Monday, July 21, 2008

Heidi Swapp Coaster Book

Have you ever gone out to eat, looked down at the coaster on your table and thought, "What a waste." Afterall, most times, those little squares or circles get tossed at the end of your meal. Well, save them! Toss them in your purse and I'll show you why.

Coasters make the perfect medium for a mini album. They are made out of chipboard, which makes them sturdier than regular cardstock. Plus, once you cover them with paper, no on will be none the wiser.

Here is a mini album I made with 5 coasters. It has pictures of everyone and what the individual likes at this very moment. Since there isn't a lot of product on the pages, it was quick and easy.

The Summers Family

Patterned Papers:
-Heidi Swapp Carefree
-Heidi Swapp Runway
Felt Arrow, Stars, and Heart: Fancy Pants
Paper Piercer: Heidi Swapp Petite Piercer
Craft Knife: Heidi Swapp Paper Knife
Black Pen: American Crafts Memory Markers
Ink: ColorBox
Hole Puncher: Crop-A-Dile
Adhesive: EZ Runner
Chipboard Hearts: Making Memories
Chipboard Letters: Heidi Swapp
Mask: Heidi Swapp
Flowers: Petaloo
Paper Edging: Doodlebug Paper Frills
Dymo Labeler

First you will need to choose paper for each of the coasters. Cut 10 pieces, each 4"x4". Use your tape runner and run a strip of adhesive as close to the edge of your square as possible. Firmly press the paper to your chipboard.

To make stitches on the front cover, use the Heidi Swapp paper piercer and punch holes, spreading them out 1/4". Then use embroidery floss and tie a neat knot where you begin and end. Draw a freehand heart, cut out from the patterend paper, then cut a smaller heart out of the middle. Use a letter sticker the corresponds with your last name. All of the edges are distressed using ColorBox ink pads. To do this, lightly run your ink pad across the edges at a slight angle. I also like to outline my letters/embellishments when they are on a busy patterned paper. It makes it stand out a bit more.

The second page utilizes a technique called masking. Masking is taking an item (here I used a Heidi Swapp bird mask) and painting or inking over it. The surrounding paper will change color, while the paper under the mask will remain the same. I used different ink pads to achieve this look. The journaling refers to the things my family enjoys doing together.

The third page laters a photo over the top of two hand drawn flowers that have been outlined to stand out against the background. Ink the edges. Behind this page is journaling referring to what the person in the photo enjoys.

The following pages utilizes the same techniques. The edges have been inked, the photos are outlined to help them pop off the page, and a felt shape has been added.

To bind the album together, I used a Crop-A-Dile to first punch a hole in the middle of each page (approximately 1/2 inch away from the edge). Then running a thick ribbon through the holes, I tied it together. Use various sized ribbons in various colors, tied to the larger ribbon, for extra color and texture.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Jessica Summers

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Scrapbooking 101: The Basics

Scrapbooking 101

Are you unsure about where and how to begin scrapbooking? Do you feel overwhelmed by all of the tools and embellishments available? Let me help dispel these concerns. The following is a brief overview of typical supplies and materials. Clicking on the links will take you to that particular product on my Memory Works website.

Let's begin!

An album lets you safely store and display your finished layout. There are many forms of albums that range in size and the way it is bounded. Traditionally scrapbook pages are 12" x 12" or 8.5" x 11", but there are smaller variations as well. Two typical types of scrapbooks are:

1.) Three Ring: This is similar to a school binder with it's 3 metal rings that hold page protectors in place. Adjusting pages in the 3 ring album is easier than the post bound.
2.) Post Bound: In a bost bound album, two or three screw/bolt like posts hold pages in place. To rearrange your pages or add more protectors, you have to dismantle the album. It is not difficult, just a bit more time consuming versus the 3 ring.

Protecting your finished layouts from fingerprints, tearing, or breaking apart you are going to need an album that features clear page protectors. These are standard in most albums, but not all. If your album does not have them, you can purchase them seperately. Also, like anything you use, your protectors need to be PVC free (polyvinyl chloride) which is harmful to photographs. If your page protector smells like a vinyl shower curtain, don't use it!!

Adhesive is available in many styles and what you need depends on what you are doing. Some of the most important things to remember are that your glues are nontoxic, acid free, must not discolor over time, or have an odor once dry. If you use a glue with these things, you risk the chance of ruining your photographs and scrapbook pages over time. Here are a few suggestions regarding glue:

  • Glue Sticks: For things like matting, I generally use a gluestick. Some people claim that glue sticks do not work, but for everyday projects, I have not had an issue with them. Team it up with a brayer for even application and to get the bumps out.

  • Glue Pen: A glue pen is great when you are gluing many small objects or embellishments.

  • Bottled Glue: A liquid glue that is distributed through the narrow tip. Works well with small embellishments as well.

  • Glue Dots: These are great for a three-dimensional feel to your layouts. They come in a variety of sizes, textures, are permanent, and most imporantly, easy to work with. I prefer using glue dots on projects that are not protected with a protector sheet or will be handled alot by individuals.

  • Tape Dispensers: Tape dispensers are my favorite to work with simply because they are fast and permanent (although a reversable type is available if you make mistakes). Some are a refillable as well.

Cardstock is the foundation for your photographs or layouts because it is thicker than regular paper. The two basic types of cardstock are textured or non-textured and it comes in hundreds of colors. It also tends to be the most affordable. I suggest, for the beginner, stocking up on the whites, blacks, and neutrals. Memory Works sells various textured color packs that have one main color with three different tones (for example: light blue, medium blue, and dark blue).

Sometimes coordinating the print on patterned paper can be overwhelming and time consuming. The great thing about Memory Works is that they put together paper lines to take the guesswork out of scrapping. The important things is to pick a style you are comfortable with. Some brands have a distressed feel (Basic Grey, Cosmo Cricket), some are bring a vintage feel (My Mind's Eye), or there is the bold graphic feel (American Crafts, Doodlebug). Alot of paper is now printed on both sides.

I suggest all scapbookers have both large scissors and small scissors. The larger scissors will allow you to cut papers and embellishments while the smaller allows cutting of finer detailed projects. It is also imporant that your scissors stay sharp and clean. There is nothing more frustrating than a pair of scissors that won't cut properly!

A trimmer is a great tool to have because it makes cutting your papers faster and more precise. I have the Provo Craft 12" Zision Trimmer and have never had a problem. You can purchase scoring blades for card making or general paper folding.

A craft or xacto knife is an imporant tool for intricate cutting with chipboard letters, die-cuts, etc. Don't forget to get a craft mat too! Don't ruin your scrapping surface, order a self-healing mat to protect your table from sharp objects like craft knifes, eyelet setters, and paper piercers.

A clear ruler is a must for obvious reasons. It is going to allow you to evenly space out embellishents and help with the planning of your projects. I prefer a clear one because I use mine to space out my letter stickers before applying it to my layout. No more guesswork if the letters will fit properly or if they are even!

Punching holes and setting eyelets or snaps has never been this easy! Both of these tools QUIETLY punches and sets your embellishments with a squeeze of the handle. The Big Bite is larger and has a longer reach than the original Crop-a-Dile.

Please feel free to ask questions! I'm here to teach. :)

-Jessica Summers
Memory Works Independent Consultant #418928


Monday, July 14, 2008

About Me

My name is Jessica, an army wife and mother to two beautiful (and silly) kids. We live in the gorgeous Bavarian region of Germany. Although I've been here for less than a year, I have already fallen in love with it. My only complaint is the monetary conversion rate and the lack of scrapbooking and craft stores in my area. That is why MemoryWorks caught my eye. I find that there is a need for a venue for military spouses overseas to shop and learn scrapbooking without having to worry about the costs associated with buying on the economy.

As an independent consultant, I am new to the field, but please do not let that discourage you. I have been scrapbooking for many years and have worked along side some serious talent via design teams. I look forward to sharing with you the best, newest, and hottest products on the market. Not sure what to do with it? No problem! I offer workshops, teaching beautiful projects with even more beautiful product. Need an idea for a page? I have sketches available to aid in quicker scrapbooking.

Why scrapbooking? For those of you who are either brand new or completely unfamiliar to the craft, you are probably asking yourself what the big deal is? Scrapbooking is a multi-billion dollar industry and the fastest growing hobby in the US. Here are a few reasons why I enjoy scrapbooking:

1. Protecting and sharing memories in a physical medium (i.e. an album) that can be viewed decades down the road.
2. It keeps me connected with the people, events, places and experiences that make up my life.
3. Completing a layout or a project gives a enormous sense of accomplishent, even if the finished product is small. I end up with a feeling of being capable of accomplishing more and feeds my drive to create.
4. It is my favorite creative outlet and stress relief.
5. The social aspect of scrapbooking is phenominal. Besides having fun exploring your art, you learn new techniques and tips from other enthusiasts.

Whether you attend a scrapbooking party, a crop, or a workshop with me, I look forward to showing you how to accomplish your crafting desires. Feel free to email me any questions or if you need recommendations on starting.