CLIMB – a multi-photo, template layout.

I recently took a trip with my daughter to visit my parents back east. While there, my daughter decided she had to climb one of the two huge pecan trees in the front yard. My immediate thought – PHOTO OP!!! It was rather comical, as my daughter found it much more difficult to get up in the tree as she had thought it would be. I loved the photos for a good many reasons: first off, it is always difficult to get any photos of my daughter, so I was pleased with the opportunity to get some spontaneous shots, and second, I loved the texture of the bark of this gigantic pecan tree. I held the photos for some time, just not knowing how to scrap them. I have to admit that I get use to scrapping one photo at a time, as I feel there is often times much more impact when you can concentrate on just one image. In this case, however, I felt a layout created using multiple photos, told the best story.


Templates always make the job of putting together a layout so much easier.  It must also be remembered that the versatility of a template is its ability to be modified.  The template I decided to use was rotated 90 degrees.  In addition, I swapped two of the masks, to better work with the photos.  I used FotoInspired DoubleTemplate No. 8 by Anna Aspnes.


I attached the photos to the photo masks of the layout, and placed two ArtsyKardz to be used for journaling, applying shadows to both.  I used the PSD files, slightly re-coloring layers to best work with the colors within the photographs.  The third ArtsyKard was attached to the center photo mask of the template.  I then added the journaling, I applied a neutral Weathered Neutral paper for the template background, added the epoxy brad, and word strips.  At this point I decided to reduce the scale of the entire layout, allowing me to add the green weathered neutral paper behind the template, and edged it with the lined overlay, changing its color.  I added the title “CLIMB!” using the NotebookAlpha.


I wanted to add a bit more impact to the layout, so.  I added the 12×12 fotoBlendz just on top of the template background paper, changing its color, blend mode and opacity.  I added some dripped stains on top of the 12×12 fotoBlendz, making them white, playing around with the blend modes and opacities as well.  I took a stitched LoopDaLoop and angled it so that two of the loops encircled my daughters face, and finished up adding a flutterby tattoo to the center ArtsyKard.

Click on the layout to go to Oscrap gallery for product credits.

Click on the layout to go to Oscrap gallery for product credits.


Heritage with a Twist

When you imagine a Heritage page scrapped, most people immediately think in terms of neutral beige, brown, off white, etc., along with loads of ephemera in layers throughout the page, sepia toned photos, and possibly torn and tattered elements.  Seldom does color come into play, unless it is that slight, unexpected splash that maybe leads your eye through the page.  I have to say that I love those pages as well, however, I also love to see something different thrown into the mix as well.

Every so often I have a photograph that is just so special that I want to make certain I do it justice when I scrap it, and this photograph is definitely one of those photos.  I used a great many kits to complete it, but the inspiration came from the new package released by Anna Aspnes this past week:  ArtPlay Palette Enroute, Enroute No. 1 (brushes), and Enroute Sampler.  The hues of dusty aqua, and grays were so inviting, that I immediately thought of this photo.  Here is the finished page:

School Girls

School Girls

I didn’t start out thinking the page would end up like this, but am so happy with the final result. I began with the background paper from the Palette, and placed upon it, the photograph in the torn frame. I began by blending the photograph within the frame, applying blend modes to see what looked best. I didn’t like the result, as the black and white blended image just didn’t look right.  I decided to try making the photo with a blue tint.  To do so, I first attached a textured blue solid to the fotomask, and then changed the blend mode of the photograph, attached to it, to luminosity.  This caused the photo to take on the hue of the paper. I blended from the photo, the children’s outlines, but I also wanted some of the background of the photo to show through as well, so I created a second photo layer, and again, using the luminosity blend mode, began blending in the entire photograph, just slightly, until I got enough of the background, thus giving a somewhat dreamy look.

using un-blended original photograph

using un-blended original photograph

I then begin dragging into the layout brushwork, transfers and elements that I believe would go well.  I added an edge overlay, changing it’s color to a pale yellow.  Under that I added two edge transfers, bringing in additional neutral colors to the right edge.  I began layering element to the bottom right corner of the photograph, plus a few fotomasks directly on top of the background paper, changings the color to a blue, and modifying the blend mode and opacity to deepen the color around the photo.

Added brushwork, transfers, elements and edgework

Added brushwork, transfers, elements and edgework

Once I am almost done with a layout, I typically look for what might be missing, or what items I could add to polish up a layout. I decided adding the brushwork of the tape measure numbers, the ScriptTease text along the right border, and the lace along the bottom edge of the photo would be perfect to finish it off. I can have the tendency to add too much, so I am often adding and removing items to find that right balance.

Finished Layout

Finished Layout


It is hard to believe that it has already been one year since Anna Aspnes Designs came to Oscraps.  In thinking about this past year I began to realize how much I have grown as a digital scrapper.  When I first began using her digital scrapbook kits I didn’t know where to start, and I had concerns I would do it wrong.  Once I got past that fear, I realized there was no right way or wrong way as long as you were creating something that spoke to you.   Her kits have allowed me to think a bit outside the box, and freed up my style just a bit, and I can say that I really doubt I would have grown as much  if I was working with the more traditional digital scraping kits.

I have since become a member of Anna’s Creative Team, and feel so honored to be amoungst some very talented ladies.  They teach me a great deal and their talent pushes me to become better.

In honor of Anna’s one year anniversary, she is having a sale and some fun a games, so if you have yet to ever work with any of Anna’s kits, I invite you to come and check out her store, and of course to partake in some of the activities.  Be sure to check out Anna’s blog.

I sat down to pick out some of my favorite items of Anna’s and found that next to impossible.  Instead I could only narrow things down to a few product types like edge overlays, LoopDaLoops, and fotoblendz.  I was, however, able to pick out a kit – mainly because I always seem to have loads of beach photos.  The kit is ArtPlay Palette Salty Living.


The page I created is of my daughter running on the beach at 4 years old.  In the background you can see The Hotel Del Coronado.  Although the photo was taken over 16 years ago, I remember the delight on my daughter’s face as she ran on the wet sand, and how she giggled when she ran too close to the water’s edge.  Not much is better than a child playing on the beach.

As I work on a layout, it seems to take on it’s own life and evolve into the final – finished version.  Although I never planned to have the more neutral colors at the bottom of the page, I felt it worked well with the beach sand, and I loved the little bits of red that is mimicked by the roof from the hotel and the red in my daughters dress.   I also love the reflections of everything on the wet sand.


I cannot even imagine entering the military, and heading off to war. Those that do, I feel a great deal of gratitude toward. They freely fight the enemy knowing they may not come back after the war. Too many are killed, or injured. I feel for all who choose to fight the terrorists that wish to do us harm.

In my hometown, my daughter tells me about all of her friends that chose to enter the military after they graduated high school. She is able to keep in touch with them from their occasional posts on Facebook. We are both always concerned for their safety, hoping they all come back safe once their tour is done.

This past December, my daughter learned that one of her friends was killed in action. It was so hard to console her as it is hard for a young adult to have to face death, and she as seen her share of it through high school, and now the war or terror. I spent much of the next few days looking online at the information about this young man’s death, as well as the other’s that had died with him. I found photos and videos of Kenny, and it was heart-breaking to think of how his family was coping.

Kenny Necochea

My being a digital scrapper, I immediately archived a number of photos of Kenny, and asked my daughter if she would like a page done in his memory. Through her tears, she said she would like that very much. He died on December 12, 2010, and over the months I attempted to scrap his page, but I never felt that any of the pages I started did this young man justice. This page had to be special. When the 10th anniversary of 911 was upon us, I again thought of Kenny. Although this page was not completed for this 10th anniversary, I began working on it again, and finally felt satisfied that it was a fine enough tribute for Kenny. When posting this page, I got many a comment from others saying that this scrapbook page of Kenny helped remind them of all the wonderfully courageous military men and woman out there fighting to protect us. Kenny proudly served in the Army in the 101st Airborne, he is any of thousands of men and women that have been killed or injured. We need to be reminded sometimes that although our lives continue as it always has, there are others out there laying their lives on the line to keep us safe. I will always have Kenny Necochea in my heart. He has shown me how important it is to be thankful for the special life we have, and to not take things for granted. I will always remember that you gave your life to keep us safe. God bless you Kenny, you will always be in my heart.


I learned to tat when I was a young girl.  My grandmother (we called her Nonnie), who I idolized, mainly tatted in her later years.  Her eyesight was failing, and her hearing was poor, but her pleasures were to spend time with family, watch her soaps, and tat.  With the poor hearing she told me it really didn’t matter what they were saying as she could come up with great stories of her own. 

The toughest thing for Nonnie was losing a child before her.  She had lost her son Peter at the age of 18, when he ate some food that was not prepared correctly.  To this day, I always cook my meat to well done, because I am always thinking about the Uncle Peter I never got to meet.  Then when she lost her next child, my father, I saw how hard it was for her, so I would ask her to tell me stories about my dad.  I think back now, and wonder why I didn’t ask more questions about my dad, but I did drink in all the stories she told me, and cherish each and every one.  I wonder if I didn’t initiate conversation because it was harder to yell to her my questions, so I just accepted the stories she told and was happy to hear what she offered.  She was a lovely woman who had immigrated through Ellis Island as a young child.  The oldest of 9 children, and the only child born in Italy.  She lived to see so many wonderful things in her live.  The new world, transition from horse and buggies to cars, though she never drove, radio, television, airplanes, and people flying to the moon.  So much to happen in one’s lifetime.

Nonnie had taught me how to crochet, and we made great projects together.  I would watch her tat, and finally asked if she would teach me.  We would spend hours with her explaining to me how to tat, but I just couldn’t do it.  The stitch always turned into a knot, no matter what I tried.  She patiently, continued to show me, and told me sometimes it took a while to get it.  This went on for weeks and weeks, until one day I my Aunt Nannie asked me what I was doing, and I told her I was TRYING to learn to tat.  She took the shuttle from my hand and show me, and then gave it back to me, and explained how to straighten the shuttle thread, and it clicked.  I got it.  It finally worked, the first flip, and then the second.  How could it have been that I didn’t get that.  It was sooooo easy.  I ran to Nonnie to tell her I got it, and thanked her for teaching me.  I never let on that Nannie had actually had the break-through with me, as Nonnie’s eyes lit up when I told her I finally got it.  Such a monumental moment.