Thursday, December 11, 2014

Washi tags

Every year I decide to make my own tags.  Some years they are pretty elaborate.  One year I cut tag shapes with my cricut and called it good.  This year, I've made a few pretty elaborate tags, but for the most part I am using shipping tags and washi tape.

I have tons of washi tape - does anyone ever finish a roll? So this is a great way to use some of it up and add a personal touch to my packages.  So I am layering on the washi, adding an embellishment or two, and calling it done.  Here are some examples.
You can create really different looks by mixing different washi tapes and placing differently.  And you can coordinate perfectly with your wrapping paper.  (Or just make tags you like and buy wrapping paper that matches your tags - I've done that before.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Using Scraps - Banners

Not everything in December can be about Christmas.  And over the weekend I really needed a break from the holiday rush.  So I decided to do a layout that is not about Christmas.  

When I'm working with my Studio Calico kits for the current month, I save every scrap - no matter how small.    So as the month ends, I tend to have lots of bits of patterned paper.  And I know I will throw some of them away when I mix the kit in with my stash, so I feel pressured to use them.

So this month I decided to mix lots of scraps to create banners to set off a photo block.  

The mix of colors and patterns created a fun, bright layout that was perfect for these pictures celebrating the one year anniversary of "gotcha day" with our sweet Jerry.  We adopted him from our local animal shelter, and he has brought us so much joy. 

But I was a bit stuck with title placement.  I finally decided to use the large wood veneer number like another banner and really love the way it works with the rest of the design.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Quick and Easy Christmas Card

This time of year is super crazy at my house.  No matter how often I say that we are going to have a relaxed and enjoyable holiday, it seems like everything goes nuts starting the day after Thanksgiving.  And this year is no exception.  So last week passed in a blur of holiday craziness with work and school squeezed in. 

But over the last couple years, I've learned that a few quiet minutes in my scrap room each day go a long way to maintaining my sanity.  So this weekend I was determined to get back on track.  My craft room is a disaster right now which makes me crazy, but I squeezed in some crafty time - the organizing is going to have to wait.

I woke up Sunday with an idea for a card inspired by paper from Studio Calico's card kit last month.  I knew it would come together quickly, so it was perfect project for this time of year. 

I started with a plain white card base - I know they are easy to make, but I buy them just because it makes things so quick and easy.  I trimmed the great tree paper from the Walden card kit so that it was slightly smaller than the card.  Then I added a piece of vellum over the patterned paper. 

I knew I wanted to create a simple cluster in the bottom corner of the card.  I pulled out the stamp from this month's embellishment kit - Waldorf.  It had a small pine branch that was just what I had in mind.  I stamped the image a couple of times with Studio Calico Color Theory Yes Peas Ink and made sure the images overlapped slightly.

For the sentiment I used the stamp from the Garland Road project life add-on (November 2014) from Studio Calico and Gold Galax Brilliance Ink.  I placed the image just to the side and below the branches.  I pulled out one of those "vintage" wood veneer "tweets" from Studio Calico to link my sentiment and pine branches.  I colored it a soft red with a pale tomato Hero Arts ink dauber.    It just took a few tiny gold star sequins to finish it off.

I love when a project is inspired by a paper or embellishment.  They always seem to come together so quickly.  Link me up with your last project inspired by a supply in the comments.  I will pick one link at random for a $5 Studio Calico gift card.  I will choose a winner on December 21 - that way you will have the gift card in plenty of time for the January kit reveal.

I still have to pick the winner of my holiday giveaway - hopefully in the next few days. It totally got away from me last week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 1, 2014


For the first time in more than 20 years, I wasn't hosting Thanksgiving.  So I had some extra time.  So I decided to make some special holiday tags.  (It was the perfect project because I could work easily in small bits of time and finish each tag pretty quickly.)  Plus I made a dent in my never-ending holiday stash. 

I started with 10 plain white shipping tags.  I laid them out on an old piece of cardboard like this.

 I pulled out my favorite multi-media product ever - the gold martha stewart liquid gilding and a foam brush.  (I've learned that foam brushes work really well with this product and, because they are so inexpensive, you can just throw them away when you are done.)

 I painted the tags with the liquid gilding and had 10 shiny gold tags that would serve as the base for my project.  The liquid gilding dries super fast, so I was ready for the fun part in no time.  I pulled out a box of miscellaneous christmas embellishments and started to put together different combinations of paper scraps and embellishments. 

The best part of this project was the ability to create a really different feel for each tag.  Here are some of my favorites.

 I love the vintage feel of this one.  And the soft texture from the scrap of handmade paper that is behind the Santa.  Initially the red twine was not a bold enough finish but when I doubled up, it was perfect.

 These colors are way less traditional, and the effect is much cleaner than the first tag.  I doubled up the twine again here for a stronger impact from the trim.

Tags are also a great way to experiment with different techniques.  I experimented with silkscreen and acrylic paint over the liquic gilding on this tag.  The result wasn't as clean as I wanted, but it still created a fun look.  Tags are a great place to experiment with techniques!

This is my favorite - I had been looking for a chance to use that plaid washi from Freckled Fawn.  And the deer from the Gossamer Blue Get Happy wood veneer is awesome (I used a couple coats of black color shine to color it).  I finished it off with wide red satin ribbon which helped to balance the visual weight from the deer.

And here is a picture of all 10 tags. 

Some of them will end up on gifts and others will end up as part of holiday projects (like my December Daily-ish album).  They were so much fun to make, that I will probably make more - and maybe with the silver liquid gilding.  I've never tried it.

If you have a chance experiment with some tags - they are fun, quick and inexpensive - and a great way to use up bits and pieces in your stash.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Repetitive Stamping

I want to use my stamps and my ink pads.  I have all the Studio Calico Color Theory stamp pads and the colors are gorgeous.  And I get stamps in my kits each month, so my stamp collection is a little out of control.  But I have to admit that using my stamps is not my first instinct.  So I almost never buy a stamp set outside the kits.  I just don't use them enough.

But a few months back, I couldn't resist this stamp set offered at Studio Calico as an add-on to the card kit.  It is called the Circles set by Splendid Finn,

Picture 1 of 4x3" Circles Stamp Set by Splendid Fiins
I couldn't tell you exactly why, but I fell in love.  And it turns out that so far the solid circle is my favorite stamp in the set.  I am a little addicted to using it for repetitive stamping, mixing colors to create custom backgrounds.  Earlier this week I needed a quick retirement card for a friend at work.  I pulled out inks in color theory, blush crush, flamingo, lavender soda and purple rain - and that circle stamp.  I randomly stamped circles in different colors to fill in a piece of white cardstock.

After that it was easy.  I used a Pebbles tag that said celebrate and edged it with gold brilliance ink.  I added gold glitter embossing powder to a wood veneer "m" to create a monogram to make the card more personal and finished with a strip of gold glitter washi from My Minds Eye.  And then just for a little sparkle, I added lots of tiny pink star sequins.  Mitali deserved a lot of sparkle.

I used the same technique to create a quick and easy Christmas card.  This time I used inks in the green and aqua color range - emerald city, lime light, yes peas, mint hint, and glass slipper.

I added a red holiday banner sticker and a gold star from my stash (both from old Studio Calico collections) and I was done.  If I had more of  those banner stickers, I might just mash produce this card.

If you try this, don't forget to stamp multiple times with your stamp before you re-ink.  This creates lots of variety in the colors you het for your circles (or whatever image you stamp.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Obsessing Over Die Cuts

I love adding layers and little details to my layouts.  So I am thrilled with all of the die cut and ephemera packs that have been coming out with the new collections.  They provide quick and easy layers, can provide places to journal and add details that pull your eye through a layout.  I think thee are die cuts on almost every layout I do these days.

I sort my die cuts by color and store them in Elle Avery envelopes that way.  So most often I mix and match die cuts from different manufacturer's and collections.  But this layout was a layout I made using the November Studio Calico kits.   One of the add-ons included the ephemera pack from the newest Maggie Holmes collection - Open Book.

When working with a kit, I usually start with the patterned papers.  I pick 3-5 that I really like together and lay them on the desk.  For this layout I had 3 papers picked - the navy text, the pink dot, and the mossy green chevron.  I had a scrap of the purple Basic Grey paper sitting there from a prior project.

My initial idea was to layer the three papers I'd chosen on the picture.  But I couldn't get it to "work."  Eventually I pulled the layers apart to create a horizontal block across the layout .  I really liked that, but the picture didn't look right (I'd already cropped it with my original concept in mind and I had way to much space on one side of my layout)  

I started by building up the photo block, adding a piece of the purple Basic Grey scrap and another paper from the kit - the white with cork polka dots.  I folded a glassine bag that was used to pack kit embellishments in half under the photo  - this is a great way to add texture and dimension and to reuse packing material.  This gave the photo more weight but I still needed to balance it on the other side of my layout.  

Those die cuts really came to the rescue - I took a smaller piece of the purple scrap on my desk and placed it opposite the picture.  I layered three die cuts to create an element on my layout that balanced the photo.  I added a gold polka dot tag from Pebbles to the cluster and placed a kraft thicker heart from Amy Tangerine on top of the tag.  I used enamel dots to hold the tag string so it looks like the tag is hanging on the layout.

To finish I added another diecut cluster at the top of the page, mixing in antoher one of those kraft thickers and a label from my kit. I love that floral banner

 A shipping tag die cut went under the photo, a phrase label from the kit went on top of the photo and I added one more die cut to create a third element in the large horizontal piece across my layout.  I pulled some old thickers from my stash for the title and created some hand-written journaling strips to finish off the the design.  (I may be the last person in the world to figure this out, but those journaling strips don't have to be white - I used pale blue cardstock and love the softer look.) And of course, every layout needs some ink splatters (I just need to learn to let them dry before I touch them.I used navy color shine from Heidi Swapp here.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Leather Feathers and Old Photos

I am more than a little addicted to my Studio Calico kits - I get super excited for sneaks, presale and getting that box each month.  One of the biggest reasons is that those kits often push me in new directions.  For example, I am pretty sure I never would have tried doilies or sequins without those kits - and now those are crafting staples.  Same goes for shipping tags.

But this month was really out there.

When sneaks came out, the Concord add-on was super expensive.  And I already had most of the papers.  I did love the Amy Tangerine kraft thickers and I really liked the stamp set, but I still wasn't sold.  But at reveal there were two items that sold me.  The first was the wood veneer world mask.  And I will admit that I'm hoarding that, waiting for the perfect photo and layout.  The second was the leather feathers.  I was fascinated by the idea.  I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to figure out how to use them, but still couldn't resist.  That kit went right in my cart.

Picture 1 of Concord

And when it came it was beautiful - and I loved the leather feathers -- and I had no idea what  I was going to do with them.  Until Tuesday night.

My son was driving through the night with friends to come home from college in South Carolina for Thanksgiving.  I knew I wouldn't sleep (that mom worry gene)  and was hanging out in my scrap room.  And old picture of Nicholas (he's about 1 in the photo) caught my eye and I decided to pull together a layout to help pass the time.

I started with this week's sketch at Studio Calico.  I loved all the horizontal lines (and am now thinking about trying a vertical version).

I pulled out some papers from my kit and got to work.  As the layout came together I kept thinking about those 3 leather feathers.  They seemed like the perfect finishing touches for this layout.  So before I knew it, the first one was highlighting the journaling.

The second one found its way onto the layout too - it accents the photo block.  And the third and largest feather created the final horizontal element on the layout.

But I was out of feathers and felt like I needed something at the top of the page.  I pulled a wood veneer heart that said love from my stash, colored it with navy colorshine  and added it with a paper strip.

And then the layout was finished

 - and Nicholas pulled in the driveway about 30 minutes later.

Think about scrapping some of those old photos.  Its so much fun to play with those memories.  And it helps remind us of why we love scrapbooking so much!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

December Daily-ish - Finally Starting

 Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Now that I've bored you silly all week with talking about how I picked supplies and how I am storing my supplies, I am finally going to share a page.  I chose a page protector with 12 2x2 pockets for my title page.  I wanted to be able to do something fun and use a variety of supplies to set the tone for the project. 

I started by cutting 5 2x2 pieces of paper and used the oversize gold alphas from Pebbles to add the letters in the word "merry."  Then I started to pull embellishments to the different pockets.  Here are some highlights:

  • The gold glitter tag is also from Pebbles.  I added the year with some small alphas for a custom look.  It is stapled into the pocket.  I left the string sticking out the top for now.  I am thinking I might have some other ribbons sticking out by the time the album is done, but if I don't I will trim the twine later.  And I glued a snowflake wood veneer on the back of the tag so it's pretty on the back side of the page too.
  • Those puffy gold stars are scraps from trim that came in an old Studio Calico kit.  They are stapled into place also.
  • That black plastic strip that says "celebrate" came in the November Studio Calico card kit.  I used adhesive to attach it to the top of the page protector.  And I put a corresponding piece that says grateful on the other side of the page protector in the same place.  Since Thanksgiving will be on the other side of  this, it should work perfectly.
  • The sequins are from my stash.  I started with some of the red stars from Studio Calico - one of the embellishments I chose for my kit -- and added others from my stash.  I mixed sizes and colors.  And since I don't have a sewing machine, I used glossy accents to glue the pocket closed.
  • The chipboard frame is from Crate Paper and the little wood heart is from the Atlantic collection by Studio Calico.  They are both attached to a small transparency square that slides in the pocket.  And another frame and another heart are attached to the back side.
  • The wood veneer star is just floating in the pocket for now.  If it doesn't want to stay in I will staple it, but for now it works.
  • The last square is a piece of white card stock that I covered with different washi tapes placed randomly.  The tape with words is holiday masking tape that came in one of the November scrapbook add ons from Studio Calico.
The back side of the page serves as a foundation page for Thanksgiving.  I will use patterned paper and small photos in the pockets that don't hold embellishments.

 I think I will use a full 6x8 page protector on the page opposite. 

Don't forget to leave a comment for an entry into my holiday themed giveaway.  This is the last day to enter.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

December Daily-ish - Getting Organized

So now that I've pulled all that pretty paper and all the fun embellishments out, I need a way to store them.  I know lots of people use pretty trays with little bowls and I love that idea.  But the only place I would have to leave the tray is on my desk and this isn't the only project I will work on over the next month or two.  And I love the idea of using muffin tins - vintage or new - to sort embellishments.  But again - where am I keeping the muffin ins?

So I needed a solution that would allow me to put the project away when I wasn't working on it.  I looked at an empty iris box in the basement, but it wasn't big enough and I wasn't sure how I would keep the supplies organized.  And, to be honest, I am always looking for an excuse to by organizing stuff.  So off to Michaels I went. 

I found an Iris box that is twice as deep as the standard boxes I already have.  I liked that because I could close it up and put the box away.  And with the extra depth, I was pretty sure I could fit all my supplies.  But I still wanted to be able to sort embellishments.  So I was super excited to find a tray with adjustable dividers that fit in the iris box.  And storage was on sale and I had a coupon for 25% off my total purchase.  Those suckers were coming home with me. 

The bottom of the box holds my papers and large embellishments.  I also put in the container of leftover paint from my cover.  I can dig through those supplies easily and everything goes right back in.

I even used a box from a Studio Calico project life kit in the bottom of the box.  It holds the project life cards I pulled out and is easy to dig through.  And I don't have to worry about the cards scattering all over the box.

The tray fits on top of the supplies in the bottom of the box.  I used the adjustable dividers to create the compartments that fit my supplies.  I even divided up the die cuts so that vellum, acetate, and traditional die cuts so I can find what I want quickly. 

When I'm not working on the album, I close up the box and put it away.  And if I do want to go somewhere else to work on my album with friends, I can grab the box and go.  It's not as pretty as those trays with bowls, but it fits my needs perfectly.

Oh you may have noticed that the album itself doesn't fit in the box.  I put all the page protectors in the album and keep it on my desk.  I like to stand it up so that the cover is a little bit like having a decoration on my scrap desk.

Don't forget to leave a comment for an entry into the holiday themed giveaway.  And thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

December Daily-ish - Embellishments.

Yesterday I talked a lot about the paper choices I made for my album.  Today I'm talking about embellishments .  As I thought about embellishments, I came up with the following principles to help choose embellishments:
  • I wanted a mix of holiday and non-holiday themed embellishments
  • I wanted a mix of textures and colors
  • I didn't want to end up with a lot of things to put away when the project was done.
Again I looked at the different kits out there to see what appealed to me.  For instance I love seeing holiday words in script form so I was excited to find some heidi swapp holiday word stickers in my stash.  And I may well buy some cut files so I can play with this look more.

I also realized that I am going to work on my album here at home most if not all the time.  And my scrap room organization is about having things where I can see them since I use what I see.  But my holiday embellishments are stored in two Iris boxes and are hard to dig through.  So I decided to focus on pulling holiday embellishments and adding reminders of non-holiday themed embellishments to my kit rather than pulling everything I might want to use.  (Remember - I don't want a lot to put away at the end of the project.)

So here is a photo that gives you a feel for the embellishment mix I've chosen.

 Here are the items I've chosen:
  • die cuts - a mix of traditional, vellum, and acetate pieces so I can add a variety of textures
  • rub-ons - I love using rub-ons lately, especially directly on a photo since I don't have access to photoshop.  Those gold star rub-ons were from Chic Tags last Christmas
  • bags, pockets, folders and envelopes - perfect for creating inserts to hold journaling and memorabilia
  • trim - I pulled a mix of ribbons and twine
  • tags - love those gold glitter tags from Pebbles
  • flair - a mix of traditional flair, cameos from Webster's Pages that were in my stash and those Glitz giant gems.
  • washi tape - a variety of colors, widths, and textures
  • wood veneer - both painted (from Basic Grey's 25th and Pine collection) and unfinished
  • frames - I love frames in pockets, on inserts and on top of page protectors.  They are a great way to add dimension.  I have a mix including Crate paper, Studio Calico and My Minds Eye
  • That fabric tag from an old Basic Grey collection was in my stash.  I added it specifically for the texture.
  • Stickers
  • Enamel dots (I found those gold and silver ones from Teresa Collins at JoAnns but have easy access to lots of colors and sizes)
  • sequins - the stars from Studio Calico's Magical collection are in my kit, but again, lots of colors and sizes are in easy reach
  • stickers - these are from the 25 days class kit but I have other holiday themed stickers in my kit also
  • buttons - the holiday themed ones are from Fancy Pants, but my button bowl is right by my desk.
And of course, every album needs some alphas.  I pulled a few I was pretty sure I would use, but will likely go to my stash also.  And I did by the Gossamer Blue plaid alphas just for this project.  Swoon.

And while I am not much of a stamper, I am really working to use my stamps more.  So I pulled my holiday themed stamps out to store with my kit.  Some of these are from the November Studio Calico kits also.

And finally I went through my stash of project life style cards and pulled some that fit with my colors that I thought I might use.  (Since I store my cards by color this was pretty quick to do.)

So by now you should be sick of hearing about my kit.  But just in case you are still interested, I will share a bit about kit organization tomorrow.

Don't forget to leave a comment for an entry into my holiday giveaway.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 24, 2014

December Daily-ish - Choosing Paper (and a winner)

I've got it together now - I took my December Daily kit pictures over the weekend (when I had daylight), so we are good to go!  As I mentioned before, I am starting my album with Thanksgiving, since that kicks off our holiday season, and I am not worried about documenting every day. (Somedays it is about work, school and sleep at my house - even in December.)  Instead I am focused on capturing our holidays whenever they happen. 

Today I am  talking about paper.  I choose my color palette at the start of this project - if you've forgotten it is a light blue, soft red, black, lime green and pink.  To me it's a modern take on
traditional holiday colors.

So I knew those were the colors that I wanted in my paper choices.  And I've noticed that I am using paper that is not holiday themed for my traditional Christmas layouts more often than not.  But I love Christmas supplies, so I have quite a stash.  So I decided to mix holiday and non holiday papers for this project.  And I looked at the paper choices in the different December Daily kits to get a sense of what the experts chose and what appealed to me the most.  Here are my primary paper choices.

I tried to get a balanced assortment of the different colors in my palette, plus some prints.  I cut them all down to 6x8 sheets (the largest I will use in my snap album).  Many of the choices came from my scrap files.  But in most cases I also ended up with a 4x6 piece that I am also keeping with my kit.

 I know I am going to use gold as an accent through my album.  So I also wanted to choose some papers that added gold.  I love these papers because they bring a mix of textures to the project.  These are also cut down to 6x8.  My favorite might just be the gold glitter stripes from Pebbles.

And then there are some sheets of paper designed to be cut apart into project life style cards.  I left these whole for now since I wasn't sure how I would use them at this part.  But they are a huge value when working on a mini album.  Most of these are from this year's Websters Pages holiday collections (one of my only holiday themed purchases this year), but I've been hoarding that sheet from Studio Calico.

And finally some vellum (I love vellum!!!) - These sheets are from Webster's Pages also.  I've left them whole and will cut them apart when I know where and how I am using them.  That glitter vellum is amazing and that pieces that says "New Year" might just end my album. And while I haven't pulled any for my kit, I have some of the Brighton Pier gold star vellum in my stash and it might just find its way into this album. 

Sorry this got so long, but paper is near and dear to my heart.  Don't forget to leave a comment today for an entry into my holiday themed giveaway

Finally a winner

I almost forgot to pick a winner for the blog rebirth giveaway.  Sorry about that!  But this morning I put names in a hat and let my husband pick.  And he picked:

I follow your blog through an app called feedly. So it may not show up on your list of followers, but I am following!!!

Rebecca - please send me your mailing info so I can get this out to you! If I don't hear from you, I will pick a new winner on December 1st.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

12 Days of Christmas at Papercut Labs

Papercut Labs is hosting a fun holiday event - it is the 12 Days of Christmas Crop and Blog Hop.  They have 12 fun challenges that can be combined for entries for some great prizes.  And I can't resist the chance to win some goodies for my stash, so of course I'm playing along.

My first entry is a layout inspired by the amazing Natalie Elphinstone.  My Studio Calico kit in November included this amazing tree paper.  But I was totally stumped by it.  I couldn't figure out what to do with it.  Then she posted a gorgeous layout at Studio Calico and on instagram using it as her base and I was off.  She mixed patterns and strong colors with the paper for a gorgeous effect.

I had a picture of my 22 year old son standing by a buckeye tree that he picked at a free tree event when he was only 5 or 6.  It was only a twig then, and I love this picture because it captures both that old memory and my life today.  It seemed like the perfect picture of this tree paper.  I mixed it with shades of green, blue, purple and peach (a really different color palette for me).    I added some die cuts (including some amazing vellum leaves from my Studio Calico kit) and a doily.  The doily was too bright when a first tried it, so I turned it over and used the back side which was the perfect pale blue.  Here's what I ended up with.

I used Studio Calico color theory lavender soda ink to stamp on the peach paper and amethyst color shine for the ink splatters.  I also added a few enamel dots and a piece of wood veneer for the finished layout.  And I used some pale blue cardstock from the card kit for my journaling strips.

Don't forget to leave a comment for an entry into the holiday giveaway. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Frustrated .... But Regrouping (and some quick card ideas)

I was - and still am - super excited about blogging again.  But this week was really frustrating.  I had a plan for a series of posts about my December Daily(ish) album this year, and was ready to go.  But winter came early to Ohio and I remembered the challenges it brought.  It is impossible to get good photos of projects and supplies on dreary winter days if before and after work.  So those blog posts ground to a halt.  I apologize. 

But now I've learned and I'm getting back on track.  I will just need to make sure photos happen on the weekend when I have daylight.  Those blog posts are coming this week.  And I am going to extend my December Daily(ish) giveaway til midnight on Thanksgiving.  All  comments on blog posts through Thanksgiving will go into the hat. 

In the meantime, I thought I share a tip for quick and easy cards.  I love to use project life style cards when I need a quick card.  Someone has already thought hard about design -- I might as well take advantage of that expertise.  Here are some examples.

The striped card here established the color scheme and made the rest of the design quick to pull together.

The "Hello Sunshine" Card added the sentiment and set the tone for the card.  A few simple layers and I was done!

The kraft card here created a fun, casual feel.  All it needed was some patterned paper and some sparkly star sequins to create a festive Christmas card.  (And  the star sequins behind and on top of the vellum added lots of dimension without lots of work or supplies.)

So use up those project life cards - or look at the cut apart patterned papers as a quick way to make custom holiday cards this year. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Remember that the December Daily giveaway has been extended til Thanksgiving so don't forget to comment.  All comments on that post and all the posts til Thanksgiving are entries into the drawing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Handbook Diary

 Note:  Today's post was supposed to be about paper choices for my December Daily, but the photos I took over the dreary November weekend don't really show the colors accurately, so I am putting that off til I can get some better pictures.  But don't forget the December Daily GiveawayComments all week enter you into the giveaway.

I failed project life - in fact I didn't even make it a month.  But I am more than a little fascinated with the idea of pocket scrapbooking as a way to keep a record of everyday life.  And I love the Studio Calico handbooks.  So I decided to start a handbook as my personal album. I feel like I am at a turning point in my personal growth, and I wanted a place to document me and my life.

The things I put in my handbook might be about me - like my favorite flower

And they might be about things happening in my life or things I'm feeling

And they might be about things happening with people I love that are important to how I feel about my life.

There are no rules for my handbook.  I do what I want when I want to do it.  I experiment with different techniques sometimes and at other times I do something super quick and easy.  Sometimes the photos in my handbook also show up in layouts for my family albums or my kid's albums.  But when you look through the album you get a picture of the things in my life that were important to me at the time.   It is really turning out to be the perfect way for me to keep a diary. 

My first handbook is almost full.  And I can't wait to start another one.  But I am sure there are other fun ways to use those albums and I'd love it if you would share your ideas.

Monday, November 17, 2014

December Daily - To Do or Not To Do ....and a Giveaway

 Holiday giveaway is extended til midnight on Thanksgiving!  Keep commenting on my daily blog posts for extra entries.

I love the idea of a December Daily album.  But I tried it once, made all my pages and never printed any pictures.  Plus I chose a 6x6 size and used so many layers and embellishments that it didn't come close to closing - even without those photos.  But it was beautiful and it was fun to do.

So at the beginning of the month, I waffled back and forth about the project.  I signed up for the 25 Days class at Studio Calico, but still wasn't sure.  We just don't do fun holiday things that I would put in an album everyday.  But then I realized - it doesn't have to be a December daily to be a special holiday album.  So I am approaching the project as an album to document our 2014 holidays.  I am starting with Thanksgiving and ending with the new year.  And there won't be pictures and/or journaling everyday. 

I looked at all the kits out there - Ali Edwards, Gossamer Blue, and Freckled Fawn to name a few.  Then My Scraps and More put out both an album kit and an embellishment kit.  All of these kits seemed to be a good value, but some of them required a pretty big investment.  And I didn't love every single thing about any of them.  And I have a lot of supplies.  So if I am going to do this, it is going to be with a homegrown kit.

In my first attempt I learned that choosing an album was critical to the project's success.  I knew I wanted a 6x8 album, but which one.  I ultimately chose a kraft Snap album with a black spine.  The size and price were good, it was neutral and easily customizable, there is a large variety of page protectors and it was readily accessible. I got mine at JoAnns.

 Black Snap Binder, 6"x8" - Simple Stories

But what about the kit.  I started with choosing a color palette by pulling out my cardstock and pulling sheets til I had colors I like.  I had done some Christmas layouts lately and think those color choices influenced the colors I chose for my album.. I ended up with pale blue, soft red, lime green, black and pink.

Once I had my color palette, I couldn't wait to get started with the cover.  I knew I wanted to paint it, a pale blue but couldn't find a color that was just what I wanted.  So I mixed a blue, a mint, and white paint til I got just the color I wanted.  I also pulled out my gesso and the Martha Stewart liquid gilding in gold for my cover.

I started by taping off the black fabric spine with washi tape - I'm a messy crafter.  Then I primed the album inside and out with gesso.  I painted the inside with the gold liquid gilding and a foam brush.  aIt looks amazing.  It is shiny and smooth and will provide a perfect backdrop to all my pages. (This picture doesn't really do it justice.)

Then I took on the outside of the cover.  I painted it with the pale blue paint color I had mixed and a foam brush.  I used just one coat because I really like the look (hint - I used an extra piece of chipboard and treated it just like the album cover - that way I could see how it would look with a second coat of blue paint.

The wood veneer tree was from Elle's Studio last year.  The red sequin star is from the Studio Calico Magical sequin pack.  And then a wide line green grosgrain ribbon tied in a bow finished off my cover.

I loved the end result.  It reflects the colors and feel of the products I chose for my kit.  (I'm still thinking about adding the year to the bottom branch of the tree>

Giveway:  While I was making my December Daily kit, I pulled some things that might fit right in with your holiday crafting plans.  Leave a comment on any post this week and be entered to win.  Giveaway closes at midnight on November 23rd.

Here are some of the goodies I pulled.  (This isn't a kit - its an assortment of holiday themed supplies that might fit in with your Christmas supplies,)

I'd love to know what ideas you have for adding the year to my cover - or if you think I should stop where it is.  (I know I will put the year on the spine.)

I'm going to share more about my December Daily kit building and organization later this week.  Hope you stop back.