Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I used to shop garage sales, until I had too many kids to make it fun anymore. Unbuckling all those car seats just didn't make it worth the effort. But as they're getting older, I'm starting to ease back into it. Look what I nabbed at a big church parking lot sale. Originally a very old tool box, for sorting small parts. Now... perfect for scrapbooking tools!

Cool Cocktails

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More acrylic album artwork from my class at the Close to My Heart national convention. This book is a breeze to put together. Use the same concept to make on with Holiday recipes, Grandma's cookies or Potluck favorites. The drink photos and recipes all came from the internet. If you'd like to see the photos larger, click here for the online album.

Want the recipes? Click on the photo!
cool cocktail recipes

Clearly, SHE is lovely

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm still seriously playing catch-up after the whirlwind of convention. Being gone for six days and missing my kiddos so much, returning to the hub-bub of a houseful of kids, dog and the assorted responsibilities that accompany each. And let's not stop there, my ever-patient husband, who managed to cook, clean and keep everything running smoothly during my absence, including cleaning up the dog vomit, had to leave for a two week business trip the day after I got home. Miss him already.

As promised, the rest of the album I tempted you with a few days ago. This is the new acrylic album that Close To My Heart is releasing on September 1. They measure a tad over 6x6, with four tabbed pages, two small tag pages, one half-circle page and one scalloped edge page. Price is $14.95 with tax, S&H. I absolutely love these albums, there is so much you can do with them, and tons of techniques just waiting to be explored. Below I'll explain some of the fun decorative details I've added.

Once again, here's the front cover. The photo is on the next page, so you get a sneaky view into the album right from the start. I like the fact that I can use a photo more than once in the same book, and take advantage of the decorative details on each page to give it a different look with each view.

If you'd like to view any of the pictures larger, just click on the photo.

Inside, first page. This page is completely covered by the photo and paper. Makes a nice "stopping point" for the eye. I like having a mixture of see-through and solid coverage on the pages, makes for easy viewing.

Pages 2 and 3, with tag page. I used a permanent marker (Sharpie) to write on page two. Works great! And the best part is, if your handwriting is not something you enjoy showing off, print the text on your computer, lay the paper behind the clear page and trace the words. It will be our little secret.

Page 3, close-up. I know, the edge is a little hard to see in this photo. Oh, I know why, it's CLEAR! I've punched holes and laced with sheer ribbon along the edges. The "Pancake Monster" text is printed onto a transparency, then attached with liquid glass adhesive. And...If you don't get the knock-knock joke, don't worry, it's a four-year-old thing. Everything was "pancake" for a few months. Pancake pajamas, Pancake night-night, you get the picture.

Pages 4 and 5.

Page 5 close-up. Where shall I start on all the fun things I did with this page? First, I coated the back with liquid glass mixed with re-inkers. I'm a bit impatient, so the waiting for the drying time was probably my downfall, but I touched the page too soon and left a not-so-pretty set of fingerprints in my nicely tinted background. So... I re-covered the page back with adhesive and attached a solid sheet of patterned paper from the "Perfect Day" paper pack by Close to My Heart. Cool move on my part, it tinted the paper a lovely shade of peachy-red. Totally by accident, loved the effect. Next, the window in the center is cut out with a craft knife. It takes some patience, and lots of passes, and this is slippery stuff to cut so watch it! But eventually I have a perfect little peep-through page. Finished the page by dusting the edge with glitter, stamped on the front with Staz-On ink, and punching holes along the edge and decorated with ribbon.

Pages 6 and 7.

Page 7 close-up. This page has stamping with Staz-on brand ink, and white paint edging. The Staz-on is one of the best choices for stamping, as the ink is solvent based and permanent on the acrylic pages.

When you're designing your album, a back-to-back layout is a quick, easy way to go. No worries about adhesive show-through, since the same-size elements will allow you to hide any adhesive between the layers.

Pages 8 and 9.

Hope you enjoyed the full tour, and learned a few things about working with acrylic albums. I'm not done yet, I have more art to share, and tips and techniques to show, so check back later!

Back from Convention and ready to share!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I have been out of action for a bit, sorry to make all my faithful readers wait soooo long for a new blog post! The month of July was a whirlwind for me, with family vacations and prepping for teaching at the CTMH national convention, I had a full plate.

The worst part was that, even though I was creating tons of artwork last month, I couldn't share a bit of it. Confidentiality contracts and all, you know. But I'm happy to say that I can finally share! I'll be updating frequently throughout the next few weeks, and hoping to get a full tutorial on the amazing new Close To My Heart Acrylic Albums that I had the pleasure of working with all last month.

Now, just a little taste, with more to come: