Friday, March 30, 2007


This is a layout about my family having a reunion dinner during the Chinese New Year Eve. This is the first time that we had our own reunion dinner at our home. Since it's pertaining to a celebration feast on the eve of Chinese New Year, I would want to create an Asian feel layout which can clearly shows the celebration look during the Chinese New Year.
The idea came to me when I need to get some red packets to put in some money before giving them to the children the next day. I have so many leftovers and old red packets. I was wondering what I can do with them. With that, I thought that it might be a great idea to use it in my layout for this celebration. To read the details on using red packets in layouts, you can refer to "Old, Used or New Red Packets in Layouts" in my tips and tricks section.

Old, Used or New Red Packets in Layouts

It's a tradition for the Chinese during Chinese New Year to give red packets containing some money to kids or children. Normally, about few weeks before the Chinese New Year, we will get free red packets from the superstores, banks or even hyper stores. There are so many of it and most of the time we could not finished using it. Or even if your children received red packets from others, you can also saved it. Do you know that you could also create a layout using these red packets?
In my most recent layout, I've used red packets all over it. The title of the layout is "Celebration" in my family gallery section.
You can cut part of the red packets to block your layout or even cut out fancy flowers out of it to embellish your layout. In my layout, I've even cut out some of the small flowers pattern from the red packet to add continuity throughout the whole layout. Just add a little buttons and you are ready to go. If you got some unused or old red packets at home, you can try to create a layout based on it and I bet you would be successful in creating a unique Asian feel layout with it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Baby Album Cover

I've bought a linen covered album for Chloe's scrapbook pages. It came with a label holder on the cover. I think that it is too common to put the title on the label holder. I've even thought of altering the whole cover but I liked the colour of the plain linen on it. Therefore, I've used some left over thumb prints to decorate the label which will add more personalized touch on the album cover. To read more ways to use your thumb prints or index prints, you can refer to "Thumb Prints on Layouts and Album Cover" in my tips and tricks section.

Thumb Prints on Layouts and Album Cover

Do you received thumb prints or index prints when you develop your photographs? What are you going to do with them? Don't throw it away. You can used them in your layouts or your album covers.
You can use your thumb prints to embellish your layouts or make a tag with it and use it in your layout. You can also use it to decorate your label frames or holders on your album covers.
You can also use it to make a mosaic page which is quite interesting. Start saving your thumb prints today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fresh Step

This is a layout that I've just finished yesterday, titled "Fresh Step". It's about Chloe cruising around by having his daddy supporting her. She is not even army crawling or sitting up unsupported yet, but loves to learn how to walk with support. This is definitely a moment worth capturing.

The idea for the layout actually came from my thought of creating a baby looked page for Chloe's baby album and using the multi-tiered layout technique. I must admit that after being creating adult looked layout for sometime, this is somehow quite a challenge to me.

I've used the multi-tiered technique for the clouds and some embellishments in this layout. (Refer to my "Creating a Multi-tiered Layout" and "Matting your Stickers" in my tips and tricks section). To add a little sweet looked to the layout, I've journalled around a heart and creating my title using tags with a some baby themed embellishments.

Creating a Multi-Tiered Layout

Recently, I've created a multi-tiered layout titled "Fresh Step" in my baby gallery section. This technique had add a lot of dimension to the layout. It's somehow a little similar to the Floating Layout technique in my tips and tricks section.

The steps are as follows:

1. Create the first tier using the floating layout technique by using only one or two pieces of foam tapes.

2. Overlaps part of the second tier on the first tier by using another piece of foam tape. However, for parts of the second tier that are not overlapping the first tier, you must use two pieces of foam tape if the first tier is using only one piece of foam tape. (The formula here is to add another piece of foam tape to the pieces of foam tape that are used for the first tier)

3. The steps will repeat for the third and following tiers but you must remember that if any parts of the upper tier that are not overlapping the immediate lower tier, use the formula above to calculate how many pieces of foam tapes to use.

It might sound a bit confusing here but once you've got your hands on it, you will figure out, what I'm trying to explain here. Give it a try on your next layout!

Matting your Stickers

Have you bought any stickers that are less appealing or lack in dimension? I guess most of us did. I had a stack of these cheap stickers that I seldom want to use in my layouts due to their appearance. Therefore, I've came up with this tip. In my latest layout, titled "Fresh Step", I've tried to use these stickers.

To create a better look on these stickers, I've matted them using card stock and with a little decorative fake stitching or even real stitching will even make them look as if they are paper-pieced. You can also add more borders to it or using soft elements such as ribbons or laces. Therefore, with these tips, I bet you wouldn't want to thrown any stickers away anymore.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Foldings to Create Piling Board

Some of my blog readers had asked me, how to create the piling board in my layout titled "Disney California Adventure" in my Travel-USA section. Therefore, I've decided to share this trick in this post.

The steps are as follows:

1. Create your frame out of card stock with your desired measurements. It depends on your layout size and how many photographs you want to pile.

2. By choosing a pattern paper or any paper you liked, cut out strips with the width of about 3 inches. (This width depends on what is the width you would liked for the strips behind the frame and multiply it by two)

3. Fold all the cut out strips in half horizontally.

4. To prepare the frame for attaching the strips, first you need to get a center point of your frame which is the upper right corner to the lower left corner or vise versa. (This depends on how you would liked the directions of the photographs to be pile)

5. From the center point, slowly arranged the strips towards the upper left corner for one side and lower right corner for the other. (This is referring to the layout above). However, you should be careful not to have space in between strips. Every strips should have an overlap about half inch.

6. Temporarily stick them into place using sticky tapes that are easily removable. Then later when all the positions had been confirmed, then only you stick them permanently in place.

7. Leave it to dry for awhile before you pile your photographs there. However, after positioning your positions of your photographs, do stick it down permanently too.

Tip: Try to use photographs that are in portrait position then the landscape ones.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

So Sweet!

After much opinions on my last layout titled "The Cut", I've decided to do a cheery layout based on some very sweet photographs to cheer up the mood here.

This layout is about Ryan reading to Chloe who is just five months old then. How sweet is it to see them being so loving of each other. I'm still in the mood of experimenting with new shaped layouts and new techniques. With the sweetness in the photographs, it actually reminds me about honey. I guess most of resembles honey to sweetness. Therefore, the idea of creating has started in my head. I know that the shape should be in hexagon of it were to follow my idea but after playing much with that shape, it does not looked very nice. Therefore, I've altered the idea to an octagon shaped layout.

This is a floating layout. I've used some technique to create this floating effect. (Refer to "Creating a Floating Layout" in my Tips and Tricks section) As for the octagon shapes, I've used self printed templates. (Refer to "Self Printed Templates in Layouts" in the Tips and Tricks section) In this layout, I've also created a circle journal in it. (Refer "Journaling in Circles" in the Tips and Tricks section).

This is a very fun layout for me and I think that it will cheer anyone up.

Self Printed Templates in Layouts

This is my first layout in such an add shape. The common shape for layouts would normally be the squares. But recently, I've done two layouts that aren't squares. One of it is in an octagon shape.
After doing it, I think that creating an octagon shaped layout would be much easier compared to a circle layout. I've printed various sizes of octagon using the very common Microsoft Words software. With that, there are no problem in cutting all those octagons of different sizes and it comes in handy especially when you are matting your photographs too. I used own printed templates all the time when I want to create layouts. Don't you think it's far more flexible and fun that using shaped punchers which does not come in all sizes and are very expensive.

Creating a Floating Layout

Have you done any layouts that looked floating and full of dimensions? Why not try this? I've recently done a layout titled "So Sweet!" which gives the look as if some parts of it are actually floating.

In the layout, I've used some foam tapes to create the dimensions and the floating effect to it. I've used different thickness of foam tapes to create the different floating heights on the layout which gives it more depth in dimensions. You can also mix different shapes of floating pieces in a same layout.

With this technique, I could say that besides embellishments, there are some other more simple and fun way to create dimensions in a layout. Try it!

Journaling in Circles

I guess most of us had seen layouts with journaling that's in the shape of a circle. Recently, I've also done one layout using this technique. The title of the layout is "So Sweet!" in my family gallery. The journaling is as below.

To do this, just typed your journals using Microsoft Words and then apply the WordArt tool to it. You can choose which ever WordArt you liked and later alter the shape of it by clicking the WordArt shape button. Choose the shape circle in that option and automatically, your journaling would change its shape.
Isn't this amazing what normal Microsoft Office softwares could do for you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Theme Buttons on Layouts

Isn't theme buttons cheaper than ready paper-pieced stuffs? I know that most of us prefer to use the ready paper-pieced stuffs to embellish our layouts due to the dimensions and colour of it. They are also very cute. But have you consider theme buttons as an option?
You can get theme buttons at a very cheap price. They come in packs of different themes. I've used them in some of my layouts.
I've used some theme buttons on these two layouts. The buttons came with a plastic hook behind it which makes it difficult to attach it to your layouts. Just used some cutters which cuts open hard plastic, to cut the hook away leaving you a flat surface where you could use some adhesive to attached it to your layouts. It also gives some dimension and colour to your layouts.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Changing the Shapes of your Layouts

If you refer to my previous topic titled "Newspapers or Magazines in your Layouts" in the tips and tricks section, I've promised myself to do a layout by using newspapers as background enhancer. Therefore, I've included this technique in my latest layout, named "The Cut".

I've used two strips of newspapers and crunched them up and later inked them to get the distressed looked as above. By watching Ryan's hair being cut, I just want to create a page that looked liked his hair being cut. Therefore, I've thought of the name "The Cut".
Who says that all layouts need to be in square shapes? I've read it somewhere in the magazines that there are ideas of doing circle shaped layout. However, I wanted something more different for this layout.
Using the inspiration, I've snipped off some parts of the square shape layout to further enhanced the looked of "cuts". By doing so, I've made this piece a one of a kind. I've even enhanced the colour around the cuts to show them. Using some small journalling along the cuts will also do the trick. I guess by far, this is the most daring photographs cutting technique that I've tried. So try to do something different with your future layouts and change their shapes.

The Cut

This layout is about "how good is Ryan when he is having his hair cut". He is so good that the barber compliment about his behaviour so much. This had made me so proud and I would definitely want to document it down. Therefore, photographs were taken.

The idea for this layout came to me when Ryan is having his hair cut. The snipping sound of the scissors really inspired me. Therefore, the title of this layout is "The Cut". I've promised myself of doing one layout by using newspaper as a background enhancer. With that I've combined the both inspiration into this layout.

I've applied my inspiration to the layout as follows:

- black colour card stock background as "Ryan's hair"

- the snips at the side of the card stock resembles "the cuts in Ryan's hair"

- the triangle shaped clip on the snip resembles "the hair clips put on Ryan's hair while having his hair cut"

- the snipping of the photographs resembles "Ryan's hair that had been cut away"

Isn't this interesting? Try using this method to apply your inspiration onto your layouts.

Family Album Covers

I had always love doing something which combines the world of quilting and scrapbooking. I've done a few quilting pieces and had a lot of scraps lying around and had nothing better to do. This situation inspires me to do a combination of fabric and paper piecing for my family album covers. For more details on this, please refer to my previous post named "Fabric Piecing on Album Covers" in my tips and tricks section.

Vacation Album Cover

I've bought a plain old boring album at a very cheap price to store all my vacation scrapbook pages. I just want to get rid of the look on the album cover.

Therefore, I've tried to create a layout based on all the places that I've visited during the vacation. I've got cut-outs from travel magazine, brochures and some I've paper-pieced it.

You will never know what you will come up with when you don't need to scrapbook based on photographs. It's so fun. The plastic actually came with the plain album. Therefore, worries about protecting your work. For more detail on this, refer to my "altered album cover" in my tips and tricks section.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fabric Piecing on Album Cover

Are you into quilting or fabric piecing too? Why not combine the two worlds together.
I've done some quilting when I make my son's blanket two years ago. While I was browsing through the "HGTV" website on the internet, I saw these free templates where they are used to make a quilt about the twelve months of a year. They have various templates for different occasions of a year.
I've used the templates and some additions to it and utilized some of my remaining scraps of fabrics to make this fabric piecing blocks and attached it to my family album cover. I've even make the figures in the blocks out of card stocks and some chalking on it. Don't you think combining the two worlds will give you surprises? By the way, try to buy albums that have plastic covers over them. Therefore, protecting your work won't be a problem. However, for my album covers above, I have to buy those plastics used to cover books and seal the edges up using a hand held sealer tool. There are also shops inmy country where they are providing this service. It's called "book laminating".
You can also do quilting for the background of a layout. I guess it will be interesting. I will have to try it one day.

Fabric on Layouts

I think most of us had tried to use fabric in our layouts. The difficulty in using fabrics in layouts is the question of "how to attached it to the layouts" or "how to straighten your fabric before attaching them to the layout". You can use liquid glue or adhesive tapes to attach it to your layouts. However, be smart to put your adhesive or glue at the spot where you will be adding embellishments or will be covered by other stuffs. Try to use the common spray for ironing on the fabric before ironing it or even spraying water on it before ironing will do the trick of straightening it. I've done one layout using fabric which is the "A Bug's Life" layout.

I've used fabric to make curtains for this layout where the main idea is to create window views in my layout. I've also planned to use fabrics to embellished tags and to create an attractive backgrounds for my future layouts. I've read it somewhere in the magazine about an idea of using fabrics to lighten your plain old buttons. Since you can lighten buttons with it, why not lighten your tags and titles to your layouts.

Cheap Albums as Organizing Medium

I believed everyone who scrapbook will have to find some place or some storage medium to keep their unfinished work. Of course we can buy the temporary folder boxes or folder bags to store them but aren't they a bit expensive as a temporary storage. Some of us has more than one unfinished layout at a time.

While I was visiting the country USA, I've found this. This is a very cheap scrapbooking album that I've found while I'm in a dollar stores there. Everything there is only a dollar. Even though it is not as attractive as the albums that we used to showcase our layouts but still it is acid and lignin free. Therefore, you can alter it to keep your layouts, used it to keep your children's layouts or even better used it to keep your unfinished layouts. The refills are also a dollar for ten sheets. They are acid and lignin free too. Using this albums to store your children's scrapbook layouts are great because it is very durable and cheap of course. So for those of you who live near any dollar stores, try to go there. You might not know what you can find there. By the way, I've found some 12x12 scrapbook papers and embellishments too.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Altering Boring Album Covers

There are various kind of scrapbooking album in the stores. Normally, the nice ones which are covered in linen or leather are very expensive. There are also scrapbooking albums that are covered with PVC or plastics. These are the cheaper ones. However, these albums may appear less attractive. Therefore, why not try altering it.

You can try to do a layout based on the theme of your album and paste it directly over the album cover liked what I did for my USA vacation album. You can include cut-outs from travel magazines, travel brochures or even add paper-piecing to it. I've included a paper-pieced luggage bag which includes all the destinations in the scrapbook pages on it. Try to personalize your album covers to your album theme.

This is not the only way to alter your album covers. For simplicity, you can even cover your album with your favourite fabric or any fabric that may resembles your album theme. You can also create unique titles and paste them in front of your covers.

Using "Paint Sample Tags" in your layout

"Paint Sample Tags" are something that we could get for free from various stores. I'm not encouraging anyone to go and take those tags for granted. But if you are doing some painting work around the house and had been picking up the sample tags, don't throw it away. You can use it in your layouts. I've used it in two of my layouts.

You can cut out the tags in squares and do a mosaic background liked I did in my "bicycle" layout above. Or maybe use them to create a one of a kind title, liked I did in my "cool pool" layout. You can also transform them into beautiful tags for your layouts. Just add a little embellishments and phrase to it and you are on your way in getting a unique tag for your layouts.

Newspapers or Magazines in your Layouts

Most of us have tried our luck in getting layouts to be published in magazines or newspapers but have you tried using newspapers or magazines in your layouts? Why not give it a try. I've done a few layouts using newspaper and magazine. The layouts are "Japanese Tea Garden", "Dutch Windmill" and "Tulip Garden".

In my "Japanese Tea Garden" layout, I've used some Chinese newspapers to stamp my title on before cutting it into squares and mat them. Using newspaper in your layouts are great because it will distressed itself as time goes by and you will get a better looked on them. (natural distressing).

In my "Tulip Garden" layout, I've used alphabets cut-outs from magazines to design the title and words on the the tag of the layout. This will add some fun and make the title looked more interesting. However, pay attention to the colour of the alphabets you choose from the magazine. It has to match your layout.

Thirdly, is my "Dutch Windmill" layout. I've used some pages of articles in a magazine to stamp my title on and later cut them out and mat them. Again, pay attention to the colour of the article that you choose to stamp on.

Some other ideas on using newspapers and magazines would be using them as your background paper. You can mix your colour card stocks with newspapers to create a unique background paper. This can also be done on tags and embellishments. I have not tried that yet but will try in future layouts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Using Colouring Pages for Paper-Piecing

Try using colouring pages downloaded from the Internet or even colouring books that you bought for your kids to do paper-piecing. I've done quite a number of paper-piecing for my Disney layouts in my USA travel gallery such as below.

Just use the picture in the colouring page and trace templates for paper-piecing (remember to trace it a bit bigger at the part you want to piece it) Then paste it to colour card stocks and just each piece out.

After piecing them together, chalked it to give a little dimension to it. Sometimes, layouts that tells very little stories can be filled up using paper-piecing technique. I had so much fun doing these pages. It is especially difficult to find paper-piecing templates for Disney characters.

Toys as Tools

I've remembered using a toy tyre as a stamping object in one of my layout. It is the "bicycle" layout in my family gallery.

Have you tried to be in a situation to buy a certain stamp just for that one layout or maybe you've wanted a certain print that there are no stamps available.
Why not try using toys. In my layout I've used toy tyre to create the tracks. You can even experiment with a lot of toys such as a toy dinosaur footprint. I will do that one day. Everytime when we buy a stamp, we seldom use it for more than once or twice. Save your money and buy stamps that are more usable in most layouts. Saving money is something that is quite essential to every scrapper.

Solving photography problems

I realized that two of my layouts had received some great comments about it's great photographs. They are the "Features" and "Expression" layouts.

They are actually photographs taken using normal simple digital camera and not any SLR cameras.

The tricks to get such great photographs is the techniques to take photographs and the editing techniques.

The simple photography techniques are
- to use natural lighting (lighting from a window area or balcony area).
- use a tripod or stable your hands while taking the photographs.
- take it while your subject are not aware of it.
- take photographs of your subject from various different angles.
- don't wait for your subject to pose for you. Taking photographs while your subjects are in action tells more stories.

The photograph editing techniques are :
- crop you photographs to hide any flaws or avoid busy background
- if the lighting is not right, use the "I'm feeling lucky tool" in Picasa or editing the lighting and the highlights manually using photo editing softwares (refer to my "photo editing software" post in the general comment section)
- to warmify your photographs if you use flashlights on your photographs.
- if it is still difficult for you to crop out your busy background try "soft focusing" it using softwares or change the colour to black or white, sepia or a one colour tint.

Therefore, having great photographs to scrap is not difficult at all.


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