Tangerine tango

The first-ever Sketches with a Twist sketch and design team sample layouts are now live on their site! This is a brand-new sketch blog that you must check out. It’s a sketch challenge site, where each sketch comes with a twist (for instance, the twist this month is to use at least two fonts in your title). A new sketch will be loaded on the first of each month, and entries will close on the last day. Then the winner will be announced on the 5th of the month.

I didn’t just design the sketch (which I hope you’ll go download and use), but I also made this layout:


My brother and I went on a scavenger hunt for orange items to photograph for this layout.

The story behind this layout began with a desire to celebrate the transition to a new calendar year, but without resorting to a resolutions page. I love color, as I imagine most scrappers do. And I know that The Pantone Instititute names a new color to watch each year. Their top color for 2012 is Tangerine Tango, an energetic reddish-orange. We should expect to see this color in everything from fashion to home decor to our beloved scrapbook products.

My baby brother, Phil, is in town celebrating the old and new years with us, and he and I are always looking for a good creative project. When I mentioned going out on a photo shoot specifically for a layout about color, Phil was already attaching his fish-eye lens to his camera! We spent a few hours out in the beautiful afternoon sun searching for the orange of the world, a hunt that sharpened our vision for the traffic cones, signs, clothing and flowers that surround us.

And so, my layout is an ode to all color, to optimism, to energy, to new beginnings and to 2012.

Soo cute! Using bright patterns with a black-and-white photo

How cute is this photo of me and my little brother from 1969? I know: we were cute, our outfits were cute, the expressions on our faces were cute, the way the photographer had us positioned was cute. Cute, cute, cute! Now I will attempt to write the rest of my post without using that word even one more time (for your sake as well as mine).

So how could I fail to use sweet, colorful patterned papers to highlight all this adorableness? I wanted this layout to feel bright and colorful and young and fresh, so I turned to some of the older lines (Family Dynamix, Tail Waggers & Cat Naps) as well as one new line (Making the Team) from Bella Blvd.

And I think this got the job done, don’t you? The bright colors show off the black-and-white photo rather than competing with it. Also, portraits can sometimes feel a little stale, so by surrounding this one with fun banners, butterflies and buttons I kept the eye hopping and happy. At least I think so! What do you think?


I couldn't help myself from using lots of colorful patterns with this black-and-white photo.

My kind of bouquet

Twisted Sketches has revealed its latest sketch, #111, and the twist is “buttons.” Be sure to head over to the site to grab the sketch, then create something and link it up! :)

Twisted Sketches #111

Here’s my Design Team layout inspired by the sketch. The patterned papers I used on this very colorful layout are from American Crafts’ Margarita line.


My darling man brought home a bouquet of Copic markers for me "just because." He's a keeper!

The journaling on my page reads: “Matt came home from work on Thursday and said, ‘I got something for you; it’s on the table.’ It was a bag full of Copic markers! I was so surprised…and excited…and touched. What an amazing thing to do just because.”

I cut that 3×3 envelope with my Silhouette and added it so that I could tuck in a thank you card to Matt (my way of including a more personal thank you to my generous and thoughtful honey). It’s the first thing I’ve ever made using Copics. And so my new obsession begins. :-)

This hydrangea card was made using my new Copic markers.

Young Crafters Unite blog hop!

Young Crafters Unite Blog Hop header

Hi everyone, and welcome to the next stop on the Young Crafters Unite Blog Hop! If you’re following along the hop you should be arriving here from Chari Moss’ blog (She makes such adorable cards!). If you aren’t a hopper but want to join in the fun you can start at the beginning by visiting the Young Crafters Unite website.

Why do I consider myself a young crafter?

I always feel younger than the calendar says I am. I really believe that being “young” or “old” is up to us. So I act the way I want to feel. And crafting is one of the things I do that helps me stay young. Shopping for crafting supplies surely must reduce wrinkles because it makes me giddy like a little girl. And the feeling I get when I start to cut, stamp and glue things together…well, if my hair was longer I would put it up in pigtails! I suspect all crafters are young crafters. :-)

My “favorite thing” project

We were asked to create a new project using our favorite things, and I chose to create a layout using two favorite things:

  1. These photos are of my brother, Phil, and me at the baby pool in our hometown. I love everything about these photos: Phil’ls scrunchy smile, our darling bathing suits pushed low on our round bellies, our suntanned skin, our happy faces and my memories of many hours spent at that pool together with our mom. Wow, these are awesome photos!
  2. I recently created a tutorial about crocheting on your scrapbook pages, so that’s my new favorite technique! I’ve used it on this layout to create the sun element. It takes some extra time, so I’ll probably save it for more special photos/memories, but I love the even more handmade and vintage feel it gives to my layouts. :-)

At the Pool highlights a few special photos of me and my brother in the summer of 1970.

More of my personal favorites

I thought I would also share just a few more of my recent layouts and cards because they are all about being or staying young, and they make me happy to look at!

I think you are…
I made this little set of 2×3-inch cards so that I could occasionally pop a love note in my husband’s laptop bag before he leaves the house. Why does food with faces make us smile?


I think you are...hot, cool, sweet and cheesy!

I am I because my little dog knows me
I can’t help it—I love this layout. That photo of our precious family dog, Spenser, is from 1991 when he was only a few months old. We all adored him and he adored us. And I think this Gertrude Stein quote is awesome.


I think this Gertrude Stein quote is all this layout needed to capture my feeling.

He will go far
This is a photo from 2000, when our nephew Jerad was only 4. I thought this new October Afternoon line, Rocket Age, would work perfectly to highlight all the potential I see in his little face.


This outer space-themed paper just seemed like the perfect way to showcase a child's potential.

Thank you so much for hopping by today. Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post because there are prizes up for grabs for some lucky participants. Randomly selected commenters will have the opportunity to win prizes from Simon Says Stamp, Paper Smooches and Lawn Fawn! Comment by Monday, July 4th at 11:59PM CST to win; winners will be announced Wednesday, July 6th at noon CST.

The next young crafter on this hop is Kelly Latevola (This woman is a master with Distress Inks!). Thanks again for stopping by, and I do hope you’ll come back again soon.

Using non-traditional colors in a Christmas layout

Color plays such an important part in our layouts. It gives our viewer a quick insight into its theme. It sets the mood for the story we want to tell. It brings all the elements together into a cohesive whole. It highlights the portions of the photos that are most important to us.

How do you choose colors for your layouts?

  • Do you pick a color from the main photo and build from there?
  • Do you choose colors that are traditional to the theme you’re covering (as in pink for a baby girl page)?
  • Do you first choose papers with colors that you want to work with and then select photos to go with them?

I generally start with colors from my photos rather than those that are traditional to the event/season. For instance, in my Christmas layout below I could have chosen red or green as my base color. But I decided that the strongest colors from these 1990 photos were the hot pink in my mother’s skirt and the gold of our family room walls. I felt that these colors should not be ignored, lest they distract from the final look and feel by clashing with a traditional Christmas color scheme. Lucky for me, I had a few sheets of Christmas-themed paper form KI Memories that included hot pink and gold! How great is it when that happens?

The result is a layout that has what I would call a “groovy traditional” feel. In other words, it still looks like a Christmas layout, but the hot pink, gold, brown, green and green-blue color scheme shakes things up a bit. So the layout stays true to the photos.

Jim's Christmas visit in 1990

My college best friend, Jim, visited my family for Christmas 1990

Try scrapping some of your seasonal photos using colors that are not the norm. It can give your designs the freshness of new-fallen snow. :-)