Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011 Dt Kit Reveal-Kit #1

This month the April Kit #1 featured the new line Ad Lib from Bo Bunny featuring 9 sheets of double sided patterned paper, plus matching stickers and journaling cards. My favorite addition to this kit are the Jenni Bowlin chipboard banners and twine. And you gotta love the fun new puzzle pieces. They are so versatile you can make a mini out of them, add them to your pages or simply make a puzzle!

Anna's designs:

Carrie's designs:

April 2011 Dt Kit Reveal-Kit #2

This month the April Kit #2 featured the new line Toy Box from Crate Paper featuring 8 sheets of double sided patterned paper, plus matching stickers and journaling cards. My favorite addition to this kit are the Jenni Bowlin chipboard banners and twine. And you gotta love the new paint dabber....that will come in handy all the time and great to bring to scrap retreats!

Nathalie's designs:

Chrissy's designs:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Celebrate with papel picado!

by Nathalie
Whether you are planning a little fiesta for Cinco de Mayo, a birthday at the park or simply a brunch on the patio, add a fun touch to your party by hanging homemade papel picado! I have always loved these traditional Mexican cut-paper banners and only recently figured out how easy they are to make! I was lucky to find this great book at my library:
I recommend it as it gives clear basic explanations and patterns. It is geared towards children so it is perfect for beginners. I made my first papel picado today thanks to this book and I will try to show you how easy they are to create:

Tissue papers in bright colors (found mine at Michael's)
Good scissors
String and glue stick

Lots of tissue papers come in 26x20inches and the first thing to do is to cut them in half to work with sheets of about 13x20.
Once you have your half page, fold a 1" flap on top which will be used to hang your papel picado.
 Then fold in half making sure that you keep your 1" fold on top visible to you. It is not important that the corners match but make sure that the edges align
Fold again in half by bringing the center fold to the right edge
Fold the bottom towards the top without overlapping the 1" fold
 Bring the bottom right corner to the upper left so that the edges line up as seen below:
Then fold once more by bringing the right edge to meet the left edge, making a cone shape:
 Then cut a pattern like the one I used below, others that you can find online by searching "papel picado patterns" or "papel picado templates" or make your own. I used four templates from the book for my garland.
After opening carefully, you can cut some decorative edges on the bottom. As the designs are doubled on each sheet, you can cut them in half before arranging them and gluing them on your string. I arranged mine on the floor according to their colors and designs before gluing the string into the top folds.
If you have ever cut paper snowflakes, you will find these to be pretty similar. 
I hope to have inspired you to give them a try! Have fun!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Silhouettes Easter Tags

by Nathalie

I wanted to share with you these Easter tags I created this morning.
Click on photo to enlarge
This is how I made them:
1/ I cut tags out of pastel cardstock scraps using a regular shipping tag as template
2/ I googled "bunny outlines" in Google Images and after resizing three I liked in my Word document, I printed them on white paper
3/ I then taped the white sheet on top of black polka dot paper (from the March TTT kit #2) and, using a craft knife, cut the outlines (into both papers at the same time) to create the silhouettes. (I do not own a die-cutting machine or bunny shaped punches but you can probably do the same thing with those tools)
4/ After creating my sentiment on the computer I printed it directly on my tags (you could use a stamp here) or you can bypass the sentiment all together, especially if you plan on using the tags on a layout.
5/ I glued the silhouettes on each tag and punched a circle in matching patterned papers to use as paper hole protectors. Punched a hole in the middle and attached some string.

Aren't they cute? :) Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The winner of the March kit contest is....

.... Denise (dotsrfun)! Look at the wonderful two-page layout she created:

The challenge was to use at least two TTT kits on one project and Denise used items from 3 different kits! Way to go! Congratulations Denise! Please email Monica so that she can send you your prize.

Now, don't forget our April kit contest! You have until May 10th to participate and it is a good one! You can find all the details here and here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An easy way to fix or enhance your photos: Picnik

by Nathalie

Are you PSE or Photoshop illiterate, like I pretty much am? Well, there's an easy way to edit, fix and just have fun with your photos online: the answer is Picnik! I used this great online photo editor for the first time today and it is super easy! I love the fact that you do not have to register (that's amazing nowadays!) and you do not even have to upload your photos if you already have them in photobucket, flickr or even facebook. Best of all it is FREE.
I will explain how I did it from Flickr:
Once you have chosen a photo to edit from your photostream, go to the "Action" tab on the top left corner of your photo and chose "edit photo in Picnik", your photo will automatically open into the Picnik photo editing mode. There you can do a ton of editing: crop, resize, work on the exposure, colors, sharpening...
Here's my not so great photo before:

and after simple editing:

Mmmh, it's okay but we can do better. On to the "Create" mode! When you have your photo open in Picnik, go to the "Create" tab which is on top of the frame. There you will find tons of different options: look on top under "Featured", "Effects", "Text", "Stickers", "Frames", and more... under each of those tabs you have different things to try. It is very easy to undo/redo with the buttons on the upper right corner and when you like what you see, simply click "Save" and it will automatically save your photo into your Flickr photostream!
I found this to be very user friendly and with limitless possibilities!!! Here are a few of my favorite effects:
"Cross Process" effect

"Holga-ish" effect

"Boost" effect

It is so much fun! And you don't even have to know anything about actions!!! LOL!

To do the same thing from a photobucket or facebook account (or your computer), go to and click on the bottom according to where the photos you want to edit are... follow the prompts and you can do the same things as above.
All the effects I used above are free but there are a lot more if you are willing to pay $24.95/year (I say you don't need it, look at what you get for free!)

I hope to have given you a new option to enhance your photos and therefore your pages :) Now I am off to print, once I can figure out which one I like better...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quick and Easy Easter ideas

by Nathalie
Easter is exactly two weeks from today and if you are like me, you have not even started preparing for it! This is the reason why, I have compiled some of my favorite online finds that you might be inspired to try. They are all very quick to make and do not require special skills or tools (well, other than a printer...)

First, find a frame, print this free subway art from eighteen 25 and voila, you have something to decorate your mantle or shelves. 

Need treats for the classroom, or the soccer team? How can you not like these treat toppers? Simply print and attach to zip lock bags: Sweet Tweets from Beth Proudfoot and Peeps Topper from eighteen 25. The hardest part might be to choose which ones to use!

Don't want to spend too much $ on decorating? Visit the hardware store and create this super cute egg garland from paint chips with the tutorial from Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Of course, you need to send a few cards so you should probably print a few of these adorable cards from Living Locurno and send them pronto so that they make it to their destination on time!

Now, if you are planning a party (or just want to make it fun for the kids), all you need are those cupcake toppers and wrappers from Food Art Party and printable bunny straws from Byte-Sized Pieces. You don't even HAVE to bake the cupcakes but you will need scissors :)

Then, when it is time to decorate the eggs, print these egg bands from J. Bell Studio. I am planning on surprising my kids Easter morning with those happy chicks and bunnies!

This last one is just for you... Print it and put it on your fridge as a reminder :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Step by Step for a not-so-clean and simple layout

by Nathalie

Hello TTT fans! I have created this clean and simple "Champion" page especially for you! I will explain below how you can recreate it with your own twist and you own photo of course! As with all step by step on this blog, we would LOVE to see anything you create with it!
Let's get to it:

(some of you might recognize a few papers from the February kit #2)
- 2 pieces of 12X12 cardstock
- striped paper measuring 2"x3.75"
- dotted paper measuring 4"x7.5"
- number paper measuring 1 1/8"x7.75"
- one photo trimmed to 3.75"x5 5/8"
- plain coordinating paper to print your journaling on
- 2 pieces coordinating scraps
- 1.5"circle punch
- 2 chipboard stars (I used Scenic Route)
- tag with string
- chipboard alphabet (naked)
- marker for doodling
- paint and paint brush
- computer to print journaling
- sewing machine

A lot of these are of course optional, depending on how far or how close you want to stay to my page!

1/ Cut one sheet of cardstock to 11"X11" and adhere it to the center of your background cardstock. Add sewing around to frame your page (you could also simply doodle a frame)

2/ Place and adhere your three patterned papers cut according to the measurements above and your photo as seen here: (use a ruler to center everything if necessary)

3/ Print your journaling on your coordinating plain paper (or handwrite it) and cut into strips. My strips are about 3.5" long and the font I used is American Typewriter. Adhere your strips and place your title.

4/ I then covered my chipboard stars with another coordinating paper and used the back of a patterned paper to cut a 1.5" circle. Place and adhere your embellishments as seen on the finished page.
Here's the "not so clean" part: I splattered a bit of diluted paint directly onto the stars by simply scrubbing a paint brush with one finger over them. You can of course totally skip this step...

My final touches were to add doodles on my chipboard letters and my stars and to tuck a little tag on top where I have added a bit more info about the photo (and the reason for the quote)...

I'll be happy to help if you have any questions! Simply leave them in the comment section. Cheers!