.  I told her that I will be just making the album, but I'll leave all the journaling to her.  So I left spaces for her to jot stuff on, and extra spaces if she wants to add more photos.  I used a lot of hidden elements on the pages, and inserted a few smaller albums in some pages.

I hope she likes her mini album.  Click here to see it.

Thursday, February 5

My Muse is Back!

Yep... my muse is back from a long vacation.  This time, she inspired me to make cards.  I was able to make 4 cards in two days!  Woot!

But before that, I just want to share with you how I love my Cricut Expressions.  I have been using it for a lot of projects at work - designing bulletin boards and whatnot, and even helping a co-worker "glam" up her poker room wall.  It's my best craft investment indeed!

I don't know why, but I'm so into red, white and black lately.  Probably because they're the official colors of the high school where I work.  I do like that color combo, even before.  Kinda like black & white with a punch.

Here's a birthday card I made for our nephew.  He graduated from the high school where I work at, and he loves the Red wings (Michigan's pro hockey team and last year's USA champ).  So I used those colors in this card with the following tools and materials:

  • Georgia Pacific and Embassy Cardstock
  • Nestabilities Labels One Dies
  • Cuttlebug Swiss Dots Embossing Folder
  • Stampin Up Eyelets
  • Deadbeat Designs Stamp
  • Martha Stewart Edge Punch
  • Adhesive:  Scotch ATG, Scotch Foam Mounting Tape, Xyron
  • Tools:  Crop-A-Dile, Big Shot
  • Misc:  scrap paper/cardstock, generic ribbon
It's 12:45 am and it's time for me to go to bed.  For the meantime, check out the other three cards I made yesterday by clicking here.

Till next blog!