Experiment Failure

Not everything  goes as planned.  Okay, rarely does anything go as planned… at least in my experience.  This is one of those pages that I envisioned for greatness.  Alas, it came out not quite as I had hoped.

In this case, I started with a Shimelle paper down at the bottom.  I adore all of those multi-colored circles.  They seemed a little sparse to me, so I had an idea.  Wouldn’t it be fabulous to add paper circles of my own?  Then I would pop some up on dots and it would be some magnificent work of art.  The idea was decent.  The execution was less than spectacular.

Be a Star

I admit that I am frustrated.  There were elements on this page that I forced, even though I knew they weren’t quite right.  Honestly, pretty much all of the embellishment seems off to me.  *Sigh*  I think the sad part is that this page had some good paper choices.  The bare bones of the page aren’t bad at all.  It’s what I did after the papers, pictures, and journaling were down that ruins it for me.

So let’s talk about what I do like.  I do love the papers and the color choices I made.  I wouldn’t change a thing about them.  I actually like this photo of myself.  (Hey, that doesn’t happen too often!) It’s a grainy phone selfie, but that expression is totally me.  I really like that for once I spent some time journaling.

Most of my pages are fairly free from journaling.  This page actually has quite a bit.  In fact, there’s more than you see.  At the top right corner of this page is an aqua tab.  That’s the top of a recipe card that contains some hidden journaling.  I was careful of where I put the glue so that it formed a pocket behind the green cardstock.  Just pull up on that little tab, and voila!  More writing!

I don’t know why I love hidden journaling so much.  Maybe because I’m a bit of a private person.  However, I think it is more than that.  It reminds me of a hidden door in a house.  I’ve always wanted to find one of those!  This is my own little hidden door.  I know where it is.  Now can anyone else find it?  (Not much of a challenge since I have told you where it is.  Look for more hidden journaling in the future!)

Oldie but Goodie

I was looking at some projects I wanted to frame, and ran across this one.  As far as scrapping goes, this is a very basic page.  It has a beautiful ombre paper in the background.  On top of that I just placed a few rectangle scraps and a 6×6 paper.  The embellishments consist of some Silhouette cuts, die cuts, and a couple of chipboard pieces.  Easy peasy.

Despite the lack of scrapping finesse, I find it is one of my favorite pages of all time.  Most of my scrapping is therapy.  It is time spent alone creating a work of art.  The process calms my mind and makes me happy.  In this case, I find it is the photo itself that brings me such joy.  Photos rarely move me.  They may be cute or beautiful, but not moving.  Usually they just document a time in my life.  This photo, however, is special.

When my niece was a child, she would spend a week with me every summer.  We would swim, bake cakes, or create art.  I loved this time together with her.  Then I met my husband.  I wasn’t sure what the dynamic between them would be.  It turns out, for a week every summer I wound up with 2 kids on my hands.  They were silly and often ganged up on me.  It was fabulous.

Love Always

This candid photo on my niece’s wedding day is a reminder of those wonderful times.  My husband loved that little girl. She may be all grown up now and 3,000 miles away, but I will always cherish the times we had together.

6×6 Summer

I have an unhealthy love for 6×6 pads of paper.  Why is it unhealthy?  Well, 6×6 pads are perfectly designed for card making.  I am not a card maker.  I know… I know… I *DO* make cards.  However, cards are generally a way for me to use my leftover scraps.  I am primarily a scrapbooker.  That means I reach for my 12×12 papers for pretty much every project.  Those beautiful 6×6 pads sit in a cube just waiting to be loved.  As a result of joyously purchasing 6×6 pads when they are on sale, I have accumulated thirty-eight of them.  (There may have been 4 in my last happy scrappy delivery. *Sigh*)

So this summer part of my focus is to put those 6×6 pads to good use.  It is time to get them out of their container and onto pages.  (To be honest, those last 4 packs won’t fit into my storage system.  I told myself that I would never let that happen.  I lied.)

Luckily, Jen Schow has a wonderful Youtube series that is all about using 6×6 papers on scrapbooking pages.  Her first video was the inspiration for my newest page.  With just a few tweaks here and there, I was able to make her design work for my 4×6 photos.

Old meets new

Jen basically chose two 6×6 papers and a 12×12 background for the base of her design.  My starting point was that green arrow paper.  I love it, but I wasn’t sure I would ever use it on a card.  That made it a perfect candidate for a page.  I cut it in half to stretch it across the page.  Then I decided on the green background.  (I just love that green.  It is so soothing.)  That left me with trying to find the right 6×6 block to put in the middle.  After flipping through a few pads, I gave up on trying to match greens or finding a contrasting color.  Instead, I decided the neutral of the white and grey floral was just what I needed.

It was at this point that I decided to pick out my photos.  I found two pictures of buildings in San Fransisco that worked perfectly.  Both include grey and green, complimenting the papers I chose… Yes, my process is strange.  Most people start with a photo and go from there.  My brain just doesn’t work that way.  I go with whatever is inspiring me and then radiate out from that point.  If I try to force the creative process, I wind up stuck for days or weeks at a time.  I am able to work from multiple starting points because I always have a ton of supplies on hand.  I never have to go out and buy anything.  (If I don’t have that perfect supply, I make do with what I have on hand.)  I also don’t have to print off photos.  There are usually a good 100 photos waiting to be scrapped at any given time.  This allows me to select photos later in the process.

When I placed my photos down on the page, I discovered two problems.  First, I didn’t like the photos directly on top of the patterned papers.  There wasn’t enough contrast, so they blended in too much.  I found that yellow-green chevron paper in my scraps to matte the photos.  It helps the photos pop better.  The second problem was the middle square that the photos were supposed to sit on as they do in Jen’s layout.  My two 4×6 photos were much too big and completely covered that 6×6 square.  So I cut it into two pieces as well, and stretched it to cover a larger area of the page.  My photos hide the fact that this is really two pieces of paper made to look like one.

Then it was time to add the title and some embellishments.  The title came together fairly quickly.  My only issue was trying to find an alphabet that had the letters I needed.  It appears I use “e” and “t” far too often.  For embellishments, I started by searching through the items on my desk.  From there I scored the green and black rhinestone border, the grey clip at the top, as well as the yellow hearts.  I added in a couple of stickers and and a few buttons for the finishing touches.

I am pretty happy with how this page turned out.  No one would guess it all started with 6×6 papers.  I don’t think they would even know there is a 6×6 paper on the layout.  Also, check out the color scheme.  There is no pink or teal to be found.  It’s a miracle!  Now on to the next 6×6 adventure.

On a Roll

I actually managed to scrapbook for a second week in a row!  That hasn’t happened in months.  It appears that insomnia is my friend.  No sleep equals extra crafting time.  See, you should always look on the bright side.

This week’s layout started in such an odd way.  I wanted to start with a journal card that is designed for Project Life style scrapbooking.  This happened to be one of those cut apart cards that seem to be all the rage in collections these days.  The cut apart sheets just vex me since I don’t do pocket scrapbooking pages.  (Well, there was that one time.)  So I was determined to use one on my next layout.

I am home

From there I chose this photo.  I actually really love this photo (which for some reason looks bent, but isn’t.)  I have a secret love affair with Torrid clothing and Starbucks.  Okay, maybe it isn’t so secret.  It certainly isn’t a secret from my credit card company.  They are my kryptonite… along with scrapbook supplies.  So really, this is a layout of all my favorite things.  The day this photo was taken, I was a very happy woman.

Then it was time to choose my papers.  I immediately picked that bold black and white stripe to go along with the ombre pink card.  Let me just say, I love Bella Blvd.  You know that cover sheet in paper collections that shows what is in the collection?  This is the back side of that paper!  Finally a company is utilizing that cover sheet!  Next, I dug into my 6×6 papers to find the two triangle papers.  Does anyone else find their 6×6 pads multiplying?

Once the papers and photos were in place, I pulled out the die cuts from the Simple Stories “I Am” collection and the Bella Blvd. “Oh My Stars” collection.  I settled upon a diagonal design with mainly stars going across the page.  At that point there were entirely too many hard edges.  I threw in a little circle die as well as a doily to soften it a bit.  (The doily is just cut into 2 pieces.  I’m always looking for ways to save money.)

I must confess… titles are not my strong point.  They are always an afterthought.  In this case, I had a pretty large empty space at the bottom of the page.  Then I remembered… I had a package of giant gold glitter words from Pebbles.  I knew I was going to use the “I am” at the top.  The word “home” just struck me.  Though it may not seem logical to anyone else, it was the perfect title for me.  I feel most relaxed and at home in my comfy Torrid sweater while drinking coffee.  It makes me happy sigh just thinking about it.

I love this page.  It isn’t the most innovative or pretty page I’ve ever created.  I think it reflects me, though.  It’s a little bit shiny, a little bit scattered, and features the things I love.  Now on to the next scrappy escapade.

 

Cloudy With a Chance of Creativity

I finally had a bit of a creative breakthrough.  It isn’t waaaaaaaaaaaay off of my regular scrapping path, but I did include some fussy cutting.  For the record, I hate fussy cutting.  Yes, I know you move the paper, not the scissors.  Still, I get impatient after the first couple of cuts.  Then I get reckless.  Next thing you know, all of those smooth curves get hacked to pieces.

Two things finally got me going.  First, a beautiful cloud paper from Shimelle Laine’s Starshine collection just begged to be fussy cut.  I love the paper, but couldn’t figure out how to use it as a layer in a layout.  So out came the scissors.  I cut quite a few of the cloud groupings without knowing what I was going to do.

The second catalyst turned out to be exhaustion.  The day that I had cut out the clouds, I tried to place them on the layout.  Nothing looked right, and I finally gave up.  So, on a night that I could barely keep my eyes open, I began to work on it again.  The clouds just magically fell into place.  Lack of sleep seems to allow me to not overthink things and just create!  I often do my best scrapbooking in the wee hours of the night.

Real Life

It isn’t a fancy page with a lot of embellishment.  The clouds themselves seem to be enough decoration.  Some are popped up to give a bit of dimension.  I sprinkled them with my favorite wood veneer hearts.  Originally the photos were floating a bit, so I made a shelf for them with the wood grain scallop sticker.  The wood grain was chosen to work with the hearts.

The page still isn’t perfect.  I can see two things in the photo that bother me.  First, I’m not sure about the silver foam Thickers.  I am not going to change them out for something else.  They were the right size for this layout, and I can live with it.  I’m also considering adding a cloud at the top right of the vertical photo.  That white corner formed by the photo and the bottom of the cloud just doesn’t look right.  (Of course I didn’t see that until I photographed the page.)

Still, I am rather happy to have changed it up a little.  On to the next project!

Cards Revisited

I am still searching for some scrappy mojo.  If anyone has some for sale, I would be more than happy to make a purchase.  At about 2 a.m. I began a new page.  The photograph is chosen.  Some embellishments have been made.  Then… nothing.  I could not even find a paper for the base.  *sigh*  I think this summer I am going to have to spend some serious time in the scraproom, throwing out all of the rules.  It seems the more rules I learn, the more rigid my pages become.

Until I am actually able to create something, I decided to revisit some cards I made.  I tend to make cards to use up scraps and when my mojo has taken a hike.  This means they tend to pile up over time.  It isn’t out of control.  You won’t find any overflowing boxes stacked up and collecting dust.  They fit in a nice small section of my desk.  Today I was flipping through them to find one for a friend and realized how much I really do like them.

Here are two I made with a fall theme.  I wanted to try out some leaf cuts as well as a leaf stamp I bought about a decade ago.  Yes, that cute little leaf stamp sat for 10 years wanting love.  Don’t judge.  It finally had its day in the sun.  (Those leaves sparkle so nicely thanks to the copper embossing powder.)  I also pulled out some papers that I would normally pass by when making projects.  That orange floral is just not me.  Yet, I really like the final product.

I think there is something to be learned from these two little cards.  There are far too many unloved stamps in my collection.  I need to start experimenting with them.  Something beautiful might very well be created.  Also, changing up my color palette is refreshing.  Too many of my projects sit firmly in the pink/aqua palette.  Let’s go crazy and try grass greens, reds, oranges, purples, and browns.  (Maybe not on the same card or page.)close-up

National Scrapbooking Day… A Day Late

Yes, I am aware that NSD was yesterday.  I promise that I really did celebrate on time!  Okay, I celebrated after I got through with being an adult for the day.  My husband seemed to be blissfully unaware of the importance of NSD when he scheduled appointments for us.  The nerve!

Once home, I ran up into the crafting room and looked at my supplies.  With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, making a card was my first priority.  I happened to have some Simple Stories Posh die cuts sitting out on my desk from a previous project.  I chose two to use for cards.  The florals and soft colors were perfect for this particular occasion.

It didn’t take very long to dig through my scrap bin to find some matching papers.  I have a plethora of aquas, teals, pinks, and yellows.  At that point it was just a matter of stacking up a few rectangles and positioning the die cuts.  Each card has a smattering of enamel dots, pearls, or sequins to finish it off.  In all, I made 3 cards in under an hour.  (The 3rd is super simple in a fall color palette.)  I think that is a record for me.

The bicycle feels like an appropriate motif for my papercrafting lately.  I need to keep pedaling on and creating.  Though I am not doing anything that is cutting edge, I feel the momentum going in the right direction.  And hey, it is so much fun playing with the pretty products!  That is the important part.

 

 

 

 

Long Time No Scrap

It has been far too long, I know.  At this point in time you probably thought I had given up the blog.   Though I would like to tell you an exciting story about being off on some great adventure, the truth is just that life got in the way.  Work got the better of me for a while and took up all of my time.  Then a bout of bronchitis kept me from my beloved scrap room.  Those two things paired with a lack of creativity resulted in months of no scrappy escapades.

This weekend I finally returned to playing with pretty papers.  The result is a bit meh, but it is an important first step to getting my groove back.  I need to keep cranking out the projects until a brilliant idea strikes again.  It will happen.  It just takes time.

Today’s installment features a bit of a fuzzy photo of a scrap busting design.  You know how I hate to throw any scraps away.  So I rummaged through my scrap bin and pulled out pinks, teals, greens, and blues.  One piece in particular caught my eye.  It’s that multi-colored dot print behind the photo.  Doesn’t it just say birthday to you?

Forever Sweet

Going with the birthday theme, I found a photo of this beautiful birthday cake.  (That cake is vegan! Can you believe it?)  I didn’t have any other photos to go with this one.  Placing a small 4×4 photo on a 12×12 page is a challenge for me.  I know there are some beautiful pages out there that use one small photo on a large page.  The artists are masters of using white space.  I am not one of those masters.  So instead, I decided to fill my space with those paper strips.

I am quite fond of paper strip layouts.  They don’t require a whole lot of fuss.  Nothing has to be lined up exactly.  The paper can be in a variety of widths.  And, of course, it is a great way to get rid of those scraps.  I was even able to throw a couple of branding strips into the mix.  It only took a few minutes to layout the strips in a purposely uneven manner.

Then it was time to work on the top of the layout.  I double matted the photo so it had a bit more weight.  That left some room for a fairly large title to the right.  At first I was going to lay the silver Thickers right onto the background paper.  The silver blended into the white and was too difficult to see.  Rifling through a die-cut pad, I came upon the turquoise piece.  It wasn’t the exact color I was looking for, but sometimes perfect is over-rated.

Finally it was time to add in some embellishments.  I started with the silver leaves.  Leaves logically need flowers.  Immediately I knew the Simple Stories’ Bloom & Grow collection was exactly what I needed.  A few flower die-cuts later and some puffy stickers from Pinkfresh Studio and I was done.

It feels good to be back in the saddle again.  Stick with me.  I plan for this to be quite the ride.

A Layout with Bad Lighting

I feel like I need to write a million apologies for this post.  First, it is very overdue.  Sometimes life catches up with me.  Either I don’t have time to craft or I don’t have time to post.  In this case, a nearly 3 week illness kept me from posting.  Admittedly, I have not done much crafting in that time either.  At first I just didn’t feel well.  Now I find that my mojo took a hike while I was sick.  *Sigh*

Please also excuse the horrible lighting.  It turns out that when you don’t feel well, you really don’t care about the quality of the photograph you upload.  In all honesty, I could have shot this again today.  However, I’m feeling rebellious.  My students often groan when I ask them to redo something.  I beg you not to tell them I refused to do my homework correctly.  They would never look at me the same way again.  I promise to do better in the future.  Besides, the days are getting longer.  Natural sunlight will be back soon!

My last apology is to the artist who inspired this layout in a huge way.  This is almost a CASE of her work.  (Different papers and embellishments with same design)  Normally I would provide a link to her page and give her the credit she deserves.  It seems that in my head cold haze, I accidentally deleted the page.  I can tell you that her title was “This View.”  Sadly, the name of the artist is now a mystery to me.

beach-escape

As you know, I’ve been working on including layouts that have more breathing room.   I love to fill a page with patterned paper.  I just can’t help myself.  So every once in a while I purposely find an inspiration piece that has much more white space.  This page was a nice compromise for me.  I could still include a variety of patterned papers, while maintaining a fairly large blank area on the left hand side.

The original inspiration piece was all in yellows and blues.  I kept that color palette because it fit the beach theme so well.  I also incorporated a touch of pink.  Part of me thinks that I should have stuck to the yellow and blue.  The addition of pink isn’t bad, it just changes the feel.  Oh, and why did I add in more color?  See that pink, yellow, and red polka dotted Freckled Fawn washi tape?  I wanted, no NEEDED, to use it on this layout.  It just kept popping into my hand.  (Some things cannot be explained rationally.)

You will notice that my embellishment is minimal as almost always.  I knew I wanted to use the “Good Stuff” journaling card.  That area still looks like it needs something more.  The gold heart hanging out there all by itself looks rather lonely.

I am pretty happy with the small cluster to the left of the photos.  The square quote sticker bothers me a bit.  Does it make sense that I don’t like that it is square?  Perhaps it is because the journal card has slightly rounded corners.  If only I had a tiny corner rounding tool.  Someone make a tiny corner rounder!  I finished this off with some wood veneer hearts and one pink enamel heart.  Again, something very simple.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  I like this layout.  It just isn’t wowing me.

Too Busy

No, I’m not talking about myself.  I’m referring to the background of my latest layout.  It isn’t unusual for me to use patterned paper as a background.  I actually use it quite often.  However, I will generally opt for a nice tone on tone or polka dot.  I like a little pattern, but nothing that screams, “Look at me!”

So why did I choose this as my background?  I decided to take on a dare.  Okay, it was a challenge.  It’s a crazy challenge.  Essentially you go into your paper supplies and blindly choose 3 papers that have to make it onto a layout.  In this case I chose that background paper, the pink polka dot, and the paper I used to mat the photo.  Given those parameters, this is what I came up with.  Honestly, I think perhaps I should have switched the polka dot and the background papers.  When I had the floral next to the photo, it just didn’t look right.

happy

This really was an interesting challenge to attempt.  I was lucky that 2 of the 3 papers went together well.  Two of the papers had pink that matched almost perfectly.  That third piece of paper behind the photo is yellow.  Why did I hide it?  This yellow was heavily distressed with a grunge feel.  It absolutely did not match the pristine nature of the other papers.  So I lopped up most of the heavy grunge and let just a small slice show.  The rest of the papers I pulled from my scraps.  I let the flowers in the background determine my color choices.  Perhaps using more cardstock would have helped with the pattern overload.

I don’t do a lot of product reviews, but today I just have to.  See that butter yellow cardstock behind the pink polka dot paper?  I’m in love!  It’s so difficult to find the perfect soft yellow shade.  So often when I order cardstock online, the color is much brighter than what I need.  This is the yellow cardstock I have been searching for!  It is the My Mind’s Eye yellow classic cardstock from the My Colors line.  This is the perfect light yellow with a little bit of texture.  I’m in a bit of a panic because I’m seeing places putting it on clearance.  It looks like I may need to buy it in bulk and hoard it for future use.

So are you up for the challenge?  Can you close your eyes and pick 3 random papers to make a layout?  May the odds be with you.