Thursday, October 27, 2011

Little Houses Cross-Stitch

Often now, during my Crafty Tuesday get-together with Jen, we spend the day working on our cross-stitch projects.  What could be more relaxing than spending the day together stitching, chatting and having tea?  Not much.  I also do some of my stitching at home otherwise it would take me forever to finish this project.  I've been trying to take photos now and then so I'll have a record of my progress.  It's fun to see how this pattern is slowly taking shape.

So this is what it's looking like so far...

I'm totally enjoying working with the Monaco fabric that I chose and counting threads has become second-nature to me.  I love the refined look it produces.  I have to say, there's something extremely satisfying in the simple act of making tiny x's with thread on a piece of fabric and seeing a beautiful design emerge.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Celebrate"...a birthday page

A quick post to share a layout I've done with photos from my mother's recent birthday.  I used a sketch from Inspired Blueprints and followed it very closely.  Banners might be a bit passé now but I had fun adding one here.  It's only the second time I've used one and it seemed fitting for a birthday page.  This was also the perfect time to pull out my glittery Pink Paislee vermillion alphas that I found on sale a while back!  They appear very orange in this photo but in reality are more of a red tone. 

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shimelle's Sketch of the Week

I've been following Shimelle Laine's blog very closely for well over a month now.  The members of my family have become very accustomed to hearing me talk about Shimelle.  It's Shimelle-this and Shimelle-that on a daily basis.  But honestly, I've never come across anyone who has inspired me so much to get my photos scrapped.  A lot of it has to do with Shimelle's basic scrapbooking philosophy.  Scrapbooking  is not a competition, it's not about spending a lot of money on supplies, it's not about having the biggest, best scrap room.  Scrapbooking is about telling our stories, however big or small they may be, and presenting them on pretty paper in a way that pleases us, whether we're creating our pages just for ourself or to share with friends and family or posting them on our blogs for the whole world to see.  Now that's a philosophy I can live by and one that inspires me to tell our little life stories.

This layout was done using Shimelle's sketch of the week which you can find here

Luckily for me, my family is still listening to me gush on and on about Shimelle and so far nobody has asked me to be quiet.  Maybe they like to see me inspired.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Project 365 - Week 13

I'm still plodding along slowly with this project but happy to be able to say that I'm still plodding along.  Yes, it's a tad uninspiring to work on due to the restriction I put on myself not to use buttons, brads and all things of a bumpy nature - although I have to say I'm happy with the result as far as how flat these pages are laying in the album.  Twenty-six pages in the album so far and it still closes beautifully without needing to add spacers or post extensions - a fiddly, time-consuming task which I really don't enjoy.

Anyway, I recently came up with a good idea to get myself scrapping these photos.  Since Jen and I have not been doing any scrappy projects during our weekly get-togethers and don't have plans for any right now, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to work on Project 365.  It motivates me to choose my sketches and pull out the supplies I need before going over there, and then I work on my pages while Jen does her own scrappy thing.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to get a good start on Week 13 and then finished it up here at home.  As a sidenote, our scrapping came to an end when Robert came home with cranberry-lemon scones from Starbucks and we decided to have tea instead!  But, had I not committed to working on my project at Jen's, I know these photos would still be sitting on my desk gathering dust!

I used this double-page sketch from Inspired Blueprints:

And with Week 13 finished that means I'm officially one-quarter done this project!  Here's hoping I can turn out some more pages in the near future!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've Been Making Cards

I recently spent a bit of time creating some cards for my mother as a gift for her birthday.  I thought it would be nice for her to have a small stash on hand so she wouldn't necessarily have to make a trip to the store if she needed a card. 

I always enjoy the finished result but it still amazes me how long it can take to make one tiny card in comparison to creating a 12x12 layout!  I also learned a valuable lesson.  If you plan on heat embossing a stamped sentiment it is preferable to do this before glueing the front of the card to the card base.  I ended up with four rather warped cards which I had to take apart, flatten and then reassemble.  I won't be making that mistake again!

I cannot take credit for the design of any of these cards.  The turquoise cards with the large flower are designed by Aphra Bolyer using the Cricut Mother's Day Bouquet cartridge.  The remaining ideas came from several different issues of Paper Crafts magazine.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pretty Paper Birdcage

I recently stumbled across a blog called KesiArt.  It is a French-language blog but even if you don't understand the language there is still lots of inspiration to be found there just by looking at the photos that are posted.

They featured a tutorial on making decorative paper birdcages which looked so adorable that I figured I'd try my hand at making one for my mother as a birthday gift.  I was lucky that my limited knowledge of French allowed me to basically understand the directions although I couldn't relate to the measurements being given in centimeters and had to convert those.

It took me about two hours from start to finish but a good deal of that time was spent looking through Cricut cartridges to find the images I wanted to cut out.  Having completed one birdcage, I know it would be quicker next time to create another.  The finished cage stands about 4 inches tall.  The objects inside the cage are attached with glue dots to a strip of acetate which gives them the appearance of being suspended in mid-air.  Very clever!

Seriously cute and very easy to make!  You can find the complete tutorial here.  If you decide to make one and need help translating the directions I'd be happy to help.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011


We all have our weaknesses, don't we?  And when it comes to scrapbooking supplies my biggest weakness is alphas!  I love chipboard alphas, alpha stickers, teeny tiny alphas...basically alphas of any kind. 

Yesterday I stopped into my LSS because they were having a sale - 30% off everything in the store.  Hard to resist a sale like that!  In addition to some cardstock, patterned paper, glue dots and a new colour of distress ink, I bought three sets of alphas - grey and white Thickers and a cute set of tiny MME Lime Twist letters.  Of course, this prompted Richard to comment on the fact that I'd brought home yet more alphas and he asked me how many I have.  My best "guesstimate" was around 100 and seeing as I like to count things, we decided to do a tally just for fun.

Taa-dah!  My complete collection of alphabets laid out in all their glory!

- 2 sets of corrugated
- 1 set of wood veneer
- 15 Thickers
- 18 other assorted chipboard
- 59 sheets of letters stickers in a variety of sizes
- 25 packs of teeny tiny letters :-)

That's a grand total of 120 sets of alphabets.  Yikes...that makes me feel a little bit embarrassed!

The only thing I can say in my defense is that we need a good variety of alphas because you never know what a layout will call for as far as colour and style.  That's my excuse anyway.  ;-)  Having said that, I don't think I'll be buying anymore letters any time soon.  And, I think if I'm ever going to use up this huge supply then I'd better start coming up with some reeeeaaallly long titles for my scrapbook pages!

How about you?  How does your stash of alphas compare?

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4x6 Photo Love Project

I had heard of Shimelle's 4x6 Photo Love series over at Two Peas in a Bucket but have to admit that I hadn't paid much attention to it until I saw September's edition.  What a fantastic idea for scrapping nine, yes nine, 4x6 photos on just one page!

The secret is in making a pocket on the page into which you can insert two double-sided cards of photos.  Very ingenious idea, indeed.  I knew this would be the perfect way for me to document my parents' recent 50th wedding anniversary while being able to include several of the photos we took that evening.

Here's how the page looks when it's all together:

I opted for using a Hambly overlay to make the pocket, as Shimelle did, because I really like the look of the photo cards peeking through from inside the pocket.  I bought the transparency a couple of months ago with no particular plan for it and it turned out to be exactly what I needed for this project.

The front side of the photo cards look like this:

And when you turn them over you have more photos and journaling on the other side:

I absolutely loved this idea the minute I saw it.   It's a great way to document an event where you have many photos but don't necessarily want to be doing multiple scrapbook pages.  For all the details and to watch Shimelle's video on putting together a layout like this, just click here.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

10 Things - My Scrapbooking Essentials

It's that time once again - time to play along with Shimelle's 10 Things on the 10th!  This month I thought I'd list my scrapbooking essentials.  Patterned paper's a given so I didn't include that!  These are the items that I routinely use while creating layouts and don't think I could do without.

In no particular order...

1. Tim Holtz Distress Inks - a recent discovery for me.  I love the look of inking the edges of my page elements.  I currently have Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo and Black Soot and am slowly building my collection as the need for different colours arises.

2. DMC Floss - I love to stitch on my layouts and it's rare that I don't include a tiny bit of stitching, even if it's only to sew on a button.

3. Inkssentials Foam Ink Applicator - the perfect tool for applying distress ink!  No messy fingers.  The ink goes on very softly and you can intensify the colour by adding additional layers.

4. Chipboard Alphas - actually, I have a huge weakness for alphas of any kind but the chipboard variety such as Thickers are my favourite. 

5. Bazzill Basics Piercing Tool - this little piercer is so comfortable to hold and gives you such control in making holes for stitching.

6. Tim Holtz Idea-ology Ruler - This is an amazing ruler.  One side is a regular ruler while the other is a centering ruler.  But the best part for me are the tiny holes that run at 1/8" intervals along one edge - ideal for piercing evenly spaced holes for stitching.  

7. Martha Stewart Starburst Punch - I love this punch and use it all the time whether layering it up with other items on the page, using the starburst as a flower center or just tucking a starburst under another page element to add a bit of colour or detail.  Love it!

8. Olfa Rotary Cutter - my method for cutting paper.  I guess it comes from years of quilting and using a rotary cutter to cut fabric.  Seems to be the only way I know how to cut accurately.
9. Foam Pop Dots - after finishing my Embellished Paper Doily project I truly understood the value of these little dots for adding dimension to a page and now they've become a part of my regularly used products.

10. Buttons - Buttons of any kind!  Plain and simple or fancy and elaborate, I love buttons and probably use them on every layout that I make. 

Would you like to read more 10 Things lists?  Hop over to Shimelle's blog where you'll find her list as well as links to many others.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shimelle's Sketch of the Week

It's an overcast, looking-like-it's-going-to-rain day here in Edmonton - perfect for staying inside and scrapbooking but, not so great when you're trying to take a decent photo of what you've created and the light is horrible!  Oh well.

I've played along with Shimelle's Sketch of the Week again and once more I'm scrapping animals - squirrels this time.  I loved this week's sketch with its three tiny photos but wasn't sure I had anything similar in size until I went through my photo box and came across my squirrel photos.

I always enjoyed the abundant squirrel population of Quebec and that's one thing that's very different here in Alberta.  Squirrels are minimal in number as far as I can see.  I've only seen a couple and they were tiny creatures that seemed to be more a mix of squirrel and chipmunk rather than the larger animals we had back east. 

Here's my finished layout:

All of the papers are from Crate Paper, mostly from their older Lemon Grass line.  I basically followed Shimelle's sketch shown below, but ended up putting my journaling along the left side of the page because I had a lot to say about squirrels.  I actually had more to say but had to do some editing because I didn't have room to write it all in.  :-(  I just couldn't resist using that little squirrel diecut even if it is a tad kitchy!  When else would I get the chance?  LOL 

I'm so happy to finally have my squirrel photos scrapped.  I really enjoy watching Shimelle's weekly video and her sketches have really inspired me to get back into my scrap room lately.  I'm very grateful for that. 

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

And The Winner Is....

Congratulations to S. (Susanne)!

Email your address to me at  and I'll get your package in the mail to you by the end of the week.  Thanks so much to everyone who entered.

Until next time...
Susan :-)