Monday, September 24, 2007

Challenge 1 - WINNER!

Ok, I am proud to announce the winner of our first challenge....

Drum roll please....


I just loved the fun, colorful layout. It totally grabbed my attention and I felt myself looking back at it over and over. She stuck to cardstock only but kept the shapes simple and striking. I think she stayed true to the challenge and showed us all what can be done with a few pieces of cardstock. Great work! (Now... email us with your address so I can get your goodies to you!)

I wanted to give a shout-out to a couple others who rocked the cardstock patterns...
Baberry - Holy intricate stars, batman! Right up my alley!
Emily - I loved the monochromatic circles. Great design.
Jing Jing - Very cool free-form square shapes... and how CUTE is that baby?
Rebekah - Loved the intricate cutouts. I'm sure I was not the only one to do a double-take to see if this was really all cardstock.
Littleducky - Loved those "pregnant lines" :)

It really was a hard decision, and PLEASE do not be discouraged if the RAK is not coming your way. Keep on showing us what you've got. Remember, this is all about fun!

Challenge 2!

Challenge 2: Stamping with Household Objects

Stamps. There's a stamp for everyone: mounted, unmounted, rubber, acrylic, flowers, flourishes, frames, and more. I recently picked up Tsukineko's Tack 'n Peel, which you apply to an acrylic block to hold your unmounted stamps. It's quite sticky - which got me to wondering what else it would hold. A whole lot of stuff, actually. Paper clips, legos, coins, Mardi Gras beads... and on and on.

So, this week I challenge you to stamp on a layout. But using anything other than stamps. Look around your house and see what interesting textures and patterns you can find. Don't have Tack 'n Peel? No problem. Try a few pieces of double-sided tape on your acrylic block. Or, if your object is larger, just ink it directly and apply. Digi scrappers can get in on this, too. Scan or photograph your stamped image and turn it into a brush.

For example, I used a Dobie kitchen sponge with Tim Holtz Distress Ink to make a pattern on my background paper. I also used Legos with my block on the tag. And see that border at the bottom of my picture block? It's a brush I made from a Lego wheel.

So start rummaging through your junk drawer or your children's toy bin and see what you can find!

And did I mention the RAK? We're thrilled to have Studio Calico as our first Sponsor! Their kits really rock - and they've given us their September Home Ec kit filled with lots of American Crafts, a little Love, Elsie and Hambly thrown in, and features hand-crafted yo-yo's, corduroy and velvet-covered buttons, felt flowers, and self-adhesive fabric paper!

Now, let's play! Just upload your layout in the gallery of your choice and leave us a comment with the url to your layout. To be eligible for the RAK, please post by midnight Sunday, October 7th.

Here are our examples:

Deborah: I used three separate methods - two on paper and one digital. The subtle background was made using a Dobie kitchen sponge and Distress Ink, the small circles on the tab with a Lego brick, and the digital border by scanning the print made by a Lego wheel.

Becky: Becky made these cool circles on her background using an empty Prima ribbon spool and L'il Davis glitter paint.

Alicia: Alicia took a piece of corrogated cardboard, ran a paint dapper along the raised edge then stamped her cardstock.

Challenge 1 - All our entries!

Here they are, folks! I decided to put together all of our entries in a slideshow for those of you who wanted to see 'em all without linking to a zillion places. :) I had a blast looking through all of these and seeing the talent of our players.

And the winner is....

Come on - you didn't think I'd make it THAT easy, did you?

Check back later today to see the winner. ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sneak Peek

Just a sneak peek for Challenge 2 - coming on Monday, September 24th. We've got a fantastic RAK from an awesome sponsor for this challenge!

See you Monday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Challenge 1 - Tick Tock, RAK, and Posting Issues

Hello all!

First of all, let me thank all of you who shared your layouts with us thus far. We have loved looking through them! Keep 'em coming!

Second, let me remind you that layouts are due for this first challenge by SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2008. We would love to see your creations at any time after that, but they will only be considered for the RAK if they are in by Sunday night. We need to be able to get on to the next challenge, which will be posted Monday, September 24th.

And speaking of the first RAK, here it is:

I tried to include things that went with the challenge for this first RAK, so I included cardstock, a fancy-dancy cardstock container, a paper shaper, a flower punch, stencils, 2 packs of foam stamps, a stamp from Cat's Life Press, a pair of scissors (for that precision cutting!) paint, and a little cardboard box to decorate. There will also be a little surprise goodie in there (I'm still working on them!)

I know that some of you have been having a hard time figuring out how to post your layouts, and I am very sorry to any of you who have had technical difficulties. We are trying to work out the best system possible so that the process can be smooth for everyone. So, right now you have 3 choices of how to post a layout to us:

(1) Include a link in the blog comments section (for challenge 1, do so in the challenge 1 description, etc) to a place on the web where you store your photos.

(2) Go to either or and search for the post that has that week's challenge. For each challenge, we will post a thread where you can put your layouts. The posts will be named "Method Playground Challenge 1", "Method Playground Challenge 2". etc. so that you can easily find them. Simply add your layout to the site gallery and link it there.

(3) Email us directly through the link on the right side of the blog (our least preferred method because then everyone can't enjoy your work!)

Please bear with us while we work out all these details, and let us know if you have any suggestions or problems. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Challenge 1 - HMer slide show

Here are a few samples of layout that we've received for the challenge. This group are from a few other '07 Honorable Mention gals.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Challenge 1 - How I Did It

For my layout "Swim Class" I used a cardboard template (and a bunch of exacto blades) to make a pattern onto grey cardstock. Pretty easy to do, but it does take time to cover a large piece of paper. And uses a lot of exacto blades!

Here's how I did it. I was inspired by this fabric from a catalog I got in the mail. First, I sketched a rough circle, then drew triangular petals inside the circle. After I was happy with my sketch I cut out the shapes with my craft knife. And you can see the finished template.

To create the pattern, I placed the template onto my grey cardstock and ran the craft knife around the edges. I then lifted the template and finished cutting out the lines with my knife. When I was done, I layered the grey cardstock on top of black cardstock after taping a few pieces of red cardstock behind some of the cutouts.

I used a glass cutting mat underneath my cardstock and ended up using three exacto blades to cut out the shapes. You get a better result if your blades are nice and sharp!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Challenge 1 - layouts rolling in!

We are SO thrilled to see layouts starting to come in for our first challenge! Please take a peek at the comments and check out the entries from:

Milkcan (our first entry! - she took a different approach by using ink on cardstock)
Baberry (amazing and intricate cutting skills here)
Amy Hummel (super fun freestyle circles make up her background)

As promised, I have some early RAKs to send out. So... please contact me with an address:

Milkcan (for posting our first layout)
Laura Fiore (for posting our first ever blog comment)

Let's keep those layouts coming. Tell your friends and check back often to see what eye candy is rolling in!

Monday, September 10, 2007

First Challenge!

Challenge 1: Make Your Own Patterned Paper From Cardstock

There are SO many beautiful patterned papers out there…. American Crafts, Basic Grey, My Mind’s Eye… the list goes on and on. Patterned papers add color, shape, and interest to our pages, but who says you have to leave it to the manufacturers to have all the fun designing them?

My challenge to you this first week is to make your own patterned paper out of cardstock only, and then use it on a page. (Feel free to use whatever other goodies you want on the page as well).

This can be as simple or difficult as you want to make it. Use strips of cardstock to make a stripe pattern, or cut out intricate flourishes for something more complex. It’s up to you.

Not sure where to start? How about using a punch to cut out shapes that can be repeated on your background? Maybe you have some shape stencils that you can trace onto cardstock and cut out. Like to use your computer? You can print some shapes onto the reverse side of your paper using the computer and cut them out with an exacto or scissors. For the adventurous, draw something freehand and cut it out.

Digital Play: For those of you who prefer to work in digital, go ahead and try this technique with digital cardstock!

Get creative. Have fun. Show us what you’ve got!

To get you started, here are some examples:

Jennifer: I decided to do some intricate cutting and punching to make 4 patterned papers in circle shapes. I kept the layout clean and simple to keep focus on the photo of my son and the patterns.

Deborah: Deb went a different direction and made one giant piece of patterned paper with her cardstock that would match the other papers in her layout. She cut those shapes by hand!

Becky: Becky also made her background paper with a series of punched circles. She also went a step further and added fun flower shapes.

Alicia: Alicia chose to interepret the challenge with a "tone on tone" direction. She punched out circles in the same Kraft Color as her background. She folded the circles in half, crumpled them and then punched a small hole in the center and filled the centers with Black Stickles.

Jennifer's Digital Play: I used some digital cardstock from Traci Turchin to create a simple patterned paper for this layout. Swirls and journaling spot are from Rhonna Farrer's Free Love pack (downloaded from twopeasinabucket).

Friday, September 7, 2007

Please join us on Monday, September 10, 2007 for the first challenge at Method Playground. All are welcome to come try out a new (or not so new!) technique and share your creations with others.

We have lots of fun things in store for Method Playground, including challenges guest hosted by more HOF HMers and a big celebrity scrapper or two!

Come back, play often, and tell your friends. See you Monday!