Friday, September 30, 2011

Sassy Chic Stamp Camp Projects

I'll be doing two projects for the gals attending the Sassy Chic Stamp Camp tomorrow:


The top card was inspired by the wonderful Chat and the bottom by the fabulous Dawn. I added to and changed them a bit, but not very much as they were just spectacular!

If you are in the Northern Colorado area and want to attend this wonderful camp, just drop me a line and I will send you the details!

I'm working on my challenge cards for this weekend and my card for next week's North Area Stamp Camp as well as my downline meeting swap. Busy, busy, busy ... keeps me out of trouble (yeah right).

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Late again ....

I have two challenge cards from this weekend to share with you. I don't know why it is so hard to get them posted to my blog, I get them and all the others posted on their respective blogs, but just can't get it together. Oh well, here's this week's challenge project for Sentimental Sundays:



And here's this week's project for Heart Song Inspirations:


I will be taking over the freebie duties on Sentimental Sundays as of next week. We shall see how that adventure pans out. I have my first set ready to go and we'll see how the rest of the gals like it.

Never did get a project done for Kaboodle Doodles though. I am soooooo bad! I went to a meeting of SU demos last night that I hadn't met with in over three years - what fun!!! Great swaps and great make & take projects too. Lots of ideas got exchanged and I learned a lot and you might even be seeing some of it here on the old bloggo.

Sassy Chic Stamp Camp this weekend in Longmont. If you live in the northern Colorado area and are interested, just drop me a line and I'll get information to you. It is a really fun camp and I'll post my projects as soon as I get them done!

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do it Yourself Desktop (warning long winded)

First - let's talk software

There are so many excellent digital scrapbooking products out there. Here is a review of some of them. These range in price from $25 to $40 but there are also freebie graphics editing programs out there that you can use to create digital pages either for a scrapbook or for your computer desktop. Here's a breakdown of three of these alternatives. I have used Gimp for graphics editing and page creation and it is okay. For most of my graphics work though I fall back on either Paint Shop Pro (Corel) or Photoshop Elements (Adobe). These two have the most flexibility and tool options and are pretty easy to use. I've also recently acquired DrawPlus (Serif) but I haven't had a chance to play with it yet. There's tons of places on the web to get tutorials - both written and video as well - for working with digital editing software. I took a couple of online classes from Jessica Sprague that were either free or very inexpensive and learned so much. She has a whole series of Photoshop Friday lessons that are quick and easy and cover a single topic very thoroughly. Stampin' Up! also has an excellent product called My Digital Studio that is very user friendly and flexible and it also comes with the added plus of having all your favorite SU papers, stamps and elements available. You need to experiment and find what works best for you.

Now - on to the goodies

I am a total graphics nut. I have always been a total graphics nut even before the advent of computers. Cut, paste, draw. copy, print ... create! I did many, many newsletters and flyers using this technique. When computers came along, I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I've been collecting clip art, fonts and all sorts and types of graphics since I got my first pc - way back in the dark ages of the early 1980's. In this day and age there are so many options out there that you can easily become overwhelmed. Lots of folks give theirs away. This includes images, paper, textures, photo overlays, photoshop actions, brushes .... so many that I can't list them all. I am working on beefing up my resources page to include some of my favorite sites for both freebies and for inexpensive but great quality digital products. There's a few on there now but there will be a lot more very soon as I am compiling things as I work on this post.

Down to the nitty-gritty

The first thing I do is open a blank image file the correct size for my computer desktop (in my case I use 1280x1024). Once I have a blank image open I can fill it up with anything and everything I want. To figure out the size you need, right click anywhere on your desktop and select "Properties":




It is important that whatever graphics software you use allows you to work with layers. This is how you can put things into your image on top of one another - for example putting a frame on top of a picture on top of some nice papers. Once you get the hang of working with layers you can do almost anything. Also, it's nice to be able to apply certain effects to your images. I almost always add a drop shadow to elements that I put on the image. This is what makes it look 3D instead of flat.

I usually start with the background papers and work up from there. Sometimes I'll just use one or two and sometimes (like this month) I'll use more. Right now my collections of materials are organized in folders based on the company I got them from. Usually, I just go shopping in my digi directory and find something that appeals to me. Papers can come from one source, elements (like flowers, ribbons, brads, bling) come from others. Frames and photo masks usually come next and then I'll add my calendar for that month. I have a couple of sources for calendars, (Sweet Shoppe has good selection) but for 2012 I am actually going to try to do my own (they'll show up on the digital freebies page once they are done). Some of the images I use are transparent (usually .png files) and others are not. I tend to like the transparent ones the best, but sometimes my calendar for the month will just sit on top of everything else.

I don't know if any of this information is helpful. I am a total hack when it comes to this. I have taken some online classes but most everything I have learned has been by trial and error. It's a fun process though once you get past being frustrated that is.
I can try to answer any questions you have but I can't make any promises that I'll know the right answers. I encourage you to play with this though - it's really fun and once you get the hang of it, it's really pretty easy too.

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday Night Stamping

Well, as usual it was a fun filled night stamping with my bff Sabrina. I didn't manage to get any pix of her cards this week though - darn! I did get some pix of my cards today once the sun came out. These were all pretty much collaborative efforts. Once I got started, Sabrina would pipe in with suggestions and magic would happen!






The top two cards were made with images from the Wax Fruit Company. I just love Arielle's art - so fun to color and so versatile and the challenges she posts on colourQ are always so much fun! The next two cards were made with an image from Glitterbabe's Digis - Stef is one talented lady and she's really funny to boot. I love visiting her blog. The last card is an adaptation of one of the cards from a stamp camp at the beginning of the month. You can see the original card here and one other that I made here. The designer paper piece of this card is pretty involved, so I made up 8 of them at once and am slowly but surely making cards out of them.

This card was selected as a colourQ Courtier this week on the colourQ challenge blog! YAY! I'm hoping to get a few more challenge cards made this week as I think I'm finally getting back into the groove (couldn't have anything to do with DH finally being home could it?)

I've had a few requests to talk about how I create my monthly desktops. I'm starting to work on October and am taking notes so that I can put up a post explaining exactly how I do it. It's not hard and it's really a lot of fun to personalize your computer's desktop, especially if you're like me and spend a good part of your day in front of one computer or another.

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Challenge Blog Catch-Up

I've got three challenge cards to share from this weekend. First up is Sentimental Sundays. Our challenge is to make a monochromatic card and I remade my stamp camp card in monochrome and I really like how it turned out:



Next is Heart Song Inspirations. Our challenge this week is to use the color orange and/or use buttons:


I am also entering this card in the Tuesday Throwdown fall challenge.

Last but not least is Kaboodle Doodles. Our challenge this week is to make a card using lots of layers:


All these challenges have excellent prizes offered and I encourage you to visit and play along for your chance to win!

DH is home, safe and sound. It certainly is nice to have him home again. Sabrina and I had our usual great time making cards last night and I'll be sharing my creations as soon as I get some pix taken (hopefully with tomorrow's post).


Thanks for visiting!

~chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Desktop

Well DH is on his way from NJ where he stopped to see my dad and stepmom and is well into PA. He's officially on his way HOME!!!! Belmira has been put to bed for the winter and things will get back to as normal as they get around here soon.

Every month for the past couple of years, I have created a custom desktop for my computers (work, home, laptop). I started out using some freebie monthly desktops, but eventually began to make my own using my library of digital scrapbooking materials. I thought I'd share this month's desktop with you and maybe (if you are all interested that is), share it monthly? I can also offer up a freebie of my monthly desktop with spaces for you to fill in your own pictures. Is this something you might be interested in? We'll try it this month and see how you like it. Here's this month's desktop:



If you are interested in getting a blank one for your own use, just leave me a comment asking for it and I will send it to you. If you don't want to leave a comment, just email me. I used a bunch of different sets to create this and am now realizing the value in keeping track of what came from where. Next month (if we decide this is a good thing), I will keep track of where the various elements came from so you can go get them for yourself if you like them.

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Friday, September 16, 2011

This week's Stamp Camp Project

I'm so excited about tomorrow's stamp camp in Westminster, CO. The group took the summer off and we'll be starting off our new stamping year with a bang! Lots of fun projects. Here's mine:


It is a direct case of this card by a fabulous stamper named Fran Sabad (stampersblog.franticstampers.com). I totally fell in love with this card when I saw it and knew it would make the perfect project for my stamp campers!

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ColourQ Challenge #102

This is the challenge this week at ColourQ:


Here's my card:



I had fun with this although I don't think it's quite as vibrant as that lovely pix of colorful bowls. I would not have thought to put these colors together so it was a challenge and fun. Card base is Certainly Celery and I used a dsp mat from the Neutrals Collection. The image is another one of those fun Joann's $1 stamps that I stamped with Black Craft ink and then clear embossed and colored with Poppy Parade, Certainly Celery and Tempting Turquoise markers. It was cut with an oval nestie and layered on a Basic Gray nestie cut scalloped oval. The ribbon is Certainly Celery grosgrain from SU and I added a brad from some Basic Grey brads that I have had laying around for years. I broke them out earlier this week and used a couple others too. Dipping into stash is always fun!

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Designed 2 Delight Image Challenge

The gals at Design 2 Delight are hosting an Autumn Harvest - Friday Image Challenge over at their challenge blog. This is a progressive challenge and if you submit a card this week you'll get a free image next week. I always promise myself I'm going to get it done and don't often manage it, but this week I did. Here's my card:



I just love this image! I colored it with copics and cut it out with a nestie. Mounted on another nestie and sponged the edges. The dsp layer is from my stash and I have no idea what it is, but I have two more 6x6 pieces and have big plans for fall cards using them. Cardstock is Peach Parfait and the sentiment is from Grateful Greetings (both are SU) the green used here is Pear Pizzazz, also from SU. Ribbon is More Mustard (SU).

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Monday Night Stamping

As promised, here are some pix of the projects that Sabrina and I worked on on Monday night. First up, Sabrina's fabulous creations:




The butterfly is a gorgeous stamp that Sabrina picked up by Inkadinkado. It is emobssed with some of the gorgeous antique brass embossing powder we used last week on our butterflies.

Now here's a couple of mine:



The top card uses another one of those great $1 stamps from Joann's! I'm getting ready for this weekend's stamp camp in Westminster, CO and it should be loads of fun. We took a break for the summer and it will really be good to be back. I'll have some pix of my project to show you along with a couple of challenge cards I made very soon!


Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sentimental Sundays - yes I know it's Tuesday!

I never got my post done for this week's Sentimental Sundays challenge. Here's my card and if it looks familiar - check out the 2nd card in my Sassy Chic Stamp Camp post and you'll see my inspiration:


I'll have a recap of Monday Night stamping tomorrow so be sure to stop by - we had lots and lots of fun! And guess what - there are butterflies - I know you're shocked that I made cards with butterflies - LOL. I still get comments at stamp camps when my card doesn't have one somewhere on it!

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Sassy Chic Stamp Camp - 9/10/2011

If you missed the Sassy Chic stamp camp on Saturday, September 10, let me just show you what exactly you missed:












If you live in the Longmont/Boulder, Colorado area and want to be included in these monthly stamp camps, simply email me using the link in the sidebar and let me know you want to be added to the stamp camp email list and we will make sure that you are notified of the date and specifics of each month's camp. This is an extremely talented group of gals and I feel so fortunate that they let me play along with them sometimes. The next camp is on October 1, so be sure to email me so that you will get all the details of how to register, etc.

I have some great stuff to share from my Monday night stamping adventure with my bff Sabrina and I will have that for your viewing pleasure tomorrow so be sure to stop by and check that out!

Thanks for visiting!

~chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Heart Song Inspirations Challenge #15

Today's challenge on Heart Song Inspirations is to use Glitter and/or Chipboard on your project - how fun!!! Here's my card:



The card base is Poppy Parade (SU) and the image is Poppies from Heart Song Designs and I colored it with Copics and added some of the new SU glitter glue to the centers and cut it out with a nestie. The sentiment is from Love & Care from the SU Summer Mini catalog and I added some Basic Grey brads. I created the background using an unmounted SU wheel (I can't remember the name now) with versamark, heat & stick and Iridescent Ice. I know you've all heard this before, but it is really sparkly in real life even though I couldn't capture it with the camera. Here's a detail shot that might give a better idea:



I have a lot of things to share with you this week and I'm hoping I manage to get to them all. Belmira is now out of the water and sitting in her winter home and I'm hoping that this means that DH will be on his way home by the end of the week. YAY!!!! I know that I got to spend a month with him aboard, but he hasn't been at home since May. It will be good to have him back home again.

Thanks for visiting!

chris

Design Team Coordinator:
Sentimental Sundays
Kaboodle Doodles

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials used in the work displayed on this blog, feel free to use the email link on the left and I will gladly answer your questions.