Not Quite Me

On occasion, I make a layout that is not quite me.  This happens to be one of those layouts.  Though I’m not quite sure how I would categorize my style, I know it isn’t this.  In this case, I’m fairly certain it is the flowers and a bit of the color scheme that doesn’t feel right.

There are parts that I love, and others that I am not so crazy about.  That embellishment cluster in the lower left is hands down one of my best.  Embellishment clusters are my kryptonite.  They always seem awkward, with disjointed pieces or placement.  For once, I feel like I nailed it.  The part that I dislike the most is my choice of papers.  In this case, I really should not have mixed bright whites and creams.  I was not as intentional as I was on Let It Snow, where I mixed the two successfully.  I think my desire to use up some scraps overrode my artistic sensibilities.

cle-elum-sunset

I also think this particular layout is disjointed because it is a combination of my style and a more heritage style.  Prima and Petaloo flowers are beautiful.  I purchased them when I first started scrapbooking.  Yet here they are, years later, still in my stash.  Why?  Because I realized early on that I am not a heritage style scrapbooker.  In order to do them justice, I really should have stuck to an older photo with distressed papers.

So why did I use them in this layout.  Well, first of all, I am cheap.  I paid good money for those flowers.  I am going to use them all… eventually.  A much more legitimate reason is that they matched that background paper fabulously.  I really didn’t have much in my stash that did.  With as many products as I own, that shouldn’t have been a problem.

Which brings me to a small rant.  The scrapbook industry provides collections with very specific color schemes.  You can find masses of pink and aqua.  Navy has become more common.  (Thank you for that!)  Purples and lavenders are far and few between.  A collection with these colors may only have 1 or 2 papers with lavender represented.  Additionally, the purples and lavenders in one collection do not match the purples and lavenders in another.  How is it that you can give us 5,000 aquas and teals that work beautifully together but never purples?!  (Ahem, sorry about that.)  I think this is a hole that needs to be filled.

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Sometimes You Need a Sketch

I have been complaining about how all of my layouts look the same.  It is so easy to fall into artistic habits.  You have even seen me attempt to break out of those habits and fail miserably.  It just seems that once I start creating, I end up repeating what is familiar.

Finally, I found a way (for now) to get out of that scrappy slump.  I chose a sketch that is decidedly not my style.  In this case, I pulled up an old sketch from the My Mind’s Eye Blog.  You can find it here.  It is a bit minimalist in that it doesn’t use a lot of patterned paper.  You know how much I love patterned paper.  I usually use it for the background as well as whatever other paper layers are on the page.

Now don’t get me wrong.  You will see lots of different patterned papers on this page.  It’s just that they are in smaller bits.  This sketch is absolutely perfect for using up your scraps!  That is exactly what I did.  Everything except the white cardstock background came from my scrap bin.

the-rock

In this case, I started with the triangle paper from Pink Paislee’s Memorandum collection.  I have to admit, that is one of my favorite collections.  As this particular paper shows, the collection included just about every color in the rainbow.  It made it very easy to pick out coordinating scraps.  Just about any color was fair game.  It allowed me to mix brands quite easily.  I believe I see Simple Stories, Bella Blvd, Echo Park, and American Crafts represented here.

Really, this page came together pretty fast.  It didn’t need a lot of embellishing thanks to the many different patterns.  I pulled a few chipboard shapes from the Posh line.  In order to repeat the circles, I also used some brads.  You can’t even believe how happy I am to use some brads.  Buying brads is a special talent of mine.  Using them is not.  For once, I really enjoyed the free form style and just went with it.

Do you want to know what I really like about sketches?  You can use them over and over.  I’m already thinking about turning this one on its side and using a horizontal photo.  Oh the possibilities!

bird

Summer in January

In the midst of the shortest days of the year, I find myself craving the sun.  I want to feel the warmth on my face.  I want to go outside and enjoy the day.  I want to hang out with friends and play frisbee golf badly.  (Just to be clear, *I* play badly.)  Instead, I’m looking out the window at overcast skies and freezing temperatures.

One way to fight those wintertime blues is to scrap like it is summer… or at least scrap those summer pictures.  I like bringing back memories of summer vacations and lazy days.  To be honest, I also like scrapping with a summer palette.  Nothing says summer like bright colors.

In this case I decided to grab the “We Are Family” collection by Echo Park.  It was that vibrant green I needed.  I know it’s a tone on tone B side.  But look at how happy it is!  I matched it up with a dusty blue polka dot for contrast.  Then I chose the multi-color chevron for the background. I have a lot of chevron patterns in my stacks, but there is nothing like this paper.

the-best-day

When it came time to embellish, I knew I needed a bit more drama.  That red scallop border sticker at the bottom really helped.  Then it looked funny when I didn’t have any red on top.  (I really think scrapbooking is the act of fixing the problems I create.)  Though I didn’t have any more red border stickers, I did have some red Bo Bunny ribbon that I purchased ten years ago.  (This is why I don’t purge my unused supplies.)

clouds

The rest of the embellishment is pretty straightforward.  I looked through the sticker sheet that came with the collection and pulled the banner as well as the title.  No, it probably wasn’t the best day of my life, but it was a good day.  (There are so many supplies that refer to something as being the best day.  Really, don’t you only have one best day?  So sometimes you just have to use those supplies on a good day.)  I added the little gnome and the “happy” from the Simple Stories “Bloom and Grow” collection.  Then I dug out the chipboard clouds and butterfly.  A few sequins scattered around, and I was done.

This layout is clean and simple.  Still, it makes me happy.  It’s my little ray of sunshine to look at as I sit here drinking my tea.

Let It Snow

I love photos of snow.  Let’s be clear.  I hate when it actually snows.  Either I have to drive up and down windy hills hoping I don’t crash, or I’m housebound.  And, newsflash, snow is cold and wet.  Those are two of my least favorite states.  Still, snow is beautiful.  Photos of soft white flakes falling and covering the ground are beautiful.

I had a photo from a few years back of a late night snowfall.  It came to mind as I was looking at that Silhouette cut snowflake.  (I know.  My pages begin in the weirdest ways.)  Immediately, I knew I wanted to do a white, cream, kraft layout.  It isn’t something I normally do.  Cream and white don’t always work together.  This was going to take some thought in order to balance everything properly.

I chose the cream die cut paper as my background.  It is well past time for it to get out of my stash.  The scalloped edges also seemed perfect for the soft look that I was going for in this layout.  I went with some aqua papers that I had in my scraps, as well as some kraft cardstock and corrugated paper.  I did end up pulling one white scrap paper later, to help put more white on the left hand side.

Originally, I was going to keep this layout neutral and aqua.  That all came to an end when I ran across that deer die cut from the Sugar Plum collection from MME.  I don’t know why that deer had to make it onto the page.  It just did.  That little dot of pink was driving me crazy.  I couldn’t have just that one pink bit.  So, out came the pink stars.  That pink poinsettia was NOT going to be the only pink on the page.

I really love the final composition of this page.  It has all kinds of texture thanks to elements that are far from flat.  Corrugated paper, chipboard, buttons, and twine all help to give it dimension.  The final result is the soft mix of materials that I had envisioned.  It is rare to get what is in my head down onto the paper.

Something Simple

Sometimes I just run out of inspiration.  The creative juices stop flowing.  Yet, I feel compelled to get something made.  When you have a room full of supplies, you tend to feel guilty when you don’t use them.  So today’s layout is just about getting something made.

In this case, I knew I wanted to use that lovely Maggie Holmes paper from the Bloom collection.  The scallops were just begging me to cut them.  So I snipped them out and thought, now what?  Yes, I cut paper without any plan in mind.  After rifling through photos, I discovered that none matched the colors in the paper.  Oh well.  Who needs to be all matchy matchy anyway?

I ended up picking out two pictures from my birthday trip to go see Wicked.  My husband surprised me with tickets to see my very first professional musical.  It was an incredible day filled with food, drinks, and an amazing experience.  Sadly, none of my photos are amazing.  Still, it was a trip worth documenting.

Most of the embellishments on this page  were pieces I had cut out on my Silhouette eons ago. They are rather simple.  The Silhouette is capable of cutting such beautiful, detailed designs.  My problem is that would take actual planning.  If you haven’t already figured it out, I don’t plan.  *sigh*  One of these days I will sit down and pre-plan a page.  Maybe that will be something I try in the new year.  That should give me plenty of time.  (I know, that means that roughly around December 28th I will start thinking about it.)  Still, I got a few things off of my desk and onto a page.

My favorite part of the page is the title.  Oh how I love the New England use of the word, “wicked.”  It is entirely under used in this part of the country.  Perhaps that will be another goal for the year.  I need to get others to channel their inner Bostonians and begin using wicked more often.