Sunday, September 23

8 ways to add texture to your layouts

The challenge this week at Anything but a Card is to add texture to your projects.  Since gussying up scrapbook layouts is something I struggle with, I thought I would tackle that!  I'm always scared to add more and distracting away from my photos, but when I'm oogling the fantastic creations in the magazines, blogdom and on pinterest I almost always gravitate towards the ones that have a ton of little touches that jump off the page.

I started by making a list of 8 things that can add texture to your layouts (or any off the page project as well!) and then I tried to incorporate them into this project.  Wish me luck....

Layer, Layer, Layer: The first step to adding texture to your projects is to layer.  It may seem like you are using an awful lot of papers and even wasting some by cropping down perfectly useful 12x12 sheets, but adding varying layers to your background helps add depth to the basic layout.

Embossing: Whether you are busting out your heat gun, or running some of your elements through your trusty Big Shot (or Cuttlebug), embossing on your project instantly adds texture to any piece you incorporate. 
I used a Tim Holtz gears embossing folder on a tag.
I also embossed and cut out an acetate shape in my cluster.

Stitching: Stitching is something I avoided in crafting for years.  To say I'm inept with a needle and thread is an understatement.  I once attempted to sew a button back on a shirt for my hubby and managed to SEW THE SHIRT CLOSED?!?!?!  Oh yes I did!  But after a few bloody thumbs and tears I realized that stitching is a way to add another pattern to your layout without actually adding to the busyness.
Stiching a grid  was my favorite touch.

Varying Mediums: Yes, this may sound crazy coming from a self proclaimed paper hoarder, but if you create a layout with nothing but cardstock and patterned paper you are missing out on a world of possibility.  It's hard to look beyond that for me because pinterest is filled with 1001 things you can make from paper with a snip of your scissors or crease of your scorpal, but when your embellishing ventures out into ribbons, burlap, cork, corrugated cardboard, etc you will create a visual appeal that you just can't seem to master with paper alone.  ---see pic below---

Glitter: Glitter, sand, or any other kind of literal texture is a no brainer.  Take a basic embellishment or even  lettering and add a coat of glue and glitter and it instantly takes it up a level.  ---see pic below---

Add Dimension: The last suggestion (well, almost) I have is to not stop your layering at the photograph.  After your carefully cropped and matted photos have been secured make sure you add another layer of fun embellishments.  Flowers, buttons, brads, gems, whatever floats your boat....
I used several different mediums, a burlap heart, pearls, ribbon,
glitter, flowers, acetate, flower soft on the leaves, and organza.

Rough It Up: There are so many shabby chic and steam punk layouts in the blogosphere that can show you how to do this right and make it look stunning, but even if you just add a touch of this technique it can add texture to any scrappy style.  Tear your paper, crumple and then flatten it out, distress the edges...just get a little gritty with your supplies.  :)
I distressed the edges of all my paper elements.

Faking It: Now sometimes having a ton of padding on a layout just won't do.  It can make the project a little bulky for an album and definitely can start adding up the $$$ which isn't something you may want to do for every project.  A way to 'fake' a look of added texture is through stamping.  The best kind for this in my opinion is the Tim Holtz-esque looks you can get from taking things you wouldn't consider scrappy materials, inking them up and then pressing them down haphazardly around your project.  
I used distress ink to stamp with bubble wrap for a subtle look.
To make yours stand out more you can use paint even!

I hope some of these tips helped give you new things to try.  It certainly pushed me to create a project that I love by trying things I NEVER would have thought to do if I hadn't made my list of things I was challenging myself to incorporate.  A few other challenge blogs helped me come up with ideas of things to add texture to this project and with our DT leader's okay, I'm going to share this layout there as well.  :) :)

Shopping Our Stash - Embossing (these embellishments are years old except the bling)
Divas by Design - Layering (I used 4 layers of patterned paper on top of my base.)
Southern Girls - Bling (my flower centers and pearl strip)

Saturday, September 22

At the car wash

Today's layout was super fun to create!!!  It started with the challenge posted over at Allsorts earlier.  It said to let a song title inspire your layout.  Well I've had the song "At the Car Wash" stuck in my head all afternoon since my daughter has taken to watching Shark Tale on a loop.  So I dug these pics out of my kiddos washing my car this summer and went to town.  

As some of you might now, I am a newbie to my cricut.  I just got it for Christmas and now I'm wondering why I was a hold out for so long!?!  I love it, but still struggle to find uses for it beyond fonts.  Well mostly because I never remember I have it until I'm in the title phase!  In an effort to incorporate it more, I started following this super fantastic challenge blog called Fantabulous Cricut.  This week's challenge is 'End of Summer' and we were to incorporate cricut cuts that were summery.  From my Luau cart I cut most of my cluster.  The surfboard, the wave, even the two palm leaves.  :)  

Finally the biggest inspiration came from where I stuck all my pieces down on this fun layout.  My sketch!?!?!  I nabbed it over at Let's Get Sketchy and it is a good one.  You know I'm a sucker for circle elements!!  :) :) So click on over and play along with some of these fun challenges before it's too late.  :)

Sunday, September 9

ABAC: Anything Goes

Is there any bigger milestone than when a kiddo has their first Happy Meal?  Well not if you ask a two year old?!  :)  I was able to snap this pic of my youngest finally diving into her very own Happy Meal all by herself.  Surprisingly, she managed to down every bite!

Last week was the inaugural challenge for the new blog bi-weekly Anything But a Card.  I was lucky enough to get a spot on the DT and this week is team 2 inspiring you to play along with the challenge: ANYTHING GOES!  So click on over and see what all the rest of the DT has to wow you with and to give it a try yourself.  Super easy challenge to start you off with, so go ahead...jump in!!!

...and per our fearless leader's direction we are welcome to share this with other challenges that inspire our projects!!  :) :) 

Tuesday, September 4

First Love Mini

I was catching up on blogs and saw Practical Scrappers was looking for mini album submissions and it just so happens that a few nights ago my nephew's girlfriend asked me if I could make a little album to put some of her favorite pictures of them together from the past 3 1/2 years all in one place.  Always one to rise to a challenge, I jumped in head first.  I even busted out the Cinch hubby bought me for Christmas finally.  I'd been too scared to give it a whirl, but this was JUST the project.  I gotta tell you, this tool is pretty much the most fun I've had in a while...and I own more than my fair share of scrappy toys.  :)

The paper is almost all Cherry Arte Vanilla Vintage line.  There are a few scraps I dug out of my pile of leftovers from other projects that matched well enough to get thrown in too.  The flowers are mostly Prima and Recollections.  I used misc gems, tags and stickers and letters from my stash.  The binding is done with my We R Memory Keepers Cinch tool.

I really had fun with the inside pages.  I tried several new things that I'd never even considered.  On the first page I embossed a piece of acetate with a Tim Holtz folder and cut out the clock to stash in the cluster (I embossed a few tags with it too just to have good flow).  I had so much fun with this that I absolutely went around cutting up random packages for the acetate just to emboss HAHA!  The 4th page is actually an envelope that I added so she could stash more pics or even memorabilia.  A few pics down (the 10th/11th page) you'll notice I went all embossy on the acetate again and made a clear page to display 2 tiny instagram pics.  The back page has a fold out accordian mini inside a mini that she can either stick down wallet sized photos or even jot down notes.  I also left just a few spots open so she can add even more photos down the road.  The verdict is in and she is in love with this so SUCCESS!!!!!