Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Favorite Fifteen

I can't believe it is the last day of the year.  2015 really flew by.  I thought it might be fun to share my
fifteen of my favorite projects from the year today.  I've shared some of these here before and some blog posts never got written.  (I am definitely working on that for next year.)

As I was pulling these, I noticed that many of these projects were done for online challenges.  So I want to say that I am grateful for all those sites (in no particular order) that provide inspiration - Paper Issues, Studio Calico, Citrus Twist Kits, Stuck?! Sketches, My Scraps and More, and My Creative Sketches.  There are probably a zillion other ones but these are the sites I visited regularly this year when I needed a jumpstart.

For purposes of organization, I split my top fifteen into categories that made sense to me.  I spent some time this year experimenting with grid designs and really loved some of those projects.

But my go to technique is playing with layers.

And I am really proud of the way I experimented with color more often this year.

And I love the oversized alphas that seemed to be a new trend this year.

And some baby steps into mixed media (which scares me).   I tried a few times and really liked some of the end results

I fell a little bit in love with transparencies and vellum this year too.

Ok - I ended up with 16.  And truthfully, if I started over the list might be 16 completely different projects.  This was a good year from a crafty perspective.  I made lots of stuff, played with lots of favorites and tried some new things.  And I still love the time in my scrapbook room and use it to help maintain balance in my life.

So I am excited to see what 2016 brings.  I hope to scrap more, share more and grow more.  I hope you had a good year too.  Have a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas - Last Year

Is anyone really caught up and scrapping current photos because the old ones are all in albums?  I can't imagine - so when I had the urge to pull together a Christmas layout, I dug out a favorite photo from last year.

My husband has read The Night Before Christmas right before bed on Christmas Eve since our oldest son was 6 weeks old.  He uses the edition I had when I was growing up with Grandma Moses illustrations - this is one of my favorite holiday moments each year (and the reason this photo will show up in my December Daily, my family album and my daughter's album).  Last year only my daughter showed up to hear the story.

I didn't have much time, so I knew I wanted to use a sketch as my starting point - it makes everything faster.  I started with the current sketch at My Creative Sketches.

It had lots of layers so I knew it worked well with my style.  And I really liked the banner detail.  I used papers from a basket of small scraps on my desk - I'm not sure why but more and more I prefer using papers without a holiday theme on my layouts.

 I finished my layout off by layering some vellum banners from an older Pink Paislee collection.

The last detail was the title.  One of the Christmas caroling challenges at My Scraps and More asked that you use words from the Night Before Christmas poem as your title.  This was the perfect inspiration here and I chose "The Night Before." 

 Hope you had a great holiday.  I really enjoyed all of our celebrations, but have to admit that I am looking forward to the new year and having more time to scrap.  Thanks for stopping by - I will have more to share soon.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Squeezing in Some Scrap Time

I love the holidays but there never seems to be enough time.  Still, I managed to make a few layouts this month and am hoping to share a few this week.  Since I only had a bit of time, I used a sketch to get me started.  This one from Stuck?! is awesome.

I turned the sketch on its side and put together a quick layout for a Christmas Caroling challenge at My Scraps and More.

The challenge was to use a large number on your page and the "2" from Pebbles was perfect for this title.  I had fun with my journaling too - I used my new typewriter (yay!) to create a conversation I thought my daughter and her dog might be having - way out of the box for me but lots of fun. 

Hope you squeezed in some crafty time during the holidays.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Title Page

I like to start each of my kid's albums with a year that ties it to a year in school.  But I dread these pages - for whatever reason, they are almost always a struggle.  And my daughter's sophomore album is no exception.  I've been adding layouts but the first page is blank.

When I saw this month's sketch at My Creative Sketches, I decided to use it as inspiration for the layout I kept putting off - and I still put it off til the sketch link-up is almost closed. 

But I took the time for one tradtional layout last week and this was it.  I took lots of inspiration from the sketch and the opportunity to play along with one of the Christmas Carol challenges at My Scraps and More.  (These challenges are fun because they are inspired by Christmas carols but don't require holiday layouts.)  The O Christmas Tree Challenge was to use a tree, branch or leaves on your layout.

 I used bits from my Canyonlands kit from Studio Calico, my November kits from Citrus Twist kits, and other bits from my stash.  The end result was a fun page using one of her school photos. 

I think it is going to work perfectly as a title page.  And the sketch gave me a chance to use lots of bits from my stash - both old and new.

I am going to try to sneak in some more scrap time this week.  Hopefully I will have some layouts to share and some pages from my December Daily finished.  Hope you are having a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

So This Is Christmas

The holidays started in earnest with Thanksgiving at our house so I haven't had much time to scrap.  But the decorations are up, the shopping is well underway and some gifts are even wrapped.  So last night I took a little bit of time to scrap.  And -- of course -- just to maintain that Christmas spirit -- I chose a photo of our tree last year. 

But I hit a little bump in the road - when I scrap everyday, layouts generally come pretty easily.  But when it's been a few days, I often have a hard time getting started.  So I started looking for a sketch and found this one at Stuck?!

I really liked all the horizontal layers, but I was using one vertical photo.  So I had some work to do.  I cut a number of pieces of patterned paper for layers and just played with them til I came up with my design.

supplies are from November Citrus Twist kits and my stash
I used some tags from the Fancy Pants Christmas collection to add additional layers.  I especially loved the striped one and the way it tied my other papers together.  So I cut the bottom off the tag so I could repeat the pattern on the other side of my layout.  And those red letters from SevenPaper might be one of my favorite alphas ever - but you only get one of each letter which just isn't very practical.  Luckily I had stocked up since it took two packages to spell Christmas. 

I hope your holidays are going well.  Thanks for taking a minute to stop by.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Daily 2015

This is the third year that I am trying to put together a December Daily album.  The 2014 album is in the basement - all the pages are done and it just needs photos (maybe a project for 2016).  The 2015 album is on my desk and just needs to have a few pages done (definitely a project for 2016).  But I think this is the year I will finish an album during (or close to) the holiday season.

I think one reason I struggle with the project is because I don't really do much pocket scrapbooking.  I have a hard time acheiving balanced pages.  So this year I decided to do a two page spread for each day - a 6x8 layout and one pocket page.  I am hoping this layout will make the process more comfortable for me. 

I also took the time to make foundation pages ahead of time (starting with Thanksgiving and ending on January 1).  The idea never made sense to me since I didn't know what we would be doing each day.  But I thought I would take a lesson from the experts and give it a try this year.  Maybe that is the secret to finishing the project.

So that just left choosing an album.  I originally wanted to use the pink and gold album from the SevenPaper Clara collection - but I couldn't find page protectors.  So I bought the Studio Calico South of Market handbook from a few years ago - I thought the grey herringbone design would provide a great canvas for a fun cover.   In the end I had both albums and couldn't choose.  My family was split. 

I finally went with the pink album because I thought it would be harder to use on another project.  The gold deer is from Heidi Swapp and the acrylic title and stars are from Colorcast Designs .  (You have to check out their website - seriously drool-worthy). 

So now I just have to make an effort to take and print photos regularly - if I do that, this album should finish itself, right?

If you have any tricks for finishing a December Daily album, I'd love to hear them.  I'll be keeping you posted on my progress this month.

Thanks for stopping by.