Saturday, November 19, 2016

I've Been Stuck.........

I haven't been around much for the past several months. Honestly, I didn't have much of anything to share.  The spring and summer months were super frustrating for me creatively.  At most I think I made one or two layouts a month.  I just was uninspired and actually avoided my scrap room.

But creating is my happy thing and I really missed it.  So as time went on, I tried to push myself out of my slump.  I took an online class based on sketches .... that actually provided the inspiration for the few layouts I made, but it didn't really provide a jumpstart.  I tried a big purge, but that didn't do it either.  And I just got more frustrated. 

Then last weekend Paper Issues hosted an online crop .......and I was suddenly all in.  I made 15 layouts in 4 days!  (I'll share some of my favorites in the next few days).  And when I went back to work after the long weekend, I kept scrapping. 

Sketches have always been my favorite inspiration.  So when I finished the crop challenges, I went to Stuck?! - it's one of my favorite sketch blogs.  The current sketch is right up my alley with opportunities to layer and play with lots of embellishments.

I pulled out the November kits from Citrus Twist Kits and went to work.  Here's what I came up with.

I added a couple of doilies,, a label and a piece of vellum were from my stash.  Every thing else came from the kits.  The pack of Jillibean Soup die cuts in the project life kit is incredible.  It included all the die cuts on this page and I have tons of pieces left. 

The exclusive veneer and chipboard worked perfectly with the die cuts.......

And that little dog was perfect for the story I was telling.....

The exlusive puffy hearts and the enamel dots in the kits were just right too.

I am anxious to get back to scrapping, so I am going to say good-bye for now.  I will be sharing some of my crop layouts and hopefully some new creations.  So I will be back soon.  But for now, enjoy your weekend!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Do Over

I wasn't very motivated or inspired last week - but I got up yesterday, determined to make something.  It was really early when I got back from walking the dog (about 6) so I was really excited to see that Citrus Twist had already posted their weekly sketch challenge.

I really liked the sketch and the CT take on it was very cool.  But I really struggle with layouts that use lots of circles.  And my goal was to make something - not get frustrated - so in my head I turned those circles into squares.

I used my May Citrus Twist kits - they are gorgeous with lots of Pink Paislee Fancy Free, Maggie Holmes Bloom and other coordinating supplies.  And made this.

It was close to the sketch, I photographed it and posted it for the challenge.  An hour later I walked by my scrapbook table, looked at it and didn't like it at all.  Am I the only one who does that?

So I started to pull it apart - but took a breath and thought about what I didn't like - and, being me, I decided there wasn't enough layer or detail in the layout.  So I dug through my kit goodies and got to work.  And ended up with this.

Same layout but with more layers and more details.  And I am so much happier with it.  This is the only thing I made yesterday, but I learned two things.

  • When I don't like a project, starting over isn't always the only solution.  Take time tot hink about how to improve the first attempt.  Small changes can make a big difference.
  • It's important to know your style - and rely on those elements when you are stuck.  Stretching and trying new things is important and fun - but going back to what you know and love is the best way to find your mojo.         
I wish I could stay home and put those lessons to the test this morning.  But I'm off to work.  Have a marvelous Monday.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Using a Transparency

Transparent elements are big in scrapbooking right now.  And I am a huge fan - I love that they provide opportunities to add color and texture but generally maintain a light feel.  But 12x12 transparencies are coming with lots more color and pattern than ever before - and I think they can be a bit challenging to use.  In fact, my stash is growing quickly - they are so pretty but I end up not using them. 

So when the Spoonful add-on at Studio Calico came with this Dear Lizzy transparency I was determined to use it.

I found the perfect inspiration is a sketch at Citrus Twist Kits. The diagonal design seemed to provide a great opportunity to incorporate the transparency to add color and pattern as a background element.

It turns out - that wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  I ended up piecing together several patterned papers, including the transparency to create a custom background.

Once the background was done I worked on a photo block.  And I'll admit that I had a hard time with placement - the vertical orientation in the sketch just didn't work well.  I think I moved the block around for 15 minutes and it just didn't look right.  I added the pink and white striped paper from my scraps on a whim - and was really surprised that it seemed to work to anchor the whole thing. 

Because the design was busy and I had used a number of bold patterns, I kept embellishments to a minimum (a challenge for me).  But I thought it was really fun to add a second transparent element with the acetate word from Pinkfresh Studio.  And I was really surprised at how well the hot pink thickers worked on top of the transparency. Finally, I couldn't call it done without a few ink spatters.

So what's accumulating in your stash because you love it but can't quite figure out how to use it.  Challenge yourself to put it on a project this week.  You might just be surprised with the end result.

Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Capturing the Everyday

I started as an "event" scrapbooker - you know - capturing all the stuff we do.  But as I've scrapped more and gotten older, I am increasingly focused on capturing the minutia of everyday life.  I want the albums I put together for my children to include bits of everyday life that will bring back memories of everyday (and things there kids won't understand at all). 

Nothing is bigger in my daughter's everyday life right now than snapchat.  But I suspect it will be long gone by the time her children are teens.  So I decided I wanted to do a layout that at least would make her think back to the time when she couldn't go an hour without snapchat.

I started with the current sketch at Stuck?! Sketches and the May kits from Studio Calico

It has lots of opportunities to layer and add bits and pieces so it was perfect for me.  I ended up with this.

I really stuck closely to the sketch.  But I moved the banners to the bottom of the photo block instead of the side of the photo block.  To balance that change I shifted an embellishment cluster to the top corner of the photo block.  The title stayed at the bottom of the page but shifted to the opposite side (another result of the shift in the banners.)

Most of the supplies are from the Jolly Holiday kits.  But I did pull that fun veneer grid from my stash.  And this was a great time to dig into my die cut stash to help build embellishment clusters. 

And I can't wait til my daughters children are going through her album and ask her what "snapchat" is.

Hope you're finding time to scrap this weekend.  I'm on a roll so I better get back to work.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Jolly Holiday

My May Studio Calico kit - Jolly Holiday - came last week.  I have to admit that when I opened it, I was seriously underwhelmed.  It just didn't seem to fit my style well, I didn't think the "specialty paper" was special and it seemed light on embellishments.  But I have had it since Thursday and made 5 layouts so far.  Admittedly, I have mixed in bits from my stash with the kit (but I tend to do that anyway).  So I have to say that the kit has been pretty darn inspiring.

The first layout I made was inspired by last week's scrapbook sketch (May 8th) at Studio Calico.

 It is such a fun take on a grid design.  And I had a picture of some pretty macaroons on my desk that I had been waiting to scrapbook.  So between the sketch and Jolly Holiday, I came up with this.

I didn't try to copy the sketch exactly.  Instead I went to my desk and created my own design with the sketch in mind.  The elements that really stuck with me was the series of elements running horizontally across the page, the use of some circles, the strips above the main block of squares and the title placement.

Most of the bits here are from the Jolly Holiday kit and Spoonful add-on.  I am super excited by the bright pink thickers I used for the title.  I wouldn't have ordered them, but they are seriously the perfect pink.

I am still totally in love with the big acetate words from Pinkfresh Studio and was excited to get more of them.  But I tried attaching it with a liquid adhesive here and it didn't work well at all (as you can see) - so I am back to the tiny attacher or an adhesive roller.

And the acrylic bits I added - they were perfect and from a recent haul from Colorcast Designs.  It was hard to part with the asterisk (I get a gold star for not hoarding), but it was just the thing for this layout.

I'm super excited about the kit now - hope you are finding inspiration in your supplies too.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Sundays are often my best chance to play in my scrap room.  And it seems like the ideas tend to dry right up.  So the first thing I do on Sunday mornings is go to my favorite inspiration spots to get that creative spark going.  And today it worked!

One of the places I check every Sunday is the Studio Calico blog.  SC publishes 3 sketches on Sunday - a scrapbook sketch, a documenter (project life) sketch and a card sketch.  This week I liked all the sketches but the documenter sketch was the one that inspired a layout right away.  (I think it is a lot of fun to adapt a sketch to a different type of project.)

I'm not sure what drew my eye - maybe the arrows - but I looked at the sketch and immediately had an idea for a layout about my daughter getting her temps.   I turned the sketch on its side for purposes of a traditional layout (though I think it would work well with a horizontal orientation too).

I just received the Jolly Holiday kit last week and started with supplies from that kit.  Then I went to my stsh for some arrows, some oversized letters and some scraps of neutral papers.  And I ended up with this.

I still seriously love the giant chipboard letters - these are from the Ali Edwards shop - the color is Astoria.  I just wish I could be more vowels (and maybe a few other letters).  And I have been hoarding those arrow die cuts - now I know why.  They were perfect for this layout.

Hope you find time to play today.  Have an amazing Sunday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mixed Media Effects With Rub Ons

I love the fun backgrounds I see people create with all the amazing mediums available.  But I am a little bit scared of paints and other mixed mediums on my layouts - I don't use them enough to be really comfortable and I feel like I don't have control of what I'm creating.  So I've come up with a fun technique using rub-ons that creates a similar effect. 

I love rub-ons and almost always snag them when they come out these days.  But I don't always remember to use them.  And I've learned - the hard way - that rub-ons get old.  Eventually they either don't want to release onto my project or they leave part of the image on the protective sheet in the packaging.  But they are still a great source of color and are fun to use.

Here is a layout where I used lots of old rubons - I started with a pretty piece of patterned paper from Pinkfresh Studio along one side of my layout.  Then I pulled out rubons that seemed to coordinate to create a mixed media effect.

There are a couple tricks to this technique -
  • Make sure you get incomplete images - you are creating color and texture and not shapes or images in most instances.
  • Layer the rub-ons over each other.  It creates a more irregular effect and adds dimension.
  • Adding in some black and white words or images helps anchor the effect
  • Make sure some of the rubons go on to the patterned paper to tie the two elements of the layout together.
I added some ink splatters in coordinating colors to finish the layout.  And I didn't do it here (mostly because I was lazy) but adding in tiny enamel dots, sequins or bits of wood veneer can really make the whole thing pop.

So there you have it - a mixed media effect with no mess.  It's super easy and a great way to use up those rub-ons in your stash. 

Thanks for stopping by - have a great Tuesday.