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!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mixing Art and Faith

Yesterday I said "the art world is not an exact science like mathematics, yet our faith in the artistic outcome of our projects is often tested and we sometimes get in our own way when it comes to trying to shape that outcome." My faith was tested once again when Classygirl (yes, the very same Classygirl who put me through my paces with From Desk to Done..) hosted Friday Night Challenge over at Scraps of Color.

The first challenge was to create a mixed media layout using textured paper, mists, metal and a stamp. We could use any other items we liked as well. Let me just say that I am so NOT a mixed-media girl. I have always pegged myself as a fairly plain and simple scrapper. Well that was not to be on Friday night. After some initial anxiety i.e. I have to choose pictures! What do I do? How do I make textured paper? Argh! I took a deep breath, stopped to think and remembered that I had put together a second kit for the From Desk to Done challenge earlier that week. Why not pull it out and make it work for this challenge? The only thing I needed to add was the textured paper, metal and stamp. So, I got to work beginning with painting over (and paint wasn't even one of the requirements!) some really ugly flocked pattern paper. It was in my stash and I have NO IDEA why I purchased it other than it was on clearance...duhhhh... I wonder why!? I added the flocked paper and the other requirements using the same layout used for the From Desk to Done challenge. And here is my layout... I don't think it's too bad for my first mixed media layout...

The second challenge was to create a mixed media card using paint, distressed edges, and piece of newspaper/book or magazine. We could include any other items we liked. I just used some of the same paper I used for my layout and came up with this card: 

Having faith has been a prevailing theme in my life a lot lately. Everywhere I go, everything I do, I'm reminded that I must not only HAVE faith but WALK in faith and know that all is going to work out exactly the way it is supposed to, for me....with my job or career, my health, my family, my life, and my art. Does this mean I can just sit back and wait for things to fall into place or just happen? No, because as it says in James 2:17, "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." This means that, depending on the situation, some action may be required.

So... when it comes to our art, what does this mean? It means keep your hands moving, even when you are unsure of the outcome. Have faith that what you produce will have beauty and be meaningful.

Have a great week and thanks for visiting with me today.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Trusting the Process

Last week, in an effort to get more scrapbook pages done, I decided to participate in Classygirl's From Desk to Done in Just 5 Minutes challenge. Pretty funny, since I can't do ANYTHING in 5 minutes when it comes to scrapbooking. I admit it, I have commitment issues - everything from deciding on patterned papers, arrangement of said papers and photos, what embellishments to use, should they be 1.5 or 2 inches from the edge - I think you get my point. I refuse to say that I have a Type A personality, but I will admit to being a B or B+.

That said, I really thought that following this was going to be easy. The first day I was to choose two photos that could be cropped to 4 x 5. Easy peasy! My photos are well organized so that took me about 10 minutes. Always being the overachiever I chose two different sets. Day 2: choose two pieces of colored cardstock and three pieces of patterned paper. OK... managed to do that in about 10 minutes. On Day 3 I was supposed to choose embellishments to use on my layout; that's when things started getting shaky. I have commitment issues, remember? AND tons of embellishments! I struggled to find embellishments that matched my theme(s) and not knowing how they were going to be used on the layout made it hard. Choosing embellishments probably took me an hour. On Day 4, we were told how to cut our papers. The analyzer in me wanted to know where they were going on the layout, the orientation, etc. so that I could decide which pattern I wanted to use where. Not having that information gave me a bit of the crazies for a moment. I had to stop, breathe, just go with the process, and trust that it would all come together just fine.

Day 5 was the put it all together day... And this is what I came up with.

Not bad, not bad... I even did a little altering of some of the rosettes with Inka Gold Metallic Rub because I didn't like the words that were on them. *Note to self...Glimmer Mists warp paper! Don't use on layouts anymore! 

I must say that sometimes we teachers are the most difficult students! I was given instructions in little bits and pieces; this made it really hard for me to trust the process since I didn't know where we were headed. Yet, as a middle-school math teacher, I want my students to trust the processes I teach them and have faith that those processes will lead them to the right answer.

The art world is not an exact science like mathematics, yet our faith in the artistic outcome of our projects is often tested and we sometimes get in our own way when it comes to trying to shape that outcome. (More on that in my next post where I'll share the second layout!)

So... having said all of that, let's get to our lesson for today which is simply learn to trust the process. And that lesson applies not only to your crafty projects but to your life as well! 'Nuff said!

Thanks so much for hanging with me today!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summertime and the Scrappin' is Easy!

All of my crafty friends... check out iClassygirl's  Summertime and the Scrappin' is EASY! Workshop. I've already registered and can't wait to see what Tiare has in store for us! I hope you'll consider hanging out with me and the rest of the class for a summer of crafting and creativity!
Here's a GREAT $10 off coupon code for you to use. The code is 4U10 and must be entered at checkout to receive the discount. Offer expires 7/7/2013.

Enjoy and I'll see you in class!

See What It Can Do!

This weekend I was quite productive in the crafty sense. And I'm just tickled pink (and green!) about it.

Last fall I purchased a Silhouette Cameo but hadn't had lots of time to play with it. Well this past weekend it was all about the Cameo and coloring digital images.

First, I colored my images (a larger size than needed) using Copic markers. Next, I scanned them into my computer, saving them as JPEG files. Then I brought them into my Silhouette software, traced then resized the images. Finally, I printed the images (using registration marks) and then cut. *I could have actually cut out the space between the little girl's neck and the stem of the flower, but time was an issue and I didn't feel like fooling around with it. Next time though, I'll be a little bit more meticulous!* A BIG thank-you to Miss Alice B for offering the suggestion to do it this way because now I not only have the images stored in my computer for future use, but I can resize them for use on any project. I am very slow (and not very patient) when it comes to coloring so this might actually motivate me to color more and help me to build up a collection of colored images for use on projects.

Both images are from Robert Jackson
 I used the first image to make a card for my soror's 40th birthday which we celebrated last night.

And the second image is for my cousin's birthday card.

So today's lesson is especially for those who have expensive die-cutting machines, other crafty tools, and heck...even computers! We've shelled out megabucks on all of these toys and many times we only use 5% to 10% of their capabilities. So today, commit to learning a new feature on one of your crafty toys. You can use the manufacturer's user's guide or website, YouTube, discussion groups and forums, google it or just sit down and start playing around with your machine. You just might be surprised at what that toy can do and how it can enhance all of your craft projects!

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Tour of Wrinkle-Free Diva's Workshop - Part II

...and here is Part II of the tour of Wrinkle-Free Diva's Workshop.

When thinking about your craft space and how to organize it, take a good, hard look at your workflow and the space you have available to you. Check out videos, blogs and other crafters' organizational tips to find ideas that will work for you. When considering how to store something, think about whether or not that item is something that you will probably acquire a lot of (i.e. rubber stamps or punches) and determine if you will need room to grow for that particular item. 'Cause I have to tell you, it really bites to come up with a way to organize something only to have to re-do it because you've run out of space. And.... it's really helpful and more efficient if you can keep like items together. If memory serves me correctly, this is the 5th or 6th different way I've organized my rubber stamps. I've lived with this system for a year and love it because of how easy it is for me to find them, use  them, and then put them back where they belong. And more importantly, as I continue to acquire stamps, whether they be wood mount, clear or cling, I have lots of space for them and can move them into their storage space as soon as I bring them home.

It took me a long time to get this room organized in a way that feels comfortable and puts almost everything I work with most often at my fingertips. With limited crafting time, especially when school is in session, it is important that I be able to put my hands on anything I am looking for quickly and without having to move a bunch of stuff out the way. I am one of those people who is very visual and needs things out in the open as much as possible in order to remember that I have them. If I can see my stuff, I will remember that I have that stuff. If I remember that I have that stuff, I will USE that stuff. See how this works?

As time goes on, I will continue to share more of my organizational tips. If you have thoughts about things you'd like to see me post about, please share your comments.

As always... thanks for looking!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Tour of Wrinkle-Free Diva's Workshop - Part I

Well... here it is... Part I of the tour of Wrinkle-Free Diva's workshop. Without further ado, here it is. Enjoy!

There is a lesson for today by the way, and that is...when videotaping, it doesn't work when you turn the camcorder the same way it does for a regular camera. Your image will be sideways!

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

JUST DO IT! (or My Video is Done!)

Pudder says "Hah hah...gotcha!"

I bet you thought you were going to check in today and see my video(s). Not! I just wanted to let my faithful followers know that I had taken the first step thanks to Angela B. over at Scraps of Color. I was chatting with her this morning and told her that I was dragging my heels about making this video. Why? Not because I didn't want to make the video, but because it was just something new and different (I've never EVER used a camcorder before) and I was afraid. She said... JUST DO IT! So I wanted to let you know that it's done but I need to do some editing and figure out how to upload it. Hopefully, it won't take me too long and you'll get to see the fruits of my labor within the next few days.

Until then...STAY TUNED!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Lots of Tips Today (and a Layout Too!)

I have lots to share today so I hope this post doesn't get too long. If you're like me with adult-onset ADD (self-diagnosed of course!) then you don't have the attention span to read a long drawn out post. So let's get right to it!

I was working on a layout with lots of pictures, and as I most often do, began with a sketch. I decided that I was going to use some pretty green glitter cardstock as my background paper which means I would have needed two full 12 x 12 sheets. I don't know about you, but when it comes to pretty AND expensive cardstock, I hate to use full sheets only to have most of it covered up. Since this layout called for lots and lots of pictures and strips of paper, I came up with a solution that would allow me to minimize the amount of green cardstock used.

I have a package of Recollections white cardstock purchased for another project and which I really don't like to use for scrapbooking because it is so flimsy. So I used two of those to place my strips of cardstock, patterned paper, and pictures on since they would be totally covered up.

In the finished layout, none of the white cardstock was left showing. I've also been known to cut a square (to save for later use) out of the middle of background cardstock, especially when another piece is being layered on top. I also save the white cardstock that comes in scrapbook album pages for these types of uses.

The sketch called for two 4 x 6 portrait-oriented photos. Digital photos are usually printed at 4 x 5.33. So I double-matted my photos to make them fit the space.

I also added a little white acrylic paint to the edges of the 2 x 2 photos so that they would stand out on the page without having to be matted first.

Once everything was laid out, I struggled with what letters to use for part of my title. I didn't have the color or size that I needed, and didn't want to cut them with my diecut machines, because at that small of a size they wouldn't have cut well. Computer to the rescue!

Using WordArt in MS Word I created the portion of the title needed in several colors so that I could try them out on my layout. After making my selection, I hand cut a banner and inked the edges (inking hides a multitude of cutting mishaps).

Finally everything came together (or so I thought!) and I adhered everything to the layout. But something still seemed to be missing! I hadn't inked the journaling box and it looked so stark on the page. Looking at the theme and story of the page, I thought hmmmm, how about stitching?! Rub-ons to the rescue! I added some to the journaling box and, not wanting to throw the leftovers out, added some to the bottom of the banner as well. And here is the completed layout!

Die-cut clothing is from the Silhouette Online Store. Alphas (Thickers)
Now... if you're still with me, here are the take-a-ways for today:
  1. Consider using inexpensive cardstock for the base of your layout when it's going to be all covered up anyway.
  2. If only a small amount of your background cardstock is going to be showing (i.e. a one- to two-inch border) and it's going to be covered by another piece of cardstock, cut out the center of the background piece. That will leave you up to a 10 x 10 piece for another project.
  3. When using a sketch, don't be afraid to change it up. Don't force your elements into the sketch; make the sketch fit your elements.
  4. Create a mat around your photos by using acrylic paint.
  5. Use your computer to create titles.
  6. Inking edges hides cutting mistakes or imperfectly sized borders!
  7. Stitching creates instant borders. Hate to sew? Try rub-ons, templates or do it yourself!
Thanks so much for hanging with me today!


**P. S. I'm getting the video camera warmed up! Stay tuned for a video of WrinkleFreeDiva's workshop

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Challenging Myself

On Friday, June 14th I hosted FNC over at Scraps of Color. I love Friday Night Challenges because they really help me to hone my crafting skills. I especially enjoy hosting because it forces me to try different techniques in order to prepare fun challenges for the participants.

The challenges and my projects were as follows:

Challenge #1Create a card (shape and size your choice) using a sponge and two or more colors of ink to make a background on white cardstock. Then stamp an image on it using a RUBBER stamp. Add some bling, ribbon, a corner punch and a sentiment. You may mat your sponged cardstock if you desire; however, NO PATTERNED PAPER ALLOWED!

Challenge #2Create a card (shape and size your choice) using white cardstock, two or more background stamps and no more than two colors of ink. If you don’t have any background stamps, you can sponge through a template onto the cardstock as well.Then stamp one or more images (they can be the same or different) on it using a RUBBER stamp and BLACK ink. Add ONLY a sentiment and mat to the white cardstock. No bling, ribbon, brads/buttons or other embellishments. Again, NO PATTERNED PAPER ALLOWED! (I got this idea from Stampers Sampler Take Ten magazine and managed to make two cards for this one!)

Challenge #3Use the following sketch to create a Father’s Day card. That’s it…added touches are up to you!

And finally, there was a challenge that participants had a week to complete. They were to use one of Classygirl's sketches to make a layout. I struggled a lot with making my pictures fit the sketch, but that's the beauty of sketches, you can rotate or flip them to suit your needs. And sometimes, the sketch really is just a jumping off point that gets your creativity cranked and cookin'!

If you've read this far, sorry... I have no profound lesson today. Just me and my sketches in this post!

Thanks for lookin'!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Taming Your Titles, Part 2

Last week I participated in Classygirl's June Scrapbook Pajama Party. It was truly a lot of fun watching Tiare talk us through her creative process while the rest of us worked diligently to keep up and get our layouts and cards done. We began with a sketch (good for me 'cause you know I am ALL about using sketches) and threw in some paint splatters for good measure. However, you know me... the slowpoke... the overthinker... I struggled to keep up and didn't get my card done, but I am proud to report that I finished my layout... the next day!

When choosing letters for my titles, I always want to make sure that they will fit in the space and fit the mood of the page. That's easy when you're using die-cut letters. You can move them around until you get them just how you want them. But with self-adhesive letters like Thickers, once you remove them from the backing, you need to stick them to something whether it be your layout or something else. This is where the packaging comes in handy.

After peeling off my letters, I stuck them on the cellophane packaging and moved them around on top of my layout until I was satisfied with the placement.

Once I was happy with the layout, I simply removed them from the packaging and stuck them on my layout! While I was at it, I managed to pull some old stuff out of my stash and use those items on my layout as well. I really like the way the distressing and paint splatters look on the background person it looks almost like batik cloth. Thanks Tiare for helping me get outside of my comfort zone.

So remember, when you're layout out self-adhesive letters for your title, use the packaging they come in to help you figure out the placement. If you don't have the cellophane packaging, wax paper also works nicely (I actually keep a roll in my craft room). Easy way to make sure they'll fit before adhering them permanently to your project!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Those Shifty Fibers

I recently took an online stamping class over at My Creative Classroom, and just as with all of the other online crafty classes I take, I fell behind. I did manage to get a few of the assignments completed. This one involved using the Versamark Watermark Stamp Pad on darker paper and then layering the same stamp on top. I stamped the forward most tree with Forest Moss distress ink and heat embossed the image. I've never used Versamark before and was quite pleased with the way the card turned out.

The little tip I want to share with you today involves getting your fibers to stay in place. For this card I used some really old paper raffia from my stash. Generally when I add twine, floss, other fibers, and sometimes ribbon to cards or layouts, I use plain ol' ordinary scotch tape to hold it in place in the back. That keeps it from shifting around when I flip the card over to tie it in the front. No need to use costly adhesives because it's not going to show on the finished project.

Taping it in back makes it easier to tie it exactly where I want to in the front.

And here is the finished card! This one was from the staff at my school and went to our principal who resigned at the end of this school year.

So today's tip? Tape those fibers in place in the back to keep them from shifting around.

Thanks for looking!