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.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tomorrow is the Day!

I know it's a little silly, but I think you will understand - I get super excited for National Scrapbooking Day.  Some years, life gets in the way and I can barely squeeze in anytime for challenges - and I get totally bummed out.  But this year, I've mostly cleared the weekend (and my desk), so I am ready to go. 

I've been keeping a list of events so that I would have lots of challenges to keep me inspired and motivated this weekend.  Here are some of the places I will be playing (just in case you don't have your own list.)


Paper Issues is hosting challenges all day in their closed Facebook group - Paper Issues Friends and Fans.  Their challenges are always fun, the chatter on Facebook is hilarious and supportive and the giveaways are awesome.  If you aren't a member of the group, you can ask to join and they respond really quickly.


Citrus Twist Kits offered weekly deals for the past several weeks as part of their NSD celebrations. Earlier this week, they hosted an instagram hop with their design team.  Each stop includes a challenge, but you don't have to enter the challenges to be entered in the drawing to win a gift certificate.
Studio Calico is also hosting challenges all day tomorrow.  Members of the Creative Team will be posting challenges in their member forum all day.  They also have an instagram giveaway scheduled for midday Saturday.  Finally, they have a free printable on their blog and are offering 30% off an order from the shop with the code SCNSD16.


Hip Kit Club is hosting challenges Saturday and Sunday in their closed Facebook group (Hip Kit Club Member Forum).  They are also planning some games - I love their kits and exclusive products (I really want to subscribe) and am hoping to win some goodies.  They also mention "other surprises" and I am a total sucker for surprises.  This is another group you may want to join today.


Clique Kits is hosting two events - the first is a YouTube hop.

The You Tube Hop is on the Clique Kits channel and starts this morning (8 CDT).  It sounds like a great way to get inspired for the weekend.

Clique Kits is also hosting an NSD crop with challenges to keep you scrapping.

Clique Kits is offering challenges and prizes on Friday and Saturday.  (I really want to stay home and play this morning.)  If you are looking for their event, their Facebook Group is called "The Clique."

There are so many more places to participate in NSD events.  Manufacturers often have hops and/or giveaways too.  I'm reluctantly off to work, but will start my celebrations this evening.  If I've missed an NSD event that sound fun, please share in the comments.  I need all the inspiration I can get!

Have an amazing day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Workspace Wednesday: Enamel Dots

I have two sons and one daughter.  I love them all uniquely and love to create layouts about them all.  But for years I was frustrated by all the pretty bling that just didn't work on those boy layouts.  Then My Minds Eye put out enamel dots.  I called them "bling for boy layouts."  And I went a little crazy - I think I bought one of every pack I came across for at least a couple of years - I wanted all the colors and sizes.  But it turns out I never finished a pack - ever. 

I started keeping them in a basket but it got too full.  Then I had an enamel dot drawer filled with packs of enamel dots.  It was chaos - I didn't know what I had, I couldn't find the colors I needed and I quit using them because they were too hard to find. 

 I thought about purging some of them, but honestly I will use them eventually if I can find the colors and size I want.  And I would likely just buy more.

There had to be a better way to store them.  I know some people put the packs on rings so they can flip through them easily.  But honestly, I had way too many packs for that to be functional - I would need a zillion rings.  And it would still be hard to find the color I wanted since most packs include several colors.  (I tend to look for supplies by color so that guides most of my organization strategies.)

And honestly my scrap room is full to the brim.  I don't have lots of extra room for storage so I felt like my options were limited.  But I do have a handy husband - and I have the drawer I had been using.  I just needed to make it more functional.

I wanted to do two things

  • Eliminate all the packaging - it just takes extra room and makes them harder to use, and
  • Store them by color so I would use them.

So I put my husband to work making dividers for my drawer.  He cut foam core into strips and we used two sided tape (that Creative Memories photo tape that is still in my stash) to put them together. I guessed at the size of the sections but new I wanted a few larger compartments because I had more of some colors.  We ended up with 13 sections.

Then I cut apart the backing on the enamel dots  so that I had strips that were a single color.  I put those into the sections of the drawer.

It works great.  It is easy to dig for just the right size and color.  It is easy to put new ones away (I am trying hard to buy none since I have a lifetime supply but they occasionally come in kits and once in a while I forget myself.)  And honestly - I am using them more because it is easy to pull out the drawer and find something that works.

Hope you're having a good week - thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

All the Colors

Sometimes I get stuck in a color rut - lately its been all about blue and yellow.  But the April kits from Citrus Twist had lots of bright, fun colors.  So I went looking for a picture that would work with a layout that uses all the colors.  I found an old one of my daughter looking through her haul on Halloween.

Then I hunted down a sketch that provided the chance to use lots of layers and bits so I could pull out the colors in the photo.  The April sketch at Paper Issues was perfect!

I focused on the layered horizontal elements, the large circle, the banner and the tag for my layout. 

I started with papers from the April Citrus Twist kits - the green, the black and white stripe and the small piece under the tag.  Then I went to my scraps and stash to pull out other pieces.  .  I was excited to used the acrylic "hooray" from a recent haul from Colorcast Designs.  Then I kept adding bits from both the Citrus Twist kits and my stash til I felt like the layout was balanced.  The bit of black and white polka dot paper was the last thing I added - and it made all the difference - it seemed to ground the whole layout.

I hope your Tuesday is filled with all the colors - thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Those Words

Every so often I read a blog post where someone is talking about being inspired by product.  And I never quite understand - I love all my pretty paper and embellishments but they don't really inspire a project. 

But then I got my hand on these acetate words from the Life Noted Collection by Pinkfresh Studio. 

I had a pack in my stash but haven't cracked them open.  But a partial pack came in my April Citrus Twist kits - And they are amazing.  The colors are bright and fun, but the translucent nature of the product adds a certain lightness. I immediately tried to use as many of them as I could on a single layout.

My first idea was to use them to create a patterned paper feel across the bottom of my layout - and that looked pretty awesome, but I couldn't figure out the rest of the layout.  So I ended up with a basic grid design.

Products from April kits at Citrus Twist kits

They were so much fun and really framed the photo perfectly.  I was also excited to see how well they worked with other embellishment pieces - especially the Amy Tangerine Better Together rubber bits. 

I've just about used up the ones that came in my kit - now the challenge is to keep myself from hoarding the pack I have in my stash.  Oh - and when I was looking for a product photo for this post, they were gone at most of my favorite online stores.  But it turns out they are on sale at

Hope you have a great Monday. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Turn It

My Creative Sketches is one of the first places I check when I need a little inspiration.  But this month I really struggled to make the sketch work for me.

I really don't know why - the design seemed to provide for lots of layers and embellishments - my two favorite things.  But I was stuck.  Then I turned the sketch on its side - literally.  I printed it and turned it on its side.  The layout practically flew together then.

Most supplies from April kits at Citrus Twist kits

After I created the basic design with the circle shapes and paper strips I played with embellishments.  My favorite thing here is the large Pinkfresh Studio acetate word that layers over the photograph and several of the patterned papers.  I feel like it really brings the whole thing together.

Hope you're having a great Sunday.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Elle's Studio

We finally got some nice weather - and I've been sitting on my deck in my free time instead of scrapping or writing here.  I feel super lazy but it was so nice to see some warm sunny days.  (We are back to cold rain today.)  But last night I had to pick my daughter up about 1 a.m. - so I decided to try for some creative time as a way to stay awake. 

I came across this week's sketch at Elle's Studio and was so inspired. 

I generally fall in love with the Elle's Studio collections - they are fresh and fun and tend to feature patterns and colors that are easy to mix.  But I have to admit that - even after they end up in my stash, I don't use them very often.  But when I saw this sketch I decided to pull out the pieces I had from the Elle's Studio Little Moments collection.  And they were perfect for this picture of my daughter from a "Tiny Miss Canal Winchester" Pageant many years ago.  I love that they are super girly but still bright and fun.

I stayed fairly close to the sketch but did make a few changes to better fit my style.  First I added that fun sheet of colored labels under the vertical strip of paper from the sketch.  And I offset some layers under my picture across both the center strip and the sheet of labels.  From there I played with the embellishments from the collection to create clusters that made sense for my photo.  And I added a few bits from my stash to finish it off. 

Both the sketch and the labels were super fun to play with.  And it kept me entertained until it was time to pick up my daughter (which meant she wasn't stranded at Steak and Shake while I dozed on the couch.)  I count it as a win-win.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Old and New

I know I've said this before - I love getting kits where I get a mix of supplies that are coordinated - sometimes in ways I would never have thought of.  But as I work with a kit, sometimes it feels like all my layouts start to look alike - the same papers, embellishments, etc.  So after the first few layouts (or even before), I often start adding different papers or embellishments from my stash to a  layout.

The Studio Calico kits in March (Homespun) had a very distinctive look.  And while I liked the kits more and more  as I worked with them, I felt like I kept using the same papers or embellishments.  It felt like everything was starting to look the same.  So while I was waiting for my April kits to come ), I tried to do one more layout.  And I challenged myself to use the products differently and/or to mix in bits from my stash.

I started with a photo from when my daughter was much younger - these old photos have really inspired me lately.  I ended up with this layout.

I ended up using a lot of the kit papers that I had been drawn to on previous projects.  And my design was really simple - that meant I really needed to be thoughtful about the embellishments.  I added the rubber banner, vellum leaves, kraft sticker and hearts from my stash.  The seemed to work perfectly with the papers, were perfect for the photo, and provided most of the detail for my layout. 

And I used a couple things from the planner kit in unexpected ways.  I am totally addicted to the little washi strips that come in the planner kit and layered several of them over the title.  And I turned a checklist banner sticker on its side at the bottom of the page.  I used the small puffy dots from the puffy star stickers in the scrapbook kit to "fill" the holes on the checklist sticker and created a fun, unique embellishment.  After that a few ink splatters finished off the layout.

Now I have to admit that this layout took forever (all week) to put together because I kept trying to find the perfect bits in my stash.  And I like the things I used better than the things I pulled initially.  So while I stand by the idea of mixing in bits from my stash, I need to get way better about making a choice and moving forward. 

My April Studio Calico kits are coming today.  The top of my Ikea cart is all cleaned out and ready for them.  I super excited to have new goodies for the weekend.  It's supposed to be cold and dreary so I definitely plan to get some scrapping in over the next few days.  I hope you have a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 4, 2016

3 To Inspire

I've talked about the "3 To Inspire" challenges at Citrus Twist kits before.  They post them on their blog every Saturday and they are some of my favorite challenges.  I check it out first thing on Saturday mornings and am almost always inspired by the combination of elements.  I usually use the prompts at some point even if it isn't in time for the challenge deadline.

Last Saturday's was a really good one.  You had to use:

  • 2 tags
  • kit packaging
  • banners 
If you don't subscribe to their kits, you should know that the kit packaging is exceptional.  Each kit comes in a brown paper bag and is tied with bakers twine.  I have a big pile of bakers twine from my kits I find myself going to frequently when a layout needs a little something extra.  Plus small bits are often in glassine or small brown bags inside the larger kit package.

So here is the layout I came up with - I've been really inspired by photos from the days when my kids were little and cute lately and loved this easter picture I came up with.

Most supplies are from March kits at Studio Calico (Homespun and addons)
I used twine in two colors for my kit packaging, 2 tags from the Maggie Homes Bloom collection, and a couple of banners I cut myself.  And I love this picture of my daughter and a friend.  We lost touch with this family when she switched to Catholic schools and the photo brought back lots of memories - which was a good reminder about the value of this craft.

I'm going to dig for some more old pictures to scrap - hope you're having a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Getting (A Little) Messy

I've been really lazy about writing here lately and definitely want to get back on track.  A lot has been going on with my family lately, and this seems to be one of the first things that doesn't get done.  But I've been busy creating and doing some reorganization, so I have lots to share. Hopefully this will be the week I get back on track.

One of my creative goals this year is to experiment more with mixed media.  I have the supplies, but almost never use them.  I've spent some time thinking about why I don't use those supplies more and can come up with a long list of reasons.
  • I am too impatient to wait for things to dry
  • I don't think of myself as artistic and don't have the confidence to experiment
  • I love playing with papers and embellishments, and I am not sure how to incorporate mixed media into my style....
.... I could go on, but you get the idea.  So I am going to try and push out of my comfort zone by playing with a mixed media technique at least one or two times a month.  This month I tried a silkscreen (which I know is super easy) and ink splatters which I already use on almost all of  my projects.  The idea is to try something, not to get overwhelmed with the process.

I started with the current sketch from My Creative Sketches.

For my layout I stayed close to the sketch but dropped the large rectangle down into the bottom corner of the layout.  I also moved the strips of paper in front of that rectangle.

Papers and embellishments are from March Studio Calico kits - Homespun and addons

I also added a larger square of the bright green paper and covered most of it with white vellum to create additional dimension.  I wanted the pop of color but too much of that green was going to overwhelm the other papers.  I used a label and a project life card to extend the feeling of strips on the far side of the photo.  And that little woodgrain flag is a vintage studio calico color theory flag from my stash.

Because I don't plan well, I built my layout design and then went back to add the silkscreen leaf motif in the top corner.  The silkscreen was in the March scrapbook kit at Studio Calico and is just lovely.  After I stuck it to the top corner of the paper, I randomly added small bits of Color Theory acrylic paint in 4 colors - mint hint, limelight, blush crush and coral bay - until the design was well covered.   I pulled up the silkscreen and washed it right way. (This is an important safety tip if you want to use your silkscreen more than once.)  I was thrilled when I came back and looked at the way it turned out.  It picked up all the colors in the paper strips but was still soft and simple.  And it dried really quickly ........  I added a few gold spatters around the leaf and down at the bottom of the page and I was done.

At the end of the day, I called this experiment with mixed media a success - I pushed myself a little bit out of my box and ended up with a layout that still looked like I made it.  It's taken me a long time to develop my style and I don't want it to get lost in a rush to try all the new things.

I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have for other mixed media techniques I should try.  I have gelatos, watercolors, acrylic paints, gesso, lots of spray inks and who knows what else tucked away here.  It's time to use them more .....and of course I've never been afraid to buy a new supply.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

It's All About Embellishment Clusters

I'll admit it - I love embellishments.  I love buying them, sorting them, and using them.  Sometimes my husband says my layouts are more about the embellishments than the photos (and sometimes he might be right).  They just might be my favorite thing about scrapbooking.  After all, embellishments provide so many opportunities for mixing and matching, for creating a mood  or bringing back a feeling and just making a layout my own. 

So when I saw the April 1 sketch at Stuck?!, I was super excited.  It just cried out for embellishment clusters.

I started by pulling supplies from the March kits at Studio Calico (Homespun and the add ons).  One of the add-ons included the die cuts from the Maggie Holmes Bloom collection so I had lots to play with.  Then I dug through some old pictures and found a photo that inspired me and seemed to go with the papers and embellishments I'd set out.

And I'll be honest - I didn't start with the photo block or the focal point of the layout.  Instead I started with my favorite part of the sketch - the embellishment cluster at the bottom of the page.

 I added some extra die cuts, wood veneer, enamel dots and washi from my stash.  And I made some decisions.  I knew I didn't want everything to be perfectly square so I used a long narrow acetate diecut to anchor the cluster and arranged embellishments in a bit of a topsy-turvy way to try and keep a bit of a fun feel to the layout.

Then I got to work and used the patterned papers I pulled to create the photo block and the focal point of the layout.  The photo block included another large embellishment cluster - this one built mostly from floral pieces from that Maggie Holmes die cut pack.  I used foam squares under some of the pieces to add dimension.  I also layered some of  the die cuts under the paper layouts for added interest.

I did add a few wood veneer hearts and some enamel dots to link this cluster to the embellishments at the bottom of the page.  I also repeated the sparkly "XO" but layered it on top of my photo in some dead space.

I thought I was done at this point, but I let the layout sit for about 30 minutes and came back to give it a second look.  I decided I needed something to balance the floral cluster on the other side of the photo.  I went back to the Maggie Homes die-cuts and some paper scraps.  Another wood heart and some more enamel dots finished it off.

I used the "E" for my daughter's initial - I can't spell "LOVE" anymore but it worked perfectly here.  And I used a scrap of floral vellum under the tag with the heart cut-out.  I used foam dots under the die cut to make the most out of the airy feel of the vellum.

After that I was just about done.  I added the title (I'm seriously addicted to those black rubber alphas from the kit) and some gold ink splatters.  And I made sure some splatters fell on top of the die cuts to help bring everything together.    Here's what I ended up with.

I have to admit that I lvoe everything about this one.  All those flowers are a bit out of the norm for me but they were so much fun to play with!

Thanks for stopping by - hope you have a great Sunday.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Using a Sketch From Memory

I haven't been around  for a bit - mostly because we've been having computer and internet problems.  Thankfully, they are all fixed now and I can share some of my projects.  And the good news - the computer problems inspired me to use a sketch a different way.

This is the first sketch for the month at Stuck?!  I checked it out and then lost consistent internet connectivity.  Generally I print out the sketches and have them on my desk when I work.  As a result my design usually stays close to the sketch or I make conscious decisions about moving or replacing elements on the sketch.  This time, I worked from my memory of the sketch.

Here are the elements that stood out to me.
  • circles
  • vertical layers
  • a horizontal layer
  • embellishment clusters
So  I used those elements to build my design.  (I did go to my stash for some pieces.)  Here was what I came up with

So instead of working directly from the sketch, I worked with my memory of the sketch.  I used two circles but didn't layer them directly - instead my vertical layers acted more as a link between them.  And I really only had one embellishment cluster that i used in combination with the title to create the horizontal element in the sketch. 

It was a fun way to work with a sketch - I'm glad circumstances nudged me in a new direction.  And I was really happy with the  finished product - it was fun and unique.  I will definitely take this approach again at least some of the time when I am working with a sketch.

I have lots more to share - keep an eye out. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tool Talk - Distressing

I don't have any Workspace Wednesday Hints this week, but as I've been slowly cleaning and organizing in my craft room, its lots of fun to find some of those forgotten items (both tools and supplies) that were past favorites.   And sometimes those old favorites work with new goodies to provide inspiration for the perfect layout.  This is a big advantage over a big purge with help from my daughter - she's great about pushing me to purge and keeping me focused,  but she doesn't give me the time to appreciate finds and put them to work.

So last week I came across my Creative Memories distressing tool.  It is really just a blade in a handle with notches that makes it easy to pull along a sheet of paper for fun distressed edges.

 As soon as I saw it, I knew all those pretty papers in the Studio Calico Savannah scrapbook kits just demanded to be used on a pretty "shabby chic" layout.  So I pulled a bunch of papers and scraps and cut rough squares and rectangles in a  variety of sizes.  I ran each piece through the distressing tool on all 4 sides.  I wanted to run an ink pad along the distressed edges for added dimension.  But the charcoal I started with appeared to dark in many instances - so I used gold to accent the distressed edges.

 The papers were really pretty but I wanted to add more details and layers.  I had added two sheets of stickers from the Basic Gray Dear Heart collection to my box and they were perfect for this.  I used the distressing tool and ink on the stickers too - but the gray seemed to work better this time.  I added the stickers between the layers and in a cluster at the bottom of the photo. 

The title is from the Pinkfresh Studios Happy Thing collection and is another goodie I rediscovered recently - I still have a couple of words left there to use up.  (I have determined that the reason my supplies appear to be so out of control is that I never finish anything - so I am trying to finish at least one partial pack of something every week this year.  I don't figure I will do it every week, but I do think I will finish some things if I work on it.)

 I finished the layout with a couple of distressed pieces of paper at the top of the page and added a small embellishment cluster.  The pink rubber banner was from the November Studio Calico kit and the color was perfect for this Thanksgiving layout. 

And the distressing tool - it is now in the tool caddy on my desk - I wouldn't want it to get lost again. 

Hope  you're having a great week.