Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! I have a couple more posts for December, but mostly will be taking a break until January. (which isn't very far away...)

One of my favorite ornaments

In the meantime, here's one Christmas music video I enjoy every year. It's too much fun. 

Thanks for stopping by, and a special thanks to all you regulars. Looking forward to 2013!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Scrapbooking with Red

The Get It Scrapped! assignment: Make a scrapbook page with the color red. Wonderful! Red is one of my favorite colors, both to wear and use on a layout. But working with red can be tricky. Since the Ohio State accent wall in the photo is hard to ignore, I decided to use this color in a rather dramatic fashion on my page.

Collection Featured: Fancy Pants The Good Life

Design Notes

  • The red in the photo and chevron patterned paper draw the eye to the focal point. 
  • The banners and embellishments highlight the title, then lead the eye down to the journaling strips, creating a diagonal flow.

You can see what the rest of the design team has done in this article. There are seven layouts for more inspiration!

Is red one of your go-to color choices or do you find it a bit intimidating?

Friday, December 14, 2012

What's for Breakfast?

And why not? We've got a traditional family recipe for breakfast cookies that is so easy and delicious! Phil's close-up photo is pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

Collection Featured: My Mind's Eye The Sweetest Thing (tangerine)

You can see what the rest of the team over at Get It Scrapped! has done for this Baking and Cooking Assignment. I think I will have time to try out a few new cookie recipes this year. Any suggestions?

Breakfast Cookies (makes about 3 dozen)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup melted shortening and butter (I go half and half)
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 t. soda
1 t. cream of tartar
1 T. vanilla

Mix ingredients, put in rolls, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate overnight. Slice thick and bake 7-9 minutes at 400 degree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Take Twelve: December 2012

The theme for my final month of Ella Publishing's Take Twelve Project is "Behind the Scenes", capturing the decorating, wrapping, mailing and baking that goes on this time of year. We enjoy family traditions and try to carry them out with love and care. (as opposed to drama and stress)

Confession: some of the photos were taken this year, but most were not. So please don't think we have everything done - far from it! But it's only December 12th and everything is on schedule so we'll be ready for Christmas. 

I've truly looked forward to doing my Take Twelve layout each month. Using the same design template saved time and allowed me to focus on choosing supplies that supported my theme for the month. Thanks, Ella Publishing!

Supply List:
Patterned Paper, Alphabet, Brads: Echo Park
Patterned Paper: Studio Calico
Alphabets: American Crafts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Scrapping Strategy

I face the same problem every December. It goes something like this: I'm in the mood to scrap Christmas, but I've already done last year's photos and this year hasn't happened yet. I'm way too busy to keep up with a December Daily or Journal Your Christmas. What's a scrapper to do?

I turn to Christmas Past, and I mean Way Past. Thankfully, I have a small collection of photos from my childhood. Turn the clock back to 1963, and here I am modeling the latest in winter fashion. I suspect my parents could not get that puppet off my hand, so thus the compromise.

How do you get into the Christmas spirit in your scraproom this time of year?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Simple Scrapper December Blog Hop

Welcome to the Simple Scrapper December Blog Hop! Today the design team is featuring layouts made with the December collection of sketch templates, which are available to premium members of Simple Scrapper. You can win a one-month trial subscription; details will be at the end of this post. But first, here is my layout!

Design Notes
  • The photo is pretty dark, so I made sure to use brighter colors for contrast. 
  • The diagonal stripe border is one of my go-to design choices right now. 
  • The blue hexagons are another technique I favor: the unexpected color. 

Here's the blog hop list so you can enjoy more inspiration from the rest of the Design Team. They are a talented group of scrappers!
You can use this link to enter the giveaway for a one-month trial subscription to Simple Scrapper:

***The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guided Study Critique Workshop, Part 4

I'm playing a little catch-up today, posting the final layouts I made for my Guided Study Critique class. Since I have four pages to share, I'll keep the comments short and sweet.

We critiqued this page in the live webinar. Everyone enjoyed my husband's goofiness. I think this is the page where someone mentioned enjoying my "quirky" style. I never thought of my scrapping as being quirky, but I know she meant it as a compliment. Maybe I should embrace quirky?

The assignment here was to make a page with purposeful placements that create alignments of image, embellishment and text. I took that to heart, maybe too literally. I like the page, but it is a bit stagnant and boxy.

We happened to snag front row seats for an outdoor July 4th concert of the Detroit Symphony with conductor Leonard Slatkin at the podium. It was a magical evening of music, and a photographer's dream come true for Phil. I put my Silhouette to good use!

Finally, a page about my 15-year old cat and the care she requires these days. A little high maintenance for a cat, but she's doing well so it's worth it. The topic was color, and the assignment here was to make a page with multiple colors, with variation in value as well as color.

If this arouses your curiosity about the class, there will be a new session starting in January. You can find information about it here. My blog friend, S, recently posted a very nice review of her experience that you can read here. Maybe I'll see you in class!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scrapping Every Day Life

The Get It Scrapped! assignment seemed simple enough: Make a page with dinner table photos. I thought I would focus on our dining room, but I should have known better. The kitchen is where the action is!

When I went looking for photos to tell a story, I came across all kinds of pictures showing us doing all kinds of things at our kitchen table. This inspired me to gather those images together and describe how our every day life revolves around this convenient and cozy place in our home. I had not realized how much we do here!

What do you use your table for besides dinner? Check out the article here for more ideas and inspiration. Maybe you'll come up with a new angle for scrapping some every day life memories!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Take Twelve: November 2012

This month's theme is House and Home, perfectly fitting for this time of year. Where I live, the weather is colder and the days are shorter, which means we are spending more time indoors. So my twelve photos capture the rooms in our home where we spend most of our time.

I think my husband's office is ready for a makeover. After 14 years, that striped wallpaper and oversized border has got to go! Maybe after the holidays...

I'll be taking the rest of the week off from blogging while I turn my attention to preparing food, spending time with family and counting my blessings. A very Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guided Study Critique Workshop, Part 3

This session of my Guided Study Critique Workshop is wrapping up and I have a few more pages to share. The design topic for these layouts was space, as in filling a page with positive space and considering the empty space, or white space on the page.

First assignment: Make one page in which you focus on using white space to organize and group elements on the page.

Design Notes
  • A vertical band of patterned paper houses my two photos.
  • A horizontal band of patterned paper houses my title.
  • Black borders and a black shadow on the title create a visual triangle and keep your eye centered on the page.
  • Yellow is an unexpected color that adds a bit of pop and again forms a visual triangle to move your eye around the important elements on the page.

After this layout was critiqued, I went back and tweaked the embellishments a bit. By replacing the finger pointing brad I've filled that space a bit better, and adding a few enamel dots to the tab and below the photos gives the page a final finishing touch.

Second assignment: Make one page in which you focus on having "active" white space, as opposed to "passive" white space. (active white space includes interesting shapes and asymmetry, while passive white space is predictable and includes borders and symmetry)

Design Notes
  • I've noticed a pattern emerging in my scrapping process: if the photos contain cool colors, I tend to choose warm colors for background and matting purposes. I like the contrast and the way the photo stands out.
  • Generous white space supports the title and theme of this page, while the patterned paper and banner shapes still give the layout a fun summer vibe.

After this page was critiqued, I again tweaked my embellishment placing. I had surrounded and closed in the photo in my first attempt. By moving  a few embellishments to form a grouping and removing one of the small circles, the space opens up and a a clear visual triangle emerges. I like this version much better.

Believe me, there is so much more to this class than adjusting a few embellishments! Most of the comments I file away for future pages, but when I can move a few things here and there to improve a page, I'm happy to do so.

Here's where you can see Part 1 and Part 2 of my Guided Study posts. There is more information about the Critique Class here. I'm pretty sure Debbie plans on offering this again in January and I will be there! How about you?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Scrapping Older Photos

Scrapping older photos can be a challenge, especially when you don't have clear memories about the pictures. Here's how I solved that problem.

This photo, taken back in 1964, inspired me to tell the story of the birth of my brother. I honestly don't remember what it was like adjusting to a sibling, but my mother recorded the story in my baby book. I used her words on my journaling strips.

For more ideas on giving old photos and stories new life, check out this article over at Get It Scrapped! The topic this month at Masterful Scrapbook Design is Scrapbooking Old Photos. If you have a collection of heritage photos, now would be a good time to subscribe. There is a brand new 6-month subscription option and Debbie has some great topics coming up in 2013!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Simple Scrapper November Challenge

Every month there is a Reader Challenge over at Simple Scrapper with a lovely little prize from Persnickety Prints for the winner. This month's challenge is to create a layout that includes multiple fonts/alphas in the title. Here's my take.

When I'm knitting something flat and square, like a dish cloth or baby blanket, it's more enjoyable having an interesting stitch pattern to follow. I never knew knitting and purling could be combined in so many different ways!

Design Notes:
  • When mixing a variety of fonts, using the same color provides unity
  • To further unite the page, black is repeated in the thin border strips and matting for my photos and journaling
  • Choosing products with a vintage look further enhances the theme of handcrafting
If you would like to participate in this challenge, everything you need to know is right here. I'd love to know if you submit a layout. Feel free to add your link to the comments in this post so I can stop by and check out your work!

***The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Simple Scrapper November Blog Hop

Welcome to the Simple Scrapper November Blog Hop! Today the design team is featuring layouts made with the November collection of sketch templates, which are available to premium members of Simple Scrapper. You can win a one-month trial subscription; details will be at the end of this post. But first, here are my layouts!

Watching our son play softball. But he isn't 14 anymore; he's a married man. We enjoyed the memories as much as the game currently in progress.

Design Note:
  • The black border, title and embellishment lead the eye around the page and keep the focus on the center of the layout.

It's a long drive from Ohio to North Carolina, so we measure our progress by a series of landmarks.

The West Virginia capitol dome, two tunnels in Virginia and Mount Pilot in North Caroline all mark the way. We're getting closer to Holden Beach!

Here's the blog hop list so you can enjoy more inspiration from the rest of the Design Team. They are a talented group of scrappers!
You can use this link to enter the giveaway for a one-month trial subscription to Simple Scrapper:

***The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two Page Tuesday: Journaling

I was humming along with this layout, got to this point in practically no time and came to a screeching halt. What should I journal? What should the title be? I was stuck!

So I stepped away, took a day to think about why I was inspired to scrap these photos, and finally wrote this: 
"When we were kids, Dad took us bowling and fishing. He taught us how to aim the ball and bait our hooks. Now we are adults with kids of our own. Dad took all of us out shooting for his birthday, teaching us how to aim and shoot. I love that we can share his interests together as a family over all these years!"

I'm glad I took the time to think and make a connection between the past and the present. To me, this is a more meaningful story that just, "we all went out shooting for Dad's birthday". Although there's nothing wrong with that.

I usually begin a layout with my journaling and title in mind, and this experience made me remember why. What about you? Do you ever get stuck wondering what to say on a page? What strategies do you use?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Black & White Photos on a Scrapbook Page

While most of us are taking color photos these days, it is easy to convert them to black and white when needed. There are both artistic and practical reasons to consider doing so. Although I rarely convert color photos to black and white, I do have a nice collection of black and white photos printed and waiting to be scrapped. This business portrait of my husband, for example.

Design Notes:
  • Using a black and white photo allows more flexibility in selecting the color palette
  • Angling the photo slightly provides contrast to all the straight lines on the page
  • Grouping embellishments in three places forms a visual triangle that helps guide the eye around the main page elements
  • Circle embellishments help break up the square, linear look
  • Pairing this formal business portrait with a brief story about my husband's work history provides a bit of family history preserved for future generations   

Patterned Paper: Lily Bee (Buttercup)
Ink: Jenni Bowlin (Tin Can)
Tools: EK Success & Fiskars circle punches, Spellbinders Small Pinking Circle dies

Tools: Jenni Bowlin Tab Punch
Other: Studio Calico Wood Veneer People, Uni Ball Silver Gel Pen, Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher

Do you scrap black and white photos? There are 5 good reasons to consider doing so in this article over at Get It Scrapped!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Guided Study Critique Workshop, Part 2

If you're not sure what the Guided Study Critique Workshop is all about, the best thing I can do is refer you to this post. The first session just ended and the second session is starting today. It is an intensive workshop, but I am loving the challenge and class interaction, so I couldn't resist signing up again. 

Here is one of the layouts I created for our last week of class. That's my dad and my husband in the photos. Dad is the shorter one. I just love these pictures of the two of them together.

Week 4: Repetition with Variety
Design Notes:
  • the repeated colors are navy, green and yellow
  • the repeated shapes include the chevron strips, and the circles in the polka dot patterned paper and buttons
  • the buttons provide unity and guide the eye around the page elements
Our design topics for the next session are space, flow, alignment and color. I know not everyone gets all exciting about studying design, but it really gets my creative juices flowing. How about you? How much do you consider design principles when you scrap?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Take Twelve: October 2012

This month is the only time all year that the twelfth falls on a Friday. We had planned to take a long weekend to catch the fall colors along northern Lake Michigan and the surrounding area. What a perfect combination for a scrapbook page! (you can see we managed to squeeze in some shopping and good eats along the way)

Can I let you in on a little secret? I made this page ahead of time, then came home and added the photos and journaling. A pre-determined template and fall theme made it all possible. I used Simple Stories Harvest Lane, a wonderful collection that combines really well with Lily Bee's Autumn Spice line. I've even re-stocked this in my stash for more fall scrapping!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Long Titles on Scrapbook Pages

I think it's no secret that I'm a big fan of the long title, so I was very happy to receive this design team assignment from Get It Scrapped.

Why do I like long titles?
  • They become a major design element on the page
  • They can take the place of some or even all of your journaling
  • They help use up some of that alphabet stash!

I decided on a color scheme and dove into my stash of Thickers. The only requirement was the sheet had to have at least two "E"'s. I didn't have many red, orange or yellow alphabets that met this criteria, so I made a little note in my iPhone to restock the next time I'm at my LSS. Because there is no such thing as too many Thickers.

I arranged the photo and letters for a look like the currently trendy subway poster art. You can see more examples of this style on the Get It Scrapped Subway Poster Art pinterest board

To frame and finish the page, I kept it simple. A punched border above and below the title, a little fun at the corners with a circle punch, buttons, and sewing floss, and I'm calling it done.

So if you're like me and have plenty of alphas on hand in a variety of sizes, colors and fonts, you're ready to put a looooong title on your next page! For more inspiration, check out the article.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ten Things On the 10th

Ten Favorite Recent Pins on Pinterest

#1. This layout. I want to try using a background stamp like that.

#2. This recipe. It's comfort food season here in Michigan.
#3. This layout. Because I'm getting a Silhouette Cameo!!

#4. This saying. My mom and sisters are on Pinterest, so I thought I'd cause a little trouble.
Source: via Sue on Pinterest
#5. This photo. Autumn is my favorite season.
Source: via Sue on Pinterest

#6. This layout. All the layering is done with tags. Gotta try that.

#7. This layout. Did I mention that I'm getting a Silhouette Cameo?
Source: via Sue on Pinterest

#8. This room. So cozy and I love the bookcases.
Source: via Sue on Pinterest

#9. This sock. I'm ready to knit a few more pairs for winter.
Source: via Sue on Pinterest

#10. This layout. I bet you know why....

Ten Things on the 10th: Participants will share something totally of their own creation - but always ten things. Some will share ten photos, ten crafty ideas, ten sources of inspiration, ten recipes, ten things in a collection... always ten things and always on the tenth of the month. If you'd like to see more Ten Things on the 10th posts, click here to visit Shimelle's blog. (and find out how you can join in)