Sunday, January 22, 2017

It's All Abot the Brads

I joined a "support group" on the Studio Calico website for my fellow crafters who are trying to spend no money or only a little money on crafting supplies this year.  Pam started the group and is really working to keep us on track with weekly challenges.  And this weekend she challenged us to use some of those brads in our stashes.

I totally bought into brads as an amazing embellishment and have a basketful - even after a couple of big purges.  They really can be a great way to add color, pattern and dimension to a layout.  But it turns out that I hate using them.  I move things around so much while I am putting a project together and don't want to create a hole for the brad (just in case I change my mind again) until I am absolutely happy with the way a page looks.  But without really attaching the brad it is really hard to see how it looks.

But I remember someone telling me you can take the prongs off  brads and use glue dots to attache them.  And you know what - it works like a charm.  I can move brads around to my heart's content and know how they will look.  I used 8 brads on this layout inspired by the Sunday sketch at Studio Calico. 

Supplies from January kits at Citrus Twist kits and my stash.

The layout is bright and fun.  And the brads add lots of detail without a lot of fuss this way.  I just might be inspired to use up more of those brads.

I'm hoping to scrap some more this afternoon.  I hope you have some more creative time planned too.  Happy Sunday!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Watercolor Splatters

Every Sunday Paper Issues posts a scraplift challenge on their facebook fan page.  The inspiration layouts are always amazing, but I'll be honest - I don't take the challenge very often.  But this week, the challenge was stuck in my head.

This is the inspiration layout by Michelle Arseneault Gallant - her design is simple but the color choices are really striking.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling

So I decided to do my own version of the layout.  - I had a single photo of my dog (one of my favorite subjects lately) and used this layout as inspiration for my own design.

I maintained the general design but added more layers under the photo - I love mixing patterns and colors in the layers under a photo. I started with the papers and embellishments in the January Citrus Twist Scrapbook and Pocket Life kits.  I found a neutral strip that worked well at the top of my page - no cutting needed.  I added a few extra embellishments (the blue heart clip, the gold heart, the too cute die cut and the wood stars) from my stash.

Then it was time for some ink splatters.  If you visit here much, you know that just about every project has some ink splatters.  I usually use spray inks on a round paint brush.  But I really wanted to match the dark blue in the paper and die cuts -- and I just didn't have an ink that worked. I pulled out my cheap set of watercolors from Michaels, got the brush really wet and picked a blue that matched the papers.  I used the paint to create the splatters and it worked perfectly!

So today was a win - I finished a layout, tried something new with my current stash and fit in some crafty time for the seventh day in a row.  I'm feeling pretty good about sticking to my resolutions and "trying."

I hope you're having a good week too.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Stuck?! on an Angle

I am trying to get back to some of my creative habits that helped keep me scrapping.  One of the best of those was following the challenges at Stuck?! Sketches.  They publish two sketches each month and they usually provide lots of opportunity to play with layers and details.

So while I am wrapping up my amazing 4 day weekend, I decided to check out the current sketch.  I was excited to see that it was a fun diagonal design.

My layouts tend to be either horizontal or vertical in design so this sketch provided a fun challenge.

I started with the January kit from Citrus Twist Kits (my last one for a while) and a photo that brings back all those summer feelings.   I added lots of bits from my stash and created this layout.  There are quite a few pieces from Crate Paper Wonder, an older Crate paper line, Simple Stories, Dear Lizzy and Studio Calico kits mixed in with the pretty supplies from the kit.

I stuck really closely to the sketch and used layers and embellishments to tell my story.  And my tip for the day - check out the packaging - that fun yellow piece with the blue scalloped edge that is one of the bottom layers - that was the backing in the die cut pack from the Fancy Pants Joy Parade collection.  It is so cute and perfect here. 

I will be returning to work tomorrow but am definitely going to squeeze a little scrapping time in.  And you never know - maybe another blog post.   In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This Year ......

Last year was a rough one for me - in lots of ways, including creatively.  I lost all my inspiration and motivation in late spring and never managed to get started again.  And I pretty quickly gave up - I would go weeks without making anying.  But that didn't stop me from continuing my three kit subscriptions (2 at Citrus Twist and 1 at Studio Calico) plus buying lots of extras.  So needless to say, my stash is totally out of control.  I wouldn't use it all if I scrapped nonstop til I was 100.

And the reality is - I really am happier if I am having regular creative time.  So I decided to set some creative goals for myself this year.  My One Little Word this year is "TRY" - because I want to challenge myself but I also need to give myself permission to fail, to have bad days, to be less than perfect.  (That's a story for another day.)

So here are my goals:

1)  BUY LESS AND MAKE MORE!  I really admire all the ladies I know who are taking a no spend approach to this year.  But I know that I don't have that kind of willpower.  So instead I'm going to try to use more than I buy.

To this end I cancelled my Citrus Twist kit subscriptions - both the scrapbook and project life - and kept just the Studio Calico subscription.  To be honest I can't exactly explain why I chose to keep the Studio Calico subscription instead of the Citrus Twist subscription - I think the Citrus Twist kits are probably a better value.  And I reserve the right to buy an occasional Citrus Twist kit that I really love.

I am also trying to buy fewer extras with my kit subscription.  In January I ended up with only the scrapbook main kit, the 4x6 pad, a piece of Moonstruck vellum, and an extra pack of the kit die cuts.  And instead of add-ons, I pulled some items from my stash that coordinated with the kit supplies.

This seems to be working pretty well (but I am going to try and pull less next month or with my January Citrus Twist kit (I didn't cancel til this week) so that I might use up more of what I pull.

2)  Try new things or things that I don't do often.  I am not hugely addicted to tools, but I do buy things and not use them.  I've experimented with my fuse (almost a year after buying it) and done a silkscreen project since the first of the year as I've worked on my December album.  I also managed a little handstitching on a layout yesterday.

3)  Find at least 30 minutes to create every day.  Experience says that I am a generally happier person if I create every day.  And I have found that the more regularly I create, the easier the process becomes.  And since I am lucky enough to have space where I can leave projects in process, I really have no excuse to not pull this one off.

4)  Finish at least one in process project.  I have December albums for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 started.  My son's senior year album (he graduated in 2013) is half done. And there are some other things.  So the goal is to finish one of these things.  Honestly, it is probably going to be the 2016 December album, and then I might try to tackle a second one.  But regardless, the goal is to finish one thing.

5)  Put layouts in albums!  I have a nasty habit of letting layouts stack up instead of putting them in albums.  And before long, it becomes a huge job.  I spent a weekend this fall putting more than 100 layouts in albums - and that wasn't fun.  So the goal is to not let that happen again.

6)  EVERY DAY IS A NEW START!  This is a big one for me (not just creatively).  I tend to get caught up in what I didn't get done the day or week before, and never get started at all.  So the goal is to start each day thinking about what I will try to do instead of what I didn't do or can't do.

So here's hoping 2017 is a great year for you and for me.  I scrapped my hopes for my daughter, but they are really my hopes for all of us.

Just Start, Live in All Caps and Have a Fabulous Year.  Happy New year.

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.