Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014/15 American Crafts Blog Hop | Undoubtedly Beautiful Everday

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Hi friends! I am excited to be returning to the American Crafts family for a 3rd year. I still absolutely adore each new collection and it's truly a DREAM COME TRUE!

To kick off the new team, we are doing an American Crafts 2014-2015 Design Team Blog Hop. This year's team is much smaller but packed with inspiration.  As you make your way through our 6 blogs, my hope is that you'll be inspired to create your own masterpieces.

Undoubtedly Beautiful Everday by Heather Leopard
Supplies: American Crafts Shimelle collection from Gossamer Blue September kit

How to: Cut 4 - 5 large triangles and adhere them to the background paper with the centers touching.Stitch through the centers. Doodle around the inside edge to help them stand out from the background. Print 2 - 3 photos in a small circle shape. Pick out several sentiments that are round or close to round. Add layers behind each center piece, like ruffled paper, strips, distressed circles, hearts, etc.Add a title in an open area and journal around the outer edge.

You know what I love about blog hops, besides all the creativity and inspiration??? The giveaway.  How about a little #SUMMER in September? I have many papers and embellishments that have hardly been opened/used but I have used some of it. I would love to gift a #SUMMER RAK to you. 

TO ENTER...just follow me on Instagram (@heatherleopard). I share some family realted stuff but I also share sneak peeks of new projects and full scrapbook pages. I am also cleaning/purging my scrap room and there will be lots of giveaways and items for sale on Instagram so head over now and just click Follow.

Don't have the Instagram app? Sign up now 'cause it's soo fun to see what everyone is sharing. Don't have a smart phone? No problem. Just leave a comment below to be entered.

You have until Friday, September 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm CST to enter to win. Winner will be announced on Saturday, September 6.

Here is the full hop list.  Make sure you go through the entire hop, leave a comment on each blog, then visit the American Crafts blog to win a fantastic prize!

Next on the hop is Nicole Samuels

I hope you have a great day today!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Forever Bloom

When I got the assignment from Paige to use machine stitching on my layout, I was SUPER excited.  I chose to mix it with some interesting cutting so I thought about it, designed the cutting file and went to town with my concept. Here's the finished layout.

Supplies: American Crafts Dear Lizzy Daydreamer collection, Cutting file by Heather Leopard. Download the cutting file HERE.

How to: I designed the cut file (you can download it HERE) so that the triangles can flip up and down and don't actually detach from the page. Then I flipped them up and down and added photos behind 6 of them. I machine stitched around the outer perimeter of the entire design. Then I cut smaller triangles out of pattern paper and machine stitched through the middle sections to secure the triangles up and down so that the photos can always be seen.

I also added hidden gems under some of the triangles that can only be seen if you lift them up. This is where I have the journaling and some other patterns.

I created the title by hand. How to: cut a strip of paper ever so slightly larger than the width/height you'd like your letters to be. Then cut the letters out with your scissors and trim as needed. I was not looking for anything uniform so I just went to town with my scissors. Stitch and embellish as you wish.

If you download this file to use note that the triangles at the top should not be cut with the main triangle design in the middle. If you choose to use them, these should be cut with coordinating papers and they fit within the triangles from the main design.

Thanks for stopping by today. You can see this along with my stitched card on the American Crafts blog.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Here We Go

Happy #ThrowbackThursday

I'm back today with another sports-themed layout I created back in March. Biking is definitely a sport, just ask my dad, who entered his first race this past fall. He trains by biking 100's of miles each week. I think his PR is 58 miles. He rides a recumbent bike and that has worn off on my girls. He bought two for my daughter, who struggles on a regular bike but whips us all on her trike. And just recently, he won a $$$ recumbent in a Facebook contest so now she's really riding in style. Anyway, here she is riding her old trike around the cul-de-sac.

Supplies: Combo 12x12 paper (366804) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Sidekick 12x12 paper (366813) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Duet 12x12 paper (366817) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Pair 12x12 paper (366821) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Companion 12x12 paper (366824) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Thickers Twins Foam Stickers (366837) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Remarks Accent & Phrase Stickers (366840) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Remarks Us Tiny Matte Puffy Accents (366842) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Adhesive badges flair (366906) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Teammate Icon Embroidery Stencil Kit (366848) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Thread Kit / Spools (366864) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Mixtape Washi Tape (366839) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Studio Calico Mr Hueys Mist – Lemonade, Heidi Swapp Color Shine – Primrose

My girls like to race to the middle of the cul-de-sac, where there is a single little street reflector. That's the spot that they race to. You want to ride over it first. We have a ball doing this from the starting line, which is the division line between sections of concrete.

I used the tiny washi tape from the Amy Tangerine Plus One collection to create racing stripes across the page.

Still loving the brush script words and phrases. They make the perfect bold title for this page.

This is definitely one of my more simple page and sometimes it just makes sense to be that way.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Scrappy Blog Tour

Hi everyone! I was soo excited when one of my fave scrappy friends, Paige Evans, tagged me to participate in a Scrappy Blog Tour. If you know Paige, you know that she is a whiz when it comes to creating amazingly unique layouts. She constantly has me saying, "why didn't I think of that?". I've had the pleasure of working with Paige for a few years now and treasure the friendship we've formed.

As part of the scrappy blog tour, I will do a little Q&A and then tag three scrappers who inspire me. Afterall, it's all about lifting fellow crafters up, right? I just wish I could list more than three!

What am I working on right now?
I just received my September Gossamer Blue kit and their new Gramercy Road collection so I had to dive right into those. I usually work on one thing at a time but I couldn't resist pulling it all out when it arrived.

How long does it take me to create a project?
I work full time and devote the evenings to my family so I work on my projects at night when they go to bed. It's a great way to wind down from a busy day. That means that it often takes me a few days to complete a project.  I actually like it this way because it allows me to step away and come back, often with a fresh perspective.  When I do go to a crop, I try to plan as much as possible in advance but it still takes me a few hours. I do a lot of mixing and matching and piecing and sewing so it gets pretty involved but I love the process!

What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?
Pattern papers, sewing machine, my Silhouette CAMEO and paints/mists/gelatos. My kiddos love to create with my watercolors too.

How does my writing/creating process work?
I tend to start with the collections that I want to work with vs. the photos. After I've pulled out all the embellishments and papers (and take a big ole whiff of them 'cause I like the way they smell), I look through each piece to get a feel for the patterns and colors and usually immediately know what photos I want to scrap. I think I'm probably backwards from how everyone else in the world does it but it works for me.

How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
Once I've chosen the collections and photos I want to work with, I usually have a good idea of what I want to do for my layout but inspiration is all around and I love to soak it in. Thankfully my phone has a camera so I can often be seen snapping photos of things that inspire me while I am out and about. Or I'll rip pages of my magazines. I also turn to my favorite blogs (not all are scrap blogs), Pinterest and online galleries because there are just soo many talented scrappers out there who inspire me.

What is my signature style?
Color, lots of color. And layers around my photo(s). You'll also find some sort of sewing (usually machine, sometimes hand stitching) on 99.99999% of my projects! And probably the biggest thing...I definitely use plenty of pattern paper. My most favorite thing to do is mix and match patterns to make big statements on my pages. Sometimes they are more subtle than others but you don't usually find a lot of white space on my projects.

Stay up to date on what I'm working on via Instagram and here on my blog.

And now for the three scrappers I've're it!

Lilith Eeckels - I am drawn to Lilith's light and airy designs, incredible ideas/techniques and her amazing style, both in scrapping and in fashion!

Alex Gadji - not only is she the sweetest tour guide and a sweetheart, Alex loves to add color and incredible details to her projects. She always has the most brilliant ideas!

Kim Jeffress  - I love this gal's bright and cheery attitude. Kim is a master of integrating colors and combining the most absolute perfect embellishments in all the right places. Her projects rock my socks.

Stop by their blogs today for some amazing inspiration and again next Monday to learn more about them and to see who they tagged.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Makalawena | Gossamer Blue Pattern Play

Aloha everyone! If you saw my post earlier this week, you may have seen that I just got back from Hawaii and had the most wonderful vacation with the family.  Waiting on my door step when I got back was the incredible Gossamer Blue August kit. I immediately dug into my box to find so many summer papers and embellishments, mixed and matched to perfection. Once all the post-vacation dust settled, I gathered up a few of my favorite photos and got a little creative for this month's Pattern Play on the Gossamer Blue blog...

I set out with a plan to mix various 2x2 pieces of pattern papers with a 5 - 6 photos. Once I started placing papers and photos, I doubled the amount of photos to 12. These are my top 12 photos from this particular day at the beach and I couldn't not include them all. The hardest part of this entire layout was sizing the photos so that I could cut them in the diamond shape.  TIP: in order to cut my photos as a 2x2 diamond, I printed them as 3x3 squares, keeping the subjects mostly in the center or slightly offset so I could have some of them running off the page.  If you have fancy photo printing software, you can also create the shape and place your photo in the shape, which is much easier since you can see the diamond outline and size your photo right in the software.

I intentionally left a lot of space in the middle for an offset, funky design and I love the amount of white space it left me. 

Of course I couldn't leave that white space well enough alone. I had to fill it with mist, embellishments and the title but I LOVE it. I chose to scatter the embellishments throughout this space. Why get all symmetrical when I've gone this far already??? I got soo lucky that the title fit perfectly along the row of photos and paper. I didn't pre-measure and really lucked out. If you try this, you may want to design your pattern with this in mind.

Of course, practically all of my projects include machine or hand stitching and this grid style layout  is no exception. 

I made an effort to use patterns and embellishments that would not draw attention away from the photos. I hope you like the design and how I mixed the photos and the papers together. Who's ready to give this one a go with me?!?! Stop on by the Gossamer Blue blog.

Gossamer Blue August 2014 Main Kit, Main Add-on, Main Add-on #2, Life Pages Add-on #3

Thursday, August 14, 2014

ACE | Sports Layout

The weeks are just blazing by these days. Between a MAJOR product launch I am leading at work, back to school coming up and enjoying the last bits of summer with the kids, I just don't like how fast it's moving. Then we have the girls' birthdays and then the holidays begin. What the what???

Anyway, it’s #ThrowbackThursday so as I mentioned last week, I’m here to share some layouts I created earlier this year that haven’t been featured on my blog yet. I should be all caught up in a couple of months. LOL

I created this sports themed layout for an American Crafts feature in April. When I think of the Day Dreamer and Plus One collections, “sporty” isn’t what first comes to mind but after looking at each of these collections a little closer, they actually worked perfectly for the sports photos I wanted to scrap.  


My daughter played volleyball with the Texas Tornados for about a year. We are soo proud of her for trying a team sport. She usually likes solo activities so this was a great thing for her.  They played in tournaments and even won 1st place. I got a few shots of this particular tourney and loved this photo of her. 

The girls do a lot of chants during the game so I thought it would be fun to feature one of their favorites as part of the title.

I simply cut the letters out on my Silhouette CAMEO and then stitched a huge ACE on the photo, using the Amy Tangerine stitch letter template.

I'll be back next week with another sports themed layout....

Love Notes 12x12 Paper (366764) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, Companion 12x12 paper (366824) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Counterpart 12x12 paper (366807) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Date 12x12 paper (366811) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Duet 12x12 paper (366817) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Twosome 12x12 paper (366820) – Amy Tangerine Plus One

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sunshine, Sand & Smiles

Aloha everyone! I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Hawaii and I'm already wishing I was back in the tropical wonderland. Upon my return, I was eager to jump in and start scrapping our vacation photos with the Simple Stories Good Day Sunshine collection. The rainbow of colors and the gradients just epitomize the bright, sunny days we spent on the beach. We were lucky enough to spent our second week in Hawaii with friends who live there. They took us to all the local stops, which included secluded beaches that we had to ourselves, like Makalawena. My oldest daughter claims that the sand is "angel soft" and she couldn't be more right.  It was the perfect sand for drip castles...

I was looking at this collection and I knew I wanted to scrap these photos with it but I didn't have a design in mind. As I was looking through all the great pieces of the collection, I was drawn to the SN@P! Pockets and SN@P! Cards. They inspired this offset grid design and it all just fell into place.

The cards are great by themselves but it's a fun part of the creative process to dress them up with embellishments. I also cut little strips to use as a border on the top, bottom and left, adding enamel dots for dimension.

This cute little journaling card fits perfectly in the SN@P pocket. Simple Stories is just cool like that!  You can also see the "HELLO" SN@P! Cut card. I love that it has the word pre-cut. You can leave it as it or do what I did and back it with solid or pattern paper. I added a die cut and sticker on top to dress it up a little more.
So who else is scrapping their summer photos with me? Are you doing individual layouts, a mini album, Pocket Pages or something else? I have a gagillion photos from this trip so I think I will do a combo of individual layouts mixed with Pocket Pages but I'd love to know what you are doing. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

EXCITING American Crafts Design Team news!

I'm soo excited. And I just can't hide it. Even after two years, I still pinch myself at this news.....

That's me ^^^^^ right there and here's the complete list of ladies...

Ashley Horton
Gillian Nelson
Gina Lideros
Heather Leopard
Nicole Samuels
Paige Evans

I'd love to have you join me here on my blog and all the social networks - Instagram: @heatherleopard | Pinterest:@heatherleopard | Twitter: @heatherleopard

To say I'm thrilled to be part of such a wonderful company and among such talented designers is an understatement. I look forward to the year ahead...I mean, have you seen the new collections?!?! I can't wait to get my hands on them. So many ideas are bouncing around in my head and I'm dying to get them all on paper.

Anyway, I digress. We have a fun blog hop planned later in the month to kick off the new team so keep an eye out for that.

And thanks again to American Crafts for having me back!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Live in the Sunshine

Aloha friends...we recently returned from a fabulous 2 week vacation in tropical Hawaii. We spent the 1st week in Oahu in the sleepy little surfer town, Haliewa/Waialua. It was an incredible week filled with lots of sand and surf, hiking Diamond Head, getting lost in a pineapple maze, a luau and more. The 2nd week was spent with friends who live on the Big Island. They have the most gorgeous house on a hill full of coffee trees, overlooking the Pacific. We went star gazing, hiked caves and lava tubes, saw an active volcano and went to the most gorgeous angel soft white sand and black sand beaches.

Why am I telling you this?  Two reasons...the 1st and most important is to ask for your P&PT for our friends who live there. They are prepping for 2 back to back hurricanes to hit the Big Island and at the same time, the earth quaked. We adore them dearly and just want them safe. Second, I created this layout for Beach week on the American Crafts blog.

Supplies: American Crafts #summer collection; American Crafts 'hearts' cutting file.

Staying with locals meant staying away from the tourist filled beaches!  Our friends took us to Kekeha Kai State Park to a beautiful beach there. About halfway through the day, we took a hike over lava rocks . We walked on the lava for a good 20 minutes to Makalawena. My daughter describes this as the "angel soft" beach and she is soo right. Crystal clear water, white, sugary sand, great waves.....sigh. I am so ready to go back.
I LOVE this photo of my oldest boogie boarding. She always has the best time doing this every time we go to the beach. It was such a great photo, I decided to supersize it and use it as my background.

I wanted to create waves over the bottom half of the page so I watercolored a white 12x12 cardstock with 2 shades of blue. Then I cut rows of hearts using the American Crafts "hearts" file and then layered them over each other.

I'm looking forward to visiting Hawaii again. Probably The Big Island again and Maui so please send your P&PT for those impacted by the weather. Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Remember You Are Loved | #ThrowbackThursday

I just realized that several layouts I did earlier this year while travelling never got posted to my blog so I thought I'd throwback the next several Thursdays and post them.  They throw back to this year so it's not like I'm going into the archives or anything.

I created this one for Silhouette Week on American Crafts. You may have seen it on their blog in February. I held back from posting it here because I had plans to create a similar layout with the same photo for the other daughter using the words that I cut out from this layout.....

Remember You Are Loved Supplies: Dear Lizzy Loved Heart Cutting File from Silhouette store, Fascinating Friends 12x12 paper (366165) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, Terrific Tunes 12x12 paper (366170) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, Delightful Display 12x12 paper (366162) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, Fabric Bows (366201) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, Accent & Phrase Stickers (366195) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, Label Stickers (366197) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, Accent & Phrase Stickers (366196) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, Epoxy Stickers (366198) - Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party

I love using cutting files on my projects because they can add just the right touch of interesting elements to a page very quickly.
used Dear Lizzy Loved Heart Cutting File from Silhouette store American Crafts Silhouette cutting files and altered them to fit the vision that I had for my layouts. I actually super sized it to take up the majority of my page and then machine stitched a heart around it.

A bit of paper layering, a fave photo and embellishments completed the layout...

Now, I will work on the sister page using the cut outs that I saved. I want to have the complimenting pages in each girl's album.

Tune in next Thursday for a fun sports page I created.....