Difficult Paper

Admit it.  You have some paper in your stash that you just don’t know how to use.  I wish I only had 1 or 2 pieces.  Nope.  I have a couple dozen or so that fit the bill.  To be fair, I purchased most of it when I first started scrapping and had no idea what I was doing.  Now that I know my style, I am left with beautiful paper that for me is unusable.

Every once in a while I push up my shirt sleeves and decide to tackle one of those papers.  No, I have never been absolutely pleased with the results.  That’s okay.  I learned long ago that I am not going to hit it out of the ballpark every time.  I know I could just as easily donate it, but I refuse.  I’m much too frugal (frugal sounds so much better than cheap) to do that.  So I decide to take it on as a challenge.

Believe

This layout is the result of one of those challenges.  I used an old paper from the St. Nick Fancy Pants collection.  Truth be told, I love that background paper.  It has a lovely design… that just does not work with the way I scrap.  The only thing I could figure out to do was go minimalist on it.  A single photo with only 2 small layers behind it seemed about right.  Now I wish I had added a few more messy layers, keeping them all barely bigger than the photo.

I tried using embellishments that matched the paper almost exactly.  I found hearts and stars ephemera that matched the paper perfectly.  You won’t believe this.  The Say Cheese II ephemera from Simple Stories was a dead on match for the hearts and stars in a Fancy Pants Christmas collection.  That’s just so weird to me.  I also took the title “Believe” piece and the gold Viewmaster disc from Say Cheese II.  So welcome to my Christmas/Disney mashup page.

The paper may not be what I would purchase now, but I am still glad I used it.

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So Many Pretty Things

I’m scrapbook window shopping.  I do this a lot.  New pretty things will come out.  I put them in my cart.  Then I leave the tab open on my computer for days… or weeks.  Eventually I will either finally buy the items (unless they have sold out) or simply close the tab.  Here are some products that I am considering.

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I had a package of wood veneer asterisks.  Though there are a few left, I’m running low.  Look!  Look!  I could get some more.  The hearts are nice too.  Who couldn’t use hearts?  My problem is with the at symbols.  I’m struggling with how I would use them.  Do I really want to buy a package where I would only use two-thirds of the product?

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I am almost certain that these will be mine.  Oh how I swoon for glitter foam Thickers.  They are so easy to use.  I love the texture.  They are glitter!  (Duh)  What could be better?  Sadly, the store I’m looking at is currently sold out of them.  I’m pretty sure I will stalk a few stores until I find them.

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This paper from Pink Paislee just keeps calling out to me.  Yes, I am a sucker for ombre papers.  For some reason, this feels like my holy grail ombre paper (until the next one comes along).  I am loving the painted look of it.  It absolutely needs to be a background with some teal layers or maybe some soft cream.

It’s late.  I’ve made it through another day without buying any new scrapbooking items.  Tomorrow I will look at my cart again.

Oh Scraps

Yes, yet another layout featuring scraps.  Does that grey and white floral look familiar?  It should.  It was featured in my last post.  I loved it so much that I just had to use it again.  This time the color scheme is totally different.  Gone are the yellow and black which I replaced with pink and blue.  I think that is one of my favorite things about scrapbooking.  I can use the exact same paper and get a totally different look by combining it with new materials.

I always struggle with color schemes when there is such a variety of colors in my photos.  I know I should learn how to edit my photos.  I just can’t seem to find the time.  When choosing between learning how to edit and actually scrapping, I’m going to pick scrapping every time.  I could print my photos in black and white, but that bottom nighttime photo wouldn’t have turned out well.  In this case I decided to go with the 2 colors I found in both photos, blue from the centerpieces and pink from the shirt.

 

Family Gathers

Though I didn’t have exactly the right color of blue (can you ever find the right color of blue?), I decided the pale blue background would work. There is enough separation between the photos and the background to make it work.  My pinks aren’t matching perfectly either.  Yet look at how cohesive they look.  Yes, you can mix a variety of manufacturers!

I did struggle to find embellishments in the right colors.  The butterflies worked pretty well.  You’ve seen them on a previous layout.  I also chose that giant pink flower.  (It may be covering up the ugly weird edges of paper over in that corner.)  It looked like it was floating there all by itself.  At that point I dug into my silhouette cuts that I keep on hand and pulled out some feathers.  I decided to use them like leaves.  Instead of putting the outline directly over the matching solid part of the feather, I offset them a bit to add texture and interest.

It makes me so very happy to create a layout using nothing but scraps and a piece of cardstock in the background.  Somehow it makes me feel more fulfilled than when I cut into new papers.  Maybe it’s the discovery of small treasures that have been sitting there in a basket just waiting to be loved.

Monochromatic… Almost

I have a soft spot for monochromatic layouts.  I like how it limits the supplies I can choose from when searching through my stash.  In this case I went with yellow with grey and black as neutrals.  If it wasn’t yellow, black, or grey, I could just pass it on by.

Life is Perfect

In this case I began with those photos of my little boy.  I had just purchased that grey and yellow basket (hello color palette).  He immediately jumped inside of it and claimed it as his own.  Being the much too permissive cat mom, I let him have it… for part of the day.  It is now that happy home to my 6×6 paper pads and some chipboard.

I knew right off that I wanted to use that grey and white floral paper.  It’s one of the few papers I purchased 2 of because I loved it so much.  A quick search of my scraps produced that yellow and black paper at the bottom from Jenni Bowlin.  A couple of pieces of cardstock and that grey and white chevron from a 6×6 pad finished off my papers.

I decided to use those doily stickers for my journaling.  I only had two, so I cut off some of the large yellow one and placed it up top to stretch the supplies.  A search of old die cuts produced the black and white circles I used to ground the grey and yellow flower chipboard pieces.  I love that those 3 circles came from 3 different collections.  You would never notice it.

Since I always forget about a title until I’m almost done (sigh), I ended up finding the die cut and sticker at the bottom.  “Life is Perfect” and “Happy as a Clam” sum up that little cat’s life.  That scallop chip board was a last minute fix to hide a gap between the photos and the “Life is Perfect” piece.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anybody.

The Little Things

It was the banner with the saying, “The Little Things really are the big things,” that caught my eye when going through my supplies.  I absolutely believe in this sentiment.  So when I found it, I immediately looked for some photos that matched it.  I found these two photos of a sunset from the one and only vacation my husband and I have had since our honeymoon 10 years ago.

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That vacation is a bit of a magical time for me.  It was only 3 days in a nearby town, but the location was so serene.  For someone who lives her life in a tornado of stress, it was a much needed break from civilization.  This was our view each night, and it was the perfect end to days of shopping and walking the beach.

From the photos I pulled in some yellow/orange elements and used that green to contrast.  Can I tell you that I love this color combination?  I’ve not ever used it on any other page that I can think of, but it just works so well.  Oh, and I totally jumped at the chance to use brads that matched.  I never use brads!  I decided to ground everything on that grey background paper that works well with the color of the water.

The design is pretty simple and not overly embellished.  I think that the clean look helps convey the tranquility that I felt those days.  It is one of my favorite pages… and it all started with a sentiment.

Page Inspiration

As I said on a previous post, all sorts of things inspire me to scrap.  I was looking at my “used” board to see what projects I’ve already copied.  “Here and Now” by Lilin Fang caught my attention. I am completely head over heels for that black and white print with all of the cities.  It is such a nice counterpoint to the bits of color and large amount of white space on the rest of the page.

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I tried to copy her.  Really I did.  My page fell far short of her beautiful work.  Still, it was fun to play around with her ideas.

 

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I can quickly look through and see what caused my issues.  Though I like this pretty diagonal stripe paper, it does not have the same impact of the black and white paper Lilin used.  It just doesn’t have the same weight or presence on the page.  My title is heavy handed compared to the ethereal “Here and Now” which is in either a light colored paper or a light wood veneer.  My gelato colors are much too uniform in size.  (Darn that need to be neat and orderly on a page.)

And yet, I still like this page.  It was a step outside of my comfort zone.  (Hello gelatos!)  I played around with some white wispy cuts from my Silhouette.  It features a photo of my co-workers that I cherish.  I like it enough to give it another go.  I’m thinking it may be time to pull out the “My Story” collection from My Mind’s Eye.  More yellow and pink?  Yes please.

 

Using Scraps

I use my bits and pieces any chance I can get.  This photo allowed me to pull colors that I generally wouldn’t put together.  I’m still not entirely sure this mix is spot on, but overall it is okay.  The peach, red, green, pink, and blue are all in that photo.  So I hunted through my scraps and found matches.

I went for a purposely messy and tilted design.  It was just so much faster than lining things up.  Again, it isn’t perfect.  I can live with that.  If it drives you batty… I can live with that too!

A Good Seed

A Pier, A Rock, and Some Work

So what does a person do on spring break?  Work, of course!  A coworker and I headed down to San Fransisco to give a presentation.  For someone who hates speaking in front of people, it was an experience.  My stomach was doing flip-flops the entire time we were there.  Good news!  I survived!

We did manage to have a little bit of fun while we were there.  We spent a couple of nights at the pier.  It was so much fun shopping, people watching, and catching some beautiful views.

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The Journey Begins

I promised I would blog about a page I loved.  This one really makes me smile.  Most of my pages use dark or bright colors.  Pastels just are not my thing.  I don’t even decorate for spring because most of the items are in pastels.  Yuck.  But I had fallen for the background paper that looked like it had been water colored.

The Journey Begins

I knew this was going to be a single photo layout with minimal layers.  Otherwise that lovely painted look would have disappeared completely.  I kept my layers fairly small, using scraps from my scrap basket. My one “cheat” at getting more patterned paper onto this page was that black and white paper at the corners.  The heart shapes on that paper were colored in using a water pen and some distress inks.  I really love how that turned out!

I wanted the embellishments for this page to be pretty minimal as well.  A few chipboard and wood veneer hearts sprinkled in with gems seemed just about perfect.  I know that gems are “out” and people generally grab enamel dots.  This page just needed a little bit of sparkle.  Enamel dots don’t give quite the same effect.

Though this page is not my typical layout, I’m thrilled.  Sometimes it is good to go outside your box.  Though it doesn’t always work out beautifully, you might just be surprised.  Some fabulous pages may be waiting for you.

Happy Birthday Beautiful

I think I am on a roll sharing layouts that I’m just not in love with.  I promise that my next share will be something that I love… or at least like a lot.

When I made this layout, I was determined to use up some older papers and items.  I started with that triangle patterned paper.  It was the last of a “kill a kit” challenge I gave myself.  I chose that green hexagon paper to go with it from a 6×6 pad as well as the pink stripe that was a scrap.  The background paper is from an old paper pad.  I haven’t even purchased a paper pad in years because I prefer the heavier weight of individual papers.  Then I pulled at that heart vellum… which I love so much that I almost purchased another sheet.

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The papers and vellum work pretty well.  I’m not entirely sold on that background paper.  It isn’t the same shade of green as the other papers.  I didn’t want to go with a white cardstock background, but now I’m thinking that might have worked out better.

Really it’s the design of this page that I’m not loving.  The embellishment clusters aren’t working.  The bottom right hand corner isn’t too bad.  The left hand corner is just awkward.  I’m thinking about removing that pink button.  It is just so out of place.  The floating scattered hearts are also a little strange.  Oddly, they work more at the top than they do at the bottom.

All of the embellishments were things that were laying on my desk.  Again, I sometimes challenge myself to do some weird things.  I honestly think that contributed to the randomness.

In the end, I may remove a button and change the placement of a heart.  I won’t take the time to redo the page.  There are so many other pages waiting to be made.  I won’t let a misstep here and there weigh me down.