Category Archives: Nature Sketchbook

Nature Sketchbook Natural Beauty Double Layout

Graphic 45 Double Layout Challenge: Nature Sketchbook Natural Beauty Double Layout

Hello, G45’ers!  I’m a bit excited about today’s post, as I’m sharing something I’ve never done before.  As you probably know, May is National Scrapbooking Month.  To help celebrate the occasion, Graphic 45 issued the #G45Layout Challenge with a $100 prize pack up for grabs.  You can read all about it HERE.  A double dare was issued to each member of the G45 Design Team: create a DOUBLE layout.  So that’s how this Nature Sketchbook Natural Beauty Double Layout came into being.

Natural Beauty Double Layout Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 1

A Walk in the Woods

My dear daughter Liz occasionally kidnaps me and carries me away for a few days of R&R.  One of our favorite destinations is at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina.  While the house is magnificent, what we really love is the gardens and the wonderful walking trails.  We escaped here last October and enjoyed a full day of rambling along the gorgeous paths that meander all through the grounds.  We were blessed with near perfect fall weather, and had loads of fun taking photos along the way.

Double the Natural Beauty: A Few Tips and Tricks

Natural Beauty Double Layout Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 2

The surroundings and the company were both Natural Beauties!  Can you believe I snapped this photo with my I-Phone?  Technology certainly has come a long way!

Natural Beauty Double Layout Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo  3

Nature Sketchbook was the perfect collection to capture these memories.  For my background paper, I chose to use a monochromatic print from the 12×12 Patterns and Solids. I knew I was going to add a lot of flowers and other embellishments, so I wanted to keep the background simple.

First, I prepared the background by adding a honeycomb design with stencils and gold texture paste.  As the paste dried, it caused my paper to warp, so I knew I was going to have to mat the pages onto a solid surface.  I painted a 1/2 black border around two pieces of heavyweight chipboard with Black Soot Distress paint.  Then I used a Nature Sketchbook stamp to add white stamped text all the way around the border to add some interest and another layer of dimension. Now my pages lay flat, and as a bonus, they can stand up all on their own!

Clusters of Flowers for Natural Beauty Double Layout

Natural Beauty Double Layout Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 4We could not have asked for a more perfect day.  I managed to snap this photo of the fall foliage and the bright October blue sky captured in the still waters of the Bass Pond at Biltmore. To draw attention to the photo, I created a cluster of Nature Sketchbook Flowers, altered chipboard pieces, fussy cut butterflies and Petaloo Flowers.

I ran out of the Nature Sketchbook die cut flowers, but no worries!  I simply used the empty flower sheet as a template and traced the outline of the flowers onto 12×12 Patterns and Solids Paper. Then I cut them out and shaped them.  Perfect match!

To give chipboard elements extra depth and texture I like to paint them with Distress Paints.  While paint is still wet, I sprinkle with embossing powders and heat set.  Once the embossing powder cooled on the ferns in this layout, I went back and stamped over the tops with Jet Black Archival Ink and a Nature Sketchbook script stamp.  I have a Snapguide Tutorial from an older project that outlines this process for you. 

Meet Me in the Middle of this Natural Beauty Double Layout

Natural Beauty Double Layout Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 5

One of the biggest challenges in designing this Natural Beauty Double Page Layout was creating a good flow between the two pages.  Create a “bridge” by using a large image that spans both pages.  First,  I fussy cut the large image from the signature page of Nature Sketchbook.  Then I flipped the pages face down and pushed them together side by side so there was barely a gap.  Next I hinged the pages together with strips of washi tape.  Then I flipped the pages face up, and used a ruler and craft knife to carefully cut the two pages apart.  It worked like a charm!

Natural Beauty Double Layout Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 6

Natural Beauty Double Layout Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 7

I have this Natural Beauty Double Layout on display in my dining room, and every time I see it, I remember this glorious adventure and smile.  What a beautiful world we live in!

I hope I’ve shared some tips and tricks that you can use in your own crafty adventures.  If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.  And I hope you’ll share take part in this fun #G45Layout Challenge and share your projects with us on the Graphic 45 Facebook page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheerio,

kathy

Nature Sketchbook Natural Beauty Double Layout Supply List

Bee Yourself Honeybee Greeting Card

BEE Yourself Honeybee Greeting Card with Petaloo Posies and G45 Nature Sketchbook

Hello, Friends!  I have such a fun, cheery card to share with you today!  This Bee Yourself Honeybee Greeting card just bursts with happy colors, beautiful papers and bodacious blooms.

I’m in love with Petaloo International’s gorgeous Botanica Blooms.  They look so lifelike you can almost smell their sweet bouquet when you use them on a project.  Combine these beautiful blooms with Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook paper and a digital image from Polly’s Paper Studio, and you can color me happy, happy, happy!

This is my standard 5″ x 7″ top fold card made on a kraft cardstock base.  To deepen the color of the Botanica Blooms I gave them a couple spritzes of Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls Mist.  I did the same with the sweet little Ivory Canvas Sunflower on top of my ribbon cluster.

Inside, I’ve added all sorts of wonderful goodies.

Herbal Tea and a Honeystick go perfectly with this themed card.

And why not tuck in a sweet tag and fun little tags to complete the ensemble?

I hope this BEE Yourself Honeybee Greeting card added some sunshine to your day.  If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Wishing you a honey of a day!

Cheerio,

kathy

 

 

Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial

Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial

Hello, G 45’ers!  I’m back again today with a project that is both pretty and practical.  Follow this Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad  Tutorial and you will see that it is quite easy to make, uses very few supplies and makes a wonderful gift for mom, teacher or friend.

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 1We all love Graphic 45 Metal Staples, don’t we?  Even the packaging is gorgeous!  Those sturdy chipboard tags with the graceful shaped edges and vintage style grommets are too pretty to toss in the recycle bin!  Why not upcycle them into a stylish and practical notepad instead?  

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 2

That’s exactly what I did and I love the fact that not only is this Nature Sketchbook Beautiful Botanical notepad attractive, it is also sturdy.  I can find my notepad on my desk because of the bright colors that Nature Sketchbook lends.  As an added bonus, the design means that the notepad can be refilled with a new sticky note pad once the current one is used up.  

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 3

I just love the Nature Sketchbook die cut flowers!  You can shape the layers, ink the edges and stack them together to create a custom embellishment for your project.

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 4

Cut the images from the 8×8 “Diary of a Botanist” paper to decorate the cover.  I just matted them on black cardstock and clustered them together to make a real visual impact.  And since we are upcycling, why not use waste chipboard or corrugate to elevate the layers.  I cut up all my Priority Mail boxes and use them instead of foam dimensionals.  It saves me money and is good for the planet, too!

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 5The inside of this notepad is as pretty as the outside.

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 6

I created a “hinge” from paper so that this ATC Policy Envelope folds down to reveal a hidden journal tag that’s perfect for writing down phone numbers!

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 7

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial Nature Sketchbook by Kathy Clement Product by Graphic 45 Photo 8My sticky notes sit inside a little caddy and when they are used up, I’ll just pop in another one!

Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Butterfly Notepad Tutorial on Snapguide

Check out How to Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Upcycled Tag Notepad by Kathy Clement on Snapguide.

I know you’ll never toss another of these fabulous packaging tags in the trash again! You’ll find a complete supply list and product links below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheerio,

kathy

Supply List and Product Links:

Items from your stash:

  • Black Satin Ribbon, Burlap String
  • Black Chalk Paint
  • Buttons from your stash
  • Scor-Tape
  • Scoring tool, heat gun, ruler
  • Black card stock

 

Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch & Gift Box

This is my 2nd post for today.  If you are looking for the RRR Hop, Please scroll down.  Thanks!

Accessorize with Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch & Gift Box

Hello, G 45’ers!  I bet you never thought I’d be sharing a post about making jewelry with you.  But today I have a Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch and Gift Box that represents a personal triumph. Read on if you are curious…or just skip ahead and look at the pretty photos.  The choice is yours!

One of the things I truly love about being on a design team is the challenge of trying new things. You may not be aware of this, but we are given monthly assignments that guide our creativity.  Sometimes, the assignment fits like a glove.  And then there are the times when the assignment forces you to pull your Brave Boots out of the Closet of Shame.

An Opportunity for Growth

The above statement is code for “holy cow…I have no idea what to do/how to do this, lay awake at night and wonder how I’m gonna pull this one off.”  By the luck of the draw, I was assigned the task of creating jewelry using Graphic 45 metal staples.

Oh.

Really?

You see, i barely wear jewelry.  I’ve always been a mom and a housewife, so I keep it pretty simple with just my wedding band and my mom’s engagement ring most of the time.  And I have NEVER made jewelry.  Until now.  This Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch & Gift Box is the outcome of a  “growth opportunity.”  (You can laugh at that…because I am!)

Ta da!  My very first piece of handmade jewelry.  That is, unless you count the macaroni necklace I made for my mom in first grade.  I don’t.  Hang with me for a while, and I’ll share the details of this with you, leaving out the weeping and gnashing of teeth, of course.

How I Made a Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch with Faux Porcelain Flowers and Butterflies

It all started with  the flower.  This is one of the die cut flowers that  is part of the Nature Sketchbook collection.  I used the 3 smallest flower layers to make this flower with what I like to call a “faux porcelain” technique.

Begin by misting your punched out flowers lightly with water.  This will help to break down the starches that make the paper nice and stiff and allow you to shape them with a stylus and mat.

Working with UTEE and a Melting Pot

First, a word of caution.  Melted UTEE is hot.  By that I mean it will burn you and blister your skin and hurt like mad, make you cry and maybe even utter a forbidden word.  So USE CAUTION with this technique.  Keep melted UTEE away from children and pets!  Now, on with our regularly scheduled programming!

While you are shaping your flowers, heat up some UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) in a Ranger Melting Pot.  (You could use an old pot from the thrift store and any heat source, but for safety, I recommend a Melting Pot. The one from Ranger is hard to find and kind of pricey, but here’s one from Darice that is reasonable and looks like it would do the job.)

You want your UTEE to be deep enough that you can dip your shaped flower layers in it…maybe 1/2″ deep.

Once the flowers have been shaped and dried completely you are ready to give them the “faux porcelain” treatment.

Get Out Your Tweezers

Lay out your non stick craft sheet on your work surface.  You will need this or some other non-stick surface to cool your dipped flowers.  A piece of glass from an old picture frame will work in a pinch.

USE TWEEZERS!  Refer to the word of caution above.

Dip the shaped flower into the UTEE and submerge it completely for a second.  You have to work quickly so that the paper does not burn.  Catch the edge of a petal with your tweezers.  Lift out of the melted UTEE and let the excess drip off into the melt pot.  Place right side up on a mat to cool.  Repeat with all the layers.

I also shaped my butterflies and dipped them.  And, even my chipboard tag base took a UTEE bath.

Working with UTEE is fun as long as you are cautious and stay focused on your task.  I recommend a fairly clear work surface for obvious reasons.
When you’ve finished dipping, unplug the melt pot and move it to a safe place.  It will stay hot for some time.  Again, be mindful of children and pets!

Let’s Look at the Details

Here you can kind of see the glossy finish the faux porcelain process lends to the chipboard flower and fussy cut butterfly.  I love this look!

My shabby chic door plate was altered with paint and alcohol inks then glued onto the chipboard base with Glossy Accents.  Hold it in place with binder clips until the glue dries.  Then it’s just a matter of hot gluing your flower layers together and adding all the elements to the base.  The flower center is the mini door knob that matches the door plate.  Feathers add a fun touch of texture, color and design.  Your final step should be adding the pin bale to the back side of the chipboard base.  I actually used my heat gun and while holding the chipboard with a pair of tweezers, I re-melted the UTEE. You have to work quickly here, but you can press the pin bale into the melt using the points of your scissors.  Or, you could be more cautious and use Glossy Accents.  I was feeling lucky.

Making the Gift Box

Next, I wanted a gift box to house my brooch, so I altered a Kraftboard Matchbook Box from Graphic 45 using papers from Nature Sketchbook.

I had a couple extra petals left over from my UTEE adventure.  One is filled with a sweet little bird nest that I found in my stash. The other is filled with seed beads and tops my bow cluster. Then I turned a Staples Metal Key into a butterfly body.  This part of the project came together very quickly.

Pinning the finished brooch on a piece of felt helps to keep it from getting knocked around inside the gift box.

I know this was a long post,but I knew you would have lots of questions about the process.  If I forgot to address something, just ask in the comment section below and I’ll be happy to answer.

This ended up being a very fun project, and I learned a lot. My final word to you is to embrace growth opportunities because maybe there’s fun waiting out there in the scary unknown.

Thanks for hanging with me!

Cheerio,

kathy

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Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas with G45 Nature Sketchbook

Frilly and Funkie Challenge: Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas with G45 Nature Sketchbook and Wendy Vecchi Stamps

Hello, Friends!  It’s time for another fabulous challenge over at the Frilly and Funkie Blog.  Today I’ve prepared a Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas using Graphic 45’s Nature Sketchbook and Wendy Vecchi stamps and goodies.  First, let’s see what Cec, our hostess, has to say about this challenge.

Challenge Theme: Out Of The Cold!
It is winter and that means snow and cold in so many places so let’s head to the tropics.  Create any vintage or shabby chic project that will make us feel warm – think lots of sunshine, bright colours, flora and fauna and even animals hiding in the rain forest.

I had to think a long time about this challenge but knew I wanted to incorporate Wendy’s flowers and the beautiful Nature Sketchbook papers. This inverted canvas started out as a card…and just kind of took me where it wanted to go.

From Card to Canvas

The inspiration for this entire piece was the bright tropical flowers in the center of the canvas.  I made these by stamping Wendy Vecchi’s Mix and Match Art Stamps onto watercolor paper about a dozen times.  Knowing that I wanted the flowers to be yellow, I stamped using Wendy Vecchi Dandelion Archival ink.  This way, I had no harsh stamp lines around the edges.

Next, each flower layer was painted with Prima water colors. Then I  stamped each image a second time to reinforce the detail lines.  After fussy cutting, the layers were shaped, stacked and inked around the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink.  Then the centers were filled with FloraSoft.  Finally, I painted the flowers with Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint to add shimmer. The wet Crackle paint was sprinkled lightly with Clear Rock Candy Dry Glitter.

Now it was time to add some stenciling, some clear texture paste, some die cutting, paper layering….and the base began to grow…and grow.  Pretty soon I realized this card was destined to be a canvas.

A Warm Color Palette for Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas

I used lots of warm colors in my palette with little pops of blue and green.

Butterflies were fussy cut from the 12×12 pad and scattered around the canvas. Star anise is a great natural addition to a canvas like this.  I painted each one with Scattered Straw Distress Paint.

Chipboard elements, metal keys, and wooden flourishes add lots of texture.

These metal pieces are tapped with Vintaj patina, then stacked along the side.

I stamped the sentiment from Wendy in Jet Black Archival Ink and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder.  It was sponged with more ink, then cut apart and glued in place.  The die cut swallow was treated with Distress Crazing medium and tapped with paint.

The back side of an 8×10 canvas was wrapped with tissue wrap and sprayed with various sprays.  It has a lovely patina in real life.  I like the depth that the inverted canvas provides. As a finishing touch, I brushed Antique Linen Distress Paint randomly onto the canvas.

Now It’s Your Turn

You can play along in this wonderful challenge by linking your own Out of the Cold vintage or shabby chic project to the challenge page over at Frilly and Funkie.  You have until midnightEST on Tuesday, February 28th to join the party.

The team will choose their top four picks with the winner being invited to join us in a Guest DT spot  at Frilly and Funkie. The other 3 talented designers will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

I can’t wait to see what you make!

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheerio,

kathy

Product Links to The Funkie Junkie Boutique


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Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner Tutorial

Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook: Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner

Hello, Friends!  How do you spell love?  Today, I’m spelling it with a super cute Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day banner tutorial.

Isn’t it fun?  The best part about this banner is the fact that it uses very few materials and can be made in about an hour.

Supply List for Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner

Snapguide Tutorial for Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner

Check out How to Graphic 45 Butterfly Kisses Valentine Banner by Kathy Clement on Snapguide.

Why I love Butterflies on Valentine’s Day

I know butterflies are not a traditional image for Valentine’s Day.  Well, as you might suspect by  now, there’s a story behind this project.  Since it is nearly Valentine’s Day…and the story is super romantic, I’ll share it with you here.

My mom and dad were both working as bookkeepers at a trucking company in southern Vermont in 1939.   Mom worked the day shift.  Dad worked nights.  Mom must have caught his eye right away, because of all the available chairs in that office, Dad opted to use hers each night.  This meant that every day at shift change, he had to return her chair to her desk.  And of course, this gave him the opportunity to say good morning.

Dad was shy.  I mean super shy.  So he rarely said anything beyond good morning each day.  But, he started leaving little gifts for mom on her desk: a pack of her favorite chewing gum, a piece of candy…small tokens of friendship.  After almost a YEAR of this delicate courtship dance, Valentine’s Day rolled around.  Mom came into work that morning to find an envelope with her name on it.  Inside the envelope was a beautiful Valentine’s Day card with…you guessed it…butterflies!

Mom and Dad were finally married on Valentine’s Day 1941.  Each year when their anniversary rolled around, Dad gave her a box of chocolates, a packet of chewing gum and a card…and there was always a butterfly on it somewhere!

So now you know why I love butterflies for Valentine’s Day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheerio,

kathy

 

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Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial

Graphic 45: Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial with Nature Sketchbook

Hello, Friends!  I’m up on the Graphic 45 blog today where I’m sharing this Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial.  It’s just the perfect little gift for Valentine’s Day.

Look at alll the darling little bee images in Nature Sketchbook.  I decided to riff off that idea and turn it into a Love Sweet Love theme…complete with a honey spoon!  Tea with honey is one of my favorite things!

These metal pieces are painted with Black Soot Distress Paint to match my yellow, black and red color palette.  For the keyhole, I let the paint set for about 1 minute, then I wiped off with a barely damp paper towel.

Just as bees love to cluster around the hive, cluster your embellishments around a focal image to create a real visual impact.

Sweet Surprises on the inside

Join two policy envelopes together and what do you get?  A really fun wallet/pocket combo.  I altered the red policy envelope to create the pocket, and I’ll show you how in the Snapguide tutorial at the end of this post.

The pocket is filled with pretty ephemera cards, a post card and a delicious herbal tea bag to go along with the honey spoon on the front of the wallet.

Don’t you just love these gorgeous images?  To create a custom string tie opening, simply glue chipboard buttons on top of the black discs .  It adds a great pop of color!

Wanna see what’s in the pocket?

Happy to oblige!

Would you like to know how to make your own Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet?  Then please enjoy this Snapguide Tutorial.

Snapguide: Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial

Check out How to Love Sweet Love G45 Policy Envelope Wallet & Tag by Kathy Clement on Snapguide.

I hope this has given you some “sweet” ideas for your own Valentine’s Day (or any day!) creations.  It’s always the right time to share a little love!

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheerio,

kathy

 

Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Supply List

 

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