6×6 Summer

I have an unhealthy love for 6×6 pads of paper.  Why is it unhealthy?  Well, 6×6 pads are perfectly designed for card making.  I am not a card maker.  I know… I know… I *DO* make cards.  However, cards are generally a way for me to use my leftover scraps.  I am primarily a scrapbooker.  That means I reach for my 12×12 papers for pretty much every project.  Those beautiful 6×6 pads sit in a cube just waiting to be loved.  As a result of joyously purchasing 6×6 pads when they are on sale, I have accumulated thirty-eight of them.  (There may have been 4 in my last happy scrappy delivery. *Sigh*)

So this summer part of my focus is to put those 6×6 pads to good use.  It is time to get them out of their container and onto pages.  (To be honest, those last 4 packs won’t fit into my storage system.  I told myself that I would never let that happen.  I lied.)

Luckily, Jen Schow has a wonderful Youtube series that is all about using 6×6 papers on scrapbooking pages.  Her first video was the inspiration for my newest page.  With just a few tweaks here and there, I was able to make her design work for my 4×6 photos.

Old meets new

Jen basically chose two 6×6 papers and a 12×12 background for the base of her design.  My starting point was that green arrow paper.  I love it, but I wasn’t sure I would ever use it on a card.  That made it a perfect candidate for a page.  I cut it in half to stretch it across the page.  Then I decided on the green background.  (I just love that green.  It is so soothing.)  That left me with trying to find the right 6×6 block to put in the middle.  After flipping through a few pads, I gave up on trying to match greens or finding a contrasting color.  Instead, I decided the neutral of the white and grey floral was just what I needed.

It was at this point that I decided to pick out my photos.  I found two pictures of buildings in San Fransisco that worked perfectly.  Both include grey and green, complimenting the papers I chose… Yes, my process is strange.  Most people start with a photo and go from there.  My brain just doesn’t work that way.  I go with whatever is inspiring me and then radiate out from that point.  If I try to force the creative process, I wind up stuck for days or weeks at a time.  I am able to work from multiple starting points because I always have a ton of supplies on hand.  I never have to go out and buy anything.  (If I don’t have that perfect supply, I make do with what I have on hand.)  I also don’t have to print off photos.  There are usually a good 100 photos waiting to be scrapped at any given time.  This allows me to select photos later in the process.

When I placed my photos down on the page, I discovered two problems.  First, I didn’t like the photos directly on top of the patterned papers.  There wasn’t enough contrast, so they blended in too much.  I found that yellow-green chevron paper in my scraps to matte the photos.  It helps the photos pop better.  The second problem was the middle square that the photos were supposed to sit on as they do in Jen’s layout.  My two 4×6 photos were much too big and completely covered that 6×6 square.  So I cut it into two pieces as well, and stretched it to cover a larger area of the page.  My photos hide the fact that this is really two pieces of paper made to look like one.

Then it was time to add the title and some embellishments.  The title came together fairly quickly.  My only issue was trying to find an alphabet that had the letters I needed.  It appears I use “e” and “t” far too often.  For embellishments, I started by searching through the items on my desk.  From there I scored the green and black rhinestone border, the grey clip at the top, as well as the yellow hearts.  I added in a couple of stickers and and a few buttons for the finishing touches.

I am pretty happy with how this page turned out.  No one would guess it all started with 6×6 papers.  I don’t think they would even know there is a 6×6 paper on the layout.  Also, check out the color scheme.  There is no pink or teal to be found.  It’s a miracle!  Now on to the next 6×6 adventure.

On a Roll

I actually managed to scrapbook for a second week in a row!  That hasn’t happened in months.  It appears that insomnia is my friend.  No sleep equals extra crafting time.  See, you should always look on the bright side.

This week’s layout started in such an odd way.  I wanted to start with a journal card that is designed for Project Life style scrapbooking.  This happened to be one of those cut apart cards that seem to be all the rage in collections these days.  The cut apart sheets just vex me since I don’t do pocket scrapbooking pages.  (Well, there was that one time.)  So I was determined to use one on my next layout.

I am home

From there I chose this photo.  I actually really love this photo (which for some reason looks bent, but isn’t.)  I have a secret love affair with Torrid clothing and Starbucks.  Okay, maybe it isn’t so secret.  It certainly isn’t a secret from my credit card company.  They are my kryptonite… along with scrapbook supplies.  So really, this is a layout of all my favorite things.  The day this photo was taken, I was a very happy woman.

Then it was time to choose my papers.  I immediately picked that bold black and white stripe to go along with the ombre pink card.  Let me just say, I love Bella Blvd.  You know that cover sheet in paper collections that shows what is in the collection?  This is the back side of that paper!  Finally a company is utilizing that cover sheet!  Next, I dug into my 6×6 papers to find the two triangle papers.  Does anyone else find their 6×6 pads multiplying?

Once the papers and photos were in place, I pulled out the die cuts from the Simple Stories “I Am” collection and the Bella Blvd. “Oh My Stars” collection.  I settled upon a diagonal design with mainly stars going across the page.  At that point there were entirely too many hard edges.  I threw in a little circle die as well as a doily to soften it a bit.  (The doily is just cut into 2 pieces.  I’m always looking for ways to save money.)

I must confess… titles are not my strong point.  They are always an afterthought.  In this case, I had a pretty large empty space at the bottom of the page.  Then I remembered… I had a package of giant gold glitter words from Pebbles.  I knew I was going to use the “I am” at the top.  The word “home” just struck me.  Though it may not seem logical to anyone else, it was the perfect title for me.  I feel most relaxed and at home in my comfy Torrid sweater while drinking coffee.  It makes me happy sigh just thinking about it.

I love this page.  It isn’t the most innovative or pretty page I’ve ever created.  I think it reflects me, though.  It’s a little bit shiny, a little bit scattered, and features the things I love.  Now on to the next scrappy escapade.

 

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.

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.

Midnight Scrapbooking

I am the queen of insomnia.  Some nights I don’t get to sleep until 3:00 in the morning.  Sometimes I just wake up hours early.  Last night I had the fabulous experience of doing both.  One thing that sometimes helps me get my mind to stop spinning is to get up and work on a page.

Last night I managed to complete a page from start to finish.  Well, in all honesty, I already had the papers and photo picked out for this layout.  My goal is to use some of my die cut papers.  Remember when they were all the rage?  This one is from Bo Bunny’s Block Party collection.  2010 is in the house!  The other papers were in my scrap basket.  I cant identify them all.  If I had to guess, I would say there is some Pebbles, Fancy Pants, and DCWV mixed in there.

Paper placement was pretty easy on this one.  I started with the light blue chevron to mat the photo.  Then I flipped the off-cut over so the navy blue with the white stars was showing.  The brown, red, and green strips were pretty much just stuck down at different lengths to add interest.  I also rescued the quote from my scraps bin.  It was perfect for a page about my dad looking at vintage cars.

As far as embellishing went, I first grabbed for stars since the background paper features stars in the upper right and lower left corners.  It gave me a chance to pull out that American Crafts star garland.  At first I was only going to put one string of stars below the photo.  It just looked awkward.  So, I arranged a second messy line below the first.  That helped fill up the space and made my chaotic placement look more deliberate.  (It was!  I promise!)

Cork stars were also carefully placed in order to frame the photo.  Really, I was also trying to cover some of the square corners of the papers.  It’s a good trick to soften some of the “boxiness” that occurs with lots of rectangles on a page.

I also sprinkled in some stickers.  I may be a bit obsessed with Shimelle’s puffy hearts.  I’ve used them so often lately.  They have some nice masculine colors, something that can be difficult to find when searching for sticker hearts.  No, not all hearts need to be pink and girly.

For something that got thrown together in the wee hours of the night, I’m really happy with this layout.  Die cut papers with printed embellishments in the corners are not easy to use. The photo and papers were placed just perfectly to show off this oldie but goodie.  Now I think I need to do all of my scrapping in the middle of the night.