Jul 19, 2014

Project Life Pregnancy Album - Video

Well, I am now in my 9th month of pregnancy!  Woo hoo!  Our little guy can make his appearance at any time now.  I'm totally ready - I think.
I was able to work on my pregnancy album and make a video of it.  I'm getting the hang of Project Life a bit.  The more pages I do, the more it seems to get easier.  
(SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO)

On this page I did a bit more stamping.I heat embossed "boy or girl" with white embossing powder on vellum so you could still see my belly photo behind the text.  I thought this was a nice way to get text on a photo without covering it fully.
I also used a few clippings from a baby magazine to get a few of the words.  
Besides using www.picmonkey.com to add the text on the photos, I heat embossed on the bottom right photo - directly onto the picture. 
 For the next layout, I did a lot more journaling.  These came from my journal/diary that I've been keeping notes in.  I hand wrote all this journaling directly onto the designer paper.  On the pictures I kept it simple by adding small stickers with a small note or date on it.
For the last pocket on this page, I didn't have another 4x6 photo, so I simply did some stamping on designer paper.  I heat embossed with white and added a few paper cut clouds just to fill the pocket.  

 The next page I wanted to start with the title pocket of Spring Break, beach day. I used alphabet stickers and washi tape to make the title. This page has more photos than journaling, which I like. I didn't feel the need to add much more text to these pictures, since they seemed self explanatory.   
I really do enjoy using stickers and washi tape in this album.  It really makes a simple and fast addition for decoration and even provides a place to add journaling. It's nice to use up some stickers I've had in my stash for ages and giving them some life.  I even used rub ons - which is a product I have not purchased or used for a long long time.

I decided to decorate my journaling cards a bit more on this page.  I used the actual tag from the nursing pillow I got to break up the text and to help fill the pocket.
I combined stickers, stamps, paper cuts, and designer paper to make my 4x6 journaling pocket.  It wasn't really a title but since it was a bit longer story, I think it fit well in the 4x6 pocket with the decoration to go along with it.  Since I had a lot of photos, the journaling went directly on the pictures, using paper cut outs and stickers.  I stamped directly on the last photo again, but instead of heat embossing, I simply used Staz On ink to ensure it would not smudge.  Check out my video below to see the process of the last page coming together.  
Thanks for stopping by. 
Ezlie



Jul 10, 2014

Baby Thank You cards

I had my baby shower a little more than a week ago, so I am due to send out my thank you cards for all the baby goodies we got.
I wanted to get ahead and break down the steps to make the cards, since I knew I had to make a large quantity.  I personally do not like making repeats or the same thing over and over, so breaking the card design down into steps made it easier for me and saved me time overall.

It started with a design.  I chose which stamp I wanted to use and I practiced coloring the image.  I had to choose something simple since I knew it would be mass produced.  I went through my stash and found an image I liked.  I then, looked through my dies to see which designs would work to easily create layers on my card.  I recently purchased a layering die set from Spellbinders - A2 Curved Matting Basics B and it fit the image perfectly, with rounded corners - which I liked for a baby card. Once I had the design worked out I broke it down into steps.

First step, die cut the layers I will stamp on and the colored card stock layer.  This was quick and easy with the die cutting machine.  Then I got stamping.  I stamped the image (A Slice of Life - retired Stampin' Up!) and the "thanks" sentiment (Blissful Botanicals - Lawn Fawn).  For a baby card I didn't want to use black ink, so I used Soft Suede ink from Stampin' Up!
Next step, after a few days, I did all the coloring.  This took the most time, but by doing all at once, it sped up the process since the design was all the same and I had all the products out.  I used basic colored pencils - nothing fancy.
After they were all colored, I then adhered them atop the coordinating layer.  On another day, I cut all the card bases and embossed them with an embossing folder.
The final step was assembly.  I tied a bow on each piece and then simply glued them down on the card front. 
If I waited and did all these steps all at once for a large quantity of cards, I would have probably got frustrated, overwhelmed, and bored.  By breaking it down and having things ready to put together in steps, made this mass production easier to handle. If you have a large quantity of cards to make, try to break down the steps - you may find it as less of a task and more enjoyable to create the finished product in bulk.

Jul 2, 2014

Simon Says Stamp July 2014 card kit

In a recent post, I shared that I treated myself to the Simon Says Stamp card kit as a subscription for 3 months.  I got my first kit and I was glad to finally be able to use it.  I was short on time, so I made a quick and simple card.  One of my own personal challenges was to use some product(s) from my stash - not just the new products.  So I pulled out some gray cardstock, blue embossing powder, and a scrap piece of vellum all from my stash.
This card had a few hiccups along the way.  Not only did I use up the last of my glue dots, but I also used up my white gel pen!  And I wanted a faux stitched along the edge, but after I poked all the holes, I couldn't find my needle with the large eye to take the twine - so I couldn't do the stitching.  I was lucky to be able to fit the twine in the top and bottom hole without a needle and I just tied it in the back to try to hide the holes I poked.  Just a bit of reality - not all cards go smoothly or as planned - but that just helps test my creativity on how am I going to work around or fix these hiccups and still complete a nice looking card.
I hope you like this card and the video tutorial below.  Thanks for stopping by!  Please like and subscribe to my channel if you haven't already.  I appreciate your support.
Have a great day!


Jun 21, 2014

Inspired by Nichol Magouirk | Water Color Stamping

This week I was truly inspired by a recent video by Nichol Magouirk.  CLICK HERE  to see her video.  She used Distress Markers and stamps to get a watercolored look that I thought looked so elegant that I wanted to try it out myself.
Now, I do not have Distress Markers nor do I have the stamp set she had featured, so I raided my stash to see what could I use that may get me the same look.  I dusted off my old Watercolor Crayons--which are retired from Stampin' Up.  I then dug through my stamps and I found another old retired Stampin' Up stamp set that had a solid pitcher image that I could use.  I then found some flowers and leaves that too would work.  I was excited to get started and make my own card using the technique Nichol featured.
Check out my video below to see how I did.  I left in a few of my 'struggles' to show the reality of trying a new technique for the first time.




Supplies Used:
Watercolor paper
Elegant Eggplant cardstock - Stampin' Up!
Stamps:  Blissful Botanicals - Lawn Fawn; Dear Lizzy 59163; Dinner Party (retired) - Stampin' Up; Handwritten Notes - Avery Elle
Watercolor Crayons (retired) - Stampin' Up!
Corner Chomper
Aqua Painter - Stampin' Up!
Ink - Pool Hero Arts
Twine

Jun 16, 2014

Treated myself with Simon Says Stamp Kit!

I am on a budget like most of us are.  Especially with a new baby on the way and a few weeks I'm taking off work without pay.  I've gone on a brief 'recession' of my stamping and scrapbooking and I don't like it.  Not the purchasing of new things, but the creating of cards and scrapbook layouts.  Going a length of time without it has really made it more obvious to me how much I enjoy it, miss it, and almost 'need' to do it.  It is a part of who I am and it is a creative outlet that I don't want to lose.

All that aside, as I enter my 8th month of pregnancy, I've been reading a lot of articles that say to 'treat yourself' before the baby arrives.  Getting a manicure and pedicure are definitely on my list - but I wanted to treat myself to something that feeds my creative side.  Knowing that once the baby comes I wont have much time to create, nor shop online, I decided to subscribe to the Simon Says Stamp card kit. This is a monthly subscription for only $20 and you get a box full of goodies delivered to your door.  I thought this would truly make me happy as I stay home with my newborn, to get a box of goodies that will spark creative juices in me.  And if by chance I can squeeze in some creative time, I will have a kit of coordinating products all ready to be used. 

What pushed me to get this kit in particular, was that it included a Simon Says Stamp ink pad - which I've been wanting to try.  Plus, as usual, the stamp set was very appealing and I could see a lot of uses for it.  Though the colors are patriotic, I still feel they are useful basics that will coordinate with what I already have.  And it's such a bargain!  Just the stamp set and the ink along would be $20.  But instead I get the entire kit for $20!  That just makes me feel good.  If you haven't checked out these kits, I encourage you to.  They truly are put together well, and there are a lot of videos on You Tube that highlight the kit and give you ideas for how to use the kits to make different designs of cards.  Click HERE to check out the kit on Simon Says Stamp.

Since I don't celebrate the holidays and many of the kits are holiday themed for those particular months- I have disciplined myself to only get 3 kits for the months of July, August, and September.  So I set up a notification on my calendar to remind me to cancel my subscription on September 1, so I don't get the October-December kits.  This will help me stay on budget of $20 a month - or a total of $60 for three months and no more.  I was able to use a gift card I got from my work for my work anniversary to pay for this subscription. I think this will be a treat that I will truly enjoy - and it will last more than an hour or so.  It will repeat for 3 months and I will have not only the joy or receiving the package, but also using the products.

Jun 7, 2014

Graduation Card and Video


This is the time for graduations and the beginning of summer.  I really love this 'season' since it is a time of change and usually nice weather.  This year my kids are moving on to 7th grade and 6th grade!  Time is going by quickly.  My nieces and nephews are still in grade school and moving up to 3rd grade, 6th grade, and 10th grade.  But we did have one friend of ours who graduated high school this year.  So that's who I made this card for.  I really think the sentiment of "the sky's the limit" is appropriate for a graduation card.  I hope all the graduates out there take some time off to enjoy their youth, but also reflect on their future and what they will now do with themselves.
Now, on to the card (scroll down for the video).  I used the two step stamping set Up Up and Away from Stampin' Up!  I like two step stamping for the look that you get and the combinations of colors and patterns are almost endless.  But the negative is that it does take some time, since the stamps are not clear, I had to use my Stamp-a-ma-jig.  This is a great tool and I show you how to use it in my video below.  But it does add steps and takes some time to use multiple times.  
I then had an epic fail trying to be frugal.  I tried to used painter's tape as a mask on my card.  But it was too sticky and the scratch paper I used it on, just tore when I tried to remove the tape.  So...I think I need to invest in either the real masking paper or the post it notes that are fully covered with adhesive.  I'll have to do some price comparisons since I am still trying to be frugal on paper that will just get used once and then tossed.
After that fail though, the rest of the card came together quite nicely.  I hope you enjoy the video and the design of the card. Scroll down below the video for a list of products used on this card.




Products Used:
Stamps:  Up Up and Away - Stampin' Up!; VC0053 (cloud stamp) - Studio G; Smitty's ABCs - Lawn Fawn; Congratulations C2734 - Hero Arts
Inks: Marina Mist, Pacific Point, Calypso Coral, Basic Gray; Basic Black - Stampin' Up!; Chicken Feed - Jenny Bowlin
Tools: Post It's; stamp-a-ma-jig; scissors, sponges

Jun 2, 2014

Project Life & Pregnancy progress

I am moving along with my pregnancy & my pregnancy album using Project Life pages.  I am now in my 29th week, or 7th month, and I've gained 30 lbs. so far!  I'm really feeling the extra weight on my body.  My legs, feet, and back are getting more sore and I cannot walk or stand for a long period of time.  Running errands now have to be spaced apart, I can't do multiple errands in one day or I get sore and really wiped out.  
The 3D photo here, is of my little guy.  The photo was taken on April 9th..so he is bigger now, probably close to 3 pounds.  He is very active, kicking me a lot!  We are so excited that we have just 10 more weeks to go!

I've been resting a bit more so I haven't been at my craft table much.  But I was happy to get in the mood and I created two more pages in my album!  
I just posted my latest video of the page I shared in my last post here on my blog.  CLICK HERE to see the video.  I have already completed the next two pages without recording, so future videos I will record my process of putting the layouts together.  I am still struggling with the planning part of Project Life.  I don't know which page layout I will be using, so I don't know to print my photos horizontally or vertically.  And some photos are already printed, so I have to really try hard to find a page layout that will work - not only on the front but also the back.  This does take a bit of planning...which is the only difficulty thus far.
I got a new stamp set from Basic Gray for less than $6 from JoAnn's.  It is shown here.  It is quite a simple stamp set, but very useful for Project Life. I also placed an order from Two Peas In a Bucket and got a few more alphabet sticker sets that were in their clearance. I got some My Mind's Eye 6x6 paper pads that had colors and patterns that I thought would work for a baby album.  The pads I got are called Presh and Charm.  I also got a cute baby boy sticker set from the Snap! collection.  Click on the links to see a preview of these items.  Lots of fun goodies to use in upcoming layouts, I'm excited to use them.  Stayed tuned for more layouts and a card video too!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.



Apr 25, 2014

Project Life | Pregnancy Album

 Well, I've started my pregnancy album and I am using the Project Life system for it.  This is my first time ever using Project Life.  I bought a variety pack of page protectors, so I get different layouts to work with.  This I think is the best thing so that each page can be different and I can mix and match the 3x4 and 4x6 photos.
I will be posting a video on my You Tube page to give an overview of how I made these pages and what made it easier for me to make these pages quickly.
One software I used to make the 3x4 photos, is called PicMonkey.  It is free and it allows you to add text to your photos as well as format them in 3x4 sizes - and you simply send it to your printer as a 4x6.  Click HERE for the video tutorial I found on this simple tool.
By having both 4x6 and 3x4 pictures to work with, it simplified the layout process. 
The difficulty I did find was that I had to preplan a bit more as to horizontal and vertical pictures.  Trying to keep the photos in order and use the same page layout front and back - made it a bit of a challenge.  So, if you can plan it out before you print your pictures, that would help a lot.  Keeping dates on your pictures too will help.  Fortunately, most of my photos were on my phone or in Instagram - so I can see what date the photo was taken.  After I printed them, I wrote on the back the dates so I can be sure they were in order.
The thing I do like about this Project Life format is that it gives me a place to put these photos quickly and I can add my journaling - and it doesn't have to be fancy.  Just writing on a card and putting in a photo pocket is truly fast and easy.  I have a journal I've been writing in to keep track of 'major' events during my pregnancy.  This helped again to keep things in order and made it fast to journal since I had it already written down.  I didn't have to try to remember what happened months ago.
Another thing I found that I liked, was using alphabet stickers.  This seemed to be faster than stamping and I was able to mix colors and fonts which gives a nice look - quickly and easily.  I am trying to keep most of my embellishments as one layer as possible.  I did add a brad or two, but mostly are stickers.  I think these are essential for Project Life.  Not only to add for titles, but also to add atop pictures to add more journaling or simply the date of the photo.  Doing my first page of Project Life was truly a learning experience.  But I do like it since it was quite fast to create these pages.  Stay tuned for more pages and a video.

By the way - I just found out that Stampin' Up! has teamed up with Project Life - so they will be selling some exclusive products.  Just keep that in mind, if you have a demonstrator and you host a party.  You might be able to get some Project Life items for free!

Thanks for stopping by!
Ezlie Perez

Apr 8, 2014

Chef card | watercoloring

After much delay, I was finally able to do some stamping!  My dad asked me to make a card for him to give to a chef.  To add some visual interest and texture I used the stripes embossing folder for the card base.  I used some older stamps I had from Martha Stewart for the bowls, spoon, and rolling pin.  I made a cery tiny mask for the spoon, using a post it, so i could stamp the rolling pin to appear behind the spoon. 
 To color, I used two colors of distress ink for the browns and I used basic inks from Stampin Up and my water brush.  For a little extra touch, I heat embossed the sentiment in black ink.  The sentiment is from a retired Stampin Up set that I can't part with.  
In my next post I'll do a quick review of my first ever Project Life pages for my pregnany/baby album.  Stay tuned and happy stamping.

Mar 21, 2014

Spring is here!


Well, finally Winter is over and Spring is here.  With Spring comes the typical feelings of starting over, cleaning house, and working on the yard.  In a few weeks we will begin construction on the nursery.  We will be changing the existing window, which runs down to the floor, to a more standard bedroom window with a wall below it.  This will be much safer for a child's bedroom and would provide more privacy since the window is facing the front of the house. 
After that construction is done, we will paint the nursery.  I had chosen neutral colors.  Either a vanilla type cream/yellow tone or a very pale gray/white color.  My husband preferred the gray tones so that is what we will be going with - no matter if we have a boy or a girl. 
As you can see from my photo, at this point we still do not know what we are having, a boy or a girl.  I posted this photo on Instagram and Facebook to see what my friends and family guess the baby's sex to be.  Most think a girl, but it is almost 50-50 of those who think we are having a boy.  So we are truly excited to find out - I just hope the ultrasound goes well and the doctor is able to tell.  My appointment is next week and I can't wait!
Spring is a great time to get prepared for the new baby.  So I'm hoping to get things moving starting in April.  We will be having a garage sale to get rid of some of the office furniture we had that was in the nursery - that we no longer have space for.  After the construction and painting, I will start getting some of the organization bins and such to fit in the current cabinets we have.  These I plan on getting from Ikea.  I will also get a hamper and new light bulbs, with softer light, for the nursery.  Then I'll be at a stand still until we get closer to summer. 
So my Spring will begin well with setting up the nursery. We also will begin some baby proofing - especially in regards to our swimming pool.  We might be installing a new safety gate/screen so the baby wont be able to slide it open or fall through the screen and get to the pool.  My dogs too might go under some training to control their barking.  It will be tough to have a new baby trying to sleep when my dogs bark like crazy every time my husband comes home, the doorbell rings, or our neighbors are outside.  Hopefully these items take a little bit if time to keep me busy so that the time will go by a bit faster.  Hopefully, before I know it Summer will be here!  =)
-Ezlie