Friday, September 26, 2014

September's My Creative Scrapbook page instructions

Hello everyone!

Here are my instructions/tips/techniques for September's pages from My Creative Scrapbook.

Back 2 School Today:

I chose a neutral background to match skin tone making the colors of the clothing pop more.

I cut down the pink tack paper to around 11x11 and then cut out the inside. This is easy to do because the other side of the paper is a graph with nice, straight lines.

I kind of arranged everything how I thought I wanted it before I sewed it down. I first inked up the edges of the paper and then used my sewing machine. I ripped and bent the pages around the sewing.

I arranged and inked up the edges of the background mats. I sometimes like to use the tear off sheet of the paper which I did in this case. I left "creative agenda" in the design.

I added "8" and "5" stickers to the corners of the photos to indicate which grade my kids were going into this year.

I decided to use part of the graph I had just cut out. I used a paper punch to make the edge.

and then I used distress ink and a dauber to rough up the edges.

After sticking down the photos, I added stickers here and there and arranged my title as shown.


This was an easy page.

The photo was already printed in a sepia kind of tone. I cut each square 2.5x2.5 inches and inked each edge with a brown instead of a black to match the color of the photo.

I measured in from the top and left of background about an inch and made a pencil line so I could keep my squares straight.

Of course, it never always works out that way, so the little tiny ripped blue dot not only helps ground the picture, but it also covers over part of the squares that didn't match up perfectly.

For the title, I started the "B" right under the strawberry my daughter is holding. After setting that up, I went backwards for "straw" and added the "w" to the edge of the "B".

I poked a hole in the flower with a paper piercer and added a brad.

To make the visual triangle, I used the pink "straw" and the other two pink stickers.

Good Morning:

I never feel like a project is complete without some sort of paint or messy material thrown on it.

 The first thing I did was to paint the background a bright blue.

After the paint drys (OK, not really. I rarely wait for the paint to dry), I added the photo to the mat, rounded the corners and inked the edges. As I usually do, I tape the long edges of the mat so I can add a removable tag behind the photo for journaling. Staple a ribbon to the card.

 I used some scrap pieces to add this little cluster at the top corner. It doesn't show here, but I did use a paper piercer on the flower to add a brad as the center.

The page seemed like it still needed something, so I played off the "Good Morning" title and made some additional sun bursts. I just cut them out by hand with scissors.

And here is the biggest tip of all...Spray ink the paper before you cut them out. *sigh*. I had the great idea of misting them with glimmer ink but not until I had already cut them out.

After gluing the pieces on around the top of the frame, I pulled out a bottle of Stickles and added glitter to the title, the buttons and then made little dots of glitter around the page.

School starts tomorrow:

Each year on the last day of summer vacation, we go out to breakfast to celebrate. Usually the kids want to go to Wafflehouse (which btw, I think my daughter plans on having her wedding there) but this particular year they chose Ihop.

The pictures were really, really busy and not that good so I didn't want to add too much patterned paper to the background. I decided to emphasize the title.

I ripped off the "s" on "Days" so it was just "Day". I arranged my photos as show, and the taped them down. I very carefully moved the title around until it was just how I wanted it. I never stick the alpha stickers all the way down when deciding on title placement. Sometimes I use wax paper to temporary hold the stickers while I move them around, but after years of making sticker titles, I don't bother doing that anymore. If a sticker rips while I'm moving things around, I don't worry about it. I just think it adds character. ;)

I added other stickers to help move the eye around on the page. I really like those tack stickers.

To add just a little more detail, I used a white pen to add dots to the black font and then I used a black pen to add little dots around some of the photos.

Again, I taped down the yellow piece on the bottom on the long ends so I could add a removable tag for journaling. Staple a ribbon to the card.

That's it! Thank you everyone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This is Sick Bay...

I can show you 101 pictures of PACC’s (Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, AZ) Dog Recovery Room, AKA Sick Bay, but you’ll never know what it’s really like unless you’re in there.

You’ll never know the smell.

It hits you the second you push open the heavy metal door but before you even step into the room. That natural putrid smell of dog crap, urine, and vomit mixed with PACC’s sweet smelling laundry detergent fills the air. And, sadness. Yes, sadness is a smell in the Recovery Room.

You’ll never know the noise of the dogs barking as they sit there staring at a wall.

If they’re not barking, they’re gagging or gasping or coughing horrible noises that sound deep and guttural like a lion’s roar but much quieter and not nearly as majestic. It’s a desperate, longing and lonely sound.

Once they realize no one is coming after they bark for hours on end, they may settle down and rest on their donated but tattered blankets. They try to sleep but other dogs start barking or it’s too cold from the AC blowing directly on them and they can only rest minutes at a time.

There are 16 kennels in sickbay and they’re almost always full.

There are cartoon paintings of dogs on the walls but you can’t really see them unless you’re looking through the window from outside.

The rest of the room is a large tomb. It’s gray block, fitted with filthy windows that are at best translucent. The years of hard water and chemicals have left the windows with a milky cast.

Volunteers spend hours with these dogs. It’s so isolated from the rest of the shelter that sometimes if not enough DOC guys come, volunteers are the only ones left to clean, feed and water these animals.

There is a small team of volunteers that come in every morning. It’s hard to keep people because it really not glamorous work in the Recovery room.

We gown up in medical gowns, wear booties to cover our shoes, gloves to cover our hands and hold puppies in our laps or dogs as close to us as we can get them.

Even though some dogs shiver from the cold (or maybe fear), we sweat under the layers of gloves and gowns. I always have an itch on my face but I can’t do anything about it until I’m done petting a sick dog.

We sit in chairs and work in sync with the DOC guy. He’ll take a dog out to clean his or her kennel and we’ll sit with the dog, pet them, feed them wet food, wipe their eyes and their noses clean from the thick, yellow URI gunk that clogs them. We pull ticks with our gloved hand and then smash them into the cement floor with our shoes.

We tell the dogs to be brave and that they’ll soon have a forever home and a family that loves them.

The dogs are always scared from the powerful water hose the DOC use to clean their kennels. The large garbage cans make scary noises, the DOC wear big, powerful boots and stomp around. The dogs are confused, sick and lonely.

The dogs stink like old poop and another smell I can never quite describe. They usually have a grimy, crusty film on them from walking in their own feces and urine. Their backs are greasy from the tick medicine. We can’t bathe them because we can’t take them out to the healthy floor where the tub is.

We have to avoid their kisses because we don’t want to go home and infect our own dogs.

A pit bull puppy with giardia sat in my gowned lap today and when I wouldn’t let her lick my face, she instead licked my gowned arm in appreciation and then hid her head under my arm from the loud noises in the room. She sat there still for a few moments while I petted the back of her head and told her she was a good girl.

Before that, I had a small pit bull try to jump up in my lap because he was so happy to see someone. I had to gently push him back on to the floor but not before he had ripped my gown in a few places. I eventually had to move because a dog in another kennel thought he was getting too close and started growling at him.

The other volunteer, the DOC guy and I take turns moving carefully around the room.

He has two giant garbage cans on wheels and a hose he tries to maneuver around. There is not enough room for all of us so one of us stands and holds a short leash on the dog while DOC tries to move gracefully around us.

It’s even more crowded when the techs come in to give the dogs their meds.

We step around hoses.

We move around garbage cans.

We move around each other.

We step around piles of dirty bedding.

We tip toe over smears of dog crap. There is no sense cleaning the floor until the end. The solid stuff is picked up right away but there is almost always a smear or puddle of urine to step around. Some of the dogs are so housebroken that when they’re removed from their kennel, they immediately relieve themselves. Some dogs just lose control because they’re so scared.

The other volunteer and I mark off dogs on the dry erase board as we go. We just make little dots to keep track of who got some human interaction.

After all the dogs are petted and their kennels have been cleaned, we say good-bye.

Sometimes we see the dogs again on our return visit and sometimes they die while we are gone.

Today I sat there sweating and itching and wondering why the hell I’m doing this. That’s when I look over to the other volunteer and see him petting a sick dog that’s leaning against his legs for support and a feeling of safety. Even though I know the dog is scared and sick, I can tell by looking at her face that she feels a small glimmer of hope. She feels hope of a forever home and a warm, soft bed and someone to love.

I can’t see myself but I know I look just like that other volunteer and he inspires me to keep going.

I look down at the puppy in my arms and she moves her head up from under my arm looks me in the eye, and darn it, I’m too slow and she licks my chin.

OK, I’ll be back next week.

P.S. Please vote YES on Proposition 415

Monday, September 08, 2014

Tips and Tutorials for August My Creative Scrapbook.

Hello everyone! Here are my tips and techniques for the pages I made with the gorgeous My Creative Scrapbook August Creative kit.

Summer Smiles:

I cut the three 4x6 photos of my son running on the beach into little strips. I wanted to get as many photos on this page as possible. I have so many pictures of him running that it was hard to choose just one or two.

After I arranged them, I cut out the waves from one of the transparency waves to anchor the photos down.

I decided to really highlight my son's smile by using two frames. After I cut the photo into more of a square, I used a frame both underneath the photo and above the photo. All of the transparency frames have a little film on the top, so make sure you remove that.
I cut the top frame to fit the square photo. I think it's 4x4.

I found the best adhesive was either my giant ATG tape gun but I had to hold down the sticky part to the frame to get it started. Otherwise, it would just roll up on itself.

Remove the film that is on top.
 I used a photo corner punch on the red heart paper for the corners.

The papers and stickers were arranged as shown. I added a ribbon to one of the post card images I cut out from one of the papers.

I used a ruler and a pencil to draw straight lines for the journaling. I wrote out the journaling with a pencil, wrote over it with a ultra fine Sharpie and then erased all the pencil lines with a white eraser.

Fair Food:

I don't have to mention how much I loved this kit, do I? I say that every month but it's true! So true!

My favorite part about this kit were the frames. I had the best time working them into my pages. I tried very had to think out of the box and use them for something other than placing them on top of my photos. 

For the layout above, I first used two different colors of spray ink on the background. I didn't spray it, though. I took out the spray mechanism and just flicked the ink onto the page.

I used the frame around some food related die cuts. The photo is a picture of my kids in front of a food vendor at the fair so I wanted my page to be just about that.

P.S. In the picture, the kids are actually holding stuffed animals that they won but shhhh...don't tell.

I set up the frame to look like a shaker box. The die cuts are glued down and don't shake.

I used another frame on the right behind the photo. I added some die cuts underneath the frame and positioned some on top of the frame.

I hand cut the pinwheel from one of the patterned papers, tied a ribbon around it and stuck it down.

Some items are on 3-D glue dots for added dimension. 

I glued down everything and then just simply kept placing die cuts and stickers around the page until I felt like the page was done.


Since this page revolved around golf on the beach, I wanted to reflect that in the page by using a sand colored background and circles to represent golf balls.

I used a punch to get the circles for the bottom of the page. 

I cut one of the transparency frames in half and used them to highlight each of the kids near their heads. I also used a full transparency frame on each photo. Don't forget to remove the film on top of the frame.
After I arranged everything, I decided it needed some gesso on the background. I remember the day was not sunny at all. It was very cool and gray. Adding the gesso made it seem a little less sunny and more foggy like the day.

So, my favorite trick after I arrange everything but need to add something to the background is to take a picture and then dump it off. Taking a picture helps me remember how all the little pieces were.

Dump it! Take a picture!

Add some gesso right down the middle of the page. Ahhh, doesn't that feel better all ready?
You can see between the "before dump" photo is different than the final. I'm always changing around and nothing is set until it's actually stuck down. Well, actually that's not always true, either. Several times I remove things (very carefully) even if they're stuck down.
The beach ball, some of the "golf balls" and one of the clouds are on 3-D dots to make them stand out better.
Use a pencil on the journaling card, write over it with ultra fine sharpie and then erase the pencil with a white eraser.
Summer Hello:

I had this picture in my stash for so long. I didn't know if I was ever going to use it. It seemed a little dark and I wasn't very happy about the lighting.

I put it on the background paper and it just worked! I was surprised. I didn't want to put anything on top of it to take away from it. I trimmed the photo just a bit and added the transparency frame underneath it. All I wanted were to dots to show anyway. By putting the frame underneath the photo, it made it much easier to adhere to the page.

After that, I knew I wanted that "SUMMER" piece as the title. I measured my photo and then added additional strips of patterned paper, allowing for a small space in between, to make it all the height as "SUMMER". 

The page still needed something on the bottom, so I attached a ribbon with a bow. I used a mini stapler on the ends of the ribbon. The lemon slice is on 3-D dots as are the clouds.

I just kept adding stickers, etc until it worked for me. 

Thank you everyone for looking and reading. I just love making these pages and it means so much that you take the time to read about them, too. 

Thank you!

Friday, September 05, 2014

My pages for My Creative Scrapbook

Well, here we are again! Below are my projects I made with the fabulous September Creative Kit from My Creative Scrapbook.

Thanks for looking. Later in the month, I'll write up instructions.

Have a great day.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Slumber party with Brandy!

Brandy is a sweet girl from Pima Animal Care Center. I've written about her before.

It was another Deep Clean Sunday at PACC and they're closed today for Labor Day. I asked if we could bring her home for the day (and over night) to give her a break from shelter life.

She is such a good girl! I was surprised to note that she doesn't jump on the furniture. She'd prefer to just chill out on the floor or a dog bed.

Why are you up there? Oh, your feet smell like Fritos.
She and Shannon got along great. Manny was a bit jealous, but he ended up playing, too, by biting Brandy's ankles as she ran by.

At first, Brandy just watched Shannon and Manny play.

and she was slightly embarrassed for them.

How embarrassing for them.

Soon she kind of got the hang of this "playing stuff".

Hey, is this how I do it? Wanna play?

Shannon and Brandy started dragons.

Oh, you're on now, Brandy!

RAWR! I'm a dragon. You better watch out.

After the game of Dragons, it was "chase each other around the yard" time.

Can't catch me!

I got the snake!

Soon, it was time for a rest

Whew! I'm tired! and hot!
but it got too hot in the sun, so Brandy found herself some wet dirt to cool off in.

ahhh, wet dirt. That's better.

Later it was time to eat

Whatcha makin'?

and then time to rest (with toys)

I'm so tired but I love this toy. I'm going to rest on it.

and then on the bed (where I had to lift her) to cuddle with Kat.

This is better. Much softer and cuddlier.

Brandy has to go back to Pima Animal Care today. It was great to have her here. We will miss you, Brandy!! We love you!
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