Friday, August 31, 2012

God Jul!

When Elisabeth and Nicholas went back to school on Monday, it played havoc with my schedule.  My early mornings and evenings seem much busier.  As a result, I didn't get any blog posts up this week.  Hopefully things are going to settle into a routine soon!

Last Friday I went to a crop, but put together several layouts using sketches from Stuck?! But I needed to add journaling and that didn't happen til yesterday.  Today I'm sharing a Christmas layout from that crop.   I used the August 15 sketch as a starting point for this layout title "God Jul."

When doing holiday layouts (and everyday layouts) family traditions can provide a great source of inspiration.  The title is the Swedish translation of Merry Christmas and recognizes the impact our family connections to Sweden have had on our holiday traditions and decorations.  (When you are titling layouts, phrases that are common in your family make fun titles that will be especially meaningful to your audience.)

 This BG paper had a Scandinavian feel and so did the Martha Stewart letters.  It made a perfect layout to use the title connecting to my Swedish ancestors.  Because the paper and title had such impact, I only needed simple embellishments.

This tree is an old piece of LYB chipboard.  My husband suggested adding the "ornaments" and it really finished off the look.
The other embellishments are simple clusters of paperstock shapes I cut with the cricut.  The birds came on the same embellishment sheet as the letters.
Tomorrow the September edition of 30 in 30 starts.  I can't wait.  Hope you have a great Friday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Little Bragging

Twice in one week - I can't believe it! 

Early this week my layout titled Broken was chosen as the layout of the day at My Scraps and More.  And I just checked out the forum and my washi pencils were chosen as the "Layout of the Day" today.  I'm a little overwhelmed!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Last Whistle

Nicholas's soccer club ceased to exist after the spring season.  When the last game ended in a win, it was bittersweet.  It's always great to win, but it was sad to see the club's existence come to an end.  This layout commemorates that game.

I love the plaid paper from Webster's Pages.  It was easy to find coordinating papers in my stash.  And I have a couple of tips that I think really pulled this layout together.
  • Using large circles as a design element really helps pull your eye across the page.  Incorporating soccer ball embellishments repeats the circle shapes.  (And remember to take sandpaper to those soccer balls so they don't look so shiny and new.)

  • Use the curves of  the circles to create an interesting title element on your page.  And don't be afraid to put your title over a picture.  It adds dimension to your layout.

Hope you had a great Thursday - I'm trying to get organized for a crop after work tomorrow so I need to get focused and pack up.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Personalized Pencils And a Happy Surprise

School supplies have always been a big deal at my house.  But this year Elisabeth took it to new heights.  After the shopping, she went to great lengths to personalize her supplies.  After spending a little time with washi tape, those yellow number 2 pencils were history.  Instead she had these one of a kind pencils for her school stash.

My favorites are the ones where she mixed different rolls of washi to get striped effects.

Hope your havinga great time getting ready for the new school year!

The Happy Surprise
I just found out my layout, Broken, is the layout of the day at My Scraps and More.  Check it out on the forum!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Game Day!

Before you start, I've got to warn you - this post got really long.  Hope you stick with it.  The layout at the end is one of my favorites.

The first game of Nicholas's senior season was tonight and what better way to celebrate than to share a soccer layout (or two).  The first was inspired by this picture from Moxie Fab World where the trigger was called "Autumn Awaits."  The picture reminded me of some soccer themed paper that had been in my stash forever.  And autumn inevitably brings soccer at our house.  So here's the soccer layout I put together.

I love the bright and different color palette - its the only soccer page I've ever done with these colors -- and I even have a couple of tips to stretch your stash.

  • Invest in cardstock with texture - it makes a huge difference in the feel of your layouts. Here I used textured cardstock both for the brown base and to cut letters with my cricut.

  • Look for opportunities to cut your patterned paper to create embellishments.  This list of words for soccer in different languages comes from the paper that served as my inspiration, but acts as an embellishment on the layout.

  • Invest in one or two large scale embellishments for maximum impact for your money.  This soccer embellishment cost about the same a a sticker sheet but packs way more punch than scattered small embellishments.
After I had this layout ready to share, I came across a scraplift challenge at My Scraps and More.  Here is the beautiful layout that provided inspiration for the lift.  I love the layered circles and simple design.

And it just so happened I had a black and white photo of Hartley's team sitting on my table waiting for a project.  Last night as I was thinking about the start of Nicholas's senior year, I was inspired to use the scraplift as inspiration for a quick one page layout about the beginning of the season.  The feel of my layout is much different, but the core design elements come from the inspiration piece.

I used lots of odds and ends to put this together but love the result. 

I had a great night - Hartley won the season opener!  I hope you had a great Tuesday too!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Quick Tag

I thought I posted my last "just for fun" project this morning, but when I got home from work Stephanie Howell had posted one last challenge - any project with a doily.  I put together this quick birthday tag.

I'd misted a small Martha Stewart doily previously for a project but never used it.  I added it to a white tag for a base and then just looked for things to add.  The balloon and flower are Basic Grey and the label is from the Cakewalk Flower Sack.  I'd like to get it on a present.

Hope your day is going well - wait til you see the soccer layout I'm sharing tomorrow!

Last Bit of Fun

I want to share the last bit of fun from my play day yesterday.  I'll admit to cheating a bit, since this layout goes in Nicholas's album. However, I put it together without becoming obsessed with the details - which was what the play day was all about.

And I used up some Pink Paislee rub-ons that I've had forever.  And that giant ornament is from some really old Basic Grey - I loved it, but never had a place to use it.

And I did another Stephanie Howell challenge - use a bow on your layout.  That was a different thing for me, since I do so many boy lay-outs.  And I played with mists (which scare me) to create those bright blue stars.  I used those blue stars to move your eye across the layout and am entering it in the movement challenge at Moxie Fab World.

I had a great time with my play day and hope you had a chance to have some creative fun over the weekend too.  Have a great Monday!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Its Sunday afternoon and I'm still playing.  The next thing that caught my eye was the challenge at Bird is the Word.  I've been wanting to play along with one of their challenges and the word this week was "PEACE."  I knew exactly what picture I wanted to use.

I was inspired by the SC layout of the week.  I just pulled product that caught my eye randomly from my stash.   Here's the layout I put together.

Are you playing?

Update: Also entered this at Creative Scrappers

Play Time!

I'm playing today - just trying things for me.  No real purpose behind the projects I'm doing.  It might be challenges that catch my eye or a project or technique i want to try.  Don't know how long I'll keep at, but I think I'll add quick posts to share my work as I go. 

Stephanie Howell is hosting a just for fun crop today and her tag challenge is the first thing that caught my eye.  Any tag works - but needed a stamped image.  Since I've only recently started experimenting with stamps in my projects, it seemed like a perfect play project.

Here's my tag (for my daughter Elisabeth).

Simple rows of tape created the foundation for my project.  But I did come up with a tip.  I have a fair amount of BG paper lace in my stash and often find it to ornate or too wide for what I want to do.  For this tag, I deconstructed the green paper lace.  Both the top and bottom rows are from the same piece of paper lace.  I threw out the middle section but ended up with a unifying color/texture around my rows of tape. 

Hope you get to play today too!

Mail From AARP


I'll turn 50 at the end of this month.  I know, in my head, it's not really old, but it wasn't a lot of fun to get that card from AARP in the mail.  (Maybe if retiring at 50 was an option, but let's get real!).  And it does make me realize that I need to get serious about all those things I keep saying I'm going to do someday or have put on my "Bucket List."

One of the things on my Bucket List is earning a spot on a Design Team.  I've submitted information occasionally, but have allowed myself to be easily discouraged when I've applied.  So I'm going to suck it up, not be discouraged by rejection, and really pursue that goal in my 50th year.  (After all, there are lots of talented scrappers out there, so why should I take rejection so personally?)

My Scraps and More is holding their Fall Design Team call.  And, even though I am getting a late start, I'm going to submit an application.  I've followed their blog almost from the beginning of finding the scrapbook community on the internet and really enjoy seeing the different projects they show.  I haven't participated on their forums, but am making a new commitment to try.

One of the elements of the design team application is participating in a special sketch challenge.  The one page sketch was lots of fun to work with.  I stretched it for a two page layout about a trip we took to visit my Mom earlier in the summer.  The layout is for Nicholas's junior year album. 

I had lots of fun playing with the circles, colors and trims.  The layout combines elements from lots of manufacturer's and lines for a cohesive look that is uniquely mine.  Her are some highlights.

1.    The paper is from Creative Memories, LilyBee and October Afternoon.  I've mentioned before that CM paper is great for wallpaper because it is relatively light weight, but still adds texture.

2.  Embellishments come from Elle's Studio, Basic Grey, and October Afternoon.  The cork tags are from an Etsy shop I found through Freckled Fawn.  Cluster and combine small elements for more impact. 

3.  I've used the red and white ribbon several times in this album and was afraid it was getting repetitive. To get a different look, I layered another color ribbon over it.  It's a great way to stretch your stash.

4.  I've had the SC stitched circle garland in my stash for a while, but couldn't figure out how I wanted to use it.  It was really easy to manipulated for a curvy look and I used pop dots to adhere it and add dimension.

5.  I generally type my journaling and print on vellum when I pulling product for a layout.  That technique helps me be more thoughtful about my journaling.  But to help keep it from getting lost on a page, frame it with embellishments.

Wish me luck with My Scraps and More.  And if that doesn't work out, I'm going to keep trying. 

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

30 in 30

In June I participated in a new scrapbook challenge - 30 in 30.  You "simply" do 30 layouts in 30 days.  There were challenges to kickstart you, but I just worked on the albums I'm trying to complete.  Now I do 2 page layouts and I didn't get 30 done in one month, but I did get lots of layouts done because that goal was in the back of my mind. 

Mel is getting ready to start another round in September and I'm ready to join the fun.  You can read more about the September 30 in 30 on her blog,  I hope you decided to play along.

Scraps on Trend

Over the past few months, I've admired lots of layouts that used patterned papers to create a sunburst pattern.  I loved the look, but was really intimidated by it.  My Scrapbook Nook had using a sunburst pattern as one of their summer challenges.  I decided I was going to try it, but kept putting it off.  It just seemed overwhelming.  The Nook crop ended Sunday, and I still hadn't finished a layout with a sunburst pattern.

But I finally pushed myself to try it on a layout about my son's relationship with his cousin Ben.  Ben asked Nicholas to be his confirmation sponsor, and I wanted to use the occasion to document the fact that they were growing closer as Ben got ready for high school. (He's going to the same school as Nicholas.) I thought the way the papers converged  went well with the message in my journaling.

To my surprise, it was a very simple look to get -- and it was a great way to use up scraps to get a look that uses one of the current trends in layouts.  If you're like me, you are consistently drawn to similar color palettes, so it isn't hard to find scraps that coordinate. And because the papers converged under the pictures, the cutting didn't have to be precise.

I used some coordinating thickers to do a non-traditional title by putting each of their names and the word "friends" in the red strips of paper.  And the mix of papers adds lots of interest so its not necessary to do much embellishing.  I added a few SC wood veneer stars and was done, except that I wanted a two page layout for Nicholas's album.  Here's what I did with the second page.

One of my favorite things about the layout is that it works as a one page layout or a two page layout.

What technique or look scares you?  Give it a try - after all, its only paper.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Needed to Edit

Sometimes a layout just won't come together and I can't figure out why.  I like the elements I've pulled individually, and I like the combination of elements when I look at them.  But when I try to put them together, I just can't get a look I like.

This layout for Easter 2012 is one of those layouts.

 I spent hours moving the pieces around and changing things, but never got to a result I was sure about.  I finally gave up, glued everything down and moved on.  Now looking at it, I don't hate it, but I don't love it.  Since clean and simple pages tend to appeal to me, I think the answer is in editing, but I never did figure out what to take away. 

When I run into a layout like that, I like to go back a few days later and look with fresh eyes.  I look for elements I like and elements that seem out of place.  I'm hoping to learn so my future layouts are better.

I likethe horizontal block of pictures on the bright green cardstock.  The pictures highlight Nicholas's expressions as he checked out this basket and the green cardstock is a surprise.

And I like the cluster of elements with the page title.  I've just begun experimenting with stamping in my layouts and I like the way the title looks on the shipping tag.  I also like the look of the flair button.

But I'm not to sure about the bright pink paper, the doily and the banners.  They appeal to me individually, but maybe not all on this layout?

I'm sure the answer was in editing my product choices, but I still can't figure out what I would have left off.  I guess I can't love all my layouts.

I'd love to hear how you solve your challenging layout issues.  Hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You Know You're A Scrapbooker When . . . .

. . . .you're at the urgent care with your son, they tell him he has a spiral fracture, and your first thought is "I need to take pictures so I can put this in his album."  That happened to me this spring. 

Nicholas got new cleats in his Easter basket and went to open fields to break them in the next day.  When I got home that afternoon, he was icing his ankle.    When I asked him if he wanted to have it looked at, he was sure he had just twisted it.  That evening he was hopping around the kitchen, so we took off for urgent care.  He had driven home after he played soccer, walked into urgent care and refused a wheelchair while we were there.  So I thought they would wrap it and send it on our way.  But the xray showed the fracture and they decided to cast it immediately.

My first thought was that I didn't have my camera.  But, as the son of a scrapbooker, he reminded me that I could take pictures with my phone.  (For the record, he faked the picture where he looks upset.)  And the urgent care gave me a print out of the xray.  Does it get any better than that?

This layout is the result of that trip to urgent care and those cell phone pictures.

I love mixing papers and this layout is a great example of mixing from different lines.  The yellow is from Studio Calico, the red is from Basic Grey and the blue is from Authentique.  The ribbon and the small die cut are from a SC kit.  The oval and arrow were in my "basket of bits."  And if you look closely there is an October afternoon tidbit on here too.

My favorite part of the layout is the title.  I used SCAL and my Cricut to cut the letters from some MME Indie Chic paper.  The bold pattern in the paper really draws the eye.

Now, after the fact I will admit that my priorities might have been a bit off.  But Nicholas was right there with me, and I have to admit, that I would probably do the same thing again?  Are you a diehard scrapbooker who always looks for photo opportunities and new layouts to put together?

Hope you had a great day!

Monday, August 13, 2012


If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that I've been quiet for the last couple of weeks and haven't had many layouts to share.  But on Saturday I spent most of the day at a crop (I left for about 3 hours in the middle to watch my son's first soccer scrimmage), and got 5 layouts "almost done."  I just need to add journaling and I'll be ready to share them.  Some I like, some I'm less sure about, but at least I'm working again.  Watch for them later this week.

In the meantime, I want to share another great giveaway.  At Creating from the Heart, Melissa is having a great giveaway feturing some of the new fall and christmas themed products from MME and BoBunny.  She's even throwing in a gift card so you can shop for your own favorites.  Now, I'd really like to win, but hop on over and enter yourself.  And become a follower or subscribe for an additional chance to win.

I'll be back tomorrow with a layout to share.  Hope you had a good Monday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Paper Doll and Paper Issues

Paper Doll Give Away

I wanted to share a really fun giveaway over at The Paper Doll.  Ashley is giving away some fun candy if she has at least 300 followers by her 300th blog post.  She only needs 6 more followers to get to 300, so hop over, become a follower and leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.  Share her giveaweay and leave a comment to be entered if you're already a follower.

There's another great giveaway at Paper Issues.  They are giving away their August kit titled "Snow Cones and Sunshine."  I love that name and the products in the kit look like they would be so much fun to play with!

Paper Issues August Kit
I haven't been inspired lately and haven't had many layouts to share.  If I'm lucky enough to win, one of these fun give aways might provide just the spark I need.

Now, I better get ready for work - you know, the day job that pays for all those fun supplies . . . . .

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Making Embellishments

If you check in very often, you know that I'm a confessed hoarder -- and that I like to find ways to stretch my stash.  One way to do that is to make your own embellishments.  This layout is all about Christmas stockings, so I dug through my scrap pile and used my cricut to make garland and stockings to use as embellishments.  Here's the finished project.

 And here's a closer look at the stockings.

It worked out great, but I have a confession to make.  I had a great time making the stockings - such a great time that I made about 50 of them -- each one was unique as I just kept cutting stockings and trim from my scraps.  Sometimes playing with my scraps gets totally out of control - and isn't such a time and money saver.

And, of course, since I'm a hoarder, I put the ones I didn't use away with my Christmas embellishments so I'm ready to use them another time.

I've entered this layout in both the Frosted Designs color challenge and the July 29th sketch challenge at Studio Calico.