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.

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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

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.

Using the Old

I am currently working on using up some older collections and products.  I decided that MME’s “On the Bright Side” was a splendid match for this flower photo. Really, I think this combo was just meant to be.  The yellow and orange are almost perfect duplicates to the colors in the photo, and the turquoise is a lovely contrast.

kind-soul

I did run into one itsy bitsy problem while putting this layout together.  This collection is 4 years old, and I didn’t purchase embellishments with it.  Also, it seems that I don’t really buy yellow or orange embellishments either.  So once I got my papers laid out, I was a bit stuck.  Finally, I decided to dig through my Silhouette cuts.  I keep a pile of random cuts in a bin on my desk. I had the layers cut to build the white flowers.  There were also some random leaves.  A little time curling some petals, and I had some decent 3 dimensional flowers.

I also found some orange rub ons from Bo Bunny, but they were ancient.  We all know how bad rub ons age.  They just don’t transfer well when they are old.  But these were so pretty, and exactly what I needed.  So I tried that small orange one (beneath the bottom flower) on a white piece of cardstock.  It worked!  That gave me the courage to place the one running alongside the journaling.  Yes, it was risky.  It could have messed up an almost finished layout.  Still, I went for it.  I’m glad I did.  That little detail is one of my favorite parts of this layout.

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.

Same Design, New Look

One thing I love about scrapping is that you can use a basic design and give it different looks.  This new page uses the same general layout as in my last post.  I changed up the colors, embellishments, and layering to make these two layouts unique.

Let’s start with how these two layouts are alike.  Each page started with a very busy pattern that I wanted to feature on the page.  I gave them lots of real estate and balanced them out with a neutral.  Each layout has a border strip of some sort between the two background papers.  I also placed the titles in relatively the same positions.  Yes, it sounds so very formulaic.  It is!  Sometimes you just need to go with what you know.

How do I keep two very similar pages from looking like carbon copies?  I begin with different color schemes.  The “Autumn Girl” layout is completely fall themed.  It features orange, blue, brown, green, and a lovely brick red.  It is the epitome of autumn in all of its wondrous glory.  (And hey, the pumpkins definitely add to that theme.)  Contrast that with the pink, yellow, grey, and black My Mind’s Eye papers of “right now.”  The color palette is limited to pink, yellow, black, and gold resulting in a feminine chic vibe.  (At least that’s what I’m calling it.)

In order to shake up the design a bit, I did more with the second layout.  Notice all of those layers behind the photo?  I used papers of varying sizes and colors to create a larger mat.  Not only did I incorporate more papers, I also created larger embellishment clusters.  I used the clusters to frame the photo in a pretty substantial way.  They aren’t the small accents that you see in “Autumn Girl” that almost fade into the background.  The embellishments on “right now” are large, have dimension, and include a little bling.

Do I worry about using the same design more than once?  Not at all.  These two beauties won’t even be in the same scrapbook.  And if they were, I still wouldn’t think twice about it.  I’ve changed them up enough that no one would ever notice the similarities.  Chances are, I will use this same idea again a time or two.  Next time I think I will rotate the page 90 degrees for a whole new look.

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