Saturday, April 5, 2014

Baby Brother's Turning 50!

I mentioned a few days ago that I used the Sunburst Technique to make my mom's birthday card. I wanted to see how it would work on a card for a man (many of us struggle with masculine cards), so in the interest of time, and since these cards are so quick to make, I decided to use the same technique on a card for my brother who is turning 50 today.

I used paper from the Recollections "Rue Regent" Stack (you'll find the same paper in the DCWV "Haberdash" stack), a piece of ribbon and the Print-and-Cut feature on my Silhouette Cameo to make the sentiment and label. And of course the brads are ages old and come from my stash!

Project #31 of 50

I'm pretty jazzed by the way it turned out and glad that I finished it in time to get it in the mail on schedule.

So... thanks for looking and a Happy 50th Birthday to my baby brother Craig L. Atkinson!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom...No Foolin'!

I'm spending more and more time at "YouTube University," trying to learn new techniques and ways to use up my stash. On Saturday, I watched a few videos and learned how to make cards using the "Sunburst" technique. Talk about easy peasy!!!! And quick! And a great way to use up your scraps!

I ended up making two birthday cards... one for my mom and one for my brother (whose birthday is Saturday). As I kid, I thought it was too funny that my mom was born on April Fool's Day and as kids do, loved to think of a ways to fool her on her birthday. For instance, I would often wrap an empty box, or put her gift inside of a small box that was nested inside of many larger boxes.

These days though... I try to tap into the elegance that is "Gracie," my mom. Since becoming a card maker I've made almost all of her birthday cards, and while this one was quick and simple, I think it still captures that elegant essence.

So, here's the card...
Project #30 of 50

And here's to you mom! Happy 78th Birthday to Grace B. Strauther!

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Another Art Journal Pajama Party

I was able to squeeze another one of Classygirl's pajama party's into my schedule. This latest one was again focused on making an art journal page, this time using a magazine ad for inspiration and showcasing information about how you spend your day. So while I didn't necessarily provide information about how I spend my day NOW, I definitely journaled about what I want my day to look like in the NOT-TOO-DISTANT future. Yep... I'm already thinking about retirement!

Project #29 out of 50

For this piece, no paint was used. The pages were primed with Gesso. Mists and templates were used to add color and patterns to the background. Distress ink pads were applied directly to the paper and rubber stamps were used to represent daily activities. I used rubber stamps for the two titles, the flying clock and the dancer. A ZIG Dotta-Riffic pen was used to write the captions and journaling as well as outline the squares and add the blue dots to the page.

Remember these? This one is probably 10 or 12 years old and it's still juicy!
 **I just love that I'm looking into my stash of embellies and tools and trying to use stuff that hasn't seen the light of day in forever!**

I think I'm really starting to like this art journaling genre of creative expression. Let's see where this leads me.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Art Journal Pajama Party

Got the chance to participate in another Classygirl Pajama Party. This time the emphasis was on art journaling. Totally out of my comfort zone, but fun nevertheless. Tiare actually provided a sketch to inspire us and a short prompt...I don't remember but I think it was something about a place where you have/find peace.

All I could think about was the drive from AZ to Las Vegas via US 93. As you travel between Wickenburg and Wikieup you are treated to Joshua Forest Scenic Road where the Joshua Trees are abundant and there are some amazing rock formations. Driving on that road just makes me lean back in my seat, close my eyes (when someone else is driving!), and just exhale. That road is what inspired my first art journal. CONFESSION: This is actually the second one I created; I tore up the first!

I covered the page with Gesso, then pulled out all of my green and brown paints from my limited acrylic paint collection. Mixed the lightest green with Gesso to paint the background. Used a template and spritzed with Glimmer Mist. Add the rectangles in greens and blue. Used scrapbook paper I don't like to make the mountains as well as for the pieces at the top and bottom. Used brown and rust paint for the mountains. Pulled out some really old Making Memories foam stamps (the flower) and stamped with yellow paint. Used a rubber stamp (Joshua Tree from Viva Las Vegas Stamps) to stamp the trees and a Sharpie marker to outline the mountains, one of the flowers and draw a road. Decided to add a little gold Smooch Ink to the middle tree and journaled around the rectangles. To make the title I used letter stickers as a mask and painted over them, and the removed the stickers. Once the title was dry, I outline with a white Uni-Signo pen.
Think I kind of enjoyed this. So much so, that I'll do it again!

Thank you so much for checking out Project #28 out my 50-Project Challenge!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Projects #22 through #25

Yesterday and the day before, I referred to Projects #26 and #27. But what happened to #22 through #25? Well, #22 was a card made for my Aunty Narvalee's birthday during an impromptu FNC over at SOC hosted by Mary Joyce. My dear aunt turned 88 on March 9th.

Image by up and coming artist K. Kristoff

Projects #23-25 were cards made at a class I took last week taught by Jennifer Dove. She is one of the most creative Copic users I know and I was fortunate enough to be able to take her Copic Build-A-Book class. Now if I could just get in more Copic practice time I would be pretty darned good! All of the cards used House Mouse stamps and were designed by Jennifer. I just love those little critters, don't you? (**CFF Sharon, DON'T answer that question!)

I enjoyed making these cards and am feeling just a little bit more confident with my Copics.

Thanks for looking and I'll be back soon!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More Vinyl, No Fear!

Yesterday I mentioned that I used my Cameo for the first time to cut vinyl. Because I was so pleased with the results, I couldn't bring myself to put the vinyl away quite just yet. Took a glance at my Cameo and it was begging to be dressed up a bit.

So I found some cuts in my Silhouette library (remember, I can't buy anything new). I chose the "Create," the Southwestern Pot Set, and a Flourish Flower Corner.

After cutting out the images, I found one little shortcut for weeding some of the tiny pieces. Scotch tape! You have to use a small piece and gently touch it to the vinyl while holding the vinyl down, but it really helps to get out the teeny-tiny pieces in one fell swoop.

After finishing my cuts, I put some of the pink vinyl behind the cut-out sections on the first two pots. It wasn't until after  laying the cuts down on my Cameo with blue painter's tape that I realized you could see the outline of the second piece of vinyl and it really didn't look too good. Oh well.... realized too late that I could ungroup the pots in Silhouette Design Studio and just recut the portions that were removed from the pots and so I did that for the third pot. Much smoother, don't you think?

I didn't put any pink in the space at the top of the middle pot, and after looking at it for a little while decided I didn't like the white showing through. But it was too late for me to cut that portion out in pink because I had already closed the file and hadn't saved it. I would have had to guess at the size...that would have been way too much trouble! So... Smooch Ink in Gold to the rescue! Remember when those were all the rage? 

And here is my dressed up Cameo. I put rhinestones in the center of the flowers and gave her a bit of pink vinyl on her control panel. Couldn't let her be unmatched, could I?

I think it's safe to say that I no longer fear vinyl and am actually pretty excited about how easy it is to work with. I will let you know when I cut the iron-on vinyl in my stash (purchased about three years ago) for the first time!

Thanks for looking at Project #27 out of 50 to be completed!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vintage Vinyl and Well-Used Washi

I just love Spring Break! It gives me the opportunity to give my brain (and my mouth!) a rest and just be! That's when all thoughts turn to "what do I want to work on in my craft room now?"

Today it was breaking out the Cameo and some vintage vinyl and seeing what I could personalize. I say "vintage" vinyl because I think it has been in my stash since 2008 or 2009! I have some Oracal 651 and Cricut Vinyl (which says Oracal 631 on the back). Did I mention that I've had it that long because I've had some deep-seated fear about how to use it and the amount of work (translated: weeding) that would be involved?

This week I redid my Copic storage case because I had placed the fluorescent light panel a little too low in the case and every time I took my markers somewhere they slipped out of place. (Here's a link to how to make your own...) So... after my dear honey cut and replaced the dowels for me, I had to put every marker back in the correct order. I figured that since this was the task of the week I would do something to identify my markers AND personalize the top of the case.

I used washi tape (that I never should have bought in the first place!) to identify my Copics. Got the idea from a lady in a class last week who was using thin black artist-type tape to identify hers. I don't have any black tape, but I have TONS of washi tape that I never use. I managed to use up 2 1/2 rolls.

I need to get over my fear of using vinyl and decided to use some to decorate the cover of my case. I made a simple design (that wouldn't require a lot weeding)  in Silhouette Design Studio. Before moving everything off of the virtual mat so that I could cut everything separately, I took a screen shot of the design so that I would have something to follow when I began laying everything down.

I couldn't move the white roller over on my Cameo so that I could feed the vinyl directly into the machine, so I used a cutting mat for another die-cutting machine (which shall remain nameless). I have tons of those mats and use them all the time in my Cameo although this was my first time ever using my machine to cut vinyl. I used the cut settings for Silhouette vinyl and it cut like butter. All of the cuts came out perfectly and the weeding was a piece of cake.

I left the white piece of vinyl on the mat and layered all of the pieces on top of that BEFORE putting the whole thing on the case. If I had it to do all over again, I would put the white piece on the case first and then add each of the other layers. I used blue painter's tape as my transfer tape for everything except for the large piece. For that, I used a regular 12 x 12 transfer sheet.


Considering my limited supply of colors I'm pretty tickled with the way it turned out.

Project 26 of 50 in my quest to use up my stuff!

Stay tuned for my next post and see what else I did with my vintage vinyl.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

50 - Happy Day

This card was created for my soror's 50th birthday. All of us were supposed to wear stilettos to her party, so I thought it only fitting to put a sassy shoe on her card. 

I pulled out my *gasp* Cricut and used Summer in Paris to cut the shoe. The "50" was done with DIY Thickers and some really ancient Martha Stewart glitter. All of the paper, including the portion with "Happy Day", is from the DCWV Haute Pink and Green Tea stacks. I added the embossing on the background panel using a Cuttlebug folder.

And this makes Project #21 of my 50 Project challenge. Not too shabby considering it's only the middle of February!

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy 60th Birthday Baby!

My handsome man is turning 60 today, and of course I had to make him a very special card (using only stuff from my craft room). This card was made using the DCWV Decor Noir stack, Spellbinders Labels Two, Thickers, distress ink and some gold heart-shaped brads I found in my box that may have actually been give to me by my good friend Mary Joyce! I also made an envelope using my DCWV Envelope Punch and paper from the same stack.

Needless to say he loved it!

BTW... here's a little hint! If you happen to have cardmaking software (I won't name names, but they're probably one of the biggest card sellers in the world) on your computer, it's the perfect place to look for sentiments when you need ideas!

Thanks for stopping by as I continue on my quest to use what I have....


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Love is the Dance...'s been a little over a month and I have managed to stay out of the craft stores and online sites. I haven't purchased ANY craft supplies in 2014. Remember, my goal is to use supplies from WrinkleFreeDiva's Workshop to complete at least 50 projects before purchasing any more craft supplies. As of today, I've completed 18 projects (this includes a couple of very time-consuming digital albums) and am feeling pretty good about not purchasing anything. Hopefully I can get 50 projects done before CKC gets here in June.

For my sweetie's card I used my Glimmer Mists to create the background papers, rubber stamps and heat embossing for the hearts and music staff, and my computer to print the sentiment on the paper. Oh, and let's not forget the metal enamel dots that have been in my stash for at least five years, because after all, that is one of my use my stuff!

The inside reads "You're the melody... the magic... the meaning in my life. 

And now I am on to the next project!

Thanks so much for looking!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Friday Night Challenge Cards

So here I am, 19 days into a self-imposed challenge to use my stash in all of my creations; the goal being to make 50 projects prior to buying any craft items other than adhesive. Below are projects #9 and #10. (If I buy anything, then I have start counting all over again!)

I was able to participate in Friday Night Challenge over at SOC on Friday hosted by Mazella. I created both of these cards. The first card was supposed to be all black and white, include bling or pearls, and a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King.

The flower rub-on came from my Clip-It-Up and was purchased at Big Lots many years ago.
The black and white paper is from my stash and is also many years old.

The second challenge was to create a birthday card with lots of flowers. (Now that I look back at everyone else's pictures, I think I was supposed to use some ribbon too LOL! Oh well...)

The foil chipboard flowers came from Tuesday Morning several years ago.
Stay tuned for my next projects!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 30, 2013

I've Used Up All of My Supplies!

Hah! Gotcha!

In October 2011, I posted this in one of the forums over at SOC:
Picture this.... I've used up almost all of the embellishments that fill my two Clip-it-Ups, so much so that they are nearly empty. I have used almost all of my cardstock and patterned paper on the 100's of layouts and cards I've completed and only a few sheets remain. All of that crafting has me down to just one or two bottles of Stickles, Smooch ink, or Glimmer Mist and most of my ink pads are dried up from overuse. I've depleted my supply of brads, eyelets, flowers, and other stuff I've collected over the years.

I wonder...what would it look like or feel like if we actually used almost all of the supplies we had before buying more? Kind of like when the cupboard or refrigerator gets so bare you know it's time to go grocery shopping? (By the way, this was a VERY RANDOM thought!)

Since writing that post, I have probably tripled my craft supply collection. And yes, storage is becoming an issue!

And then in May of this year, I posted this:
I know that many of my friends here have gotten to a point where they no longer feel the need to go to their local craft store just because; stop at TM, TJ MAXX, or Ross simply because they're on your beaten path; or browse the craft aisle every time you go to Walmart or Target for your household goods. I'm talking about my sisters who no longer feel the need for the latest tools, paper, or stamps (whether they're a bargain or not) and only purchase adhesives, etc. when what they have is almost finished.

Almost every month I tell myself I don't need and really can't afford any more stuff and I'm going to stop craft shopping but inevitably I find myself picking up this or that or stopping at Michaels or Joanns (because I'm in the area) to see what's new or different. Of course there's nothing I need and sometimes I'm lucky enough to walk out without buying anything. I have more supplies than I could ever use but I tell myself just this once, just this one thing and I'm done shopping. The problem is I shop more than I craft and the more you buy the more you have to organize, so I spend more time organizing my stuff than I do crafting.

 I'm also not sure what my crafting style is so my embellishments are kind of all over the place, no particular genre. I know what I don't like but I'm not sure what I do like. As of right now I am strictly a card maker and scrapbooker. There are a lot of techniques I'd like to try but haven't, yet somehow I have many of the supplies needed for those techniques.  There's no one thing that I stick to.

So... what if I said that beginning on January 1st I was going to stop shopping for scrappy supplies? (OK... you can pick yourself up off the floor and stop laughing now!) I've already rearranged my craft space to make everything more accessible and enlisted the help of my sweetie and the 50 Projects group over at Facebook.

And what if I said that in 2014 I wanted to make a concerted effort to use the stuff I have? Would you be willing to join me?

I think that in the next year, the focus of my blog will change from providing scrapbooking tips and tricks to showcasing what I create with products I currently have. The point being to keep myself honest and accountable.

So, if you've read this far, what do you think?

Have a safe and prosperous New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Craftiness

Lest people think that I'm not doing any crafting and all of the stuff in my craftroom is going to waste, I thought I'd show you all of the Christmas stuff I've made since Thanksgiving.

This card was for my manicurist.

Gift bags for my son's teachers.
Cards for my son's teachers. Silhouette files with embellishments I purchased after Christmas last year.

Saw this Silhouette cut file and decided to try it on a few cards.

A "scraplift" from a card posted several years ago.

Wanted to try out this rubber stamp and gold embossing powder.

Shamelessly scraplifted from Shalana Glass who is a member of one of the FB groups I'm on.

Another rubber stamp with heat embossing.

Using up embellishments I bought after Christmas last year. 

Print-and-cut file from the Silhouette store.

My very first easel card from a Silhouette cut file.

Another Silhouette cut file that I altered a bit to suit my needs. The poinsettia was cut with Spellbinders.

Thank you notes for the gifts given to me by my students; I made 18! Another Silhouette cut file.

Whew! Now that I've uploaded and captioned all of these pictures, I realize that I really did get a lot done during November and December. For many of the cards, I made more than one, but only took a picture of one since the others were duplicates.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are gearing up for a festive New Year's celebration.

Thank you for looking!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

December's Scrapbook Pajama Party

Finally got a chance to participate in another one of iClassygirl's scrapbook pajama parties on Wednesday, December 18th. (The last day of school before winter break for this sista was the next day, so I was all set to sit back, relax and create!)

Tiare generally provides us with a sketch and a list of supplies so that we can get ready before going online. I really enjoy watching her design process and interacting with the other ladies who participate. And yes... many of us scrapbook - in our pajamas no less - while we are online with Tiare.

So, this month's sketch is here and Tiare's finished layout is here. And here is my layout:

One of the things I am working on with my layouts is doing more layering. I don't think I did too badly on this one. I sure love those little Studio Calico wood veneers and recently bought a ton of them! But I digress....

Don't want this post to get too long, especially since I have no lesson for you today other than, I used CTMH Liquid Glass to adhere the wood veneers. It seems to do a pretty good job of holding them in place.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for another post.

Monday, November 11, 2013

DIY Super-Sized Color Catcher

It’s been awhile since I've done a blog post because work has really been getting in the way of my crafting time, but during this long weekend, I managed to carve out some time and made myself a large color catcher. I had a smaller one that I made some time ago, using instructions over at Margaret’s blog, I Love Crafting, but it just didn't work well for larger misting projects. I was constantly getting mist and paint all over my work table and laptop.

So when I got a large box with an online order from Kohl’s a few weeks ago, I knew that I couldn't let that box go to waste and vowed to turn it into a large color catcher that I could fold and put away when it was not in use.

And this is what I came up with….

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Crops of Luv

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the day with the most amazing group of papercrafters. We were all gathered at a Crops of Luv event to make scrapbooks for critically ill children (and their families) who have been granted wishes by nonprofit organizations such as the Make-A-Wish and Give Kids the World foundations.

Although I’d heard about Crops of Luv a year or two ago, this is the first time I’ve ever attended one of their events. Jody and Roberta have everything so well organized that it’s easy to jump in and start making pages. For someone like me, who is so patterned-paper challenged and for whom choosing paper is the hardest part of getting started, receiving a packet complete with paper, photos and embellishments made completing the pages very easy. And, should you decide that you need to add some brads, ribbon, a border punch or two, or bling it up a bit, they have all of that available too! Yesterday, 36 volunteers completed 18 books. Of those 18 books, I managed to finish four two-page layouts. **My commitment issues get in the way…if I could just put stuff on the page and call it “done” I’d finish a lot faster, but no…I have to shift things this way or that, be critical and move things around at least ten times before I’m ready to add adhesive!** Hopefully, next time I’ll increase that number!

Many of my readers know that I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and that one of our main objectives is to provide community service not only locally, but to our global community as well. My local chapter is very active in the Phoenix community and whenever time allows I participate in community service events. Members are also encouraged to do community service independent of the sorority. I’ve often struggled with finding something that I can do AND sustain, that fits in with my full-time job, and life in general. I think I've found it. The sense of peace and giving that I felt yesterday and the camaraderie evident among the regular volunteers lets me know that I will be back. And what better way to sustain that mojo and crafting spirit than to make something that will bring joy to the hearts of others while helping them preserve precious memories.

If you are so inclined, please take a look at Crops of Luv’s blog and Facebook page and see if there isn’t some way that you can help.

The take-away from today’s post: Try to find a way to provide community service that incorporates giving back to others with something that you love to do. Your heart will be better for it....

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thank You Stacy Julian!

When I first moved to Arizona in 2006, it was just me and my then five-year-old. My mother's older brother, my uncle (may he RIP) lived in a community a few miles away. He was waiting for his wife to retire and relocate and I was waiting for my mom and dad. Other than my uncle and my son, I had no one. I lived in my mom's house with all of my scrapbook supplies remaining in boxes for the next six months while I waited for my house to be completed.

Having my scrappy stuff in storage was hard, especially with no other creative outlet. Even after my house was completed and I was all moved in, it would be many months before I could begin scrapbooking again. About six months after moving, my scrap space was all set up, but I had no one to scrap with. Then I discovered Big Picture Scrapbooking now called Big Picture Classes. I signed up for my very first class in January of 2007 and since then have registered for over 35 classes. Though I often crafted in solitude it always felt like my BPC friends were never too far away. BPC is what kept me crafting, creating and smiling, even when I was lonely and questioning why I would ever leave L.A. to move to this godforsaken suburb of Phoenix. I couldn't wait to get home from work so that I could log in, get on the message boards and browse the gallery.

It was Lisa Day's class, Journey to Perpetual Happiness, that finally got me into a much better place mentally and emotionally and helped me dump some "baggage" that had grown much too heavy for any one woman to carry! I owe a lot to Big Picture Classes and because I do, I will always remain a loyal and faithful member. While my participation in classes and on the boards may wax and wane due to work loads and just life in general, BPC is never far from my heart. It was my first online crafty community and you know how we women feel about our firsts!

So... before this post gets much too long... I have to say a HUGE thank you to Stacy Julian for starting this community. For recognizing the artist in me when you called to tell me that one of my layouts from Library of Memories was going to be used as the login page for the LOM Community. Yes folks...Stacy Julian called me! Trust me when I tell you I thought someone was playing with me!

Thank you Stacy for sending me "Happy Mail." And now... for gifting me with a seat in your latest class  "The Art + Science of Scrapbooking." I can't wait for class to start and hope that I can keep up!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Make Your Own Thickers Storage

This is Stogie, our 10-year-old English Springer Spaniel.

She takes four medications twice a day and will need to for the rest of her life. Getting her to take her meds was a struggle until we discovered Greenie's Pill Pockets. Now we order them by the case and have them delivered every two months. (I promise...there is a point to this...)

Because I am always picking up Thickers when I find them at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and other stores on sale, my collection is growing. During the summer, I bought one of those pretty paper boxes at Michaels to store them in, but a few months later I've already outgrown it. In looking for a new solution I saw where people were using those wider plastic magazine files. They are difficult to find (although I did see some on eBay or Amazon) and I really didn't want to spend the money or have to worry about them not being available if I ever needed more. Turns out, the Greenie's boxes are the perfect size to make magazine file boxes to hold Thickers! And, I'll have a new box every two months indefinitely!

Want to see how I did it? Check out my video...

Hope you enjoyed it and will give it a try!

Thanks for looking!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Classes, Prizes and Fun!

Classes, Prizes and Fun

Classygirl from Scraps of Color is celebrating her 9th anniversary of being a scrapbooking and card making innovator, leader and creative visionary! The celebration starts Aug. 23-26. I am looking forward to the pajama party crop that starts tonight at 8:30 est. So head on over to her Blog and participate in the festivities. Share this information on your blog and you might be eligible to win some free online classes.

However, for now we are continuing with another UNBELIEVABLE giveaway! Today only…yours FREE! You can receive a FREE One Year Membership to the Creative Circle! This is an unbelievable value! Over $450 in education and fun! Woohoo! That’s right you’ll get an entire year of workshops, classes, books and more FREE! And winning is easy. All you need to do is share this post on your blog and your friends can share it on their blogs too! Be sure to link to the Creative Circle page here and be sure to leave a comment here along with your blog address and email address (comments must be approved before they appear…so you are good once you hit enter!) There’s a good chance that you just might win! Add post to your blog by Monday, August 26, to be eligible to win!

Hey and if you are not a blogger but you just don’t want to miss any of the crafty fun, just use code: soclassy at checkout to save $20 on YOUR 1 year membership NOW! Good on flat fee membership only.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Imperfect Photos

Those of us who are scrapbookers are forever in pursuit of the perfect photos for our layouts, whether someone else is behind the camera or we take the pictures ourselves. Unfortunately, life isn't perfect and sometimes neither are our pictures. Think back to the days before digital photography. We could snap rolls and rolls of film, get them developed and every single shot have something wrong with it i.e. bad framing of the shot, poor lighting, a trashcan in the background, red eyes… you name it! And if you’re anything like me, you didn't throw out too many of those prints.

So what do you do when the only pictures you have of a memorable event aren't very good? Well, you use them on your layout of course! Such was the case with the pictures from my 20-year high school reunion. Since that event was almost 16 years ago, I have no idea where the pictures came from and whether they were taken with my camera or someone else’s. All I know is that the pictures were awful; they were dark, a little fuzzy, and I could barely make out the faces. But you know what? Those four pictures were the only ones I had, so after much soul-searching I decided to make a layout using them. I suppose I could have taken them to a photo lab to see if they could improve them, but I just wasn't up for all that. I matted the photos on light paper in an attempt to help improve their visibility a bit but that was really all I could do. And I’m okay with that because I no longer wanted to leave those pictures sitting in a box and needed them to capture a precious memory. So, without further ado, here is my [Week 3 iClassygirl From Desk to Done] layout:

So today's takeaway is simple: if it's the memory you are trying to preserve, you might have to use pictures that are less than perfect, and that's okay.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Make it Fit

Yesterday evening, I participated in Classygirl's Pajama Party on Spreecast. Prior to the party, we were provided with a sketch and a list of what supplies that were needed. You know me, I am all about using sketches! This is the second pajama party I've participated in and I love watching Classygirl as she gives us insight into her thought processes when creating layouts and cards. It's also fun chatting with her and the other participants as we all work simultaneously on our layouts.

I had a lot of difficulty with the broadcast last night, and as a result didn't get to see or hear much of what she did. So I was kind of left to go it alone with the sketch which is okay because a sketch can be followed exactly or it can simply be a starting point.

Anyway... I made my layout and chose some Thickers for my title. In the evenings, the lighting in my craft room is not as bright as I would like it to be AND my eyes are aging quite a bit. So, after I had already adhered the Thickers to my layout, I realized that the blue lettering was not the greatest match. So I darkened them up with a little Bundled Sage Distress Ink. The yellow letters were also a little bright, so I used a little Mustard Seed Distress ink. It didn't quite mute the yellow enough, but it's a little better than it was. After I complete this post, I might try it again with Scattered Straw.

I also pulled out my Cricut to make the basketballs and found some transparencies in my stash. I decided to try the Aleene's Crystal Clear Tacky Spray on the transparency with the arrows and while it did dry clear (as promised), it also left a faint film that kind of muted the colors in the picture. My fault, I should have tested the product first. So here is my completed layout.

So our lesson for today:

  1. Have letters or embellishments that could work for your project if you could just modify them in some way? Try it! Inks, sprays, paints, markers, glitter, whatever...! Make it fit for your project.
  2. When trying a new product, test it first on something similar before using it on your project.
  3. Sketches!
Thanks so much for looking!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Choosing From Your Patterned Paper Menu

Have you ever been to a restaurant where there were 100s of items on the menu? Jerry's Famous Deli in Marina Del Rey comes to mind. They boast of having a menu containing over 600 items! I've been there... once. It took me about 1/2 hour to decide what to order. Sometimes having too many choices can be more debilitating than having just a few.

While putting together page kits for Classygirl's upcoming Summertime and the Scrappin' is Easy workshop on Sunday, I decided to use patterned paper solely from my single sheets (in an effort to use it all up), instead of from stacks such as DCWV. Because my single sheets of paper run the gamut of patterns, colors, textures, etc. and much of it dates back ten years or more, finding two or three sheets of patterned paper that worked well together AND that I liked was tough. Back in the day when I used to buy single sheets of PP (ten of the same sheet!), I just bought what I liked (or what was on clearance) with no idea of how it was going to be used or whether it matched anything else that I was purchasing or had in my growing paper collection. In addition, several years ago I was a CM Consultant and often bought packs of paper just to satisfy my quarterly quota, whether I liked the paper or not. So I had amassed quite a collection of patterned paper. Once I moved to Arizona I began purchasing paper stacks because I realized that for "patterned-paper challenged" people like me, it was so much easier to coordinate papers if they were part of a stack.

In a fit of purging this past spring, I donated the equivalent of two boxes of paper and embellishments at CKC when it was here in April. But yesterday, I decided that I wanted to move my divided Jetmax cubes (which contained albums, unfinished projects, and notebooks etc.)  from the bottom of my configuration to the top, but in order to do that I was going to have to get rid of more paper, or at least find other storage for it, since the paper would fit much tighter in the divided cubes than it did in the open cubes. I really didn't want to have to allocate any more storage space to paper. The open cubes were at the top with my cardstock and patterned paper, but the paper tended to fall over when I pulled a handful out to search for something. So last night I decided to switch them which of course then became a paper-purging event as well.

My patterned paper filled up an entire open cube so I went through all of it, not once, not twice, but three times and this is what I have decided to give away. I was chatting with someone on SOC last night and jokingly told her that I had about 12 inches of paper stacked up already. I was about 8 1/2 inches off, but if you count what I donated in April, it far exceeds 12 inches!

After purging, all of my patterned paper fits in three sections of one cube and I was able to make more room for my cardstock.

I was choosing paper this morning for another one of Classygirl's From Desk to Done layouts, and it was so easy peasy because I didn't have to sift through so much non-coordinating and mostly disliked and outdated patterned paper.

So the take away for today is this:

  • It's much easier to coordinate/match patterned papers if they are part of a collection from the same manufacturer or part of a paper stack.
  • When buying patterned paper, it helps if you already know how you're going to use it.
  • Once your storage space for a particular item is full, it is time to purge. Make your stash fit your storage; not the other way around.

Thanks for checking in today!