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

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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.

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.

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.