Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Right Now...

I'm all about savoring these last few weeks of summer. Yesterday was a perfect example. Phil and I started the morning working at our computers, commenting on the beautiful day ahead: moderate temps, low humidity, plentiful sunshine. That's when it hit us - we gotta get outta here! So off we went to spend the afternoon at Greenfield Village. Just us, and Phil's camera equipment, of course....

We enjoyed an outdoor lunch of fried chicken and a late afternoon chocolate frozen custard, with sprinkles. Perfect. The scrap room is just going to have to wait for a rainy day, or perhaps later this week, when the Tigers have a day game on TV. Do you have a "let's-drop-everything-and-just-spend-the-day-here" kind of place? I sure hope so!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August Color Combo Blog Hop

Welcome to the August Color Combo Blog Hop! You should have arrived from 1200 Some Miles but not to worry, the entire blog hop list is included at the end of this post. Every month on the 20th, a group of online friends from Shimelle's Beyond Blogging class hop away the day using the same color combo to create layouts, cards, maybe even a little photography - anything goes! This month's color combo comes from Design Seeds:
And here is my layout based on the color combo:

Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Fancy Pants, Bo Bunny, Echo Park; Letters: American Crafts; Leaf Embellishments: Little Yellow Bicycle; Other: vellum, Slice Elite, black pen, typewriter

A quart of orange, a pint of green and a touch of black. While this is not a direct scraplift, the design inspiration is influenced heavily by Nichol Magouirk and her From Start to Finish series over at Two Peas In A Bucket.

My new Slice Elite cut this flower in no time. I can't believe how much better this machine works than the original! The diagonal stripe repeats the pattern found on the green paper.
Journaling reads: "We were so surpised to discover this next of duck eggs in the flower bed next to the garage. We watched the mallard diligently tend her nest for the month. The day the eggs hatched, she whisked the babies away before we knew where they had gone. We were relieved to see the little family the next day in the retaining pond at the end of our street. Guess we had grown almost as protective of the brood as the momma duck!"

I used the vellum to subdue the orange patterned paper and let the other elements pop - another tip I learned from watching Nichol's videos!
Love this photo of the baby duck, just a few hours old, peeking out from underneath its mother. I cropped the picture to form my visual triangle of circles.

Now you can hop on over to the Crafty Goodies blog and continue the color combo fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Here is the entire hopping list, hope you can make time to visit them all! Each blog will direct you to the next:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two-Page Tuesday: Sketch Class

I created these 2-page layouts recently while participating in the Sketch Support Class taught by Allison Davis for My Creative Classroom. The class lasted 5 weeks and covered Basic Approaches to sketches in Week 1, then addressed how to alter Photos, Paper, Embellishments, Titles and Journaling. The course concluded with the Finishing Touches that take layouts from good to great. Very comprehensive!
Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Lettering: Jillibean Soup, My Mind's Eye, Cosmos Cricket; Embellishments: My Mind's Eye

Supplies: Cardstock: American Crafts; Everything Else: Basic Grey Hopscotch
I enjoyed the class. Allison's insightful teaching and helpful comments on the message boards and class gallery were invaluable.  The course content included video presentations, PDF's to download, and weekly assignments. If you want to improve your skills at two-page layouts, or just want to be able to see more possibilities from any sketch, I would recommend this class. The next round of Sketch Support begins on September 20th. You can register for the class here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August Re-Do Challenge

This month the challenge at Scrap Our Stash is to re-do an early project. Maybe a layout from your early days of scrapping or a photo from an early album is begging for a face lift. If nothing else, this challenge showed me how my scrapping has changed over the years!
My Old Layout: Creative Memories album, chronological (Spring 1987), photos from a time frame of a few months. Not even going to talk about design here. It is what it is.
Amazingly, I still had a copy of this photo and a few others lying around. A tricky proposition to go this far back because we were shooting non-digital then - harder to retrieve a photo.
Supplies: Cardstock: American Crafts, Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye Lime Twist, Letters: American Crafts, Cosmo Cricket, Embellishments: Jenni Bowlin, Jillibean Soup, My Mind's Eye, Cosmo Cricket, Border Punch: EK Success

My New Layout: Library of Memories album, thematic (grandma's house), photos from a longer time frame of at least a year. And let's just say I'm much happier with the design.
Journaling Reads: "Whether you are finding your basket of goodies on Easter morning, waiting patiently in your good clothes for a family event, or emptying the contents of the toy cupboard, it is always fun to be at Grandma's house in Tiffin!"

There's nothing "right" or "wrong" about either approach. I love both layouts because they capture precious memories. What I'm doing has not changed, only how I'm doing it. I'm perfectly fine with showing that evolution in my albums. Who knows where I might be five or ten years from now? That's what makes this hobby so much fun!

Ready to take on this challenge? All the details are here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's the Little Things Challenge

Five layouts in one post! Is that legal? I challenged myself to do a series of pages using the Fancy Pants collection It's the Little Things. I went this route because:
1) I bought almost the entire line at Scrappy Chic and then got another huge stash of it from my monthly kit club.
2) While I love the line, it is very unique and distinctive, and was not mixing and matching well with other paper lines in my stash.
3) Starting with a kit and then finding photos that would go well with the style and theme of the kit is not my usual process and starting point.
These hummingbird close-ups fit the bird/nature/outdoor theme of the line. The muted tones of the paper help the photos stand out.
My color choices were influenced by the colors in the photos and the fun, busy time we were having. And yes, I totally ignored the blue sweater I was wearing. How dare I dress in such a non-coordinating fashion!
The black and white photo presented the perfect opportunity to play with color and pattern. Sorry for the mediocre cropping, but I didn't want to lose the black border.
One precious photo from way back, lots of inking, and a blocked design make this layout my favorite of the bunch. I also liked the challenge of typing in that journaling balloon.
This is my scraplift of Karen Grunberg and her love of long titles. I'm learning to love them, too. I sanded the banner to tone it down a bit.

After the initial work on each layout, I laid them aside for a few days, then went back and added some finishing touches. Simple things, really, like hand stitching, buttons and brads. It really helps me to re-visit a page with a fresh eye to determine if it is really finished or needs a little something more. How about you - do you prefer to finish layouts in one sitting, or allow time to elapse before you call it good?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Scrapbookers Anonymous August Challenge

I'm back! - with the August Challenge at Scrapbookers Anonymous: Journaling Blocks! 
As in, use up some of those leftover journaling blocks. Try incorporating them as a design element or use a bunch for journaling. I chose to do both on my layout and finished in four easy steps.
Step #1: Started with a collage of Basic Grey Basics journaling pieces, tucking half of one in the upper LH corner to balance the page.
Step #2: Added my 5x7 photo of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. We visited there last fall. Love that pop of orange!
Step #3: Completed my journaling block collage with letter stickers, pens, stamps; then added some orange to tie the page together.
Step #4: Added a thin punched border and used my handy square punch for a few close-ups.
Voila, the completed layout! Slipped 8 more pictures into divided page protectors to finish documenting the event. While we were on the estate Phil got tips from a pro landscape photographer, while I roamed the house and grounds listening to a self-guided tour on my iPod. I remember it being a perfectly lovely day.

Now it's your turn! You have until the end of the month to submit your layout. All the details are right here.