Friday, May 30, 2014


My first cousin Robert's son (which makes him my first cousin once removed; I looked it up), Cooper, graduated from film school last Saturday! I was looking for a subject for the current MDS MONDAY BLOGSPOT challenge so this was perfect! The challenge was inspired by the Project Life scrapbooking system Stampin' Up! is now offering. The challenge had two layout choices and I chose this one:
See the challenge post on MDS Monday Blogspot
 You can see that in my design I really played up the film theme! I used frame embellishments from the Candid Frames kit and layered them over photos to turn them into picture frames. The concept behind Project Life is a simple and straightforward approach to scrapbooking - with non-digital materials you'd be slipping photos and journaling cards into pockets in the page protectors. 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I really had to play around with this in my mind before I knew what I wanted to create for the MDS Monday Blog shaped card challenge - then it was figuring out how. I've been working on this for a few days and having THE BEST TIME - especially after I printed my tests and saw that my ideas were working! I'm going to get right to my finished card (two variations, in fact) and then lots more photos of how to make it. At the end of this post I'll give you some alternate ways to approach the card and construction.

("au naturel")
I thought the butterfly looked a lot like a Blue Morpho, so I looked at lots of photos before coloring. This is how it looks finished, printed on my HP printer. All the blue coloring was achieved with lots of oval punches filled with DSP and layered over each other (overlapped). The Poppy Parade color on the edges and More Mustard on the body are both part of a paintbrush layer, which I also used to fill in different shades of blue in little gaps. The butterfly stamp image is mostly the default black, but I thought my first test print was too dark so I added a white, 100% opacity (x-0, y-0 orientation) shadow and then recolored the lines on the wings with blues.
MDS elements Wonderful Wings (Butterfly2) stampbrush, Summertime Splendor DSP (Orchids pattern), oval punches, freeform paint and recoloring tools.

 This one shows how I added to the body and wing edges with a Basic Black marker (fine tip) and added sparkle to the wings with Dazzling Effects (you could also use Dazzling Diamonds Glitter). Also note that in this sample I didn't completely cut out the antennae. This gives them more stability.

Later in this post are photos of another way to fold the card.
The sentiment is a stampbrush from the Cottage Garden set. I dropped a blue shadow on it, and increased the blur and opacity so it looks sponged. I used the coloring tool to color the little butterfly blue. There are a lot of sentiments that would work well with this card!

Start by applying the butterfly image to an 8.5x11 landscape page. Enlarge it to desired size and crop it in half. Copy it and switch the crop to the opposite side. Be prepared to keep tweaking your sizing as you go. Line the halves up to make a whole butterfly in one corner; check and note the position coordinates for the "y" or top margin; move the right hand half to the opposite corner and make sure the "y" is still what it was before you moved it.
Apply an oval punch, fill with the Summertime Splendor orchid DSP, then "play" with your oval until you have the coloring and size you want by resizing, double-clicking the oval and zooming in or out on the DSP and moving it to the portion of the DSP you want to use. I used parts of the petals for all my ovals. Position the oval over the part of the stamp you want to color and love the layer behind the stamp. THIS IS THE BASIC PROCESS FOR USING DSP TO COLOR THE IMAGE. Create multiple ovals this way, copy them and reuse them, tweak them as you go, and copy and mirror them for parts of the opposite wing. When you have all the ovals you need layered to best effect for one wing, use the grouping tool to link them so you can move that layer as a unit. Take your time and enjoy the process! VARIATION: Go hybrid and simply print the uncolored image and color it with markers or ink!

After you finish your DSP ovals layer, add touches of other colors by creating a paint layer. Color this layer on top of the stamp, then move it to the back when done. I also used the coloring tool on the stamp to color some of the lines blue. VARIATION: Skip the DSP-filled oval shapes and use the paint tool to create a full-color layer.

Apply sentiment stampbrush, drop shadow, color if desired, and print the page.
Trim excess off the top. If desired, you can use your Trimmer to pre-cut the straight top/bottom edges of the sentiment section, if you want it rectangular. Fold along the butterfly body edge on the left side.
This is a test print I made on copy paper before coloring. I used this to check my size and that my halves matched up when folded, and to decide the shape I wanted for inside the card. The shape you see is what I had after fussy-cutting the butterfly with the left side folded to meet the right side. For my final card I decided to cut the center section where the horizontal fold lines are in this photo.
When you bring the folded edge of the left side over to meet the right (and make a whole body), you will make a second fold in the center of the sentiment section, essentially creating a z-fold. NOTE: It may be easier to do this after cutting out the left side wing (see the next three photos)
Cut out the butterfly. If you want the antennae to have more stability, don't cut all the way around them.
After the left side is cut out and "free" you can more easily fold it to meet the other side and create the center fold.
When if is folded, the butterfly will look whole!
Cut out the right side. If the center panel top/bottom was not precut, trim the top.
Fold to close and finish fussy-cutting the body.
Finish trimming bottom edge of center section. If desired, trim antennae.
If desired, trim off the uncolored sides of the body bottoms (where they extend past the center section). They will be a little less stable and may not look quite as matched up when card is closed, but look a little better when it is open.

This gateway-style fold is a little trickier to achieve, and the closed card tends to lay a little less flat than the z-fold. The advantage is that the sentiment doesn't have a crease line down the middle, but you also have to size your sentiment to fit in a narrower space so the folds are at either end of the sentiment. With this fold, both body sections have to be folded, so you can start with those folds and then bring them together and manually press down to make the gateway fold. .For cleaner creases, you can score it. If the space between the butterfly halves is a length you can easily divide and score so the body halves will meet, that makes scoring in the right spots easier. You'll probably have to use test prints to get the spacing right to do this, including the sizing of the sentiment. Although there are rulers on the MDS work screen, sometimes printing shrinks or enlarges things just a tiny fraction - and for a card like this where the images have to meet when folded, a tiny fraction can throw that off.

Here is the original challenge sample template - note that although an apple shape was used, the idea behind the challenge was to use ANY shape of choice from an MDS stampbrush or punch.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Sometimes I just have TOO MUCH FUN creating! I did one more for the sketch challenge (see my 5/14/14 post). In 2006, my mom took me on an Alaskan cruise for my birthday, and to fulfill her own dream of taking a cruise to Alaska. It was also a stamping cruise (but not with Stampin' Up! which would have been WAY better!) Stamping aside, we had the best time on all the port trips.
My Digital Studio elements include On the Go DSPs (background added as a page layer and recolored), Flag, Mini Flag Banner, Petite Pennant and Nifty Fifty Alaska punches, Brads (recolored), Compass stampbrush from The Open Sea, and Love Birds Numbers stampbrush. I pulled the deck diagram, ship photo and Princess Cruise logo from their website and used the photo-fill tool for the ship in the banner. The diagram was overlayed and saved as a group with that banner, as were all the elements on the Princess Cruise banner.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I'm here on another of my California visits at my Mom's and this time I didn't bring any Stampin' stuff with me...although she has quite a bit it is mostly retired and just not inspiring me what with my excitement about the new catalog and my pre-order waiting for me when I go home in June. So...I was SO HAPPY to learn about the MDS Monday blog that is all about My Digital Studio challenges!
I created two designs (scroll on down to see) based on this challenge layout:

"Tea for Three" features photos taken at my Mom's and my favorite California tearoom, the Tranquility Tearoom in Thousand Oaks.
My Digital Studio elements include custom color background color, Vintage Overlays 4 overlay DSP (as a page layer, cropped, enlarged & recolored, opacity reduced); Concord Crush Taffeta Trimmings (resized & cropped); Comfort Cafe Banners, one filled with Pocket Full of Posies DSP 11.

"Let it Snow!" shows off snow we had in Washington at Christmas time a few years ago. I caught my neighbor's cat perched on top of my garden fairy statue and snapped the photo on the left. (My cats are all-indoors). Look closely at the center photo and you will see the snow my Mom playfully tossed in the air!
My Digital Studio elements include use of my own photo as a custom background, Snowflake punches filled with Silver Glimmer Paper and embellished with Basic Rhinestones, Snowy Soiree Flag Punch, one filled with Holly Berry DSP and the other filled with one of my photos, and the phrase is from the Savor the Season kit stampbrush set.