Oh How They Multiply

I don’t understand it.  I make a determined effort to use my scraps.  In fact, all of my scraps are in a container on my desk.  As much as I would like them off of my desk in order for a neater appearance, I know that would be the kiss of death.  Having them constantly in sight and handy means the scraps grace pretty much every layout or card I make.  So one would think that the pile would slowly dwindle.  One would be wrong.

That partially used pile of pretty patterned papers keeps growing!  (How is that for alliteration?)  Please understand that this is after I’ve cleaned through them and tossed anything I am unlikely to use again.  (Before you gasp, this includes pieces too small for a normal human being to keep.  Larger pieces are getting donated to my school for kids to use.)  I’m beginning to think some other scrapper is sneaking into the scrap room in the middle of the night and dropping off their extras!

This week’s goal was to make some quick cards in order to reduce the pile.  The cards aren’t anything amazing or intricate.  I was concentrating on using up scraps in the shortest amount of time possible.

How does my pile look now that I have 4 cards made?  Not the least bit smaller.  I swear those papers are multiplying.

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Blog Goals Broken

I knew this day would come.  I set out to publish 2 regularly scheduled blog posts a week.  That’s right.  No matter what, I was going to grace the internet with my words of scrappy wisdom twice weekly.  I was going to be the blogger you could count on to produce new content like clockwork!  At one point, I even had my posts written 2 weeks in advance.  This was going to be a piece of cake.

Somehow I had forgotten that creating projects, photographing them, and writing takes time.  Time I had during the summer.  Then work started back up for me.  Suddenly I was investing 50 hours a week away from home.  Some nights I got home at 6:00, and others at 9:00.  Even though I did try to scrap each night, it wasn’t much.  This last week I managed a card and a quick layout.  Since they were completed this evening, I haven’t had a chance to photograph them.

So instead of a new project, I am going to share with you what arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.  A few scrappy goodies showed up in time to get me working in the scraproom today.

collections

After telling myself that the last thing I need is more paper, I ordered 3 new collections.  The Simple Stories “Posh” is right up my color scheme alley.  I know I have enough pink and teal to scrap into 2018, but I just couldn’t help myself.  Honestly, I think the dog icon sent me over the edge to buy this one.  Bella Blvd. put out the “Oh My Stars” collection.  It appeals to my need for bright colors.  Did I mention I am addicted to stars as well?  This was a must have for me.  I also decided on MME’s seasonal “Sugar Plum.”  Yes, I know.  More pink and teal was probably not what I needed in my stash.  The papers are so beautiful!  I even like the dreaded glitter that gets everywhere.

embellishments

I purchased some matching embellishments along with odds and ends that I couldn’t resist.  I absolutely needed the matching die-cuts and chipboard elements for the collections I purchased.  Look!  There’s the cute little “Posh” dog!  I also had to have the chipboard leaves from Jen Hadfield.  I have not a single project in mind for them.  They just needed to be mine.  There’s a bit of Shimelle’s collection as well including the word Thickers, enamel shapes, and puffy hearts.  I love each and every piece.

I hope you will accept the photos of my new toys as an apology for a late post.  I also hope you forgive me if I begin posting once a week.  Of course, if anyone could clone me, I would be happy to send the clone to work while I play with paper and glue.

When I’m Not Inspired

I’m in a bit of a slump lately.  It happens to all of us.  The crafty mojo has left the building, and I’m not quite sure when it will return.

Usually when this happens, I don’t scrap.  I look at my materials.  I may even organize them.  However, I don’t glue any paper.  Nothing comes to mind, so I walk out of my craft room absolutely frustrated.

I refuse to let that habit continue.  There are simply too many beautiful supplies in my room to let sit and collect dust.  It doesn’t make financial sense to invest that much money and let it go to waste.  I am determined to be crafty even when I don’t feel like it.

The easiest way for me to keep pushing through the scrappy doldrums is to make cards.  I can use up a few scraps while feeling guilt free.  If I don’t like the final product, I haven’t really lost anything.  So I sat down this week and just went for it, with no plan in mind.

I wound up with three decent cards.  I wish I had done a bit more layering, especially on the last card.  Still, most of these supplies have been around for years.  See that green plaid print?  I’ve had that paper for a decade.  That flower sticker was purchased around that same time.  All of the papers and stickers are years old.  Truly the only new supplies are those red birds.  I’ve had that stamp forever, but just bought the dies for them.

I know that these cards aren’t earth shattering designs.  That’s okay.  My stash is a little smaller.  Someone will still love receiving them.  And best of all, I haven’t given up on paper crafting.  Oh, and if you find my mojo, could you send it back this way?  I would really like to make something phenomenal.

New Toys

Oh, how I love scrap supply shopping.  If only there were a way to make a living by shopping for all the pretty items on the market.  I sometimes fantasize that there were such an occupation as “Scrap Supply Personal Shopper.”  Now that’s a job that I would happily do seven days a week.

I purchase paper at a far higher rate than I use it.  Even when I scrap a little something every day, I don’t make a dent.  At first I was confused by this fact.  Then I began doing some calculations.  Each layout I make generally uses less than 2 pieces of paper. So if an order has 50 papers (usually 2-3 collections plus individual papers), then it will take me a month of scrapping a layout a day to catch up with that order.  I do not finish a layout a day.  In fact, during my work weeks, it averages 1-2 layouts a week.  (Yes, I really do love math.)  No wonder the paper is piling up!

Since I have so much paper, it is rare that I get a new order and use it right away.  Usually I am slogging through older papers and my piles of scraps first.  By the time I get to a “new” order, it could very well be a year later!  That’s crazy!

So when my most recent order arrived, I decided enough was enough.  Those papers were NOT automatically going into my stash.  I sorted through them and chose 3 to use immediately.  They happen to come from Jen Hadfield’s DIY Home collection for Pebbles.  (I know, it is not a new collection.  It came out a year ago.  However, it is new to me.)  I just adore the peach, navy, and grey.

San Fran at Sunset

After choosing the papers, I sorted through my photos and found this 5×7 I took while in San Fransisco.  The color of the sunset fit perfectly with the peach of my background paper.  From there, it didn’t take long to come up with a design.  I knew I wanted my photo to sit on the navy chevron.  However, this created a problem.  The photo didn’t look right on top of the navy.  The dark buildings blended in too well with the dark paper.  So I sorted through my scraps and found that grey/beige (greige?) dot paper that worked well as a mat for the photo.

So where is the third paper I chose?  I used it as the main embellishment for this page.  There is a lovely bold floral paper in this collection that was just calling to me.  I decided to fussy cut it so that I would have some matching embellishments.  You see, I didn’t actually have much in my stash that worked with the collection.  It forced me out of my comfort zone to cut out those flowers.

Fussy cutting is something I try to avoid.  I have two major issues with fussy cutting.  First, I do not have steady hands.  I was never going to be a surgeon.  Shaky hands when dealing with delicate cuts such as the stems for the leaves above results in disaster.  My second issue is a lack of patience.  I will carefully cut out around half a shape and then decide I’m bored and need to go faster.  Not a good idea.  At least I have the “move the paper, not the scissors” technique down.  For once, no paper was harmed in the creating of these fussy cuts.

I’m so glad I dove into my new supplies right away.  I love this new layout.

 

Pocket Page Take 1

I have mentioned in the past that I am NOT a pocket page scrapper.  In a decade of scrapbooking I had created exactly zero pocket layouts.  I scrap in a 12×12 or 8×8 format just fine.  However, if you give me any other sizes to work with, I am clueless.  This is not to say that I don’t own pocket page materials, including the pocket pages themselves.  (Please don’t ask why.  I think it would just be safe to assume that I own every paper crafting supply ever made.)

The other day I was organizing my space and found the pocket pages I purchased YEARS ago.  I also ran across my Simple Stories Life Documented collection.  It was a sign.  A pocket page had to be created.

After perusing the papers, I decided the colors worked well with some of my cat photos.  (I only had about 100 to choose from.)  So I pulled out 3 photos of my boy and 3 photos of my girl.  I would dedicate one side of the pocket page for each cat.  It was actually a good opportunity since I had been wanting to document their different personalities.

Then I ran into my first challenge.  The photos of my girl were in a true 4×6 format.  My little boy’s pictures were 4×5 and something.  *Sigh*  I needed to find a way to make the smaller photos look good in the pocket.  So after perusing the papers, I decided to use the 4×6 cut apart sheet.  I chose those cards that were not only good color matches, but that also allowed me to cover up the sentiments or icons printed on them.  This brings me to problem number 2.  One of the cards still had a bit of the writing showing. Being the problem solver that I am, I put together those paper flowers that sit in the corner of each photo.  (Scrapbooking:  the art of fixing mistakes)  I didn’t like how the flowers just sat there.  Yes, problem 3.  Off I went to the phrase stickers and found a few that I could run along the bottom of the photos.

Once I got to the journaling block, I wasn’t sure what to do other than start writing.  I didn’t know how much room I would need.  As it turns out, I needed all of the block!  I am so happy that it didn’t leave a lot of room for embellishment.  I placed a couple of flowers in opposite corners, along with a few more phrase stickers and called it a day.

Pocket Page

I’m not thrilled with the overall composition of the page.  I feel like it needs more bells and whistles.  Working in an unfamiliar format (and in a distressed style that I don’t use) threw me off of my game.  Honestly, I’m feeling okay about this first attempt.  I managed to use up some older products and document my little loves in the process.  With practice, I think I can make a well designed pocket page.  I just need to play with the designing on a smaller canvas.

Sweet

Currently my scrapping inspiration is in the form of a challenge.  One of the message boards I visit challenged us to use a collection that we haven’t yet used.  This challenge really has me working through some things I purchased that have been collecting dust.  You can see the first page I created, “Autumn Girl,” with this in mind in an earlier post.

Really, it has also made me think about purchasing paper collections.  Why do I buy something and then let it sit for a year or more without making it onto a page?  I know my style.  I know what I use.  After a decade you would think that I have purchasing supplies down to a science.  (Obviously not since I ran out of adhesive a couple of weeks ago.)

The first reason I buy collections is really a terrible reason.  It was on sale.  *sigh*  I am an intelligent woman.  I understand advertising and how sales work.  The psychology of sales is certainly not beyond my grasp.  And yet, I still see those magic words and wind up with all of the papers instead of the 2 or 3 that really work for me.  Sometimes the shape and letter stickers included in a collection are just enough to push me over the shopping edge.  Oh those merchandising people are brilliant!

At face value, my other reason for buying a collection seems legitimate.  I think the papers are pretty.  That’s perfect justification for buying a collection, right?  Not in all cases.  Bella Blvd’s Thankful pack is a good example of a beautiful product that is not right for me.  I don’t take fall photographs.  I also don’t take photographs at our Thanksgiving celebration.  What was I thinking?  Oh yes, it’s pretty.

Today’s layout is created from a collection that is not right for me in more ways than one.  “Hello Baby” by Simple Stories is a wonderful pastel baby collection that includes pieces for pocket scrapbooking.  So what is the problem?  I don’t have children.  It was seriously difficult for me to find a baby photo that I had not already scrapped.  I am at the mercy of others to supply me with photographs of their adorable children.  And did I mention that I am not a pocket scrapbooker?  At least half of the papers in the collection are designed to be used in a format that I don’t utilize.  The pretty papers lured me in again!

It’s a good thing that I am much too stubborn to let these poor decisions defeat me.  Instead, I am determined to figure out a way to make them work for me.  In some cases that means getting my photographs from other sources.  My family seems more than happy to send me photos to scrap.  In other cases, I will figure out a way to use the materials in unexpected ways. This layout does a bit of both.

Sweet

I am the first to admit that I could have used these same materials and not included a baby photograph.  In fact, I have a fabulous photo of this year’s birthday cake that I could have used instead.  However, I did have this cutie that needed to get onto a page.  So after plucking out the last remaining baby photo I had, I went to work on papers.

The chevron seemed to be a good choice for a background.  That only left me with a few papers to choose from that weren’t designed for a pocket page.  So the polka dot was an easy pick.  I also looked through the paper strips and decided to use the “So Very Sweet” strip.  I felt it blended too much into the background, so I found that brown dot paper in another collection.  It adds a little visual weight to the bottom of the page.

Here is where I decided to use something a bit differently than it was intended to be used.  See those elephants?  That’s an overlay designed to be used in pocket pages.  I cut a white piece of cardstock to fit behind the overlay, knowing it would be a perfect place for my journaling.  The only tricky part would be adhering the transparent overlay onto the page without having the adhesive show through.  My banner (which I see I need to fix) purposely dips down to touch the overlay.  I have adhesive hidden behind it.  The small heart at the top right of the overlay is also hiding my glue.  Those two little places will hold plastic and paper together just fine within an album.

I am so glad someone suggested we try to make a dent in our unused collections.  Creating a page out of something that isn’t quite you is sweet satisfaction.