Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Loving Memory

Dear bloggers, my family is in mourning.  My dear sister passed yesterday morning.  Her body could not take the prescribed treatment and she is now in peace and free of pain.   She was the most loving person I know, and also the most amazingly kindhearted sister.  I will take a break from blogging to be with my family.  I thank you for visiting my blog. God bless.

In Memoriam

With you a part of me hath passed away;
For in the peopled forest of my mind
A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
Shall never don again its green array.
Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
Have something of their friendliness resigned;
Another, if I would, I could not find,
And I am grown much older in a day.
But yet I treasure in my memory
Your gift of charity, and young heart's ease,
And the dear honour of your amity;
For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
And I scarce know which part may greater be,--
What I keep of you, or you rob from me.

George Santayana

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My sister

This post is dedicated to my sister, Marcela, who is fighting the fight of her life.  Marcela was born with Down's Syndrome and has overcome many of the developmental challenges that come with it.  But at only 15 years old, my sister has been diagnosed with leukemia.  I was intensely devastated by the news, her being so far away and me not being able to be there with her through this fight. 

{Este post esta dedicado a mi hermana, Marcela, quien esta enfrentando la batalla mas dura de su corta vida.  Marcela nacio con Sindrome de Down y a traves de los años ha vencido muchos obstaculos relacionados con este diagnostico.  Pero con tan solo 15 años, Marcela ha sido diagnosticada con leucemia.  Estas noticias fueron devastadoras, ya que yo estoy tan lejos y no puedo estar con ella fisicamente en la batalla que viene.}
It has been a very emotional time for me and I am usually a very private and strong person.  But this news really touched my heart and though I debated whether to post something so intensely personal I decided that she is a survivor and she is living proof that a diagnosis does not make you who you are.  Who is she? She is a loving, kind sister, a beloved daughter, and an energetic aunt. 

{Estos dias han estado llenos de emociones.  Yo soy usualmente una persona privada y fuerte, hecha asi por las cosas de la vida.  Pero estas noticias realmente me llegaron al corazon y aunque no estaba segura de si podria escribir este post tan intensamente personal, decidi que mi hermana es una prueba viviente de que un diagnostico no determina quien eres.  Quien es Marcela? Es una hermana amorosa y linda, una hija amada y una tia energetica.  Ella es mi hermana, Marcela}
I created this layout with her sweet and soft nature in mind.  She looks so pretty in this picture.  I used papers from GCD studios, Ella Blue, and Prima Symphony flowers.  

The chipboard piece is from Dusty Attic, inked with acrylic Folk Art paint in Asphaltum and vintage white.

Flocked chipboard alphas from Anna Griffin's Flora collection. 


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Get creative: Using handmade roses in cards and layouts

As I had mentioned on my previous post, I have added new items to my etsy and will continue adding this weekend.  First I want to get the spotlight on the handmade roses I have listed here:  My Etsy

I have created a layout and two cards featuring some of my items listed right now.  The first I want to share is called "Smooch" and it is a Valentine style layout.  The picture turned out so cute... My son is kissing his cousin Jocelyn, but he's acting a little shy.  I'm so glad I had my camera handy to capture that moment.  I used papers from Bo Bunny Crush and My Mind's Eye Lost & Found.  

I used one of the linked heart dies I have listed here: My Etsy   I cut them from white cardstock so they are easily transformed to match your layout or card color palette.  The one I used in this layout I embossed with two layers of Pearl UTEE and one layer of MS embossing powder in ladybug red.  I love the glossy finish and the amazing palette of red, white, and black.  

The bird cage I bought from Kaylori77's etsy shop.  Check it out, she has amazing little scrapbook embellies!  I embossed with Gold UTEE and the bird that came with it I embossed with the Martha Stewart powder.  

I made the rose, which I have listed on etsy right now.  The batch has three handmade roses and I will be adding more colors soon.  I inked the leaves gold and added some black feathers.  

The next two cards I also made inspired by the pink roses I have on my etsy.  I made two cards in two styles, to show how versatile a color can be... The first one has a modern take on pink, mixing black rubons and a simple black sentiment.  

The second one has a romantic vintage flair, with the vintage image and the flourishes and lace.  


Monday, January 10, 2011

I was featured on the Teresa Collins Blog!!!!

This weekend has been hectic, with planning my return to school and starting a new semester.  Found out I'm teaching a course and though I love teaching undergraduate courses, my load this semester is seriously looking to be overwhelming.  So here I am finishing up my fellowship application and I checked my blog and see all these comments on one of my posts... 

Well, turns out Teresa Collins featured my two-page layout of Coundown 'til Christmas on her blog!!! I just about fell off my chair!!! I love her products, they are so elegantly abstract and ornate at the same time.  I actually keep a stack of her album kits and papers well stocked on my scraproom (seriously, I keep like 2-3 sheets of each and every one of her lines... LOL).

Thanks so much for making my day Teresa!!!!  I'm so honored!!! (and  sooooo surprised!)

Here's a link to the post on her blog:  Teresa Collins Blog.

This is the 2-page layout that was featured on her post:


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Distressed Rose Tutorial

I recently used these roses on a layout and thought I would share a tutorial with all of you.  They're actually super easy to make!  

You'll need some flower punch outs or die cuts in two sizes.  I used the tattered floral die from Alterations by Tim Holtz.  I like the distressed look but they will look just as great without any distressing.  

1.  The first thing is to get three big flowers and two small ones.  You can see I used the bigger and medium flowers from the TH die. 

2. Now that you have your distressed flowers, let's move to the next step.  Use a mister to spray some water over the flowers.  Just a tiny spray will go a long way, you don't want the layers to tear while you're assembling the rose.  

3.  Now take one flower and fold the petals towards the bottom, as I show in the picture.  I use my fingers, but you can use a pencil or an embossing stylus.
4.  Your flower should look like this:

5.  Now take your flower and gently fold the petals toward the center.  I use my thumb, so I just put the flower and press gently to create a "bowl" like the one you see in the picture:

6.  Repeat this step with one other big flower.  Your two layers so far should look like this:

7.  The third big flower layer you basically do the same folding of the petals, but try to get the "bowl" in the middle a little smaller and the petals should look tighter like this:

8.  Now onto the small flowers.  Fold the petals towards the bottom of the flower as you did with the big flowers.  
9. Now, instead of creating a "bowl" in the middle, squeeze it towards the center so the petals are really tight
10.  Now the last small flower, you will need to squeeze even tighter so the center cannot be seen.  I usually take it from the bottom and squeeze it like you see on the picture.

11.Now take your scissors and snip off the bottom as seen in the picture:
 12.  This is what you should have now:

12.The last step is to glue all the layers, and you're done!

 And here's the layout where I used them.  The smaller ones are done the same way, except instead of three big flower layers, you use the same size of flower.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Scrappy New Year...

I wish everyone a very happy and scrappy 2011!! I've been slow on recovering from all the traveling and holiday busyness.  To be quite honest, I thought I had lost my inspiration!  For some reason I'm into minimalistic stuff right now, maybe I'm just lazy, but it poses an interesting challenge, to create something beautiful without much adornment.  Here's my latest batch of layouts.

I recently signed up to get the Limited Edition kit from My Creative Scrapbook and I'm smitten so far! The kit was very reasonably priced and had so many goodies! No add-ons and I got very very cool papers, flowers, embellishments and fibers.  I had already bought the Night Divine collection, but it's always good to have more than one of these incredibly beautiful papers. This is my baby during one of our holiday shopping trips.  The background is this beautiful store where they had such amazing Christmas decorations.  He was so excited about it!

I actually used the sketch that came with the kit.  Never actually followed a sketch before, and found it to be very useful when your imagination just doesn't work quite well at that moment.  Papers from Night Divine by CI, and Holly Jolly by MME.  The holly berries are Prima and came with the kit.  I used a lot of the chipboard from the MME collection Holly Jolly from my stash.

The next layout really did give me grief until I just let go.  The die cut flocked paper from CI was just so beautiful that nothing I added seemed right.  Except for the gold poinsettia and the leafy bead sprays.  So I left it at that.  The poinsettia is cut from a flower stem bought at Michaels and the golden beads are from the MCS kit. The pic was taken outside and my baby was so excited about the Santa hat!

The next layout is another first for me.  I made a two page layout using the beautiful Noel pps from Teresa Collins.  I had been saving that paper with all the numbers for a layout, but they did not all fit one page.  So I did a collage of sorts spanning over two pages.  

The embellishing is minimal here, I just added some 3D dots to all the numbers and then placed them on the cardstock.  

On the last page I added some Prima Poinsettias and a jingle bell, for a simple elegant look.  I actually like the minimalistic elegance look of Teresa Collins' papers.  I also used a lot of the wallet-sized prints I had gotten of these cute pictures of my baby.

The next layout is also following that minimalistic elegance style that I love from Teresa Collins.  I used a strip of numbers from the Noel cardstock and then used a half bracket layered over black and white flocked paper from Le Creme by MME.  The title is also cut from the TC Noel pps. 

The  last layout is not my favorite, but I did like the TC pps quote I used to embellish it.  To me, family is the most precious gift of all, and I got to do just that these holidays, as I got to visit my family in Mexico.  

The ribbon here is twisted and I actually sewed the twists so it would stay in place.  The rest is quite simple, just some paper layering and minor distressing.  

The original cut out from the TC papers was black & white, and I used my copic markers to fill in the roses and leaves and some of the flourishes.  TFL!!!