Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stylin' - Scrapbook Steals MWM Rose #1 Catch Up

 
I am hoping to catch up on the Rose series from Scrapbook Steals before the deadline to enter.  I still have two sketches to go, but I have until tomorrow, so I have hope.  If you'd like to check out this sketch, please do so here.  I am not 100% in love with how this layout came together, but you can't win 'em all, I suppose.  It's another memory documented and THAT is what is important.
 The main reason I don't love how this layout turned out was that I just couldn't get my embellishments to come together in a way that I like.  Also, the downside to working mostly with a main kit rather than having add-ons included when there is a a very narrowed down color scheme (this one is navy, yellow, teal, and lime green) means that it feels like everything starts to look the same after a while.  The upside to working within a kit is that I was able to use a lot of my scraps.  I keep things as they come (collections usually stick together, but if it's a monthly kit, that stays together as well) and because I often find it hard to work with a collection in a short time frame and avoid things looking the same, I don't end up touching my scraps.  Sooo, that is definitely something I feel accomplished with even if I've only done 3 layouts with this kit so far.  That's 2 more than I usually do with a kit the month it's released, if I touch it at all right away.

Another positive I see here is that I got to use the Studio Calico paper as a background.  I wanted to cut into it for my last layout but I just knew it would make a good background, so I set it aside.  I think it looks great here.  I tried to use as much yellow as possible in my embellishments since there is that tiny bit of yellow in the bottom left of the paper and in the paper strip layered under the title.  I originally used a journaling card from the Cocoa Daisy Day In The Life cards (I bought just the cards rather than the entire kit and just did the same for May's kit as well) but there wasn't enough yellow in them and what yellow they did have was just too bright for the layout.  Instead, I found a random Studio Calico kit card from a stack I had in my Project Life organizer (blog post here) and it was subtle enough to not unbalance the top of the layout. 
 I am still loving this Jillibean Soup Beanboard alphas (in navy...it might look black here, but due to the time of day I took the photo, when adjusting for poor lighting in photoshop, it tends to make dark colors even darker) but the title was a bit too short to properly balance in the space allocated, so I added a few of the arrows from the Doodlebug shaped Sprinkles that came in the kit.
 Here I used a flair that I made (this is a personal use item, not for sale as I do not own any rights to this image) as well as some Queen and Company pieces.  I think they are jawbreakers.  I can't remember who made the blue one.  The label is from the Sn@p label sticker set and the date stamp I used was my trusty 2010's date roller from October Afternoon.
 The flair here is from a Studio Calico kit with an October Afternoon circle layered underneath.  Nothing crazy here, but you can probably see why I don't particular love how this one turned out. :D
I had inked this pair of resist glasses as a potential option for an embellishment in a layout I made the other day and it just so happened to work here.  When I remembered this piece, it was about the time that I realized I had done two layouts that featured some type of glasses in a very short time frame.  I just grabbed cute photos that worked with the sketch.  I am just happy I didn't use the same kit for both layouts, haha.  The card underneath is intended to be a speech bubble, but since they really aren't my thing and the glasses were big enough to cover them, I strategically placed it so that it would just look like a yellow band across the top.  The journaling was pretty simple and just explained that my 3 year old has phases where he likes to play with glasses of all types and that he knows how to rock them really well.

Thanks for stopping by!

Denise

Monday, April 28, 2014

Change Of Plans - ACOT Sketch Challenge #66

For once, I was inspired to jump RIGHT IN with a sketch challenge.  This one was posted today on the ACOT boards and is due next Monday in case you are interested in joining.  I have had my dad on my mind for a few days and figured I could escape a little from my worries and put that energy into something positive by documenting a couple of photos that I absolutely love.  My dad has been getting progressively sicker over the last several years and in the past year or so it has gotten especially bad.  The photos that I scrapped with this sketch are from Father's day last year.  When my dad isn't feeling well, he's grouchy and because he's usually not feeling well, he's usually grouchy.  I tried to do something with him on Father's day in 2012 but he cancelled and ended up not even getting the card I made him because it was a month or more until the next time I saw him and it just didn't seem like it mattered much anymore at that point.  Because of the unpredictable nature of his various ailments, I didn't attempt to do much and figured the kids and I could visit after my husband went to work and instead, I focused on spending time with my husband and kids.  During the baseball game we were at, we got a call asking us if we were busy so we could have a family barbecue.  He was in a GREAT mood.  So, of course we were interested in going.  We ended up leaving the game a couple innings early and making our way over there.  I honestly can't remember another day that I've seen my dad that happy in recent years so it was definitely a memorable day.  My sister has some group photos that I need to get my hands on from that day, but until then, I still had these lovelies of him with my oldest son.
I spent a couple of months last year debating which scrapbook kit club to join and ended up going with Cocoa Daisy.  The papers used here are from the very first couple of kits that I received and I think I did one layout with that kit so it was well past time for me to use it again.  I also used some assorted Studio Calico pieces from my stash and even used my Silhouette for the first time in a while.  The photos I used were cropped to 3x3 so my circle didn't have the same balance as the sketch did.  One of the 'rules' I've heard over and over is about trapped space.  Well, the photo on the right being where it was enclosed the circle in such a way that there was a TON of trapped space above it.  After staring at the page for a few minutes, I decided to do some computer journaling and cut it to fit.  I took a grid card from a project life stack that I had, stuck it behind the circle and traced the part of the circle that would end up touching the right hand side of my journaling.  After I did the typing, I didn't want to use the journaling cards after all (I had intended on using one for each journaling space) and instead, I used a piece of white cardstock.  I was worried the grid lines would look odd unless I fiddled with the spacing to make them print out perfectly and I wanted as much space as possible to write.  I like the balance of the text being diagonal across the main focal point of the page.  I tested several different colors on the back to see what I wanted to use for the faux stitching and it was pretty clear that the white was the clear winner.  The white that I have is a gelly roll brand and I have no complaints (in case you are looking for one for yourself).

 The title used some really old Thickers, a set of blue alphas from the Studio Calico Essentials line and Jillibean Soup alphas that were included in the kit I was using.  The red tab was empty and I toyed with the idea of putting the date there, but instead used a phrase roller stamp to add 'what a day'.  The 'you are loved' sticker below is just a tad smaller than the brown banner that was printed underneath it so I took advantage of the space and added another pop of yellow and red to the page.  The circle was cut from a piece of Bo Bunny paper on my Silhouette.  The outside is a 7 inch circle and the inside is 6.25 inches.
 When I chose the red to go here, I was very hesitant at first.  The color was very bold and is quite hard on the eyes but it looks fantastic as a frame which was perfect here.  I also added a couple pops of yellow to draw the eye in.  I had the today tab on the bottom at first, but the blues of the chipboard sticker and the 'remember' tab didn't contrast enough, so I switched them.  I felt that the bottom right still needed a touch of yellow so I added a few enamel dots.
Here you have a better look at the photos I used.  The one in focus is my favorite of the two.  I LOVE the puffy stickers from Studio Calico and since I only have the one package, I really want to hoard them, but this was a special layout, so it deserved a special touch using a product that I really love.  I didn't do too much embellishing since the paper underneath the title had a lot of things printed onto it already, but I love the bit of dimension that the puffy heart stickers add.  They come in a few different sizes and I used two large and one small.  The small one fit perfectly above the journaling block inside of the circle to fill that bit of dead space where no text would fit without being broken up amongst multiple lines.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you enjoy this layout as much as I do.  It's not everyday that I feel like I've done extra special photos the justice they deserve and I'm quite happy with the results here.

Denise

Friday, April 25, 2014

Twinsies - Scrapbook Steals MWM Sketch Daisy #1

Scrapbook Steals has started a new series of 10 (the Rose series closed out, but I still need to catch up on three sketches...there is still time to enter for the big drawing and I hope to make the deadline) called Daisy.  If you are interested in joining, please click here to be directed to the Scrapbook Steals blog.  I hope you join in!

I've had this Jillibean Soup placemat for a while in one of my Cocoa Daisy kits (most of this layout is made using that kit...I believe it is from December 2013) and decided to dive in and use it.  At first, I tested the navy mist on the mat and planned on using the misted space but it was just too much blue.  So I went ahead and used the mat itself and adhered it to a piece of kraft cardstock from the kit.  I really like how it came out and the sparkle adds a lot of interest to the background.  I will admit that I suffered a tragedy while misting.  I use an old box that my CD kits come in and stupidly turned the spray too far sideways and ended up getting it ALL OVER my mat.  I tested a teensy bit of staz on cleaner and managed to get the ink to come up really well with that.  So, I went ahead and went to the other area and used another spritz of the staz on cleaner...this time, it smeared all of the number printed on my mat.  I ended up having to rush out and buy a new one (that I'll be putting down as soon as I clean up the rest of the stuff from this layout) because it is just heartbreaking to look at my mat look like that.  The cool part about the mat I picked up was that it's double sided.  One side is blue and one side is purple (those are the two accessory colors in my space) whereas this one only has markings on one side with the other side being a bunch of decorative flowers.  I scored it for $7.50 during the holidays last year (and even picked up a second one for my niece) and the new one was twice that price after a coupon, but I know me.  I'll be bothered by the smudge on mat if it stays.  Don't worry, though, it's not going in the trash, I'll hold onto it for other projects down the line. :)

This layout is a bit embellishment heavy by my standards.  A few days ago, I was clearing out a bunch of things to donate or share with a friend in order to gain some real estate back.  The glasses I used here were one of the few pieces that I kept from a Basic Grey pack that I had yet to use.  I've had this photo out on my desk waiting to scrap it for some time now, so knowing that I wanted to scrap it and having it out and visible was the only reason I even held onto that piece.  The navy pieces are all inked in the same Navy color from Heidi Swapp that I used on the background (that was Navy Color Shine) but I didn't really want the sparkle, so I used the ink instead.  Most of the papers used are from Family Stories by Teresa Collins but there are a few exceptions.  The white paper with the teal blocks is one example, but I got rid of the manufacturer's strip before thinking to check the maker.  The paper matting the photo is from Lily Bee.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to use for the title and tried 'so much for that theory' but didn't really like how the fonts I selected went together, so I changed it and FINALLY got to use these Goodness Thickers that I've had since last summer.  I'm a bit disappointed in the fact that they look so beat up, though...and they definitely needed some extra adhesive to stick.  The 'love' veneer was from the kit, the label was from MME Cut & Paste (not sure which sub collection) and I think it worked perfectly since it allowed me to mark who was who in the photo.  The photo on the left is my husband when he was a boy.  The photo on the right is my oldest when he was 2.  I posted that photo to Facebook and my MIL ran to find a picture of my husband making a very similar pose to show just how similar they look.  The first picture may show it a little bit better, but they are nearly identical.  Everyone in my family swore up and down that he looked like me (hence 'so much for that theory' as the original working title) but these pictures definitely dispelled that.

 I LOVE how the bottom cluster turned out and it came together so naturally.  This flair and the other two are all from A {flair} For Buttons that I've had in my stash for a while and they worked great with this collection.  The top cluster was added because that top square looked odd being so plain.  Instead of adding more teal, I pulled out my SU Crumb Cake ink and inked up the date tag from Heidi Swapp.  That veneer was a custom order from someone in The Scrap Yard on facebook.

 Here you can see the one piece of Lily Bee paper (from the We R Family collection, I believe it's called) that I used to mat my photo as well as that AWESOME resist camera I added.  The 'cool' sticker was from one of the MME Cut & Past sticker sheets (the same one as the 'name' label) from the kit.  I almost never use flat stickers, so I'm happy to have found a good use for a few pieces.

The sketch does not call for a cluster like this, but since I placed the center part a tad lower than the midway point, I felt like it needed something extra.  So I added a piece of washi tape (placed over cardstock because it sunk into the cut outs from the chevron) and a label from the same die cut pack, also inked with SU Crumb Cake ink.  The small veneer is from the kit and the medium sized heart is from the same custom order as the large one to the left of the photo.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Since this is using some older products, I didn't do much keeping track of where the items came from or what collection I used.  I may also be a bit on the sleepy side so if this post isn't as coherent as it usually is, that's what I'm blaming it on.  At any rate, thank you for stopping by and don't forget to check out that link above if you want to join in on the sketch challenges from Scrapbook Steals.

Denise

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hangin Out With Daddy - Scrapbook Steals MWM Sketch Rose #10

 I'd like to say that I have finished all of the sketches in this series, but I can't.  I'd also like to say that I at least finished all of them from the point that I joined in, but I can't.  I missed sketches 1 and 2 as well as 7 (which had two options).  I started at three, but I missed 7 because of a cold.  We don't get sick that often, but somehow I managed to get the sickest (which was when the Rose #7 sketches were up) and as soon as I started to feel better, I caught another cold.  Both were head colds with different issues, but a month later, and we're still recovering.  Anyway, I can at least say that every sketch that I've been well enough to do, I have done for this series since I started at number 3.  If you are interested in these sketch challenges, please check out the scrapbook steals blog here for more information.  That link is directly to the sketch this layout was based off of, but there are links within that blog post that tell you what the Mid Week Mojo is all about as well as links to past sketches you can try out if you are so inclined.

This layout doesn't have a ton of balance.  I had intended to add more of the colors in that top right strip but ended up using mostly the red with a splash of green (that enamel dot at the bottom was my measly attempt at tying green into that part of the page, haha).  Even so, I'm happy with how the layout turned out and as you can see, I still haven't gotten over my fondness for navy.  To be fair, I was aiming for red and couldn't find anything that I was really drawn to until I started tinkering with some papers from some past Studio Calico kits that I had.  When I started working on the bottom cluster, I had no idea what color to use but the sketch called for a square-ish element near the title and as I was heading to the area where I keep a box full of my veneer that are too big for my normal containers (4 of them...all are full...yes, I need more of them) and pulled out the 4 sets of Freckled Fawn frames that I haven't yet used.  I just don't know how to use frames.  I usually scrap 4x6 photos which makes it hard to use a frame.  While reaching for the box, which is on a counter in a drawer, I had to move some things that were in the way from a purchase that arrived in the mail a few days prior.  There they were.  Stacks of 3x4 cards from the Lily Bee family collection (I think it's called We R Family) and when I saw that it was navy heavy, I sat down to see what would go.  When I settled upon the beautiful paper that is backing the frame, I then decided that I should mix in some of the other papers from that collection and ended up going in a different direction than originally intended...even though I was still unwilling to remove that word strip behind the photo.  The blues and reds mix perfectly which helped since I only had two papers from the WRMK notable collection and wasn't in love with any of the other papers that I had sitting on my desk.
 I didn't originally intend to frame the title card, but it wasn't a large enough scale.  If I had my way, the frame would have been even larger, but I liked the small scale of the chevron from the 6x6 paper pad and didn't want to cut into my only sheet of the 12x12 in that design for a larger mat.  I think this part of the layout might be my favorite.  The soft red alphas from October Afternoon work perfectly with the other reds and I love that it's a script font that compliments the bold and tile fonts above it.  The love veneer inside of the frame is from a Gossamer blue kit.  As you'll notice, all of the open spaces in the veneer I used have been filled in.  The bottom of this one was filled with the brown paper that you see to the left of the title card.
 This is another Gossamer Blue veneer.  I had originally intended to back the whole thing in the chevron paper, but really liked the pop of red in the hearts.  I used scraps of the red paper below the photo to fill in this heart and the heart in the house in the next photo.  This was added to echo the family sentiment in the wood frame at the opposite corner and the teal chevron paper further ties them together.
 I kept this part simple with a ticket sticker from the Sn@p collection by Simple stories, the house veneer from Freckled Fawn and enamel dots.
I chose not to use three enamel dots here because the weight wasn't quite working for me.  These five pieces echo the colors and textures in the remaining parts of the layout and another piece made it feel unbalanced.  I added this green sticker from the MME Now & Then: Milo collection to tie in with the green in the word strip.  I am not sure I did a very good job at pulling that paper into the layout in a way that fully balanced it, but as I said, I was determined to keep it there.

All in all, considering how much I struggled to get this layout started, I am very pleased with the outcome.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Denise

Friday, April 18, 2014

Brotherly Love - A Cherry On Top Becky Fleck/Page Maps Sketch Challenge #65


 Check out the sketch this layout is based on over at A Cherry On Top by clicking here.  This one is due on Monday since it was posted a day sooner.  They've been posting them on Tuesdays and making them due the Tuesday following.  The best part about their sketch challenges is that you get 100 cherry points just for participating.  Every 1,000 cherries gets you a $5 discount (to redeem your cherries, you have to have double the cost in your cart, so 1,000 cherries or $5 off means you have to have $10 worth of product in your cart) and they work alongside coupons.  I have a HUGE order to make very soon with them and after cherries, coupon codes and gift certificates it will be FREE for me!  The order will include 90% of my wish list items from CHAW 2014 and a few bits from mid season releases as well.

I REALLY love this month's Cocoa Daisy kit and felt like the colors worked well with the photos.  I even tore open an item that came in the mail today (the green alphas that spell out 'brotherly' in my title).  I stuck to the navy and green in this layout and am very happy with how it turned out.  The sketch called for a few different elements, but I modified them to fit my needs and even added extras of things that only appeared once in the sketch.  I also used photos that worked for me.  I tend to take lots of close up photos which means I have to compile a collage of photos on my phone and pull out my Selphy in order to print them out (or think even further ahead and collage them prior to submitting an order at Costco) and I tend to try and print photos in bulk.  95-99% of my photos are 4x6 which is why you see that a lot in my layouts.  The 3x4 photos in my last PL spread was done on my Selphy but that was just to get me started.  Since then, I've set up all of my pictures in PicFrame a few days ago to print 3x4 size and will do a batch print when the time comes.  So, for now at least, 4x6 is the way to go.  The photo on the right was cropped down to 4.75 inches, I believe.  I would have left it at 5 inches, but it really limited the space I had for journaling.
 I LOVE how my title turned out (no pun intended).  I didn't plan on layering the navy alphas (bean board alphas by Jillibean Soup) but when I was picking things up to glue a few layers down, they naturally laid on top of each other and I liked how it looked enough to play around with it to get what you see here.  Later on, while trying to find some elements for my embellishment clusters, I punched out some hearts using a small heart punch from Stampin' Up using the bokeh paper (that I mentioned previously is an exclusive paper in the kit) and they didn't work where I wanted them to as the scale was too big.  For kicks, I stuck it inside of the O thinking I would hate it and I actually fell in love with it.  It might be my favorite accident, yet.
 The hard part for me was finding hearts that weren't flat and were the proper scale for the clusters.  These dark wood heart veneer from Studio Calico (the Atlantic collection, I think) were the perfect size but because they were really dark so when I applied ink to them, it turned the ink really dark as well.  I ended up coating them with some white pigment ink (it's the only white I have beyond my Dylusions mist and honestly, I didn't even think of that until just this moment) and after making and cleaning up a huge mess, I let them sit for a couple of hours while my family and I went out to dinner (we couldn't decide what to do with the meat we had taken out and the boys were too cranky to sit and wait for something to be cooked by that point anyway so we went with the easy route).  When I came home and sat back down to finish up the layout, they still weren't dry.  I ended up coloring them with a bright green copic and because I didn't want to ruin my brush tip if I couldn't get the ink to come off (I knew it was going to transfer since it was still coming off on EVERYTHING at this point) I used the chisel tip.  I was able to scribble the excess white ink off, but you can still see a minute trace of something on the tip so this is definitely not something I would recommend doing unless the ink you are coloring over is 100% dry.  I didn't want to wait as this was the final element of the layout to be added and was too lazy to pull out my heat tool so I braved it out.  The geotags are from the Studio Calico Essentials line and the puffy star stickers (the dots in the next photos as well) are from a Studio Calico kit that I got on sale.
 I originally intended to take the scalloped piece of paper and spread it across to the end of the page (under the journaling) but my journaling ran a bit long so I had to change my game plan.  The last piece ended up above my banner cluster in the next photo.  I used another scrap piece of the exclusive Cocoa Daisy bokeh paper and stamped the date using the October Afternoon 2010's date stamp with Stampin' Up's Night Of Navy.  The journaling was done in the same color marker.
This was the first (and easiest) cluster to come together.  I purchased a grab box from Scraptastic last fall and in it were a bunch of cut aparts (love them!!).  The blue ikat chevron banner is from that purchase.  The green banner on the left was made using more of the bokeh paper (can you tell I love that paper?) and the right banner was a cut apart date label that I cut the corners off of from the April Cocoa Daisy Day In The Life cards.  I was originally unsure how the white word paper would look against the green one (they are almost identical with only a slight difference in the text starting point when you compare the full 12x12 sheets) but the difference in color really makes them look nice layered together.  I originally thought this was going to be the toughest element for me to tackle, but as soon as I threw out the idea of needing to replicate the banner (I don't particularly care for them) on the sketch and try my own thing, it really was the easiest part to decide on.  I like that they are still banners, so they still follow the spirit of the sketch while working for my style.

I know I ended up taking several liberties with this sketch, but in the end, it still follows the feel of it and I think it turned out great.  I can definitely say the trend of navies is really keeping me inspired to not just buy it all, but to actually use it.  Navy is one of my favorite colors.  Blankets, cars, phones, jeans (almost all of my jeans are a really dark denim...the type that warns against bleeding and to wash them on their own when you first get them), decor, just about anything that could have navy in it usually did for most of my life.  Not until recently did I start finding myself attracted to other colors (teal, purple, and grey...ironically my HS colors and I hated my high school while attending it...have become colors I find myself really drawn to over the course of the past few years but I still have my deeply rooted love for navy) and I was worried about not liking much from this year.  I think the color of the year was supposed to be purple, but I think navy is taking hold and I LOVE IT!  In this instance, the bright green really makes the navy pop.  It doesn't look sad, dismal, or depressing but rather cheerful and happy.  Just what I need in my navy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Denise

Monday, April 14, 2014

Whisker Graphics Twine Giveaway


15-Solid-Divine-Twine-400sq
Great giveaway going on!!  You should check it out.  Please click here to be directed to Whisker Graphics.  I have a few spools of their twine and love it.  They have solid twine (pictured) and the combos that we're used to seeing.  I would definitely be picking up some solids if I were to win.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Denise

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Follow In Your Footsteps - Scrapbook Steals Mid Week Mojo Rose #9

Hurry!!  You still have a bit of time to enter into this week's Mid Week Mojo over at Scrapbook Steals.  If you wish to enter, please click here to check it out.   I knew exactly what I was going to use for this sketch, which is a rarity for me.  While working on one of my recent layouts, I pulled an Echo Park Paper kit from my stash that had some random things tossed in that definitely didn't belong.  One of those things was the photo that I ended up scrapping today.  I haven't scrapped anything earlier than 2012 (and even then, it's been holiday specific) for a long while and it's hard to believe so much has changed since this photo was taken.  I am insanely happy with how my layout turned out even though I didn't stick to the sketch completely.
 This layout features my April 2014 Cocoa Daisy kit and I must say, I am really happy with how it turned out.  The diamond paper, the bokeh paper and the cloud paper (the bokeh and cloud paper are the a and b side of the same sheet) are all Cocoa Daisy exclusives and let me tell you, I sure am glad I bought extras because I love, love, love three of the four designs.  The 4th design that I didn't use seems a bit out of place.  It's a cork/sand looking texture and I tried really hard to make it go (because hello, it's a beach photo so there is sand, right?) but it just wasn't happening.  I love how vibrant and happy this kit is and it just helped to showcase this photo perfectly.  It's not everyday that I end up with such an amazing shot and this is probably one of my all time favorites.  I have several others from this beach trip that turned out well, but there is just something about this photo that speaks to me.  The heart paper on the left of the photo is from Studio Calico Lemonlush, the teal squares paper is from Amy Tangerine's Plus One collection, and the yellow chevron paper is from Pink Paislee's Hello Sunshine.  The journaling card and the tag with the date were cards from the Cocoa Daisy Day In The Life kit.  I only purchased the add on cards, but I'm definitely kicking myself for not picking the entire kit!!
 As soon as I laid down the word 'footsteps' in my title against that green bokeh, I knew it was the perfect choice.  I stick stickers on wax paper just in case and it helps with placement, but can often make it hard to truly see how a title will look and that was definitely the case here.  The journaling here isn't about our vacation but is instead about how I want my son to follow in his dad's footsteps.  I wrote the journaling to my son rather than to my husband, but I am NOT at all religious and didn't want 'follow in his footsteps' to be misconstrued as some sort of ode to the religious saying.  Also, my journaling specifies 'his' in reference to his dad versus the 'your' here in the title to help clear up any confusion there may be.  The lighter blue alphas are from the sn@p line from Simple Stories and the navy are Heidi Swapp exclusive alphas from Studio Calico's December 2013 Blue Note Scrapbook kit that I picked up on sale for the NSD promotion they had going.  I actually got two of this kit since they were only $10 each after coupon.  I believe there are still 3 kits eligible for the coupon (including Blue Note) so if you are interested in any of them, you can check out www.bigpictureclasses.com for information on that.
 This wood veneer and the one under the journaling are from the Cocoa Daisy kit and the asterisk is from another of the $10 kits that I purchased from Studio Calico.  The flair is of my own making and I felt it worked really well here.  My only complaint about this kit was that the yellow embellishments that were included were more orange-y or not bright enough, so I had to go digging into my stash to balance the page with enough of the right yellow.
 This cloud veneer is from Diana McRae and she can be found on facebook.  She also does custom orders and I love working with her.  She does the flatter ones that are becoming popular as well as these ones that have more dimension.  The flair here is adapted from a digi file from one of my Gossamer Blue kits.  I used the date label from one of the 3x4 cards (that is designed as a cut apart) and stamped it using my October Afternoon 2010's date stamp in Stampin Up' Night Of Navy ink.
This is the other veneer from the kit and the only one that has any etching.  I really like it and liked the contrast of the etching versus the other two plain ones.  The flair here is another Studio Calico exclusive.  The journaling was done in a Stampin' Up marker in Night Of Navy to coordinate with the date stamp.

I think I covered everything, but I'm in such a hurry to share this page (because I love it so much) that I may have forgotten something.  If you have a question, please don't hesitate to ask.  I will do my very best to answer.

Thank you for stopping by!!

Denise

Friday, April 11, 2014

Project Life - Weeks 1 & 2

This is a day that I didn't think I'd see anytime soon!!  I actually completed a project life spread.  Let me tell you something, though.  It WAS NOT FUN!  Why?  Because I failed to do what everyone tells you not to do...acquire too much stuff.  I have partials of more than 75% of the core kits out there (full sets of several), mini kits, AND subscriptions to choose from and that much product makes finding a place to start VERY difficult.  After pulling cards (and in some instances cutting down 6x6 papers) for at least an hour and still finding holes to fill, I decided that I really didn't like the look.  I had so many colors that there was almost no cohesion to it.  I removed one color (orange) that I had used as a background because of it's presence in another card and later on removed that card and that color (yellow) as well.  Once I got to that point, I found myself really liking the color scheme: red, navy, teal, and neutrals (mostly grey, but there is a little bit of a light brown in spots).  I think my favorite discovery, though, was finding some Sn@p label stickers that I've had for a while and never removed from the packaging.  The issue I found myself having with these was that the first image is multi colored and therefore hard to match.  Having it out of the package should have been a no brainer, but I never thought to do that.  I only used a few stickers from the set but really loved the pop they provided.  One thing I love in project life that I see others do is add in labels and tags, neither of which I have much of (I have spend thousands on supplies over the years but *gasp* I actually still have gaps in certain supplies) so it was great to stumble on them.  Now onto my layout:

 There was no way I was going to not include red on this spread because of the 'you are my favorite' card.  My husband and I began our relationship in January, so that means recording our anniversary right off the bat.  I loved all the red/brown/black/white colors in the February GB kit and pulled two to use here (one on each page) and that was really the jumping point for the spread.  I also love all the navy showing up, but I don't have much of it, yet.  After scrounging around in my supplies, I managed to find enough to make it worth keeping in the color scheme and made sure to add it in wherever I could in the embellishments.  I never get to use more than one photo from my youngest son's monthly photos that we did up until he was 12 months and I try to include ones that are full body, so it was nice to include one that wasn't perfect enough for that special layout that I still liked.  I kept several cards on both pages plain and didn't even bother embellishing the purple flowers I got for our anniversary.  I figure, talking about our anniversary in the journaling on the 'you are my favorite' card was enough to make that obvious. I stamped dates here and there, wrote some in other spots, and also used my Pebbles roller stamp to add a few details on the photo of the Strip as well as the 'hello 2014' card to denote that we basically open the year celebrating every year.

I'll start off by apologizing again for the bad lighting.  I just couldn't get it (or photoshop) to cooperate with me.  The card on the top left is the card I mentioned above that I just had to use with this layout.  As you can see, I didn't so much to the outside cards in the middle and very minimally embellished everything else.  I actually added a Sn@p label under the arrow sticker in the top photo after photographing this because it bothered me.  I wasn't going to add anything to it, but when it was printing out, my husband's shirt somehow wound up with a very odd purple glowing spot on it that I didn't want to be distracting.  The bottom two photos are probably my favorites from this week and I may end up printing more for a 12x12 layout, who knows.  I really love that my youngest is starting to jump on in and get involved in activities that he couldn't really enjoy before and my oldest is accepting his participation very well most of the time.

I will warn you all about the second card in the middle row.  This is something new for Cocoa Daisy.  I think they changed printers or something because even the cardstock from the main kit this month was different.  These cards are super thick, but the ink comes off of them VERY easily.  I tried a paperclip and the ink on the right edge came off very easily.  I then tried to cover it up with washi and barely touched the edge with it and pulled the tape off to line it up and a ton of the blue came off with my tape.  Another problem was that as I tried to put it into the pocket, the card was a true 3x4 and even though I use MAMBI page protectors, it was too snug of a fit and I had to trim the cards down a bit on the sides.  While trying to stick them in originally, the washi started to curl and...you guessed it...more of the blue started to pull away from the card.  Also a side note, I subscribe to their scrapbook kit (and only buy the Day In The Life kit or cards when I really like them) and noticed that they may have changed printers there, too.  The paper is glossier than it has been (I've loved the quality since they stopped collaborating with Simple Stories many months ago) and is much thinner than usual which is a big disappointment considering how amazing their prints were for April.

That's it for now.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Denise



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Project Life Cover Page

 I'll start off by admitting...yes, I'm the one that spent EONS looking for a project life organization system to finally design my own (that Stamp N Storage now builds and sells as part of their regular inventory here) to make my supplies easier to reach.  Until today, however, I did NOT PL!!!  *Gasp*  I do use pocketed pages to document photo heavy events such as birthdays and Christmas (and I even used them to document my oldest son's first haircut last year because I live up to my name: Mamarazzi) but I've been wanting to start the real way.  I was going to put together my first two weeks together, but realized when I sat down that I should probably start with a cover page and so I did just that.
 I received my Cocoa Daisy scrapbook kit in the mail today and when I pulled out my January 2014 Life Page kit from Gossamer Blue to use, I just had to use the Navy Beanboard Alphas that came in the kit.  It's not everyday that a company comes out with a killer navy alpha (that isn't covered in glitter) and it went perfectly with the color scheme of the GB kit.  I pulled cards from other GB kits as well but I did not write down where they came from (sorry).  The 'the' and 'family' are from the B sides of the new October Afternoon alpha sets.  Just a side note:  Only our kids have two last names (hyphenated but I didn't feel the hyphen was essential here), I did not change mine when my husband and I got married but we consider their last name to be our family name.

TIP:  Mercytiara (YouTube channel) suggested something she had heard from another person for the loose alphas:  keep the backing of the alpha pack and cross off letters as they are used.  I sorted mine into three piles, caps, lowercase, and punctuation and put each category into their own bag to make it a little easier to sort later on as well.  Both of these tactics will hopefully save me a bit of sanity later on.  Less time to find letters and no time spent looking for letters that I'm out of.
 The yellow card on the left was a bit plain, so I took a standard width heart washi and put a narrow strip of it on the top and bottom and added a navy enamel heart from one of the last Lily Bee releases.  The banner sticker on the right hand card is from a family line by Bella Blvd.  I liked another sticker better that said 'we are family' but the speech bubble was on the right side and I didn't like the way the potty people looked on the other side of the card.
 This card was kept super simple.  All I added was a fun touch of clear Wink Of Stella glitter pen across the sun to give it a little extra pop.
I think I spent about 20 minutes looking for one element for this card and it ended up being the PERFECT piece.  I had already placed the heart veneer and sat there debating printing out a photo or finding a fun element.  I went through all of my Just Add Color core kit 2x2 cards and while some worked, they were either the wrong color or the color blended in too much with the teal in the background of this card.  After digging through drawers and drawers, I turned around and saw the most recent Heidi Swapp clearance purchases that I had gotten from Michaels a few days ago.  There were two great stickers and while I preferred the wording on the other one, the shape wasn't quite right.  In the end I'm very happy with this.  The cream in the stickers coordinates great with the veneer and the other colors made it seem like they were meant to go together all along.

I hope you like it and I hope to have plenty more project life shares in the future.  I have photos for weeks 1 and 2 already printed out.  I am using a mix of 3x4 cell phone pics that I combined in Pic Frame and printed off of my Selphy and photos that I printed from my big DSLR that I typically have printed up every couple of months.  I'm not sure about you, but I find that my 'real life' photos end up taken using my cell phone which is why I wanted to get a Selphy to begin with.  In our house, we take photos EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and sometimes those photos can get routine.  We can easily have day after day of posed smile shots as we are rushing to put the boys to bed for the night, but when we whip out our cell phones, we are taking fun, candid shots that speak more of our daily lives than those rushed daily photos.  I am greatly looking forward to mixing the two in this album.

Thanks for stopping by!

Denise

Monday, April 7, 2014

Your Smile Melts My Heart - Scrapbook Steals MWM Rose #8 Sketch

 I decided to attempt to put together this layout based on Scrapbook Steal's Rose #8 sketch, which can be found here, at the last minute.  There's still time to enter today if you are interested.  This is probably a record time layout for me as there is a whole process that typically goes into it for me.  The picture I used called out to me and the collection that I used matched PERFECTLY.  It seems that I may be on an Echo Park kick, too.
 Sorry for the odd lighting here.  I had great daylight earlier today, but it's already gone thanks to some overgrown bushes outside of my scrap room window.  This layout was put together using mostly Echo Park's This & That Charming collection kit and coordinating chipboard pieces, but I also have a few enamel dots from MME, Basic Grey, and Teresa Collins, some custom wood veneer from a couple of different places, and October Afternoon alphas.
 I love, love, love how this title turned out.  I am definitely starting to understand the idea of mixing alphas to make a title.  Unlike the last layout I posted, the contrast between this beautiful aqua and the dark brown is great, so there was nothing that I needed to do to bring your eye to this area of the layout.  I used minimal embellishments on this page, so to tie in the color scheme, I added a few Teresa Collins enamel dots and a chipboard sticker from one of the coordinating embellishments.  I had already added the banner veneer (in the next photo) and wanted to tie in the wood with another element besides the wood paper behind the photo, so I added a cute veneer arrow that I had in my stash.  It also goes well with the chipboard arrow I used above the title.
 I've had these custom veneer for quite some time and hadn't had a use for them and I'm glad I finally had a chance to use one.  I have my oldest's son's name on a banner as well as some other words like 'Brothers', 'Documented', 'Family', etc.  The 'BOY' banner is also from the chipboard elements (I used pieces from both the 6x12 chipboard accents sheet and the smaller layered chipboard elements sheet on this layout) and above it, I decided to use the October Afternoon alphas to add the date.  I had my date stamp out along with some white pigment ink, but the white on the page is not a pure white and I was worried that the white ink would clash with the rest of the whites.
The 'you are so special to me' chipboard sticker was the main reason for adding any yellow to this layout.  The sketch called for an element above the photo and before I even had my papers chosen, I knew I wanted to use this piece.  This element was also the reason I added the yellow paper on the far left of the photo.  I made sure to keep it spaced as far away from the sticker as I could to keep them from blending into each other.  I kept this part of the page very simple (all of the heavy elements are on the bottom) and just added a few enamel dots from a Christmas MME pack that I picked up on clearance at Michael's a few months ago.

Thanks for stopping by!

Denise

Our Peanut - ACOT Becky Fleck Sketch Challenge #64

 For some reason, there was no announcement on ACOT's Facebook page this week about the sketch challenge, so I copied it from the message boards so you all could see the sketch I was working from.  I was on a roll, completely 3 layouts in about 4 days a couple of weeks ago.  I was recovering from a head cold and feeling great only to have a second head cold hit me that week.  In addition to that, I've had a much busier schedule than normal, but boy did it feel good to get a layout made!!
 To me, this layout turned out very minimally like the sketch, which is unusual for me.  I try and stick to a sketch as much as I can, but this layout just went it's own direction.  I kept it pretty minimal because I really didn't have a lot to say.  I like to snap pictures of hands and feet when my kids are really little.  There is just something to be said for how amazing it is to know that these features all exist because I grew them.  These photos are of my youngest from last year, 6 days before he turned 1 month old.  This entire layout is using Echo Park's Bundle Of Joy Boy collection which the exception of an October Afternoon Date Stamp, Doodlebug Enamel Dots, Momento Rich Cocoa Ink, and an American Crafts Brown Precision Pen in .03.

I've noticed that my current 'thing' is to mat my background paper onto another paper.  I'm really loving how that looks and this layout is no exception.  I had no intention of matting the photo block, but decided to do so after adding that star paper under the photo of my son's face.  I realized at that point that there wasn't a lot of other white and that paper really popped out and while I liked it, without balancing it with some more white, it took attention away from my photos.  There is a full mat of the white star paper behind the photo, but I didn't like how it looked so I took a couple of strips of the brown chevron paper that also framed the background and added them to either side and I really like the look of it.
 Peanut has been Parker's nickname since I was pregnant.  It was an evolution from 'P' as we didn't want to give away his name (we don't announce names until after birth) and it stuck.  As a result, I love all things elephant and just had to use them here.  I like that the enamel dots almost look like bubbles, too.  The date banner above is two different pieces from the coordinating brad package for the collection.  I took the brad out that went with the banner and chose a green chevron one instead.  The brad does not go through the paper and is instead folded to one side and held into place by a  Stampin' Up Dimensional.  I also used a few Dimensionals to to prop up the 'Cherished' sticker.  I added this as a space filler after deciding that journaling just wasn't necessary for this layout.  While there is still quite a bit of dead space in the bottom, I felt as though this element was enough to make it look intentional rather than just not knowing what to fill the space with.  The other stickers were either too big, the wrong color, or were religious in nature and therefore not applicable.
I wasn't sure how I would feel about outlining the word 'Peanut' in the title, but it really made all the difference.  At first, I tried a Z on a scrap piece of paper using a Stampin' Up Early Espresso Marker but it was just not fine enough.  I ended up using a .03 brown Precision Pen from American Crafts instead.  I probably would have gone with a .01 pen if I had one.  If I could get a blown up version of this elephant put it on the walls of my boys' room, I probably would.  Isn't he just the cutest?

Thanks for stopping by!!

Denise