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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Saturday, February 20, 2010


I've fallen behind on posts, but getting all caught up and will be posting soon......  Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather and the Olympics on TV!!!!!

Has anybody been Scrapbooking or Paper Crafting?  Fill us in!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today's Tip!


A TRULY CLEAR EMBOSSING PADUse like you would the Top Boss. Just stamp and emboss with colored powder or clear powder for a see through shine.

A WATERMARKThis is great for backgrounds, it will deepen the shade of colored paper wherever you stamp. Just think about this, for every color of paper you own, you now have a complementary color of ink!

There are a couple of ways to accomplish this effect on light colored card stocks.
  1. Apply chalks to the area to be stamped, stamp with VersaMark and allow to dry or use heat gun. Then rub gently with a clean cotton ball. You can get a dramatic effect by adding more chalk to a cotton ball or dauber after you stamped with the VersaMark. Or you can emboss while stamped image is still wet with clear embossing powder and the image will jump out at you!
  2. Stamp first then chalk gently over the stamped area and watch the image magically appear.
This time you use brightly colored chalk to cover dark colored card stock (Basic Black, Night of Navy, Close to Cocoa, Old Olive, etc.) and then stamp over the chalked area. The ink will pull out the color of the paper from beneath the chalk. Be sure to clean the stamp before re-inking it as the chalk you removed is now on your stamp and you will dirty your VersaMark pad.

This is a technique to use with Kaleidacolor pads and word stamps but you can use it for anything really. Just stamp directly over your first image. Because you will seldom be exact you will make a shadow that gives the initial image a 3-D effect. You can even take it a step further and emboss with a transparent powder like Pearl or Iridescent Ice.

This technique can be done with Gold Encore or VersaMark. Stamp image(s) onto Glossy White card stock using one of the above inks. Gently wipe away the ink using a lotion-free tissue and small circular motion. Ink up your brayer and roll it over the paper. Wherever the VersaMark ink was stamped, the paper will resist the colored ink from your brayer. This works on matte card stock but looks better on glossy.

Stamp the same image first w/VersaMark & then with metallic (Encore). Just shift the image a little bit when stamping the metallic ink. It gives it a shadowed look. Looks great on baroque burgundy and forest foliage!

Using the embossing buddy first, then using the VersaMark to stamp the image on a glass container, then emboss with detail gold or silver. Fill it with candy and tie a ribbon on it.

Ink your stamp with VersaMark then stamp on one of our 48 color pads or you can use a dauber to apply the color ink if you are worried about the color pad. Stamp and use clear embossing powder. Heat. Now you can emboss and be perfectly coordinated with the SU! markers, cardstock and inkpads. Be certain to clean stamp before re-inking on VersaMark pad or you will leave color on it.

Although the VersaMark ink is sticky when applied, it dries like regular ink and loses the stickiness. It is Acid-free and safe for scrapbook pages. It works perfectly on all of our colored cardstock.

Simply stamp your image using Versamark on ultra-smooth white or confetti or some other light CS and then emboss with clear embossing powder. Let cool. Then gently wad paper into a ball or you could fold it into a small square for a different look. Unfold it and smooth it out. Place it on a towel and wet with water so the paper is very damp. Next ink your brayer with a Kaleidacolor pad and brayer across the paper. The image will stay white while the ink will seep into cracks and the rest of the paper will have a batik look. (Like back in the 70’s when you applied wax to a pattern on a shirt and then dipped it in dye, cooled and chipped the wax away.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today's Tip!

32 Ways To Love Your Heat Gun

  1. Use it with shrink plastic!
  2. To dry glue on almost anything!
  3. To set the pigment ink on our Paperclay
  4. To dry sealer on paperclay quickly
  5. Embossing
  6. Glassy Glaze
  7. Liquid Applique
  8. Heat & Stick
  9. Heat setting Fabrico
  10. Remelting hot or low temp glue to restick something
  11. Stamp & Scratch paper
  12. Paint stripping
  13. Reheating tea
  14. Blowing glitter across a stamped area to get a fine sprinkle.
  15. Speeding up drying for radiant pearls, ancient page and some other inks.
  16. Blowing glitter or other small debris off of the table
  17. Carefully now: dry your nail polish! Heat gun holder means no smudges on 2nd or 3rd coat. It stays my craft table in its heat gun holder and I paint then press the on button and wave my nails under the flow. It worksgreat! I am Miss Impatient about stuff and one day just tried it. Now my nail polish has migrated to the edge of the table!
  18. To puff up fabric puff paints on sweatshirts (Gotta be careful!).
  19. To heat up those price stickers on glass--just heat and then peel them right off. This works great on jelly jar labels and once I used this method to get a bumper sticker off my car (my grandson put it on the paint—rear passenger door and I did not notice for almost a week).
  20. My favorite heat gun use is to make smores. 2 graham crackers, chocolate pieces, marshmallow, wooden skewer, heat gun. Heat the marshmallow a nice toasty brown, assemble and enjoy. We did this with a Brownie troop for one of their try its and they loved them.
  21. Repairing computer parts: I have a story to tell about my heat gun... It happened this week, and it saved my YOU-KNOW-WHAT!! I am setting up and trial running a new computer in my bedroom, next to my old one, making sure it works, and getting it set it up for transfer of my documentation to the new one, was checking on the CD speakers, and it worked, and I took the CD out, and the phone rang...........Then, later when I was flipping my mattress over, (need to do it once in a while), the mattress caught on the OPEN CD ROM holder....and bend it toward the ground, and it wouldn't go back into the holder space. It would go so far and then stop, I could force it back in by holding up the plastic, but it wouldn't do it on its own....BRAND NEW, not even REGISTERED yet! After I stopped hyperventilating, I used my heat gun to heat the plastic a little at a time, and I slowly maneuvered it until the tray would slide shut on it own, and it plays and all is well, THANK HEAVENS FOR OUR HEAT GUN!!!
  22. Takes a dipping and keeps on ticking!! My favorite heat gun story is from this web site. One demonstrator dropped her heat tool in her coffee, while it was plugged in. She jumped quick and unplugged it, rinsed it off and let it dry off. Plugged it in, turned it on and it is still running like a top.
  23. You can use your gun to remove hardened candle wax. Aim the heat at the wax. When it starts to melt, use a white paper towel to blot it up. Do this a little at a time to prevent scorching your surface.
  24. For artsy daredevils: pool some metallic ink on glossy c/s. Aim heat at its center. It will spread the ink and create a nice blob. Sprinkle some of the confetti in our new glitter stacks on top of the blob, then pour on some clear EP. Heat again, pour on more EP, melt, and allow to dry. It makes a nice accent or background for your artwork. I discovered this when trying to find things to do with the new confetti we have. I tried something similar with the regular reinkers and didn't like the results - non impressive. If any of you try a variation of this, please share your results!
  25. Use the heat gun to melt some candle wax onto your paper creating an abstract design, then do a direct to paper technique over it. The wax will resist the ink and also give your paper texture.
  26. Melt bits of broken crayons for a background resist. I would melt the various colors of crayon bits until there were melted puddles scattered around the cardstock. Then I would let them harden and use the foam brayer to brayer ink over the whole piece of card stock. Next, I would reheat the crayon until remelted and then soak up the excess with a paper towel. This would leave some color on the card stock, plus the ink would have resisted these areas. It might make an interesting background. Maybe a little like a faux batik look. (Note: This idea has not been tried! Please report back to the list if you try it!)
  27. I use mine with friendly plastic! It's sooo much easier than putting it in the toaster oven every time you need to soften it! Friendly plastic is THE coolest stuff ever!! You can get it at stamp stores or on-line at It's not even new if you can believe that! I heard they used it in the '70's to make jewelry and now it's making a big comeback. Any-hoo, I use it make jewelry and components to embellish cards. It comes in really pretty metallic colors and it kind of wrinkles when you heat it up. While it's hot you can blend colors together and put in beads, charms, even stamped images. Then when it's dry I put a coat of crystal effects over it because: 1. It makes the plastic super shiny and pretty and 2. if you use charms or beads (as I do) they will fall off when the plastic is cool unless you seal it! Honestly, I only discovered it a few months ago but I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! In fact, I made a Friendly Plastic pin for a friend and she asked to make her 8 more for Christmas gifts. I made $60!!! And then I felt guilty because I had a blast making them! Oh, I almost forgot! I found some FP recently at Michaels! It was with the wire mesh that you would use to make a form if you were going to cover it w/ plaster. Not with the jewelry stuff where it SHOULD be! I hope this makes sense and I'm not rambling too much! I just get so excited when I share something new!! Try it!! It's so much fun!
  28. Speed up effectiveness of bleach stamping by heating the bleach stamped image from underneath after stamping.
  29. Make gift baskets and use it to shrink the shrink plastic over the basket. I tried it and just like magic shrunk in no time flat.
  30. You can use the heat tool on fun foam. You heat and then imprint a bold or bold line stamp in it.
  31. My DH used it to heat the glue of our old linoleum as he peeled it up to lay new stuff. He was impressed by my suggestion to use it and that it worked like a charm!
  32. I use it to melt stamped tissue paper to a candle. You can also heat the surface of the candle and then stamp a DD stamp into it. Highlight the impression with paints - maybe our metallic reinkers would work? I tried this a long time ago and didn't get really good results. This past year, I've been making candles with dried flowers in them to sell at a local farmer's market (my other business). Sometimes the flowers wouldn't show up well and I would use the heat gun to melt off a layer of wax.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sure Cuts A Lot

Who has it?  I do!!!

Ordered it the other night and can't wait to play with it.  Any comments, suggestions, ideas to share?  Let me know.... I'm VERY interested!!!!

Today's Tip!

Getting On Board with Chipboard
(compiled by Ann Jobes)

Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, chipboard is showing up as a standard embellishment on cards, mini albums, 3-D projects and especially on scrapbook pages.

Chipboard’s versatility is what makes it such a fun and favourable addition to your scrapbook pages and cards. It is kraft coloured, acid free, made of recycled paper and in the case of the chipboard available from Stampin’ Up!, die-cut ready to press out of 12 x 12 sheets (page 215; 95 elements/shapes for $14.95). Because chipboard is made out of cardboard, stamping directly on it will not leave a crisp clear stamped images. For smoother and crisper images stamp on cardstock or paper first and adhere that to your chipboard or ink or paint the element before stamping.

Here’s a list of things you can with your chipboard pieces to individualize each accent for your projects:

  1. Stamps of course. Paint your shape and then choose word or image stamps stamp on the die cut. Black inked words on a heart painted red, for instance, can be quite dramatic. Or try inking on your alphabet stamps.
  2. Get out your stamp pads and ink directly onto the chipboard. Pigment ink, such as our craft pads especially provide great coverage.(p200-203) Alternately, you can brayer your favourite ink colours on. Why not try the metallic ink? Heat set!
  3. Acrylic paint – brush or spray on your favourite acrylic paints – try a metallic.
  4. Use scraps of designer paper (p206-209) to create a collage look, or cover in one larger piece to co-ordinate with your page. To do this, place your letter on the wrong side of the patterned paper and trace with a pencil then cut out. This way you don't see the pencil lines. Cut out with a pair of fine tip scissors. To adhere, try the pop glue dots or dimensionals to make them stand out even more.
  5. Adhere microbeads (p 232) to the painted chipboard die cut with Crystal Effects or Sticky Strip (p 226).
  6. Use up your ribbon scraps by spraying adhesive on the chipboard and laying the ribbon scraps down on top. Trim off ends.
  7. Try embossing on your chipboard. Stamp with VersaMark and sprinkle on the embossing powder. Use your heat tool to melt. Then use craft or classic ink directly on the die cut. Use a tissue to wipe off the embossed images.
  8. Because the chipboard comes on a 12 x 12 sheet, you can use the chipboard 'template' that the letters and shapes come in to trace onto regular cardstock too!
  9. Sand them. Apply ink, paint or designer papers and then take the sanding blocks (p222) to the edges.
  10. Apply Pearl Ex (p 228) to create gorgeous sheen on your chipboard element. If brushed on with an AquaPainter filled with Future Floor Wax, or dabbed on after being mixed with Lumiere, no further sealing will be necessary. If rubbed on or stippled on over VersaMark, you’ll want to seal it with Crystal Effects or a matte spray.
  11. Glassy Glaze creates a wonderful look. Cover a die cut with ink or paint. When dry, apply VersaMark and Glassy Glaze Enamel (p229) and use the heat tool to melt. Apply a second coat and while the enamel is still hot, press into it with an inked stamp. Let cool and remove the stamp for a cool look of tile.
  12. Use up your Magic Mesh scraps (p 233) by placing on a painted or inked shape and trimming the edges.
  13. Cover your chipboard with flowers. We have two fabulous flower punches (p 221); punch out a rainbow of colours, or go monochromatic.
  14. Use Irridescent Ice embossing powder (p229) to achieve the look of glitter without the “shedding” that may accompany glitter. Drag your inked/painted chipboard element throught the VersaMark ink, sprinkle on the Irridescent Ice and use the heat tool to melt. Fun and fabulous look!
  15. Use them like stamps, painting on the reverse side and pressing down onto cardstock to create a distressed image.
  16. Adhere an assortment of different sized buttons (p 232) on the chipboard die cut using glue dots or liquid adhesive.
  17. Apply spray adhesive to the shape and then wrap with fibers to add tons of texture to your page.
  18. Coloured rub-ons are a no-muss way to dress up plain chipboard pieces. Go a step further by tracing around each rub-on with the Zig painty pen in gold/silver (p. 224)
  19. Photos – Use a xyron machine or spray adhesive to adhere a photo to your chipboard die cut, turn upside down on a cutting mat and use a hobby knife (p 223) to trace the shape.
  20. Use the Xyron, spray adhesive or VersaMark and Heat & Stick to adhere sand to the chipboard die cut, pressing down on the sand. Tap excess sand off. Accessorize with funky ribbon or rafia and use it along with a few small shells on your “fun in the sun” page.
  21. Still have some extra, un-used alphabet stickers around. Place them collage style on your die-cut.
  22. Apply metal leafing with a special metal leaf pen, available at craft stores.
  23. To create a stucco look, apply Texture Magic, available at craft stores, with a palette knife.
  24. Craft stores carry a line of spray paints that look like stone. Apply with a brush for a rougher texture.
  25. Use spray adhesive to cover the die cut evenly and lay on a scrap of fabric to “dress up” a chipboard element. Trim around the edges.
  26. Another way to apply ink: use craft reinkers. Pour a few drops onto a plastic lid or paint tray and then pick it up with a flat watercolour paintbrush. This way you could have co-ordinating colours on the same element.
  27. Engrave it - with a sharp tool scrape designs into it and then use a paint brush to paint over and wipe off any excess paint that don't fall into the cracks. For a similar look, try this: Carefully cut lines in chip board after you have colored it; then carefully peel the top layer (or two) to create a grooved design.
For any of these ideas, to finish the look, don’t forget:

  • Tie ribbon around the accent or punch holes and tie a ribbon through it.
  • Add brads or hodgepodge too.
  • Try layering smaller chipboard elements onto larger ones.
  • The sky's the limit.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Today's Tip!

Ticket Layouts

How do you scrap concert tickets?  One suggestion was to treat the tickets just like a photo and matt them; then be sure to include journaling.

Other ideas are to put the tickets in library pockets or a vellum envelope.  Or, if you have a series of tickets,  fan them out against a musical paper for background.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Today's Tip!

What is ephemera?

Ephemera is anything that wouldn't normally be considered something to collect, save, cherish or keep (or for that matter, display on a scrapbook page). Make sense? If not, here's a list of some items that might be considered ephemera (and this is just a very small list):
  • playing cards
  • postcards
  • dominoes
  • tarot cards
  • coin and paper money
  • ticket stubs
  • lottery tickets
  • game pieces
  • office objects like paper clips, post its, Rolodex cards
  • keys
  • toothpicks
  • tiles or mosaics
  • old maps
  • miniature items such as those found in doll house stores
  • compasses
  • glass
  • watch parts
  • packaging of all kinds
  • magazine ads
  • old book pages
  • wire
  • plastic and acryllic
  • feathers, leaves etc.
  • film or film strip materials
  • chop sticks
  • fabrics, especially antique
  • flat pebbles and stones
Several companies offer ephemera, but most of the time you can find these items just by looking through your junk drawer or office supplies. Using ephemera on a page (or altered project) adds a unique and creative element.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Today's Tip!

Too Many Pictures?

On occassion, I create a mini album within my layouts in which to put all of the "extra" photos that you don't want to showcase, but do want to keep within the layout.  Mat the mini album in a coordinating paper and tie together with ribbon or raffia.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Today's Tip!

Journaling Protection

Do you ever find that it is sometimes easy to get journaling tags, etc. caught up on the pockets they are in. People who are looking in the album are not as gentle as we are when putting journaling back in place, and embellishments will fall off or paper frays. So I have started to add a "paper roll" to the edge of pockets.

Cut a strip of some lovely paper, the length of the pocket opening, width about 1"1/2 - 30mm or more.

Roll it lengthwise, it might be easier to do this using a skewer or similar.

Leave about half inch straight, hanging off. This is the bit where you put the glue so you can attach the roll to the inside of the pocket front.

The rolls might flatten over time, but they will still help. You can use the rolls for further embellishments too, eg. drawing fibers through them and all sorts!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today's Tip!

Hide Journaling and Squeeze More Photos on a Page

Most of us routinely have more pictures than we have space for on a layout, or not enough room left for journaling. One option is to choose one of the photos near the top of the page and turn it into a 'pocket'.

Use adhesive on only the sides and bottom of the photo/matting, use brads on all four corners, and you have an instant and easy photo or journaling pocket!

Simply slip your matted photo or journaling into the pocket, making sure it sticks out enough that you'll notice it's there, attach some ribbon at the top to pull it out, and you're done!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today's Tip!

Enhancing With Words

A great way to express yourself is through words. Have you ever heard the expression, " A picture is worth a thousand words,". Well it's true! Through using words, you can make even the plainest page look fabulous.

There are many different ways to use words.

  1. A definition -- ex. if you are making a baby page, you could put the definition of sweet, baby, mommy, family, love, and more on there. Cut it out of a dictionary or you can copy and paste it onto Word from an on line dictionary . The overall appearances better if you print it out just like it was in the dictionary.
  2. A background of words -- ex. if you are doing a page on a sports event, you could go into the newspaper (spray the paper to make it acid-free) and cut out of the Sport's page.
  3. Word Collage -- ex. go into the newspaper (spray the paper to make it acid-free) and look at the headlines. Another great place to go is a magazine because their headlines or large fonts are colorful. Cut out (or use the ripped effect) letters for a title on your page. This give a great randomized effect. ** Another great use for magazine collages are borders. You can do a color themed page. For my baby girl page, I choose a pink border using this method. I went through magazines and found little dabs of pink (all around 2in. by 2in. at least)
  4. Overlapping -- One way that you can use this tool is if you want to emphasize on the title, you can write it really large and in a light color. Then, on top of that word, write the same word in a darker color. It will really go well with your page and help a lot with the color theme.
  5. Emphasize -- If you are adding a poem of any other text into your page, you can use this. ex. I loved my baby the minute I saw her. Go in and choose main and important words: loved, baby, saw her. There are several things that you can do at this point. 1-- outline the words or letters of the words in a different color. 2-- get a different colored sheet of paper, write the same word on it in the same size, and paste it on top. 3-- simply make the word bold-ed by outlining it several times in the original color.
  6. OTHER -- crossword, word search, riddle, thoughts, quotes, poems.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Today's Tip!

Outlining a Paper Piecing, the fool proof way!

If you're like me, you have unsteady hands, and the can't draw a straight line to save your life. One trick I've found for making a beautiful piece is to make my outlines BEFORE cutting.

Using a light box, trace your pattern on your paper using a black or white pen (whatever color fits your piece) SLIGHTLY within the lines of the pattern… then when you cut the piece out, cut slightly outside the lines. You can also use stitch marks if you prefer them instead of a solid line.

If you are using a dark color, and can't see the pattern through the paper, simple place your paper on a self healing mat (or other soft surface) and place the pattern on TOP. Using a stylus, and light pressure, trace the pattern like you normally would, and BEFORE cutting, go over the grove your stylus left with your pen!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Today's Tip!

Distress Ink

Try applying distress ink with a cotton ball.  It produces a soft look- and it's CHEAP!!