Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WOYWW - Playing Hooky

Normally I would be posting a photo of my craft table, but that would be completely boring today, as it is totally empty. Zip. Zilch. Nada. But I have a good excuse. I spent a few hours yesterday with some good friends at Treasure Mart, a downtown consignment shop. Plenty of stuff to see in here and much more interesting than my bare scrap space.
Confession: I am not a a flea market shopper. Too much stuff and I'm not really into vintage. Just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends. So I took my little camera to keep myself amused. Tried to pretend I knew what I was doing.
And then I saw this from across the room. 
A curio cabinet that would be perfect in my dining room and rescue my glass pieces from storage oblivion in the basement.
What do you think? Should I go back and snatch this up before someone else does?

"What's On Your Workday Wednesday" is a weekly event where over one hundred crafters show and tell what's going on in their corners of the world. You can go to Julia's blog for more glimpses of our creative endeavors.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Counterfeit Kit Blog Hop

Welcome to the Counterfeit Kit March Blog Hop! If you're here out of order and want to start the blog hop from the beginning, please go to Counterfeit Kit Challenge to find the starting line. Since you're likely following the blog hop trail, I'll keep this short and sweet.  The mini challenge was to Scraplift Yourself. So here is my original layout.....
 ..... and my scraplift. I kept the background elements and photo placement the same. The colors are different, of course, and I changed the location of my title and journaling.
Now, that was fun! Why don't I do this more often? (both scraplift myself and participate in blog hops, that is) The next person on the list is Melissa over at The Scrappy Jedi. May the scrapping force be with you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Picks

Here is the biweekly installment of my best online finds related to scrapbooking. Hope you can find time to do some surfing - I think these are worth it!

#1 Many of you are participating in Shimelle's re-run of her 2009 class, Blogging for Scrapbookers. While I'm not acting on those daily prompts, I am signed up for her new sequel, Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers. She promises to move into a whole new realm where blogging and scrapbooking are best of friends at every level. Sounds good to me!

#2 Over at Write.Click.Scrapbook this week is a series called Use Your Stuff. Excellent articles; my favorites have been about alphas and patterned paper.

#3 Try not to be jealous as you watch this two-minute video featuring Marlene's Garden Craft Cottage, courtesy of the folks over at Crafty Storage.

#4 As scrapbookers, we try to be mindful about capturing our memories and everyday lives. Here are 9 Mindfulness Rituals to Make Your Day Better. Good stuff.

#5 I'm seeing plenty of good posts about using your stash. Here are two articles featuring Rub-ons, one from Iris and the other courtesy of Tammy.  I'm tempted to go out and buy more rub-ons!

#6 And if you are a Tim Holtz fan, check out these two blog posts on using Multi Medium Resist and Glossy Accents. Have fun playing!

#7 Are you doing any spring cleaning or organizing so you can have more time to scrap? Here are 22 Tips to Get Organized for Spring.

#8 Finally, if you want to end with a chuckle and a great tip, click on Danielle's post, Decorating Easter Eggs with Googly Eyes. Fast and mess free!

Here are the posts for Challenge #100 at Journaling Junkie.
Here is the March Challenge for Scrap Our Stash.
Here is the March Challenge for Scrapbookers Anonymous.

Busy weekend coming up - big grocery shopping trip, evening with my BFF, spring cleaning, baby shower, and of course, plenty of NCAA basketball. Two of my brackets are already busted, but there's still hope. Planning to find some time to scrap - need to make a baby card for that shower, at least! Have a fun and crafty weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Using My Counterfeit Kit

This month I'm participating in the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. I chose the Studio Calico add-on kit, Sunny Clearing, because I liked the bright colors and smaller number of items. Here's my kit, which includes papers from Crate Paper, Basic Grey, Fancy Pants and KI Memories.
I don't usually start with product, so I chose to make a few cards this first time around and not stress about making a scrapbook layout. Didn't have to mess with photos, journaling, title. Just played with the paper!

The design of these thank you cards is a total scraplift from this blog post. Thanks, Lisa!

So that was fun! I even had enough supplies (and confidence) leftover to go ahead and attempt the mini challenge. But, I'm saving that layout for the Blog Hop, so I hope you'll come back next Monday! Okay, I hope you'll come back before then, but you know what I mean.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scrapping My Stash

Here is my contribution as a member of the Design Team over at Scrap Our Stash. The March Challenge is to dust off that thing you have been ignoring and use it! 
These recent photos of my dad are not the greatest pictures, but they triggered a memory, so I seized the opportunity.

Journaling reads: "I grew up knowing my dad loved to fish. When he had a little free time, he'd head out to Krieger's pond or up to his boat on Lake Erie. Fishing in the surf at Holden Beach was another favorite. I remember one time on vacation, he took us to a trout farm that had just been re-stocked. He spent the day baiting our hooks and we reeled 'em in! I don't think he had any time to fish at all on that day!"

The layout contains older papers from my stash, and the swirl stamp has been hiding out for some time in my supplies. I recently moved my stamps closer to my work area so I'd remember to use them!
You have until the end of the month to give this one a try. There is plenty of design team and reader inspiration posted daily on the Scrap Our Stash blog. This layout reminds me to just tell the story and don't worry if the rest isn't perfect.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Finding My Way #3

I'm still busy Finding My Way through Karen's wonderful workshop over at Big Picture Classes. We moved on to awareness in photo choices. Such an important subject, as it can influence so many other scrapbook decisions on a layout. Here are some of the topics we covered and my personal preference and discoveries.

Photo Size: I prefer 4x6 and smaller; I love to crop photos into squares
Quantity: my preference depends on the story I want to tell and what I have available
Techniques: photos are matted on white cardstock and worked as a smaller grouping before I address the larger page. This might be backwards, but I've discovered I love working smaller to larger. 
Drawing Attention: by layering, stamping, embellishing, borders

Now for some recent examples:
This layout is about my love for lilacs. Basic Grey Kioshi paper. Design is from Shimelle's 4x6 Photo Love for February over at Two Peas.

Photo Size: one 4x6 and one 4" square
Quantity: 2-photos that show different aspects of the same story
Technique: matted on white cardstock, entire grouped matted  
Drawing Attention: embellishments, layering, title overlaps

Here's a page showing my brother in-law and nephew clowning around as they share the same birthday on Thanksgiving Day. Design inspiration from My Mind's Eye sketch challenge, paper from My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose: Mabel

Photo Size: Each photo: 4.5 x 3.5
Quantity: strip of 3, shows progression of the event; views farther away and close up 
Technique: mounted on one piece of white card stock, then patterned paper
Drawing Attention: embellishments overlap onto the photo mat

This two-page layout focuses on the preparation methods for our Thanksgiving turkeys. Last year we had three: one was deep fried, one was roasted and one was smoked.  Design inspiration from Sketch Support, paper from My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose: Hattie

Photo Size: one 4x6 and four 4" squares
Quantity: 5 photos; one focal point photo and four supporting photos. I loved creating a 2-page layout with fewer photos! I'm a fan of white space and using larger sized pictures without crowding the page. I'll definitely be coming back to this format again. 
Technique: mounted on white card stock, two distinct groupings matted on each page
Drawing Attention: lots of embellishments around the focal point photo

Here's a fun look at the cigar smokers in our family, again using paper from My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose: Hattie

Photo Size: one 4x6, two 2x3 that I printed at home. I had these smaller photos already printed 4x6 and tried to crop them, but they were still too big and overpowered my focal point photo. Resized in iPhoto and printed them smaller. This interrupts my process, so I use it as a last resort.
Quantity: 3 photos; one focal point photo and two supporting photos. 
Technique: focal point mounted on white card stock, supporting photos not matted
Drawing Attention: title and journaling right below the focal point photo draws attention to this part of the page

Are you still with me? Here's the last one.....

Isn't she cute? Okay, it's me. But these photos are so old, it's like looking at someone else. I had lots of fun with the journaling and title, but I'll save that aspect for another post.

Photo Size: two 4x3 black and white photos, one 3.5" square color photo 
Quantity: 3 photos showing a common theme: baby in the play pen
Technique: no matting required since these photos already have white edges
Drawing Attention: I placed the color photo in the center of the vertical strip and used raised adhesive and an embellishment to draw attention to it. I like mixing black and white with color photos if I already have them printed. 

I don't think there's anything groundbreaking or earth shattering here, but that's not the point. The idea is to become aware of the choices I tend to make over and over. What do I love, what new things might I try. What photo choices do you prefer?

In case you're interested, here are the links to Finding My Way #1 and Finding My Way #2. Happy weekend, hope yours includes some crafting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Today you're catching me between projects, so there's odds and ends spread out all over my desk. On the left is what remains of my Counterfeit Kit. I made some cards last weekend which I hope to post soon. 

In the middle are 6x6 paper pads from My Mind's Eye and Basic Grey. I'm getting hooked on these. Not only are they great for card making, but the smaller scale is perfect for cutting titles and embellishment with my Slice. I needed a small piece of patterned paper for a layout and was able to use the paper pad instead of cutting into a 12x12 piece. Any one else have tips for using these handy little paper pads?

And on the right are the beginnings of my next scrapbook layout. Photos and a few sketch ideas. Hoping to get started on this later today.

"What's On Your Workday Wednesday" is a weekly event where over one hundred crafters show and tell what's going on in their corners of the world. You can go to Julia's blog for more glimpses of our creative endeavors.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Challenge #100 at Journaling Junkie

Over at Journaling Junkie, in honor of Challenge #100 the journaling prompt is to create a layout about a celebration! Now this one is right up my alley. I have an entire album dedicated to Celebrations. Here's a peek inside.
Those of you using the Library of Memories system will recognize the organization of this album, which includes a title page, dedication page and section pages
My mother in-law's 75th birthday. I love the photo of her, Phil and his brother. (Phil is the one not wearing the bow tie)
Our son and his lovely bride at their wedding reception. A magical evening for us all.
The 50th wedding anniversary of my parents. With the Library of Memories system, it was so easy to lay hands on photos that span the years.
We had a family get together before my nephew headed out to Iraq. I'm happy to report that he is now safely back home.
The most recent high school graduation open house, this time for my nephew. We have celebrated 7 of these and only have 3 more to go!

This is the album I like to take to the latest family gathering. There are layouts from Thanksgiving, Christmas, beach vacations - really anytime we all get together. How do you celebrate extended family in your scrapbook pages? 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Picks

Here is the biweekly installment of my best online finds related to scrapbooking. Hope you can find time to do some surfing - I think these are worth it!

#1 Have you ever thought that there might be more to creativity than making cute stuff at your craft table? Tami from Ella Publishing offers her Three Tips for a More Creative Life.

#2 If you are familiar with the Counterfeit Kit Club Challenge (and I know many of you are), I think you'll enjoy S's post on how she copied the copy cats!

#3 Jennifer from the Midwest Scrapgarden offers wonderful ideas for Layering Embellishments. Great tips!

#4 What do you do with a finished layout? I love Melissa's process of enjoying her newest pages in Journey of a Scrapbook Layout.

#5 One source of inspiration that Celeste frequently turns to is advertisements. See how she creates layouts from ads in this post.

#6 I have yet to see these in stores or online, but can't wait to get my hands on some Chipboard Alpha's, new from Fancy Pants.

#7 And speaking of chipboard letters, Lisa shows how to use the leftovers on these colorful cards!

#8 Have you ever tried to scraplift a layout and experienced frustration? Check out Noell's advice on How to Be a Better Scraplifter!

Here are the posts for Challenge #99 at Journaling Junkie.
Here is the March Challenge for Scrap Our Stash.
Here is the March Challenge for Scrapbookers Anonymous.

Happy weekend crafting!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Finding My Way #2

After this layout, which took extra time and effort, I was ready to complete my next page in a Layout A Day style, meaning finish it faster! So I kept to the basics: photo, story, paper. The journaling, title, embellishments are simple. Less layering. No stamping or sewing. This one was all about shape and color, my favorite design elements. Here again are my thoughts on the process. Awareness is the key!

Things I Love To Do On A Layout: work with a grid style, work with squares, create an 8x8 mat and offset it on a 12x12 page
My Last Minute Tweak: Added the 3 strips of paper behind the mat. The plain white background just needed something. I am okay with these last minute fixes when it helps pull the design together.

Journaling Tag: added one flower sticker to form the point of a visual triangle on the page and called it good
Title: Thickers, again. And another flower for the visual triangle.
One big embellishment: a Prima flower. Finishes my visual triangle. Still thinking in threes again today. So glad I thought to layer it on a white sticker and not just stick it on the paper. Small touch with a big impact.

The Verdict: I like this layout just as much as this one and it took me an evening to complete. I even experimented with a few things, like double matting my photo (rejected as too formal) and matting my white cardstock (accepted as a nice frame for the page) So between this faster process and the longer one described in this post, which do I prefer? Both. Now - when to use which one?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Finding My Way #1

A big part of Finding Your Way, the class I'm currently taking at Big Picture Classes, involves scrapping regularly and developing awareness. Paying attention to every choice. What do I turn to again and again? What's easy? What's a struggle? Here's a layout I recently completed and some notes I jotted down.
Things I Love To Do On A Layout: choose a neutral background, mat photos on white card stock, round some corners, use raised adhesive, layer and embellish in groups of three.
My Last Minute Tweak: Stitching the square on my background paper. Felt like I needed to tie some elements together. Seems I'm always doing some last minute fix on every layout - am I okay with that?
Journaling Tag: added paper, chipboard, a brad and letter/number stickers. This is lots of layering and embellishing for me. It took some time.
Photo: added paper, a tab and chipboard. I like how it draws attention to the picture. My grandmother in her favorite pink suit was the inspiration for the whole color scheme of the page. Perfect opportunity to use my new Basic Grey Hopscotch!
Bottom corner embellishment: sticker, chipboard, sewing. Again, a group of three. I love thinking in threes; then I know when to stop.
Title: chipboard, stamping, letter stickers. Used the chipboard to build a shelf for my title work. Thickers are a go-to product for sure. Not sure how successful the stamping is. The color might be too light.

The Verdict: I do like the finished layout very much. This process went way beyond just the photo, story and paper. The extra layering, sewing and stamping details took time and effort. I carefully considered each element on this page and how I could kick it up a notch. This was definitely not a one-day project for me, so the question is, how often do I want to scrap like this?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My First Counterfeit Kit

This month I've decided to participate in the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. If you're unfamiliar, every month they choose a kit from a popular kit club for inspiration and challenge you to create a "counterfeit kit", using just supplies you already own. Also included are a few challenges to use your kit, a few tutorials for creating your own embellishments, and a blog hop toward the end of the month for everyone to share their creations. The March Club Kit for inspiration is Studio Calico, with not one, but 5 kits to choose from! I chose the add-on kit, Sunny Clearing, because I liked the bright colors and smaller number of items. Here is the kit from Studio Calico......
And here is my Counterfeit Kit. The papers are from Crate Paper, Basic Grey, Fancy Pants and KI Memories.
I've included Thickers, my own numbers stamps, Basic Grey flowers, a Doodlebug Sweet Shoppe Assortment and some journaling spots I bought at Michael's. (can't remember who makes them)
I plan to use my little kit to make some cards this month, but I'll also keep an open mind to what the Counterfeit Kit blog suggests. More to come!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Design Team Catch Up

Wow, the beginning of the month is busy out here in the blogosphere! I'm a bit behind in bringing you all my design team news and updates, but I'm planning to rectify that situation right now. So here goes-

#1 Earlier in the week, Kathy made this announcement that I was being added as a full Design Team Member at Scrap Our Stash Challenge! (I was one of the Guest Designers for February) The March Challenge is to dust off that thing you have been ignoring, something you've let go by the wayside. It could be a tool, a technique, a supply, a project. Whatever it is, dust it off and use it! You can find the entry details here and daily posts for plenty of inspiration!

#2 The first challenge of the month is up at Journaling Junkie. It's a journaling prompt I submitted as a Design Team Member, based on this layout.
You can see the exact challenge and some of the other Design Team layouts here.

#3 Earlier in the week, I posted this layout for the monthly challenge at Scrapbookers Anonymous. Time to dig out the flowers for this one!

There, all caught up! All of these challenges are inspiring in themselves, but you could easily combine any of them with a sketch or color challenge and make multiple submissions. Great for us multi-taskers! Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Welcome to the Before and After edition of WOYWW! 

I'm currently enrolled in Finding Your Way at Big Picture ClassesThe first lesson is all about prep work Before You Scrap. Karen, our instructor, has broken the lesson into four exercises: What Inspires You, What Stymies Your Creativity, What Are Your Must-Have Elements, and How Do You Decide What Products To Put On A Page.

This led to a minor rearranging of my craft space last weekend.

Before - my main work space had tools within easy reach, but most of my Slice stuff was packed away and a pain to pull out in the middle of making a layout. This was a major creativity bummer, so an expensive tool was left gathering dust. Unacceptable! 
After - not only are my must-have scrapping supplies and tools in this area, I relocated some items to make room for a.......
Slice Station - now everything is out and ready to go! Plus, just looking at this new work station is inspiring me. I've used it already and it's so much easier.
Before - embellishments sorted by color and stored in ten containers, mostly leftover odds and ends from kits. Lots of fun to look at, but not getting much use. I think in color, but tend to look for embellishments by type or size. It's just time to admit that. 

After - a seriously paired down embellishment center, no longer sorted by color (gasp). Ten containers reduced to six!
Disclaimer: these are not ALL the embellishments in my stash. Not even close. I scrap by manufacturer and keep coordinating embellishments with the paper line.
Pairing down and re-grouping my embellishments freed up four containers for my stamp sets! Now I don't have to get up and rummage around my scrap room to find a stamp for a layout or card. I'm reaching for these more often.
Before - three containers filled with leftover brads, buttons, odds and ends that I rarely used. Again, they look good but most of these are pretty old and just don't fit the way I'm scrapping these days.
After - down to one container of buttons that I will use!
Before - bulletin board used as inspiration and ideas for layouts. Looks good, but I was constantly re-working this space more than I was using it. Most of these pages eventually ended up in the trash.
After - bulletin board is now used to hang scrap paper, lists of what I want to scrap, how-to articles. It's more of an information center, right above my main work area.
Ideas from magazines, sketches and design inspiration now have a separate station at the end of my L-shaped desk and on my bookshelf that you can see in the background. Close to my main space, but not in the way. Have you done any tweaking to your craft space lately?

"What's On Your Workday Wednesday" is a weekly event where over one hundred crafters show and tell what's going on in their corners of the world. You can go to Julia's blog for more glimpses of our creative endeavors.


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