Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For the Love of Words!

Anyone who knows me knows I love words and the alphabet! I even documented this recently on a page I made for How Much Is Too Much:

I recently stumbled upon a site called The Visual Dictionary when I accidentally typed dictionary instead of thesaurus as I was searching for the Visual Thesaurus (which is so cool and so amazing, and one of these days I'm going to cave and buy a subscription!).

The Visual Dictionary is a collection of photographs of single words found in the real world--on signs, graffiti, tattoos, and the like. You can browse the collection randomly, or search using a specific word. Here are results from searching for the words life, is, and good. (I pasted screen shots together so you could see them all together.)

They even have collections of numbers, which is really cool:

The neat thing about The Visual Dictionary is that the photographs are submitted by users. I'm going to keep an eye out for interesting signage and be a contributer.

I wondered if there was a similar site that had single letters. I found lots of commercial sites that had photographs of alphabets, like Alphabet Photography, but I couldn't find one like the Visual Dictionary. Instead, I discovered a trend called "found alphabets." There are lots of people, it seems, looking for the alphabet in everyday objects. There's even a Found Alphabet flickr group.

I did a google search for Found Alphabet, and here are some really cool images I found. This one from flickr from someone named Chelsea Sektnan:

How about these images found by Rachel Young using Google aerial maps of Britain:

These letters are really neat--Eine’s East End of London shopfront shutter letters, found on Dave Gorman’s Flickr pages:

This collection is pretty, from someone named Anniemarie:

Photographer Eric Tabuchi photographed trailer trucks on empty highways, each bearing one letter of the alphabet. How clever!

And finally, this lovely collection of black and white images from photographer Abba Richman:

So what does all this have to do with paper crafting? I see fantastic possibilities of using such images for titles. Or how cool would it be to challenge yourself to search for words and letters in the world to photograph? I can imagine a fun field trip with the kids to do this! And here's a neat idea I found--use these kinds of images to create cards, like this one I found from Rees Digital Photography:

I hope you've enjoyed looking the images I found. If you find a source like The Visual Dictionary for letters, please let me know. And if you've got some ideas for how to put such images to work on a scrapbook page, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Smores anyone?

It's been a Smores kinda weekend around the Liebel household & the kids have been LOVIN' it. This classic sweet treat is the best of the best. My kids can never have too many.

Found this image on Pinterest last week & thought I'd give it a try...Smores with peanut butter cup. If you are a peanut or peanut butter lover, you'll enjoy this :) DELISH!!!

Have a WONDERFUL Memorial Day!! Cheers :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recent Finds

I picked this up at Archiver's for my daughter this week...
I know a lot of people are crazy over all the SMASH stuff, but I am not as keen on it as most. I do like the embossed covers--they're cool--and I did rip out a sheet of the above notebook to use on a layout. But I'm not into art journals, so it felt good to pass this on to her. At 11, she's totally into that kinda thing with her girlfriends, and with the end of school, the timing is perfect...

The SMASH products shown above are not mine. The owner would like to remain anonymous, in the event that her husband would mosey upon this blog and snatch her credit card. We girlfriends have to stick together, you know. I do have to say, because of her, I snatched up a tape and two of the journaling packs. If you're near an Archiver's, they're fully stocked, folks.

I'm a big fan of these. I picked up a multi-pack last week, and LOVE the way they work! When you're finished with a big job, just pop that puppy into the dishwasher and VOILA! Good as new. Glad to see this product go green!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Mini

When I saw my friend Amy's Teacher Appreciation book at a recent crop, I had to photogaph it for the blog...
Amy created this book for her daughter's teacher, and enlisted the help of her daughter to take care of the journaling...

I love the vintage feel of it. I also love how she mixed so much into one book! The punched borders, the die cuts, the distressed papers and index tabs are my favs...

I love that she took the time to use photos from the two of them during the year, too...

Amy included her own special comments in the envelope photographed above. The mixed media using the chipboard, paper, acrylic and envelopes makes this book FUN...

She included a couple different class photos with all sorts of school papers too.

Thanks so much for allowing me to share your beautiful book, Amy!! You're the best!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Year-End Scrapbook

Our daughter is about to finish 5th grade and enter into the abyss (aka Middle School.) To commemorate said occasion along with her class, I made scrapbook kits for the students...

Putting the kits together went quickly. I decided on a Kraft colored 6x6 album for everyone (made by Darice). Each album contained 10 pages/20 sides. I cut the paper to size, so the process would go faster. There are 23 students in her class, so I set up a folding table in my morning room, and went to work.

The opening page looked like the photo above. Everyone got a die cut (25 for $1 at the Dollar Store), and 4 print-outs (made by me in MS Word).

Throughout the year, I have taken pictures of the students in her class. I kept them all in an envelope in my kitchen, knowing I'd use them for this project. It helped having a variety when we put it all together...
I was able to include 3 collage shots of the students. Those are my favorites. The photos taken at the beginning of the year look a lot different from those I shot last week...
Of course, no book would be complete without he words. I made it as easy as possible and gender neutral, so that everyone just filled in the blanks. One sheet was called "All About Me" with facts about them right now. This one was on Favorite Things. Another was called "School Stuff," and it asked them to reflect on the past 4 years there.

I took time to take a few random shots of the school itself. I also made a visit during recess to snap photos of the children having fun. The job was easy--and they were cooperative participants.
The patterned papers in each kit varied. I explained that to the students when I passed them out. They were so into it--and no one complained (thankfully.) As I packed the kits, I made sure that each student had a few head-shots of just them, a few with friends, and a few general (school, teacher, classroom, group collages). The girls got the girl group shots, and the boys got theirs...

I even included a quote here and there...

Last but not least, I had to do an autograph page. I encouraged each student to use the inside back and front covers in addition to the page, and some did just that.

Thanks for letting me share with you today. Feel free to lift the idea and make it your own!

confessions of a busy-rather-be-scrappin'-mama

Well, I guess that confession is only obvious. The confession goes much deeper than the obvious need to wanna scrap more than I get to.
The confession is that I very often cheat.
That's right, I said cheat. And I am here to come clean today.

The most recent deviance started last fall, after the birth of the most recent Pate.
As seen here he is all of four days and sweet and precious and adorable...

project one
That was innocent enough. Until I had the big idea of flipping that layout and making a new one...
project two
It gets worse...with the Day10 layout, I practically used all the same papers and embellishments. Aren't you just shocked!

project three
Notice above the similarity to project one and two. The main canvas this time is 12x12. But the general placement is turned a quarter turn on it's side, and it becomes it's very own layout. But it is nothing original. I even measured the pattern papers I used in project 1 and 2 and used the same proportions here in project 3. Now that's just plain cheating!

project four
Project four is a very simplified version of one and two. Can you see the similarities? This time using only two patterned backgrounds, yet it is 8 1/2 x 11, and the page is cut in half visually with the placement of the paper. I'm a clever cheater, aren't I?

project five
Again, using the format found in projects one and two, project five uses an 11 x 8 1/2 orientation, and only three pattern papers, instead of the four. Tags, as you can tell by now, made a strong showing in each of these projects. Not only are these layouts a variation on a theme, they also all use either a 4x6 or 6x4 photo. That's keeping things cheatingly easy too!

project six
Ah! The last one I will reveal to you. Hopefully you recognize this from last months WIP kit. And hopefully you see a pattern forming too. This is the most shameless cheat of all, because I used only one background patterned paper, and then matted the photo. I'm so tricky.

Now I don't have every month of the little mr. highlighted yet, but I bet you can guess what sketch I will use.

The moral of the story is:
lift yourself.
turn your sketches around.
keep the embellishments the same.
do what you love over and over again.

And most of all, enjoy the process.

wip siggy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


With a holiday weekend approaching and a season when we spend more time outdoors I thought I would share our recent discovery with smores...
The graham crackers and marshmallows go perfectly with a chocolate bar. But then one day the kids were thinking... why not try some different candy bars with smores and as they named them off while sitting around the campfire we had to head up to the local store to pick up some different candies and try them out.
Twix were pretty good, as were snickers and 3 musketeers, but our all time favorite and the one we'd prefer to make when camping now is Reese peanut butter cup smores. Try them, I bet you will like them!

Even more ideas here at Bakerella