Layout Process: The White House

I got a fantastic box of goodies yesterday through the Two Peas in a Bucket “Wish List” forum.  The box included a couple of acrylic paints.  These are the first acrylics in my stash.  Yay!  The colors are “Petal Pink” and “Indian Turquoise” both of which I love.  I used a small dash of each of these paints on this layout.  I found out a little goes a very long way with acrylic paints, so I know these bottles will last me a while 🙂

I got inspiration from a layout by Ashli Oliver where she used washi tape in a grid pattern.  You can find her layout here.  Instead of washi tape, I used scraps of paper I had leftover from other projects.  I cut the scraps into strips and then applied them to the background paper using matte Mod Podge.

Paper Strips


I wanted to tone down the colors of the paper strips a bit, so I added a layer of gesso wash (2 parts gesso to 1 part water) over the paper.  I then added the acrylic paints for some fun.




To finish the layout, I added ink splatters in Warm Calico and Opaque White (Mister Huey’s), the title, journaling, and a little bit of doodling.  The final step was matting the entire page on another patterned paper to add stability and minimize warping of the paper from all the wet media I used.  Here’s the final result:

The White House


Background paper:  Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste “Taylor’s Favorite” matted on We R Memory Keepers Chalkboard “Collage”


Simple Photo Editing with FX Photo Studio

Today, I’ll be sharing the photo editing process I’ve been using for the “Breaking Bad” series of layouts I’ve been making.  I don’t use Photoshop because I’m not big on photography  and photo editing.  My fiancee actually enjoys taking pictures more than I do.  I mostly wanted a program that would “enhance” my not-so-good photos.  I browsed the Apple application store and decided to get “FX Photo Studio” which is selling for $9.99 right now.  They give a 14-day free trial, so you don’t have to commit unless you like it.

FX Photo Studio is a very simple program that essentially adds effects to photos.  There are a lot of different effects, but a turn to a few that I like over and over because most of them just aren’t applicable to what I’m trying to do.  You can also add various frames or vignettes to photos which I take advantage of once in a while.  You can tag your favorite effects and even a series of effects so they’re handy.  My personal favorites are “Amsterdam”, “Black and White Magazine”, “Monterey”, and “Sanibel” to name a few.  Of course, the app can also crop, rotate, resize, and manually adjust the colors of the photo.  It’s really nothing fancy, but I like that it’s easy to use.

Now, for an example:

Here’s the original photo……

Before Editing

As you can see, the picture is quite dark especially near the subject of the photo (who happens to be my fiancee).  I use my iPhone as my camera 95% of the time, so I can’t really change the exposure without using flash.  I might’ve been able to capture a better photograph by changing my or the subject’s positioning for better sunlight but because I know I can simply edit the photo later I don’t really worry about it most of the time.

First, I used FX Photo Studio to add more blue hues to the picture with the “Cool” effect.  The original photo is on the left while the “adjusted” photo is on the left.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.22.00 PM

I wanted a more aged look to the picture so I next used the “Pacific” effect.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.23.57 PM

This effect made the photo too yellow/orange again, so I cooled down the picture a second time.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.24.21 PM

It was still a little difficult to see my fiancee’s face, so I brightened the entire picture (found in the “Adjust” tab on the upper right-hand corner).  The final result:


All it took was a few clicks and I could see my fiancee’s face AND get some nifty background colors!  And here’s the finished layout using that same photo….

10 am

Layout Share: Have an A1 Day!

I made this layout for a Life.Paper.Scrapbook sketch challenge.  I actually just discovered their website yesterday and was excited to start participating in their monthly challenges!

The layout I made is another one for the “Breaking Bad” self-guided tour I took with my fiancee a couple of months ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I love “crumpling” the washi tape a bit for a more distressed feel.  I got the inspiration from Melissa Stinson through a layout she made for Citrus Twist Kits earlier this month.

Have an A1 Day!


Background paper:  “Confident” (Amy Tangerine–Yes, Please)

Accent papers:  “Poolside” (Crate Paper–The Pier), “Blue Dots/Stripes” (Simple Stories–Say Cheese), “Pictured” (My Mind’s Eye–Chalkboard Studio), “Feathers” (Echo Paper Paper Co.–Here & Now)

Embellishments:  Journaling Tag (Chic Tags–Everyday Life II), Printed Chipboard Shapes (Dear Lizzy–Polka Dot Party), washi tape, Amy Tangerine & BasicGrey letter stickers, Studio Calico & October Afternoon mists.

Layout Process: Los Pollos Hermanos

For my first post on this blog I’m going to share my process for creating a 12×12 layout that will be part of my road trip travel album.

This layout is from a self-guided “Breaking Bad” TV show tour I did with my fiancee a few months ago when we passed through New Mexico for our road trip to Texas.  For those who aren’t familiar with the show, the series ended earlier this year and had somewhat of a cult following.  I only watched a few episodes, but my fiancee followed the series ever since the beginning.  His only request for our entire trip was this little tour!  From the small doses I’ve seen, it’s evident the show is definitely not for the faint of heart….a lot of violence, drugs, etc.  To capture the personality of the show, all the layouts I made for these events have a grungier feel than my normal style.

Breaking Bad

The photo I’m using isn’t the best quality since the lighting was off and I used my phone.  It’s the only photo I have at this particular location, though, so I’m just going to use it anyways.  I used one of the built-in filters on the iPhone 5 when taking this photo.  I believe it was the “Transfer” filter.

I chose the “Collectible” patterned paper from Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper “Flea Market” line because I liked how the bold yellow diagonal stripes complemented the yellow in the photo.  I used white gesso over a polka dot Crafter’s Studio stencil.  The stencil is only about 6×6 in dimension, so I had to stencil three separate times to adequately cover the page.  I heat dried and cleaned the stencil between each new application of gesso.  I then splattered three colors of mists mostly diagonally across the page (Studio Calico “Warm Calico”, Studio Calico “Leaf Green”, October Afternoon “Rotary Phone”).

Gesso & Mists


To add depth to the photo, I used two 4×6 cut apart cards from Simple Stories’ “24/7” line.  I had already used another element from that paper, so it was technically a scrap I had lying around.  For embellishment, I chose several die cuts from the Ephemera Pack of the same Maggie Holmes collection and layered them down a line behind the photo.  I inked the edges with Hero Arts’ “Charcoal” mid -tone chalk ink on all the papers and embellishments before adhering them to enhance the grungy look.


I added the the letter stickers and journaling next.  I added grayish black coloring to the white Thickers using the same Charcoal ink and a wet paintbrush.  The letters used are American Crafts “Roster” DIY Thickers and Jenni Bowlin Studio’s “Grey Skinny Alpha”.  I finished the page off with a few strips of a grey chevron washi tape, a bit more misting at the bottom of the embellishment cluster, and three small triangle stickers from Carta Bella’s “Wild & Free” collection and called it done!

Final Layout