This month's gallery celebrated lists of ten. It's summertime and free time is at a premium. As we look for ways to streamline our pages and productivity, we realize that journaling is is a terrific place to do so. Let's look back through our gallery and make a list of lists we can make.
This month our theme is Ten Things. Lists are suck a lovely way to capture the essentials. They can help you focus your thoughts, to make order out of your photo stacks, and to provide a starting place for a layout. Let's look and see how our awesome team took on the theme. If you would like to see the layouts larger and read the journaling, pop on over to the photo album!
The Best Thing about New York City | Aliza Deutsch
A Note from Aliza A co-worker recently played the song, “New York City” by They Might Be Giants at work. I am not usually a romantic music type, but as soon as I heard it, I felt a little teary, and I knew I wanted to make a layout with me and my husband. I typed out the lyrics to the chorus on vellum, and I used my top 10 photos from around the city, that I felt captured the city and our lives in it. However, I didn't have a picture of us together! I had to do a little silly Photoshop work to make that happen.
July Fun Fact We just celebrated our 17 year anniversary.
Top Ten Favories | Celeste Smith
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (Emily Merritt Bright, Allison Pennington Twirl, Shalin Studio Melon Sorbet, One Little Bird Click, Valorie Wibbens Tales of Summer, Paislee Press Road Trip) + word art (Erica Hernandez 31 Things) + elements (Sahlin Studio Melon Sorbet, Valorie Wibbens Sprinkles v14, One Little Bird Click) + fonts (Headline, Underword Champion)
A Note from Celeste Erica Hernandez recently offered a series of 31 "All About Me" word art prompts on her blog. I just loved how she made the cut outs with the titles so I took one of them and modified it a bit to make my title. I then wrote up my list and gathered photos that I had on hand paired with images from the web to create a grid. This gives a little snapshot into my June.
July Fun Fact I might be a little too excited for both my boys to go to sleep away camp the same week this month. I know by mid-week I'll be missing them terribly!
10 Weeks of Viggo | Lisa Ottosson
8.5 x 11 | materials patterned paper (Project Life Blush Filler Cards)+ stickers (American Crafts Minimarks, KI memories, Lillibean soup)
A Note from Lisa I twisted the theme of favorite 10 a bit. Almost every week since my nephew was born in February I have featured a photo of him in my Project Life album, calling it Weekly Viggo. On this layout I have 10 weeks worth of Weekly Viggos' ;)
July Fun Fact I love being an aunt! I couldn't have imagined how much it would mean to me. And of course my 2 nieces and 2 nephews are the greatest kids!
Ten Random Facts | Jenny Larson
12 x 12 | materials cardstock (Bazzill) + patterned paper (Scenic Route, October Afternoon, Jillibean Soup, Lily Bee Designs) + vellum (Crate paper) + circle cutter (Coluzzle) + die cut (Quickutz) + wood veneer (Studio Calico) + ink (Studio Calico, Jenni Bowlin) + stickers (October Afternoon) + die cut (Crate paper) + pen (Zig) + fonts (Times New Roman)
A Note from Jenny Larson I decided to make a top ten list of my favorites, but I couldn’t limit myself to one in each category, so this is a top ten list of lists!
July Fun Fact I discovered recently that rubble and debris scenes in superhero movies make me mildly anxious. I always wonder who will clean up the mess.
10 Favorite Pictures | Ann Costen
12 x 12 | materials software (Adobe) + digital kit (Gennifer Bursett Collab) + fonts (Travelling Typewriter, Contribute, Gill Sans Ultrabold)
A Note from Ann For this month's theme, I chose to do a pictorial list by creating the first 12x12 layout from our epic adventure to South East Asia in March 2013. I was so exhausted from the trip that it took me several weeks just to edit some pictures and get them printed. I took close to 4000 pictures over 24 days so it was quite difficult to pick the 10 that are part of this layout. Looking at these, I'm still amazed at all that we did and saw on this trip! I am creating a 5-up album to document this trip (to be shared in September) and I'm using the same digital kit for both the 5-up album and the 12x12 pages.
July Fun Fact We ate deep fried bamboo worms and stir-fried frogs in Thailand. We drew the line at the BBQ field rats and did NOT eat those!
Top Ten | Amy Coose
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (Studio Calico, Basic Grey) + letters (Basic Grey) + tags (Chic Tags) + cork embellishments (Studio Calico) + die cut machine (Silhouette Cameo)
A Note from Amy I wanted to capture my family’s top ten lists so that we would be able to look back and see what was important to us. I am going to make sure that I do this every year, so we can see how our tastes change.
July Fun Fact I am not a big fan of summer because I HATE to be hot. Sweating all day long doesn't appeal to me in the least, and I’d take the cold over the heat any day!
A Note from Christine I have several layouts over the years that depict sun rays (both digital and paper). To me it is the perfect symbol of summer and I love creating the sun rays. For this layout, I layered washi tape horizontally and vertically across a sheet of white cardstock. Then I cut out the big circle from the layers of tape to create the main part of my sun.
July Fun Fact I think of July as the "sandwich month" of summer. June is the start and August is the end. July doesn't seem as fun, but I'm determined to make it fun this year!
A Note from Christa My oldest daughter just finished up fifth grade this year and I just can't believe how utterly fast time flies! I had her come up with her best moments of elementary school list and it was so fascinating to see what stuck out to her versus what stuck in my mind.
July Fun Fact July is all about water activities for us since it gets so incredibly hot here. Looking forward to field trips to several beaches with my family!
Life…there's an app for that! | Diane Payne
12 x 12 | materials cardstock (American Crafts) + patterned paper (Studio Calico) + buttons (Studio Calico, My Mind's Eye) + flair (A Flair For Buttons) + washi tape (K&Co.) + mist (Studio Calico, Heidi Swapp) + stickers (Studio Calico) + fonts (Bebas)
A Note from Diane Doing a layout about how much I love apps and how they have simplified my life and made things more fun has been on my mind for awhile. The "Top 10" theme this month was the perfect way to document it. As I sit here looking at my finished layout I've noticed that four of my favorite apps are photography related and one other app tracks all my social media and lets me record little notes and photos that I don't post to social media. It is easy to see from this layout that my iPhone and its apps are an important tool in my memory keeping process.
July Fun Fact I recently traveled to France with my husband and while there enjoyed a cooking lesson with a chef that cooked for Jacques Chirac, the former President of France.
First 10 Books | Marnie Flores
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (Glitz) + font (Bondoluo)
A Note from Marnie For the past few years I have tried to read 5 books a month. This year, I am hoping for 2 a month and trying to keep my house tidy each day. Much less fun...
July Fun Fact Football practice begins this month. With five days of gymnastics and five days of football each week, June seemed to slip through our fingers. We are going to make a better effort to enjoy summer this month!
A Note from Jennie This layout was inspired by SUMMER! I knew I wanted a fresh color palette so I stuck to crisp pastels and built from there.
July Fun Fact I love summer! Heat doesn't bother me nearly as much as winter. With a pool in our backyard, you'll find me out there with my boys most days!
NYC Road Trip Songs | Katie Ehmann
12 x 12 | materials cardstock (American Crafts) + patterned paper (Crate Paper, Fancy Pants, Dear Lizzy, October Afternoon) + thickers (American Crafts) + stickers (Crate Paper, October Afternoon, Pink Paislee, Studio Calico)
A Note from Katie This layout is based on my road trip to NYC to visit my sister last week. We drove 11 hours each way and also drove to the beach on Long Island one day, so we were in the car a lot. We had such fun listening to Top 40 pop songs! I wanted a fun, layered look for this layout, and used two pics from my phone to document the drive.
July Fun Fact In early August I’m taking an adults only girls trip with a couple of friends to Disney World! I can’t wait!
10 Things I Didn't Expect | Amy Sorensen
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (Basic Grey) + alpha stickers (Echo Park, Lilybee, Pebbles) + notebook journaling card (Elle's Studio) + corner punch (Fiskars) + "10 Things" stamp (Close to My Heart) + label stamp (Technique Tuesday) + puffy cloud stickers (American Crafts) + various stickers from my "Words" drawer + font (Samo Sans)
A Note from Amy Grouping a bunch of word stickers together is one of my favorite techniques lately.
July Fun Fact Sometime this month, neighbors will start bringing tomatoes, peaches, and various types of squash to me from their gardens. I can't wait to make a big batch of fried zucchini.
A Note from Valerie It was fun to record 10 things about my son that are "right now." I kept supplies and complexity to the bare minimum and will most likely add an 8 1/2 x 11 photo when placing in an album. This is something I look forward to periodically doing again in the future.
July Fun Fact Looking forward to camping with friends this month.
Before we go, we have some good and bad news. Bad first.
The time has come to say goodbye to Erin Sweeney, Deb Duty, Monika Wright, and Paula Gilarde. However can we do that?? Erin and Paula have been with us from the beginning--we love Erin's sense of humor and Paula's innate goodness. Monika joined us not long after we started and brought with her unbridled enthusiasm and kindness. Then Deb came. With a depth of compassion and her well designed pages she won us over immediately. Saying goodbye to them brings us heavy hearts, though we know they are all bound for much success. Thank you, friends, for your dedication and hard work, and for touching our lives for the better.
And now the good news. We want to introduce to eight new teammates. We are so excited to have them join us and we can't wait for you to fall in love with them as we already have begun to. Here they are!
Aren't they beautiful? They are wonderful women who make wonderful pages. To get to know them more, click on their name in the left hand column where you will find some bios bits and links to their blogs. Oh, how excited we are to have them join our family!
Thank you for stopping by. Please leave some love for our departing friends and for those arriving.
This summer, perhaps because it feels like my family is about to change abruptly (my oldest daughter is leaving for college soon), I've found myself looking backward at summers past—when all my kids were small. I still have plenty of not-yet-scrapped photos from those years and I've loved revisiting those moments. I think that's part of scrapbooking's appeal: not just that the memory is preserved, but the remembering that happens during the scrapbooking process.
I like to bring new techniques to older photos, and one of my recent favorites is creating a text frame with my Silhouette. It took me a little while to figure out how to do this, so I thought I'd share the steps.
1. Choose the shape of your frame. You can draw a shape, or you can use one that you've purchased. If you're using a purchased shape that is already a frame, ungroup it and then delete the outer edge of the frame (so you just have one solid shape).
2. Select the shape, then right click and choose Offset. This creates a larger copy around the shape. Use the slider to change the distance between the two shapes—this will be the width of the text frame. Choose Round if you want to round the outside edges of your frame, or leave Corner selected if you want it offset exactly.
3. Once the shape's frame is the way you want it, select both the inner and outer shapes by dragging to select them.
4. Click on Object, Modify, Subtract. This makes the inner part of the frame empty so that when you add the text, it will weld properly.
5. Size the frame to the height and width you want.
6. Type your text. It's easiest to type each word as its own shape, especially if you want different text sizes or fonts for each one. Once the text is typed, weld each piece (THIS POST explains how to weld—just scroll down to the last section).
7. Weld the text and frame together. Make sure some part of each word overlaps something else, either the frame or another word (or both). If the lines only barely touch, they won’t weld, but the overlap doesn’t have to be huge, either. Just enough—you want to still be able to recognize the letters. You want at least one part of the text to overlap the frame. Once you're happy with the position of the text within frame, select it all. Then right click and chose Weld.
Here are two examples of layouts with text frames:
For this one, I made the text frames with several tag and label shapes I’d purchased from the Silhouette store online.
I spent some time after cutting everything out, drawing grey lines around the words because I wanted to add a bit more definition to the letters.
For this layout (you know, the one on which I didn't get the quote exactly correct, because I decided to add it after I'd printed the photo with the first part, and really, I'm mostly OK with it not being exactly correct...)
I drew the big rounded-corner frame by using the "Draw a Round Rectangle" button in the Silhouette software. Mixing letters printed on my photo with letters cut from the Silhouette is another new technique I’m loving right now—check back in July for another how-to!
But until then, seriously: whatever phase your life is at—married, single, little kids, big kids, empty-nester—enjoy every single day of your summer because really...it’ll be over before we know it. Happy summer!
Ahhh...June. That mix of freedom before boredom sets in, the here-at-last feeling of warm sunshine, the prickle of a sunburn or two. (And hayfever, she writes, sneezing three times in twenty seconds.)
June might just be the most perfect summer month!
And sure: there are lots of Big Events to scrapbook during the summer: family vacations and reunions, 4th of July celebrations, camping trips and days at the pool. But to celebrate June, I'm sharing ten journaling prompts to help you document the little details of your summer. Hopefully they'll jog your memory for summers past (both yours and your kids'!) as well as get you looking forward to this summer's adventures.
1. Fill in the blank:It wouldn't be summer without ______________________.
When I was a kid, the best part of summer was afternoons, when I was finished with chores and gymnastics. I'd sit outside on the patio in the shade of the peach tree, reading books. It wouldn't've felt like summer without those peaceful afternoons! Sometimes it's the big things that make a season feel right, sometimes it's the small ones. But it's a fun thing to document.
Here I journaled about a few things that make summer summer. Watermelon is definitely high on the list at my house (I try to keep one in the fridge at all times.)
2. Write about your favorite summer foods.
Speaking of watermelon! Some of our favorites are pizza pasta salad, macaroni salad, homemade chunky-chocolate vanilla ice cream, and buttermint-and-oreo dessert. There are trips to the little corner slushy stands for shaved ice, and to the yogurt parlor, and to the bakery for cupcakes. And all the traditional family-barbeque favorites.
3. Capture the high points.
Summer summaries are one of my favorite kinds of layouts. Grab one photo from June, July, and August, then journal about the best parts of the summer. (Read more ideas for summer summary layouts HERE.)
4. Write about the swim suit.
Whether you're three or thirty three, there''s something memorable about picking out your swim suit for the summer. From cute to stylish to sleekly functional, a swim suit says something about a person's personality. Document some of the details—where you bought it, what influenced the decision, and the adventures carried out in it.
In this layout, I wrote about an accidental hand-me-down swimsuit that became a favorite:
5. Detail a favorite hiking trail.
What would summer be without plenty of hikes? (For me...dismal. Utterly dismal!) Pick your favorite hiking trail and journal about why you like it, how many times you've hiked it, the surprising experiences and familiar places you find there. Or pick a small detail. For example, on my favorite trail, about one-third the way up, there's a stone that's shaped like a shoulder blade. I look forward to passing it every time I hike the trail—but I'm not sure I've ever journaled about it on a layout.
6. Capture the details of a summer friendship.
The lazy days of summer change the tempo and texture of friendships. Write about how your children and their friends interact during the summer, from those long bike rides to the gas station for candy bars and soda pop to sleep overs in the backyard.
7. Record this summer's song.
Remember how last summer, everywhere you went you heard Carly Rae Jepson's song "Call Me Maybe"? Even if you groaned every time you heard it, it's undeniable: hearing it helps you remember what summer 2012 felt like. "THE" song of summer in your world might not be such a widely-known one, but it does seem like there's usually a song or two that captures the summer. (The opening strains of the Pet Shop Boy's song "Rent," for example, take me right back to 1988.) Which songs are your summer's soundtrack?
8. "Flow" with water.
From the beach to the lake to the back yard sprinklers, water and summer go hand and hand. You can go deep here—are you afraid of the depths or do you live to swim? or just get a little bit splashy—do you remember playing with the hose as a kid?
9. Write about your relationship to the heat.
I have one kid who loves summer absolutely, with no reservations about the heat. Someone else in my family (namely: ME!) turns into a crabby, grumpy, and downright prickly when it gets too hot. Everyone else falls somewhere in the middle. How do you or your family members feel about the heat? What do you do to cool off? What is the weather usually like during the summer where you live?
10. Document how your kids pass the time.
Without any school, there are a lot of hours to fill during the summer! What activities keep your kids occupied? How do you handle it when they're bored? Try keeping a list throughout the summer of books they read, mischief they got in to, or clever activities they invented.
With just one week left this month, it is that time again. That time where we take one last look at the gallery before we celebrate a new one. Shall we begin?
This month we celebrated all things daily. Routines. Repeat adventures. The tedious. The average. The little things that fill our days and our lives. To make our lookback more educational, we have included a tip that you can use to help you better understand what makes a great page. We hope you enjoy the last look.
Hope you enjoyed our gallery walk! Until next month...
Welcome to the final day of Silhouette week with me, Amy Sorensen. (I’m wishing I had more days to blog about this topic—we’ve barely scratched the surface.) Today I wanted to cover some helpful tips and techniques that work with the versatility of the cutter. Let’s jump right in!
A Few Silhouette Secrets
1. The secret to making your cutting mat stay sticky for longer. I discovered this the hard way: I once left a nearly-brand-new cutting mat sitting out, uncovered, on my desk. For an entire ten days of vacation! It was so dusty when I got back, it would hardly hold anything. That’s when I learned that to keep your mat sticky for as long as possible, you’ve got to keep it covered with the plastic sheet it comes with. This keeps the dust out and it also seems to revitalize the stickiness a little bit. Find yourself with a cutting-mat full of objects you’ve cut but don’t have time to peel off? Cover everything up with that plastic sheet until you’re ready to peel.
2. The secret to a dust-free mat. Even though I try to keep my mats protected, they eventually get a little bit of dust on them, or a few tiny pieces of cardstock from intricate cuts. Every once in awhile, give your cutting mat a wash. Use warm water, a little bit of dishwashing soap, and piece of scrunched-up plastic wrap in place of a rag. Rub gently with the plastic to wash off the dust and scraps, then let the mat air dry. (And then hurry up, put the plastic cover back on!) This won’t make the adhesive as sticky as it was when you bought the mat, but it will extend the stickiness.
3. The secret to removing little scraps. Use packing tape! Whenever I cut something that leaves a whole bunch of small leftover pieces, I reach for some packing tape. Roll it into a loop and carefully press it on top of the small remnants. Then peel the tape off and the remnants come off with the tape.
4. The secret to keeping stuff in place. Sometimes your cutting mat has simply lost all its sticky, and you don’t have a new one yet, but you need to cut something. Washi tape to the rescue! I mentioned this on Monday but I think it’s so useful it deserves its very own tip. Jennifer is the brilliant mind behind the idea: use washi tape to hold down the paper/cardstock you’re cutting. It peels right off when you’re finished. Just make sure that the object you’re cutting isn’t too close to the edge of the mat, so it doesn’t overlap the washi. This works perfectly when you only have a small piece of something you want to cut from.
5. The secret to not replacing your blade. If your blade starts to seem dull before its time, pull it out of the cutter and clean out the little tube it’s encased in. Small scraps of paper can clog the space around the blade, making it hard to turn and causing it to cut less precisely.
Silhouette Technique: Foundation Piecing
One of my other favorite hobbies is quilting, and I find that the techniques I learn with fabric quite often translate, in one way or another, to scrapbooking. Foundation piecing is a quilting technique that’s useful for small or intricate shapes; it involves using paper as a foundation, then removing it once you’ve sewn the small pieces together.
I figured out this technique when I made the title for this layout:
I wanted the title to have a mosaic feel, like the tiles you find in a swimming pool. I glued down a whole bunch of diamond shapes on a foundation of white printer paper, welded the word "memory" in the Silhouette software (I used Bemio, which I use almost every time I have a word with a lower-case y because I love this font’s y), and then cut it out with the covered-with-diamonds foundation.
Here’s another example, with step-by-step instructions:
I’ve been wanting to recreate in paper the spiderweb potholders from this blog post ever since I saw it last fall. (I also am itching to make a Halloween quilt—instead of potholders—with the same idea, but that’s totally another post!) Here’s how I made them:
1. I used this triangle card cut file by Loni Harris:
2. I ungrouped the object and deleted the triangle with the flowers:
3. Then I deleted the perforated line, drew a solid one, and grouped it all back together, which gave me a pair of 60° triangles:
4. Next I sized the paired triangles and then copy and pasted the object twice. I rotated one (click on the object, then click Object, Rotate, 180° degrees) and then lined up everything. I grouped these three triangle pairs, copied and pasted, and moved the second one down the mat:
5. Once the cut file was prepared, I got the foundation ready. I used a blank piece of white printer paper and some .5"-ish patterned paper strips. (Two of these are paper selvage—the cute edge design you cut from the edge of a 12x12 sheet.) I inked the edges of the strips, then glued them onto the white printer paper. (It’s necessary to apply glue all the way to the edge of the patterned paper strips!)
6. After letting the foundation piece dry, I cut it into two 8.5" x 2" strips, stuck these on my cutting mat in the corresponding spots, and sent it through the Silhouette. Before cutting, I changed the Cut Settings to Double Cut, since it needed to cut through two pieces of paper. (Click on the Cut button, then Change Settings to change to a Double Cut. This setting will stay in place until you change it.)
7. After cutting, I peeled the triangles off the mat and assembled the spider web following the directions in the potholder link (using double-stick tape instead of thread). Full disclosure: I had to re-glue three of the tiny triangle points. And I learned that it works better to put the web together by making two half-hexagon shapes rather than going in a circle. The edges don’t all quite match up without overlapping them a bit.
I can’t quite express how ridiculously happy these spider webs made me! I think they’d look equally as cute done in blue patterns (as snowflakes) and in pastels (as flowers.)
Silhouette Technique: Use the Pens
The first few times I used my Silhouette, I was a little bit afraid. Probably silly, but overcoming that initial will-I-do-it-right resistance was a little tough for me. That’s probably why I haven’t tried the Silhouette pens yet—but I do believe Diane has helped me get over my fears! She shared this layout:
The "Kisses for Daddy" title was done with the Silhouette pens. Here is her advice for using the pens:
Some designs in the Silhouette store are specifically for sketching. You can search for them by entering sketch designs. They also are indicated with the letter "S" in a grey box. Here's an example of one:
You don't have to use a design that is designated as sketch but sketch/outline images work best.
To sketch a design with your pens, replace the blade with the sketch pen of your choice and from the cut menu choose "sketch pen" under the cutting options. When you are done sketching an item you can also cut it out. To do this, leave the design you just sketched in place in the cutter, offset the design, change the pen back to the blade and cut the offset line.
For fonts, the thin ones work best. There are some options in the Silhouette store and several options at Lettering Delights too.
One great idea for the Silhouette pens is to use them to write the salutation on the inside of a card, like here:
To figure out where to place the text, draw a rectangle the same size as your open card in the Silhouette software. On the right side of the rectangle (the inside part of the card once it's folded), type the greeting, saying, or sentiment you want. Then place the cardstock or patterned paper on the cutting mat in the spot that corresponds to the place the image is in the software. Then delete the box and follow the above steps to sketch.
See! Totally not scary. I'm going to order pens next time I need a new mat or blade.
Silhouette Technique: Hybrid Scrapbooking
Christine taught me about the potential for using digital scrapbooking products with the Silhouette cutters. You can drag .jpg and .png files right from your file manager into the Silhouette Studio window. You can then use the trace and cut feature to turn the image into an object you can cut. To trace the image, click on it, then select Trace from the Object menu. Draw a space around the part you want to trace, then click on the Trace button. Delete the original image and you're left with the shape you can now send to the cutter as usual.
You can also use digital patterned paper with your Silhouette. Open the cut file you'd like to cut. Then drag the patterned paper from your file manager to the object in Silhouette Studio. When you let go of your mouse, the paper fills the shape. Use the print and cut feature to finish the piece.
Here's a great example to show the flexibility of the Silhouette when its paired with digital supplies. Christine created both an entirely digital layout:
and then a paper one with the same supplies as a hybrid layout:
Brilliant, yes? Christine will be sharing other hybrid scrapbooking techniques later this month—I'm excited to learn other techniques from her!
The awesome part (well, besides its general gorgeousness): The circle "Love" text embellishment? Totally free! Every Friday, Chic Tags has a free cut file download. The Silhouette store has a weekly free cut file. And you can get the free WCS cut files monthly! We post these on the first day of the month.
And with that, we are at the end of the Silhouette week. I hope it's been helpful to you. Go forth, dear scrapbooker, and cut stuff out with your Silhouette. It's a great way to use your supplies!
I confess: all affection for pre-made cut files aside, the real reason I got a digital cutter was for the text capabilities. (After all, any type of alphabet-related supply is automatically my favorite!) The ability to cut out any font in existence? It's the Silhouette's coolest feature in my mind.
Of course, just because you CAN cut out every font in existence doesn't mean that every font looks great once it's cut. Some fonts have lines that are too thin, or jagged edges, and some just don't translate well as digital cuts. Here are some favorite fonts:
And some ideas for text embellishments you can make with your Silhouette:
Add text to a solid embellishment
Amy Coose added the word "Sweet" to the tab shape and "Fun" on the chevron arrow. This is easy to do: Simply open the solid shape and size as needed. Click on the Text button, select the font you want to use, and type the word. Then move it right on top of the solid shape and resize. Group these two and you're done!
Christine does something similar with the title on this layout. A banner shape + a clean font (Blackout, in this case, which is a great go-to font) = a quick but awesome title!
Try finding solid shapes to cut that go along with the theme of your layout, or use a tag, journaling box, decorative square, or label shape. I quite often add the date to my layouts by typing it onto a solid shape and then cutting it out.
Use the negative shape
I do this quite often when I cut out words, because it's easier to glue down one piece (with all the letters aligned already!) than a whole bunch of smaller letters. Here's an example from Valerie:
By cutting the chevron designs and the title out of the same white cardstock—and keeping it all together—Valerie created a design that draws your eye right to the title.
This technique is so versatile! Use the negative shape as one of many layers, like Christine did in this layout:
(the script font is Pacifico, another versatile one!)
Write your journaling with negative shapes:
Christa, who is a color-mixing genius, shows that backing each line with a different color adds a certain pop that you can't get any other way.
Or, try mixing negative and positive shapes, like Diane did in this layout:
Layer the letters right on top of your photo for a fresh look.
Create a Mask
Cut out the word you want. Use temporary adhesive to stick it to your background, then spritz the piece with mist. Let it dry for a bit, then peel up the word. Here are a couple of examples:
This layout illustrates just what I love about masking a word: the contrast between the letters' clean edges and the more organic feel that the mist makes. I'm not sure I'll ever not like this!
Diane also shared a layout that uses a mask. This one has a longer, welded title (see the instructions for welding in yesterday's post), which she outlined with pen after the mist dried:
(The "good stuff" embellishment is also made with the Silhouette.) Different mists create different finishes—Diane's mist is less opaque than the one Valerie used, so it lets some of the background paper show through.
Make a great big title
I think it's creatively freeing to know you can cut any size, shape, or color of text that you want to with a Silhouette. For me, this freedom often results in big, big titles! You can make LARGE titles with enormous letters, as in this layout by Diane:
Or this one by Christa:
Or you can make a LONG title with lots of words. Grab an entire sentence from your journaling and turn it into a title. Use a short poem or some song lyrics. Or create a subway-art-esque piece with words that develop your journaling more fully, as in this layout by Valerie:
I used the words of a little jingle I made up for this layout's title:
A favorite quote is also a good source for a long title. Diane uses Captain Jack Sparrow's words in this layout:
And I used a favorite quote about this beach on this one:
Now! I have a question for you! I love the look of solid cut-out letters, so I rarely add the center of Os and As and Ds back in when I use negative shapes. (See the p, o, and b in the word "problem" on Diane's layout above to see what I mean.) Do you like to leave the centers empty? Or do you stick down the center shape? I'm curious!
Make sure to check back in tomorrow, when we'll be doing a give away!
Today we are looking at the Silhouette Studio software that comes with your digital cutter. (There is a different software, called Silhouette Studio Designer Edition, that is an upgrade to the standard software that ships with the cutter. We’re just looking at the standard software.) Once you learn some of the ins and outs of the software, using your Silhouette gets much easier and quicker. And more fun!
One of the most helpful features is Group/Ungroup. It does just what its name suggests: lets you separate and/or group objects together. As you use this feature you'll find it makes your workflow much faster.
When you open a cut file that has many different parts, they are always grouped together. For example, I just downloaded this "Life Card Words" cut file by Michelle Curie:
When I click on the image, I can move, size, and rotate every card at the same time. Keeping them grouped this way is helpful if I want to cut them all out at the same size and on the same color of cardstock or patterned paper.
But since I just want to cut the "she said" and "happy life" cards right now, I need to get rid of the rest. To do that, click on the image so that it’s selected. Right click, then chose Ungroup. Click somewhere outside of the image to deselect it. Then, click on the things you don’t want to cut. You can either do this one at a time, or you can click and drag to select multiple objects. Then just press delete:
Now I can move and size just the cards I want to cut. Ungrouping is helpful for may different types of cut files. Since ungrouping lets you work with individual parts of the object, you can cut things out in different colors or patterns. Take a butterfly for example: if you want the wings to be one color, the body another, the spots on the wings something different and then the antennae something else, you'd have to cut it out four different times without the Group/Ungroup feature. With it, you just ungroup all the parts, then move them to different places on the cutting mat. You can also modify things—maybe you want a larger border around that journaling card than the cut file originally designed, for example. So you could increase the size of the base while leaving the card the same size.
I use Group/Ungroup a lot in my Silhouette workflow.
Remember that when I am using my Silhouette, I try to cut out extras to have in my supplies? That means I’m often adding objects to the file I’m preparing. To keep this simple, I always have two studio tabs open at once. The first one is the main one, the screen I’m adding objects and words to and the one I will send to be cut. The second tab I think of as the "working" tab; it’s the one I use to open cut files from my library. That way I can ungroup cut files, then move only the objects I want to cut into my main screen, without accidentally moving the objects that are already there.
As an example, here is what my screen looked like the last time I used my Silhouette:
See on the bottom left corner, those two "untitled.studio" tabs? The white one is the main tab, the one I’m using to put together a mat’s worth of stuff to cut out. The greyed out tab is the working tab. Before I open another cut file, I switch to that screen so I can ungroup and then select just the items I want to cut.
Group/Ungroup is also useful when you’re cutting out letters. In this layout:
I wanted the title letters cut out from different patterned papers, but I also wanted the letters of each word to be the same height. Here’s how I did that:
1. I typed the word "silly" as a piece of text in my working tab.
2. I created a different piece of text for the word "pumpkin." (I used the font Verb Black for both.)
3. I sized each word to 5.25" wide.
4. When each word was the correct size, I used ungroup to turn each letter into its own object.
5. I cut and pasted random letters into different spots in my main tab, then organized them so they would be cut out of different patterned papers.
Another helpful function in the Silhouette Studio is the Weld feature. Weld connects individual objects into one object, blending the objects where they are touching. For example, in this layout:
I wanted the word "hug" to be mounted on three connected circles. So I drew three:
(If you hold the SHIFT key down while you’re drawing a shape, it makes it the exact same height and width.)
Then I lined them up:
Next I selected them all, right clicked, and chose Weld:
Weld is the tool you use when you want to connect letters into one piece, like Amy Coose did in this layout:
Here are the steps to take to weld words and letters together:
1. Type your text. If all of the letters will be the same size, you can just make one text object; if you want different sizes (or fonts), type each size as its own object. I usually set less-important words in a smaller font, like Amy did with the words "to have" above.
2. Ungroup the text so that each letter is a separate object.
3. Line up the letters in the design scheme you want. Make sure that each letter is slightly overlapping another letter. Sometimes you have to very slightly rotate a letter to make this happen.
4. Once you are pleased with the arrangement of letters and words, select the whole piece by dragging a box around everything. (Make sure everything is selected! the red line indicates it is selected.) Right click, then choose Weld.
5. Position as necessary on the screen, then cut.
Welding words is one of the Silhouette features I use the most. Words and letters in general, in fact, are the main reason I bought the machine. Tune in tomorrow for a day dedicated to all the wordy stuff you can do with the Silhouette.
Happy National Scrapbooking Day! To celebrate, today we're focusing on poetry.
But wait! Was that a groan I heard? A rumble of "how can poetry and scrapbooking and celebrating all be mentioned in one sentence?"
Because I know: for many, the word "poetry" inspires anxious memories of writing exam essays on confusing poems, trying to explain what the poet is trying to say. (I always hated that "What is the poet trying to say?" question. The poet isn't trying to say anything, she's saying exactly what she meant.) Or a professor droning on about Prufrock or Tintern Abbey or Hiawatha.
But poetry doesn't have to be dry or boring or difficult. Nor do you (now you're a grown up) have to write an essay about it. Instead it's a wellspring of scrapbooking inspiration! (Both for journaling and for embellishments.) It depends on the kinds of poems you're reading, but poetry adds a certain something to your layouts that nothing else can.
Back when I was teaching high school, I shared at least one "delicious poem" with my students every week. By "delicious" I meant the sort of poem that makes you say "mmmmmmm" when you're finished. The goal wasn't to analyze or argue anything, but to experience—to be surrounded by something aurally beautiful, to get caught up in imagining an image, to admire a perfectly exact metaphor. (Yes! A watermelon is like a buddha on the fruit stand!)
Those delicious poems are perfect for using on scrapbook layouts. Of course, you have to find them first! Some sources for poetry:
Every day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and then talks about some interesting bits of literary information. (You can have the almanac sent to you by email every day, or you can listen instead.) He is perhaps the master of delicious poems: the ones he shares are usually accessible but vivid all at once. Similarly, try his "Good Poem" books: Good Poems, Good Poems for Hard Times, and Good Poems: American Places.
This website has poetry organized by subject. You can also listen to poets reading their work.
the 811 section.
Go to your library's kids' nonfiction department and wander down the 811 aisle. This is American poetry written for kids and is a perfect source for scrapbookery inspiration! You'll find anthologies about different topics as well as discover new favorite poets. The more lighthearted aspect of (some) children's poetry makes it especially useful for layouts about your kids. (821 is the British poets if you're on that side of the pond.)
Go forth! Find some poems you love, and then use them on your layouts. They're a deep source for all sorts of layout inspiration; here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Use a small part of a poem as your layout's title.
For this layout's title, I used one line from Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem "Spring." I confess that I've used different parts from this poem on several different layouts. It's an infintely useful poem!
2. Use some of the poem as a subtitle:
I used a very small section of a much longer poem called "Elegy in Joy." Don't feel like you have to use all the poem's text. Sometimes (quite often in fact!) just a stanza or even a few lines will work with your topic. (See item #6 for more about this layout.)
3. Use the entire poem.
You can: type it out without any line breaks and create a text-based patterned paper. Print the poem on a journaling card. Print it in four long strips and make it a page border. Integrate it into your design by repeating an embellishment within the text. Print it in a huge font so that some of the end and beginning words print off the page. Choose a landscape, floral, or other photographic image that relates to the poem and then print the text on top of the image by creating a text layer in Photoshop. Print the poem in light grey text and then print your journaling on top of it. Create a piece of subway art, like this one:
Or you can always just print it out in a regular font size and stick it somewhere on your page!
4. Journal about a poem your child learned in school, like Celeste did in this layout:
5. Include a poem that your child wrote.
Journal about how the writing made you feel, like Paula did.
6. Use the poem to inspire your journaling.
My "Seeds" layout (number 2 above) came about when I read the Rukeyser poem. It made me start thinking about beginnings and endings and how things change, so I wrote a draft of the journaling and then went in search for some photos to go with my first impressions. There's a fairly large difference between the draft and the final journaling, which is OK; the point is that the journaling was inspired by the poem.
7. Write your own poem. I know, it sounds intimidating, but it's really not. It's not as if your Pulitzer depends upon it; it's just a different way of writing! Poetry is not much more than a set of structures and ideas you can use to shape your thoughts, but within the structure lies the creativity. You can write a free-verse poem, as Lisa did in this layout:
Or try some rhyming verse:
(I shared this layout before, on February's Write Saturday.)
The structure of the little poem in this layout was inspired by a children's book. Since I already had the form, the lines came together quickly---I crafted it in my head while I was shoveling snow!
Don't be intimidated by poetry. It's one of the most useful scrapbooking "supplies" you can use.
Welcome back to our Mother's Day Celebrations and Preparations! I am here to tackle the topic, "What I've Learned from my Mother." Sounds like a simple enough task, but I sit here wondering, "Hmm, where to begin? It's hard to know where to start, because, well, human babies learn about the world right from day one, through all the interactions and experiences with their environment and those around them. So we have learned from our mothers (and fathers, but we'll talk more about that in June) in countless different ways. And, as a mother, there is so much we want to teach our children before they move off on their own. How, oh how, to capture it all?
Tell A Story
Somtimes it's hard to wear your heart on your sleeve, or on your scrapbook page, but by simply capturing a story, you are saying, "This made an impact on me." And, a story about a person can capture their personality much more easily than putting all your thoughts and feelings into words. Here's a specific story about my mom; she recently fell and hurt her shoulder, and in her own retelling of the events of that day, her unflappable positive attitude came through. And that is just one of the reasons, my sister gave my mother the name, "Miss Mary Sunshine."
I feel quite lucky to have been surrounded by that positive energy and outlook throughout my life.
What about you? What story can you tell about your mother that refelcts who she is?
Describe a Memory
Is there a food, ritual, or object that always makes you think about your mother or grandmother? Take a picture of the item, and simply describe the memory it evokes. I am always reminded of my grandmother when I make Charoseth for Passover. Here, it's not about capturing a grand, life lesson, but rather a small moment, where all I learned was how to peel apples and chop some walnuts.
Lisa and Amy both scrapped about what they have or hope to have taught their own children.
Amy said that Mother's Day always makes her stop and think about how she's doing as a mom, and this was what she thought about. I suggest you read it closely. There are life lessons for all of us in there, and it's kind of a tear jerker. (Her daughter is off to college soon!)
Lisa, cleverly, asked her daughter to write down a few things that she learned from her. Her answer says, "to be nice to others, craft, take photos."
When Lisa mentioned that she asked her daughter this question, I shuddered to think what my sons would answer if I posed the same question to them. I knew they would use it as an opportunity to mock me. But growing up with Miss Mary Sunshine, I guess I have learned not to take things too seriously, and to enjoy a good laugh. So, when my son answered, "I learned that Totty is the better parent," I scrapped it anyway. One of the things I enjoy most about motherhood, is being surrounded by people who make me laugh. Even if it is at my expense.
Mother's Day Gift Idea: a Card
For today' gift idea, we are kickin' it old school, with a simple Mother's Day Card:
Thanks for joining me today! I hope you have found some inspiration here this week to document the mothers in your life, and, perhaps, to reflect on your own role as a mother. I think I have found enough inspiration this week to keep me going until next Mother's Day!