Ladybug Layouts Weekend Retreat

2011 Retreat Dates

June 3-5 (CANCELLED due to location issues)
October 21-23, December 2-4 (BOTH CANCELLED due to family committments)
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Today's Tip!


My favorite tip is to always use a personal touch in scrapbooking and in cards. Even though my handwriting is not perfect or caligraphy, I like to show that what I do is made by me, and couldn't have been made by a machine. It makes the reader or recipiant feel that the item is personalized!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Today's Tip!

White Chipboard Letters

I LOVE white chipboard letters.  They are so easy to sand and use a mixture of paints, inks, or chalks to create a 3-d title that coordinates with my layout every time.

They also look awesome embossed or embellished.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Today's Tip!

Doodling Tips

  1. Always, always, always draw your basic shape or swirl FIRST with a pencil. Use a light hand to avoid getting an indent in the paper. Do NOT use the eraser on the pencil to erase the pencil line... use a white eraser or one specifically marketed for art/drafting. Erase with a light hand as well.
  2. Whatever marker you choose, draw in the thicker lines first over your pencil marks. Erase the pencil and then add the finer more detailed lines.
  3. Inspiration for doodles is everywhere. Do an internet search for "doodles" or check out digital scrapbooking sites for examples of doodles. Picture frames, mirrors, designs on fabric and clothing, book covers, knick-knacks, wallpaper, jewelry, all provide fabulous inspiration !!
  4. Don't go overboard. Sometimes a little goes a long way. A flower here, a vine there. Of course, there is the occasional need to doodle on every inch of a layout.
  5. Experiment with your handwriting. Get a notebook. If you see a letter that catches your eye, write it down in that style. Practice until you like what you write. You do not have to be a calligrapher to make your handwriting look awesome. Practice keeping your letters the same size with the same spacing.
  6. Use those old stencil/shape templates !! A lot of us have them. Those old templates sitting around in a binder or a drawer. They are perfect for the starting point of a doodle. Find a basic shape you like... a star, a heart, a flower. Trace it lightly. If your template has the shape in a few sizes, great, trace the smaller sizes near, on, inside, whatever... next to the first shape. Now you have your basic place to start. Using your marker or pen, write over your pencil lines using dots, lines and dashes, squiggles or whatever makes you happy !!
  7. Have fun !!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today's Tip!

Create a Black Edge Around the 12"x12" Border

If you want a black border around your main 12"x12" background, but don't have a piece of 12"x12" cardstock in black, take a Zig writer, or black marker, and draw one.

You will need to draw straight lines with a ruler, but it's a simple procedure, and it looks as though you have an entire sheet of 12"x12" black cardstock under your background paper.

Try it with colors other than black for a different look!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's Tip!


If you would like to try some doodling but it is not sure how to start, you can get a piece of white cardstock and a pen ( I love the Zig marker 05 and 01). Draw a heart, or a flower, or an arrow, you can even use your negative part of a chipboard and starting doodling inside of it, after you are done, if you like it, you can cut that flower of and use in a LO, if you dont like it, it was just a scrap paper anyway, and not your LO. But if you really did an awesome job you can scan your flower and use it over and over, just print it. You can even change the colors on your computer.:)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today's Tip!

Ways to use Distressing Inks by Tim Holtz

Tim Holtz distressing inks Tim Holtz's Tips and Techniques

STAYS WET LONGER - (allows you to blend and shade on photos and paper - also emboss) other dye inks dry too fast especially on photos so you end up with lines and marks if you go direct from the pad.

COLOR WICKS OR SPREADS OUT - (these inks will travel across the surface of your paper when spritzed with water) other dyes do not travel as much although they might bleed a little when wet, the Distress Inks actually "wick" or spread out much further creating several tone on tones.

COLOR STABILITY - (the colors of the Distress Inks will not break down when wet or heated allowing you to have more color control for the finished look) other "brown colored" dyes will break down when water is added leaving a pink & green hue.

COLOR PALETTE - Well these are unlike ANY other colors of inks you've seen. The color palette of Distress Inks is:
  • Antique Linen -the color of aged lace or linens found in the cherished heirlooms of grandmother's trunk
  • Old Paper -the color of weathered and timeless book pages tucked away in the attic for generations
  • Tea Dye -the orange hue of saturated tea bags with the results of dying in a tea bath for days
  • Vintage Photo -this color is captured right out of the photographs from times gone by
  • Walnut Stain -a rich, dark stain of and old walnut tree perfect to create a dark wash of color
  • Black Soot -from the depths, a black like no other - this is the one you've been searching for
  • Fired Brick -the look of charred cinders from an old camp fire
  • Weathered Wood -taken from the patina on a dairy barn’s window frame
  • Mustard Seed -the rich, warm taste of spicy Americana mustard
  • Peeled Paint -the color of the flaked green paint on Aunt Sadie’s porch furniture
  • Tattered Rose -grandma’s cabbage rose wall paper, faded and stained to perfection
  • Milled Lavender -a veil of pale lavender sachet tucked into mom’s lingerie drawer
and a few more......

TO DISTRESS - I like to use water when I am distressing. I think it gives the papers more of a weathered texture, so here's how I start. Working on any type of paper (manila, cardstock, or text weight), crumple the paper up - always press in the center of any heavyweight cardstock or manila stock - this will break the surface tension of the paper and allow you to crumple up the paper easier without tearing it. Next rub the Distress pads over the surface - you can work with several different colors or just one - WALNUT STAIN IS IDEAL FOR THIS. Then spray the inked surface with water (you will immediately notice the ink "travels" outward when water is applied as these inks are designed to react with water). Heat the surface to dry - and here's why... Although you don't have to Heat Set these inks for any reason, I like to dry the water using either my Heat-It Craft Tool or an iron. This will allow for more tone control and keep areas dark and others light. Ironing the paper will also give you a much smoother surface to stamp on without compromising the aged finish. *If you allow the surface to air-dry most of your color will end up on the edges only because the paper will bend and buckle when wet, forcing the ink and water to the edges. Notice that these Distress Inks retain their color value even when wet and dried. Other brown dyes will break down in color (sometimes leaving a pink and green hue).

DOUBLE DISTRESS TAGS - Crumple tag and apply 2 colors (one new tone and one original tone) of Distress Inks directly from the pads to each crumpled tag. Spray with water and dry.

"WRINKLE-FREE" DISTRESSING - To create the look of aged papers, from times gone by, without all the lines and wrinkles - give this a try. Working on your non-stick Craft Sheet, begin by directly applying various colors of Distress Ink Pads to the surface of the Craft Sheet. A couple of swipes of a color or two will do the trick (you might also try using an original color of Distress Ink along with a new one!).  Get out your Distress Re-Inkers for this next step as you want to add a bit of intense color for the ultimate vintage look. I like using Walnut Stain or Vintage Photo for this, so remove the glass dropper from the bottle and drag it across the inked Craft Sheet - do not squeeze any drops of ink as it will take over everything! Next mist the Craft Sheet with water to allow the inks to begin mixing and blending - usually 3-4 sprays is plenty. Then take your paper or tag and place in directly on the inked Craft Sheet and lift it off. If you have any un-inked areas simply place that area of the paper on any left over inks on the sheet. Finally dry your paper or tag using an iron or a Heat-It Craft Tool ( if you allow your papers to air dry they will curl and force most of the ink to the edges so I prefer to heat them to dry.). To finish your attic-fresh look, ink the edges with Distress Inks using a piece of Cut n' Dry Foam.

FOR STAMPING - What can I say about the many stamping applications these inks can achieve. Once again the special formulation on these Distress Inks provides a versatile finish on papers yet still allow for "normal" stamping applications. I like to stamp on uncoated (matte) papers and immediately rub the image with a cloth - this will soften or shadow your image WITHOUT smudging any detail - VINTAGE PHOTO, WALNUT STAIN, TEA DYE, BLACK SOOT - wonderful for this one! Another surface is glossy cardstock - keep in mind this is a different type of dye ink so when you stamp on glossy, certain areas of your image will "bead" up, once again providing a Distressed look without you doing a thing (this is probably one of my most favorite looks) - some areas of the image appear "pitted". Brayering on glossy cardstock is also wonderful because you can still manipulate the inks with different tools, brushes, your fingers, whatever. Even after the ink is applied you can achieve amazing texture and color shading.

ON PHOTOS - FINALLY an ink formulated for photos! Whether you're a scrapbooker or not you can use all types of photos (vintage or new ones) on your cards and pages. The Distress Inks work on all types of photos - inkjet, laser, toner copies, regular photos (matte or glossy) and even color photos! Start by using the lightest colors ANTIQUE LINEN or OLD PAPER with either a brayer or DTP (direct to photo). Cover the photo in the lighter colors, blend the colors with a small piece of Cut n' Dry Foam after you apply the inks - these inks stay wet long enough for you to blend out any lines or marks other ink pads leave on photos. Next age the edges with VINTAGE PHOTO or WALNUT STAIN by applying the pad directly to the edges - soften and mix the tones with a small piece of Ranger Cut ‘n Dry™ Foam. Of course to complete the aged process lightly sand - YES SAND - the photo with medium grit sand paper. Don't go over anyone's face, but just make a few scratches here and there.

PHOTO TINTING - Distress Inks acid-free, easy to blend formula makes them your best choice for photo tinting. Make a black and white copy of your favorite photo onto Ranger Gloss Paper. Select areas of your photo to colorize. Pick up ink directly from the Distress Pads with Cut n' Dry Nibs and color. It's that easy! Cut n' Dry Nibs provide the control you need to place colors exactly where you want them. Distress Photo Edging Make any photo look antique. Cut a small square of Cut n’ Dry Foam. Ink the foam on one of the Distress pads. Rub the inked foam around the edges of the photo for an aged effect.

THE RE-INKERS - The Distress re-inkers are so versatile and fun, especially the bottles they're in! These vintage looking glass dropper vials are perfect for aging a "batch" of tags, fibers, linens or whatever, in baths of Distress Inks & water. You can also create your own palette on your craft sheet using the re-inkers and hand tint any black and white photo color by color (very fun thing to do). I also like using the resist ink or Perfect Medium and the re-inkers to create amazing stained backgrounds on papers.

Enjoy the journey…

Tim Holtz

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's Tip!

Distressing tool

The foam backings from newly package brads are similar in texture and works much the same as a cosmetic sponge.
Cut into pie shapes; the tip is great for the hard to reach places.
And the best part is that it's FREE!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

CHA 2010

CHA 2010!!!!

Wow, seen lots of neat ideas, wish I was there!!!!!!  Did anybody go?  Would love to hear what you thought and what you learned!!!

Today's Tip!

Burnt Look

I tear my paper and then use my ink pad to ink the edges all up and make it look like it has been burnt. Definitely beats actually burning the paper!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today's Tip!

Splattering distress ink with toothbrush

For a really neat splattering effect, ink your non-stick craft sheet and then mist with a little water and dip the toothbrush in and use a craft stick to move back and forth over the bristles in the direction of the paper. It can get a little messy though :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today's Tip

Shrinky Dinks from the Recycle Bin!

This may be the most fabulously frugal craft ever.  Shrinky-Dinks or other shrink plastic you buy in kits in costly, but you can use any #6 clear plastic from your recycle bin to make the same thing!

Curbly user Chrisjob posted full instructions recently:*Y-Shrinky-Dinks-

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today's Tip

When it comes to scrapbooking organization, there are systems for every budget, size, and item you can think of.

As you determine how you will organize, keep your needs first and foremost in your mind. Your organized space will only stay organized if it is practical for YOU and easy to use so.  Before you sit down to work on any scrapbook layout, make sure your space is organized. Everything should have its own place and, ideally, that place should be labeled. Keeping your supplies organized will help you get pages done faster because you're not dealing with the mental chaos that comes from a messy workspace.

Organization experts stress that you need to evaluate your needs before you buy a single storage container. Before you begin to organize think about the following questions:

•How do you get your ideas?
•Do you attend crops outside the home often?
•Where are you most likely to work?
•How much time do you usually devote to scrapbooking?
•Do you have a set style or do you like to experiment with new techniques?
•Do need peace and quiet when you work or can you handle a little background distraction?

The answers to these questions will give you valuable information for how you scrapbook and what your scrapbook organization system should look like. Keep them in mind as you consider each aspect of scrapbook organization.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Today's Tip

Sorry, I realize I've missed a few days and will get back on this shortly!  Happy New Year!!!

I was just reading an article about DMC's new Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss.  Wouldn't this look fun on a Scrapbooking Page?  Maybe a layout featuring Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling?????

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Today's Tip!

Embroidery cotton can be used in scrapbooking in a number of interesting ways. Individual fibers can be used to highlight focus items or to add dimension to artwork or drawings.

Embroidery fibers can also be twisted or braided for use in artwork or as imaginative borders. Moreover, embroidery cotton can even be used as to tie down other items in a beautiful and creative way.

The fashion for friendship bracelets made of embroidery cotton never seems to die out completely. Why not plait up a friendship bracelet to use as a border or highlight on one of your daughter's scrapbook pages?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Today's Tip!

A leather look can add elegance to your scrapbooking page.

To create a unique leather look, simply distress cardstock. To do this, grip the cardstock in your hands. Then, with a gentle circular motion, rub the cardstock together as if you were pre-treating a laundry stain. Gradually, work your way around the cardstock until you get the desired effect.

You can also now buy leather-look paper and accessories in many scrapbooking stores.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Today's Tip!

A good way to make your own personal seals is with Crayola Model Magic. Simply, roll out a small ball of the clay. Then, imprint this ball with a small rubber stamp or a brass seal. In this way, you can create whatever stamp impressions you can imagine.

If you have some metallic dusting powder or gold acrylic paint you can get a super effect using a dark red ball of clay (most wax seals were made with red clay) and then dusting the corners, when dry, with gold or silver.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Today's Tip!

An attractive technique for placing photographs into scrapbooks is the photograph mosaic. Mosaics stretch photographs into an artistic rendition of the original photograph. Maps can also be stretched in this way. This method might be employed to create a funky look for a friend scrapbook or as a background for someone who likes computers, GIS, or geography.

A basic cropping technique is used to create a photographic mosaic. Simply cut a photograph into evenly spaced squares. Then, glue the squares onto the background leaving an equal space between each square.

A white background or a background matching the background color of the photograph will add to the effect. A background of a contrasting color will reduce the spaced out effect of the photograph.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Today's Tip!

For more dramatic results from your photographs, trying weaving two copies of the same photograph together. This technique creates a three-dimensional artist look. This technique would look great on a scrapbook for a graduating art student or a scrapbook for a friend who is quite artist and creative. This technique might also look good on a child's scrapbook with a kid's art background giving the whole page an abstract look.

To achieve this technique, first you need two copies of the same photo. On one photograph, draw evenly spaced vertical lines on the back of the picture. Cut along these lines with scissors or an exacto knife. On the other photograph draw and cut along evenly spaced horizontal lines.

Next, using alternate strips, from photograph one and then photograph two, weave the pieces together. To preserve the rectangular shape of the photographs, start your weaving in the center of the piece and work outwards.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Get Organized Challenge - Week 1

“Cluttered surroundings create a chaotic environment, an extra level of static in our brains that can only hinder our creativity and enjoyment of what we are doing”

Week 1

Take a photo of your work space right now. Don’t tidy it up or remove that empty chocolate bar wrapper. Leave that coffee cup ring exactly where it is. What does your work space look like at this exact minute in time?
We need to start the year off right with a clean slate . . . or in this case a clean workspace. Clear you work space completely. What to do with everything on your desk or table? Set up some boxes or baskets: one for things that don’t have a place yet, one for yard sale, one for donations. Put everything away if it already has a home or into one of these 3 boxes. Now scrub! Clean every blob of glue and scrap of paper off your work space. Look at that shine!!

Today's Tip!

Grab five to seven left out items from your desk and challenge yourself to use them on a quick page. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with