Friday, July 30, 2010

Week of Sakura and Project 365...

It has been a fun Sakura week here on my blog... and what is more fun that a photo of the RAK!?  So here it is... post a comment on one (or more) of the Sakura posts from this week and become one of my followers (if you aren't already).  One winner will be chosen randomly to win the RAK as seen here...

A set of Permapaque® Fine Point Markers, a silver Pen-touch® Paint Marker, 2 Glaze® pens (Gloss Real Red and Gloss Deep Green), a set of "Git R Dun" alpha stamps, a scalloped acrylic mini album, a "Love" chipboard set and a yummy pack of buttons.   Good Luck!

Now... back to Project 365... Anna, Abby and Daddy went on a hike up at Daily Ranch this weekend.  They were gone for several hours so, of course, they needed to take a little water break!

Anna and I were playing with her Play-Doh and having a fantastic time.  (One of my FAVORITE things in the world is to open a BRAND NEW container of Play-Doh and take a deep breath... I LOVE the smell of Play-Doh... always have... Anna thinks I'm crazy... and she will do the same thing when she is my age!)  Back to the photo... Anna made me a nice bowl of "shrimp pasta..."  She was just soooo cute, I just had to share!

Make it a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Week of Sakura - Permapaque® Markers...

Let's just put it right out there... if you want to add color to any project, you need to check out the Permapaque® Opaque Pigment Markers by Sakura.  Now, my favorites (the Sakura Glaze® and Gelly Roll® Pens) give projects lots of color with a "wet" or shiny finished look.  The Permapaque® gives you a rich matte finish, bold colors, and metallic finishes as well. 

I have done a lot of stamping and coloring this week, which I started doing with the Permapaque® Markers as well (see confession regarding my lack of drawing ability in the posts below...).  Then, I decided to try something a little different... I created this acrylic wall hanging for Jeff's office.  This photo of Anna is his current favorite and I thought his office needed a bit of "girly girl!"  ;-)  I used several of the Permapaque® Markers (mostly metallics) and stamped on the back of the acrylic.  Then I added some Prima flowers and rhinestones to the front for some "pop."  I finished it off using the Permapaque® Fine Point, White, for the journaling and this quick little project was DONE!

One note about the Permapaque® and stamping... these pens dry VERY quickly... which in most cases is a very GOOD THING... unless you are trying to ink up all the details of a stamp, line it up, and then stamp... you have to be pretty fast to get the job done before it dries, but the end result is VERY COOL!

Now... about the RAK... I KNOW that you guys are lurking... the number of hits on my blog have EXPLODED in the past few days... but you are not commenting... come on now... that is the only way to get in on the random drawing for the RAK!!!  You have until midnight, August 1st to post comments on one of more of the Sakura posts. 

Make it a "Wooooo Hooooo" kinda day!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week of Sakura... Glaze® Pens... Ahhhhhhhh...

There is NO secret that I LOVE Sakura's Glaze® Pens... come on now... I use them on almost EVERY layout or project that I create.  Here are some NEW layouts that I created with my favorite pens...

I use them to add accents...

I use them for titles and journaling... (and tag accents)

I use them for all sorts of fun!  I used them here to accent the scallops and the journaling tag.

The pens are very easy to use and give you a nice, solid line.  (Some other pens I've used give you a partial line making it necessary for you to go back and re-trace your words for a solid look.)  Once dry, which takes about a minute, the ink gives you a cool glossy look... as if the ink is still wet, but it is nice and glossy dry! 

If you haven't tried the Glaze® and/or Gelly Roll® Pens by Sakura, you have to go get a few TODAY!!!  You will LOVE what they add to your layouts and projects!

RAK question for today... What is your favorite pen?  You know... the one you always grab for every project or journaling block?  (Check out the RAK rules in the post from July 26th below).  Make it a WONDERFUL day!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Week of Sakura... Koi Water Colors™ (and several confessions...)

Before I start today's post, I need to make a few things clear...

... I CAN NOT draw.  You DON'T want to be on my team for Pictionary...
... I know NOTHING about painting... supplies... brushes... techniques... not... none... nada...
... I am a BEGINNER stamper... I am learning, but I am still on the "training wheel" stage...

With that said, today's product review is for Sakura's Koi Water Colors™, Pocket Field Sketch Box (with water brush.)  Let that sink in just a bit... I don't know how to paint, but I am sampling a water color set... I can't draw, but I have to create something with the water colors.  That leaves stamping, which I have just learned how to stamp without getting the "wiggle" print.  Can I just say how SCARED I was to try this product and then have to share my samples with you...!!!  AAAAUUUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!

Well, now that the disclaimers are out of the way, I think you are going to be as surprised as I was at just how awesome this journey was for me!

So... I grabbed some stamps, white Bazzill Cardstock and the Koi Water Colors™ set.  And here are my first attempts at stamping and then coloring with the water colors... yes... I am going to share the scary adventure step by step...

Hummm... not too bad, but not good either.  The first thing that I noticed was how easy the Waterbrush was to use.  In case you (like me) have NO idea how a Waterbrush works, you simply put water inside the brush chamber and slightly squeeze the brush when you need water to lighten or mix colors or to clean the brush.  No need to keep a messy water cup on your table (and risk it tipping and ruining your work!)  Just a little squeeze of the brush and wipe the tip of the brush with your paper towel and... CLEAN!  Anna (6 years old) was also trying the Waterbrush and water colors and WOW!  She was able to paint and clean the brush with NO MESS AT ALL!  We both LOVED that new brush... now I just have to get some more! ;-)

So, I played some more... started blending colors and creating scenes with my stamps.  These turned out alright, but I was just not getting the color blending right... then I made a mistake that changed things quite a bit.  I squeezed the Waterbrush just a bit too hard and a few extra drops of water landed on a project.  I grabbed the paper towel and daubed the extra water off the project... and a light came on... ((( "laaaaaaaaaaa" )))  The result was that most of the paint was removed, but a little stain stayed behind.  So, I added a bit more paint... and daubed... and I started to get a muddled look... and I LOVED it!

Next was to start playing with the paint, daub... paint, daub... blend with some water, daub... I created some fun tags for future projects... my mind was now SPINNING with the possibilities of painting and blending... then add inking... some Glaze® pens... HOLY COW... WOOOO HOOOOO!!!

FINALLY... a card that I can send to a friend without having to write a "disclosure" on the envelope before it is opened!!! 
Now... I STILL can't draw...
... I still don't know (very much) about painting...
... and I'm still learning about stamping...
... but look at the cool projects that I was able to create with just a little bit of creative play time! 

SERIOUSLY, if I can do this, YOU can do this!  The set I sampled has 12 colors, one water brush and one sponge.  It is a great size that you can easily take to every crop!  Oh, and after reading the directions (note to self, read all the directions FIRST!) there are several mixing wells molded in the cover of the case. 

For those of you in the painting field, thank you for not laughing at my first painting experience.  For you scrappers, if you haven't tried water paints yet... you have a new technique to try!!!

TODAY'S RAK QUESTION... I would LOVE to hear your ideas for incorporating water colors into scrapping!  Read all the RAK disclosures in the post below and get your comments flowing!  See you tomorrow for more Sakura goodies!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week of SAKURA!!! Fun... Samples... and a RAK!

(Glaze® Pens in Gloss Black and Gloss White. 
This layout was on the cover of ScrapStreet Magazine, November 2008.)

YEP... I love SAKURA!  I use their Glaze® Pens (in black and/or white) on almost every layout or project that I create!  So, imagine my excitement when I was contacted by Sakura and given the opportunity to play with some of their other products and colors (yes, I need to play with some different colors!) !!!  Ohhhhhhhh, happy day! 

(Glaze® pen in Gloss Black)

Today I am sharing with you some of my favorite projects using Sakura... tomorrow, the new creations start! 

(Glaze® Pen in Gloss White)

And, of course, there is going to be a RAK after all of this Sakura fun!  All you need to do is leave a post on one of the Sakura posts from this week (if you leave a comment on more than one post, you will be entered into the random drawing once for each post!)  Please also become one of my followers or remind me that you are already parked over there in my group of AWESOME followers... you are not going to want to miss a thing!

(Glaze® Pen in Gloss Black and Gloss White)

Today's question for the Week of Sakura post is this... "What is your favorite Sakura product?"

(Glaze® Pen in Gloss Black)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Project 365... Anniversary Gift, CHA Disaster and WEEK OF SAKURA tease...

... So, now that I am caught up with my Project 365 postings, I have 3 daily photos for you...

First... my anniversary gift from Jeff. Now, we usually don't do very much at all for our anniversary... let's see... the day of our first anniversary we moved into our house (I bought a CD of our first dance..."When a Man Loves A Woman" and we danced to it on the boom box, amongst all the boxes... after the kids were asleep... and had a glass of sparkling apple cider.) Year 2... Jeff adopted Jessica and Chris... Year 3... Anna was born... Year 4... Jeff finished chemo... Year 5... We went on a HUGE family cruise to the Caribbean with Mom and Dad and Kyle... Year 8... I "kidnapped" Jeff from work and took him to a local resort for the night... and here we are at Year 9. OK... really... life is so busy and full of excitement for us, that we have been "celebrating our lives" around each anniversary... and only celebrated ourselves a few times.

This year (year 9), Anna planned (for over a week) that we were going to have a family movie cuddle night for "our" anniversary! Jeff got me a present (which he wasn't supposed to do)... he read that the traditional gift for 9 years is "pottery"... so he bought me a blue and brown pot (two of my favorite colors) with a plant in it... he said the blue in the pot reminded him of my eyes and the plant represented my LOVE of plants with BIG LEAVES! He NAILED it! My love (fascination) of big leaves started on our honeymoon... specifically when we were in the jungle of the Dominican Republic and the leaves from the trees were SEVERAL FEET ACROSS... at a minimum!!!  We had a PJ family night with Anna... meatloaf for dinner (Jeff's favorite)... it was a GREAT night!

Next... and I must warn you, this is a VERY SCARY PICTURE... you might want to turn the faces of your younger kids...

This is a picture of my scrap room...
... While designing for CHA... (for you non-scrappers, CHA is held twice per year and is one of the biggest trade shows for the crafting industry!!!) Companies release their new lines/products at CHA and due to production dates, samples of the new products are only available for the designers about 10-14 days before the show... which means that we (designers) get a box of new product... with an assignment sheet... and due dates... let's just say that there is usually a 7 day (or less) turn around from receiving the product to creating a LARGE amount of projects and having to mail it off to get it to the show... so the company has project samples with their NEW products in their booth at the show...

In the past 10 days, I have created 8 layouts, 6 cards, 2 COMPLETE mini albums and a hanging mobile, taken photos of all these projects, mailed them and prepared them for press releases... WHEW! And I am scrapper that just CAN'T create in a mess... I have to get around that during CHA season... this photo is after I finished my Graphic 45 assignments and before I did the My Little Shoebox assignments... so, yes, I had to clean this all up before I could start the next round of creations...

Project 365... photo #3... MY SAVING GRACE!!! So, I was (obviously) in a creative fiasco and guess what, I RAN OUT OF ADHESIVE! SERIOUSLY... when it comes to CHA assignments that have to get through mailing, displaying in the booth and being touched by the store/company owners and the media, they have to be PERFECT... and to run out of the adhesive that I TRUST to keep my projects together... UNBELIEVABLE!!! THANK GOD, my favorite supplier of ATG tape (Framing Supplies) got my tapes to me... in their unmistakable puffy circle of shipping... I ALWAYS know when their shipment has arrived!!! WOOO HOOOO!

Here we go... THE WEEK OF SAKURA will be starting shortly!!! You are NOT going to believe the product line that I have been playing with... I will give you my opinions of their products, samples, and a RAK, so DON'T GO ANYWHERE!!! It is going to be a GREAT CHA WEEK here... see you shortly!

Friday, July 23, 2010

CHA Samples Right and Left...

Today, the "Green" line is being highlighted on the My Little Shoebox blog, along with this sample I made called, "Biker Chick."  Yep!  This is another "floating" layout... I'm really enjoying that technique at the moment!  Since this is an 8 1/2 x 11 layout, I was able to just use one regular transparency sheet to hold the layout together.  This prevented me from having a seam to cover like in the Graphic 45 layout posted below.

Be sure to check out the My Little Shoebox blog... they are gearing up for some fun during CHA week... including a live interview that will be shared on Wednesday (July 28th)!  Make it a GREAT day!

Another My Little Shoebox CHA Sample...

This is another sample layout I created for the "Sunday Market" line that will be released at CHA by My Little Shoebox.  There is a lot going on here, but my favorite design element was... well... a mistake!  I cut the piece of cardboard and distressed it... not a mistake.  I dry brush painted it with a cream paint... not a mistake.  I used the new My Little Shoebox stamps on top of the paint... again, not a mistake.  THEN... I decided that the cream paint was too white for this line and it needed to be a bit more yellow, so I sprayed some Glimmer Mist on the cardboard... that in itself was not a mistake... but then... the brown stamps started to bleed a bit (not anticipating the bleeding was the mistake)... BUT... I liked the effect... and then the Glimmer Mist dried and the whole piece took on a crusty, shimmery look... and it almost looked like wallpaper... SOOOOOOO, the moral to this story is, DON'T ADMIT TO MISTAKES IN SCRAPBOOKING!  Nobody else, but you, knows that the BRILLIANT new technique you used wasn't your game plan all along... ;-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm featured on the Graphic 45 blog...

WOW!  Twice in one week!  As the entire scrapbook industry packs to head to Chicago for CHA (Craft and Hobby Association)... for one of the two biggest shows of the year, I am sitting here, scrambling to finish my last design samples.  However, when I see my work featured, I just have to stop and do a quick post! ;-)

This is a quick and simple layout I created with the "On the Boardwalk" line by Graphic 45.  Yes, it is a "floating" layout... transparency paper is holding the layout together.  For more information and the supply list for this project, head on over to the Graphic 45 blog (for July 22nd).

DON'T FORGET... Monday, July 26th starts a WEEK OF SAKURA!  You won't want to miss it!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Jeff!

I still can't believe that we have been married for almost a decade... and have been together for over 11 years!  I thought it would be fun to go back through our honeymoon pictures and share a few of my favorites from that INCREDIBLE 2 weeks!  Enjoy this trip back through memory lane...

 Our honeymoon started overlooking Dana Point in the Honeymoon Suite at the DoubleTree Guest Suites.  Yes, that place was INCREDIBLE!  The next morning, we opened wedding gifts at Jeff's parents' house and then took the kids to start our "family" honeymoon.  We spent 2 days at Disneyland... we stayed in a two room suite (the kids had bunkbeds which they LOVED!)  We laughed and played and had a WONDERFUL lunch at Club 33... the private (and hidden) club at Disneyland.  (Can you believe how little the kids were...?)

 Then it was off to Campland for several days of family fun with Mom and Dad.  We had all of our wedding flowers there at the campsite... it was the best looking campsite around!

Next, we were off to the Dominican Republic for a week... just the two of us.  We stayed in the most beautiful resort on the north side of the island... between the towns of Sosua and Caberete.

We met two other couples (from North Carolina and England) that were on their honeymoons, too.  The six of us got along GREAT and we traveled around together all week.

We went on a mountain bike tour (yes, we took our bike helmets on our honeymoon)... a DOWNHILL tour... sure, I had run marathons, but I was NOT a biker.  I had a ton of fun (even after that big crash on the rocks... a story for another time).  Who would know that years later I would LOVE cycling...?

We all went on a tour to local waterfalls in the jungle... we climbed up (and came down) a series of 16 waterfalls with our tour guides.  We met a couple (they were Americans) that were about to start a tour company in the area.  They needed a group to test out their tours and the six of us were MORE THAN HAPPY to be their guinea pigs!  Here we are, celebrating, before heading out of the jungle and back to our resort. "Careful, slippy here..." and those HUGE HUGE tree leaves... ahhh, memories! 

We had so many experiences... like swimming in the ocean at the start of Tropical Storm Barry... the frequent power outages... the HUGE moths... the fish fry... our last dinner with our friends in town... the day on the beach with "Placido Domingo.."  all stories for another time.  We were actually delayed getting home by a day... we were bumped from our original flight because some rapper was on the flight and "his possie" and security bumped the rest of us from the flight... American Airlines put us up in a hotel for the night and flew us home IN FIRST CLASS... HOLY COW, first class TOTALLY ROCKS!  Not that we can ever afford it again, but it was the perfect end to a perfect honeymoon!

I love you with all my heart, Jeff!  I'm making your favorite for dinner...see you home soon! ;-)

Project 365 - CAMPLAND Vacation, Beach, Midway, Playing...

I CAN'T BELIEVE that I will be caught up with Project 365 after today's post... WOOO HOOOO!  Now I have to be better with a photo a day (or so) in the true spirit of the project! 

These photos are of our vacation to Campland on Mission Bay in San Diego.  We have been "camping" there for about 20 years now.  I say "camping" loosely because, although we sleep in a tent, we go with Mom and Dad who have the awesome tricked out camper... we eat steak and shrimp... there are 2 pools, a beach, a fully staffed daily recreation program with games, competitions, crafts, live bands, dances, etc., a restaurant, store, skateboard park, basketball courts... let's just say that the place is AMAZING! 

This year, as usual, we were there with Mary and John and the kids and Kyle, too.  And although there was some family drama (when is there NOT drama?) it was another nice vacation.  Hope you enjoy the photos of our trip!
Our campsite was right on Mission Bay and we were treated to the MOST AMAZING night of fireworks that we had EVER seen.  From our campfire, we could see 8 different 4th of July firework displays!  The biggest was the City of San Diego show which had multiple locations doing the same show at the same time!  We were "ohhing" and "ahhhing" for over an hour!  It was spectacular!

We spent one day exploring the USS Midway Museum in San Diego Harbor.  If you were thinking this might not be a fun day with little kids, you would be WRONG!  They have a self guided tour (one for adults and one for kids!) that tells you all about the ship... the history... how it worked... what happened on each part of the ship... it was FANTASTIC!  Dad and Jeff were almost "giddy" they had so much fun... in fact, we ended up buying the family membership so that we can go back again and again for the next year!  Uncle Paul and Bob, we have tickets so we can take you in September!!! :-)

Doesn't Mom look GREAT!?  :-)

Jeff and Dad were having so much fun together!  I have a whole series of photos like this one that I can't WAIT to scrap!

Anna was listening to the flight deck phones... and, yes... she was looking for change... (I almost peed my pants laughing so hard when I figured out what she was doing!)

Dad... cracks... me... up!  As we were passing by this display of flight deck crew members, Dad said, "Hey, Tracey.  If we pose over here, will you put us on your blog?"  ( I hadn't already taken about 200 pictures of our visit to the Midway...)  So here is your cute photo, Dad!  I love you!! ;-)

Our last day... playing at the park adjacent to Campland... this city park is BEAUTIFUL!  Long rolling grassy lawns and hills right up against the sand and bay... playgrounds... picnic areas... biking/running path (which is where our regular bike ride around the bay usually starts)... just beautiful! 

Anna had been waiting all week to fly her Princess kite!

Another of our favorite parks in Mission Bay... one last swing before we left for home.