Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saving Memories

My twin sisters are graduating from high school this year.  I truly cannot believe that they are almost old enough to be in college.  It feels like I just graduated from high school a few months ago, when in reality it has been almost six years.  For a graduation present, I decided to make them a personalized scrapbook instead of one of the generic ones you can purchase from a number of retailers.  The first page I made was using a one of Kayla's senior pictures.  I chose to make this page first simply because she is technically the oldest. 

I started by choosing the paper.  For this layout, I chose black and white papers to match the colors in Kayla's sweater.  Materials include one basic black cardstock, one basic white cardstock and a patterned patter with flocking from Me & My Big Ideas specialty cardstock.

I recently saw a forum post on My Creative Scrapbook by Gabrielle Pollacco that explained how she makes ruffled edges on her layouts.  I thought I would try that on this layout, and it is very easy to accomplish.  Simply take your cardstock and cut a weaved pattern very close to the edge of the paper.  Next, ink the paper to distress the edges and to make crinkling the edges easier.  In this layout, I chose a black ink since I didn't want to distress the edges more so with a different ink color.  After you have inked your edges, gently pull back the weaved edge.  Repeat this process around the entire page.

After, I finished crinkling the edges of the paper, I was going to glue it to the white cardstock, but it just seemed too plain and boring.  Last week I purchase a package of Perfect Pearls and decided to try it on the white cardstock to see if it would dress it up a bit.  I only applied the Perfect Pearls around the edge of the paper since that is all that would be seen in the final product.  To use Perfect Pearls, apply the Perfect Medium which comes in the package to the surface you want to adhere the powder to.  Next, dip the small "paint" brush in the Perfect Pearls powder (I used the color Perfect Pearl here) and apply in a circular motion.  It is best if you do this over a regular sheet of printer paper so you can save any excess that may fall off of your surface.  After you have finished applying the powder, gently brush over the surface with the larger "paint" brush and then spritz with a small amount of water using a Mini Mister bottle which can normally be found near the Perfect Pearls powders in your craft store.  When dry, glue the ruffled cardstock on top of the white cardstock.

I'm not sure what the shape I cut out with the patterned cardstock is called, but I've seen it on many scrapbooking websites and blogs and was very excited when I found the shape to use on my Pazzles Inspiration cutting machine.  When using a cutting machine, it is very important that you make sure all of the material you are cutting is placed evenly and smoothly on the cutting mat.  The slightest bubble or ripple can cause the machine to rip your paper instead of cutting it.  After your image has finished cutting, it is always important to see if the material was completely cut through before unloading the mat from the machine.  If the paper has not been completely cut through, hit the repeat button on the machine.  Sometimes it is necessary to make adjustments to your pressure or blade length.

One of my new favorite techniques that I have been working with is embossing.  Since the patterned flocked paper was being placed on top of the black, ruffled cardstock, I wanted to dress the black cardstock up a bit.  I wasn't sure what color embossing powder would look best; so, I did a test emboss with white and black embossing powder as well as bridal embossing tinsel where the patterned flocked paper was going to be put so it would be hidden in the final product.  In the end, I chose to use the white embossing powder.  To get the swirls on the paper, I used a clear flourish stamp set from Stampology.  To apply the embossing ink to the stamp, I used a brayer which I highly recommend with stamping.  I have found that the brayer helps to control the amount of ink that gets on the stamp which reduces smudging with your product.  After the ink has been applied to the stamp, simply press the stamp where you want the flourishes.  In this instance, I wanted it in the corners of the black, ruffled cardstock.  Sometimes it is hard to see the ink on the paper after you have stamped your image since it is a clear ink; therefore, I sprinkle a very liberal amount of embossing powder over where I stamped my image.  To get the excess powder off, hold the paper up and gently tap.  Sometimes it is necessary to also blow lightly on the paper to get the little bits of embossing powder that are left.  I have also used a toothpick to scrape particles away if they are very close to the image.  To get the excess powder back in your tube, simply use a folded piece of printer paper and pour the powder back in.  Finally, set your image with a heat tool.  This only takes a minute or so to do.  It is important to make sure you have a heat resistant surface to emboss on so that you don't mess up any surfaces.

I felt that the patterned flocked paper had too hard of a contrast sitting on top of the black, ruffled paper.  To ease this, I gently distressed the edges of the patterned paper with black ink.  When doing this, use a sponge to dab the ink pad.  Using circular motions, come into the patterned paper from the outside.  This makes the edge stand out and allows the ink to fade as you get further into the paper.  After I finished distressing the paper with ink, I glued the paper to the black cardstock using a glue runner.  To make the paper stand out even more, I used an embossing pen to "shadow" the pattern paper and then emboss with the white powder.

After adhering the picture to the patterned flocked paper, I used my Pazzles Inspiration cutting machine to cut a basic tag out.  I used Perfect Pearls on the tag using the method mentioned earlier and then lighthly inked the edges also with the method for inking mentioned before.  The only difference was that I didn't ink far into the tag as I did with the large patterned shape.  I used my Pazzles Inspiration cutting machine once again to cut out the name I was going to use on the tag.  Since I didn't have any more black cardstock, I cut the name out on white cardstock and inked it using the sponge and dabbing the cardstock.  I adhered the letters to the tag using Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue Squeeze and Roll.  After gluing the tag to the layout, I attached a black and silver button where the hole is on the tag to add a little extra touch.  The button was adhered with Mini Glue Dots.

For finishing touches, I used a foiled chipboard corner piece on the upper right corner of the photo from Best Occasions Foil Chipboard Accents.  In the lower left corner I layered flowers from Petaloo.  The bottom flowers were "plain" and the top flowers had glitter on them.  In the center, I placed a jewel that came with the flower set.  All accents were adhered with Mini Glue Dots.

Ashley Nicole ✗

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