Friday, August 9, 2013

Blog....what blog?

Two weeks ago I visited my family in Southern California.  One of the first things my sister Marta said to me was, "You haven't blogged in seven months?!!".  By now, it's been eight months, but who's counting?  My life since going back to work has been more than a bit hectic.

I haven't given up scrapbooking altogether.  This year, for the first time, I've begun a "Project Life" or "Day in the Life" type of scrapbooking.  I have successfully kept a daily journal, and have managed to complete almost ten weeks of the album.  I will post some pages when I get them photographed.  The book is a pretty cool cross section of life.

Last weekend, upon looking at Shimelle Laine's website, I discovered she was doing a "Best of both world's" challenge weekend.  I was inspired to pull some papers using her August kit as inspiration, and participating in a few of the challenges.  The two layouts I completed were the first traditional pages all year!!  I guess I should be happy I accomplished that much.

Here is a photo of Shimelle's August "Best of both worlds" kit:

I like how she embraced the turquoise and other blues in her kit.  I tried to find similar papers in my stash, and this is what I came up with.  I was able to pull some things that I've been meaning to use, but which have been collecting dust.  This pleased me very much!

I decided to allow myself to use any embellishments I wanted with the papers.  Using up anything I have laying around is an accomplishment, as far as I'm concerned.

Here is the first layout I completed.  The challenge was to use the "flexible template" concept to create a page.  This is Noelle Hyman's version of a free form sketch.  I have to admit to feeling a little rusty, although I'm not unhappy with the results.

The star paper in the background is one piece I especially love by Studio Calico.  I'm very happy to have finally put it to use.

This next layout was completed for Shimelle's challenge to use 3 3X4 cards.  I struggled a bit with this one, and had to redo the card with the journaling.  I also used a bunch of stickers on the upper right corner, so it could work for Shimelle's challenge to use stickers, as well.  Another way I challenged myself was to use the printed background paper by cutting a portion of one of the fish on the background and placing my cardstock behind it.  I also cut one of the fish that was covered completely out, and popped it up on another part of the page. 

I will post some pics of my Project Life as soon as I get them photographed.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My scrapbook process...

I was thrilled when Bethany asked me to join in for December at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge!  I enjoyed working with the team in the past, and was excited to create two posts this month.

For today's post, I was asked to share my creative process with you.  At first, I shook my head and wondered "what on earth I could possibly share about that?".  It's not something I've thought seriously about.  I usually play it by ear when creating a layout, and that seems to work for me.  I had to think about how I go about each step of my creative process.  I came to the conclusion that it really depends on whether I am starting with a photo, story, or other starting point.  I've given some examples of places I might begin.  

Photos:  I truly believe that my real purpose in scrapbooking is to showcase my family photos.  Since converting to digital photography, I no longer print out every single photo I take.  I pick and choose the best photos, and photos I especially hope to scrapbook someday.  There is no way I will ever scrap every photo I print out, but I like having the option.  So, often I start with a photo or series of photos that are important to me, or inspire me in some way.  I tend to gravitate towards photos that capture a person's personality or a special moment in time.  Or, there might be a great story behind the photo that I want to relate on my page.

This layout features a favorite photo of my son, Joey.  He was so adorable at that age, and the photo reflected his love of hats.  The rest of the page was created around the photo.   

 Story:  Journaling is very important in scrapbooking.  I have done pages that don't have much journaling, but I almost always include at least a date.  Sometimes a story is so significant, that I may want to create a page using that story as my starting point.  I have even done a page that did not have a photo, but featured only the journaling.  This is fairly rare, however.  Usually, I start with the photos, and the journaling comes later in my process.  

Here is a page I created using my story as the focal point, and a vintage photo to support the journaling, since I had no photo of the actual event.
Product:  I love buying beautiful scrapbook papers and embellishments!!  It's a weakness, which I'm pretty sure I share with many other scrapbookers out there.  Sometimes the product is so amazing, I might start with that.  I then go through my photos, or may even have some in mind that will work perfectly with the product I have chosen.

This layout was created using product from My Mind's Eye Follow your Heart "Be Amazing" paper line.  Although other product items were used, the MME was the basis of the layout.  The photo and embellishment choices were made after the paper was chosen.


Kits:  I have always loved scrapbook kits!  I no longer subscribe to any clubs, but I love the idea of putting kits together.  That's one reason I love the Counterfeit Kit Challenge!  Kits are awesome because they be specific to a theme, or can be very versatile.  When I'm working with a kit, I usually start with the papers and embellishments included in the kit, and find photos that will go well with it.  This is a similar process to how I would use a product line to make a scrapbook page, although there can be multiple paper lines included in a kit.

Here is my very first Counterfeit Kit from February, 2011, and a page I created from that kit.

Sketches:  Sketches are a great starting point for a layout, especially if you are having trouble coming up with ideas.  Looking at the sketch, I usually choose photos that fit the basic orientation of the sketch, and go from there.  This can be fun, because you may end up with something that looks similar to the starting sketch, or resembles it very little.  You can find an endless number of free sites which have sketches of every sort.  You can often narrow your search by size or number of photos, to find the sketch that will work best with your photos and album size.

This layout was made following the sketch shown.  In this instance, I followed the sketch fairly closely.  


Challenges:  This is another great great place to start.  There are hundreds of challenge blogs and websites available on the internet.  Many scrapbook forums regularly post challenges for their members to take part in, as well.  I would highly recommend trying one of these resources, especially if you are struggling with motivation.  Using the guidelines for the challenge, it's easy to come up with product/photos that would work.  You never know where this may lead, often with unexpected results.  I enjoy challenges because they often encourage you to try something outside of your comfort zone.

The inspiration for this layout came from a challenge to use only cardstock as a background for a page.

Putting it all together:  After deciding on photos and product, I typically spread everything out on my table and look at it.  I hold the photos up against various sheets of paper, to see how it looks together.  I don't have any set rules for combining papers and photos, I usually goes with what pleases my eye the most.  I usually compose my background layers first, then place my photos.  I usually will wait to glue everything down I'm sure of the placement.  After photos, I decide on embellishment, title, and journaling placement.  As for the journaling, in most cases I've been thinking about the story the entire time I put the other elements together.  By this stage, I should have a pretty good idea about what I want to say, which is only limited by the space I have to write it. After embellishments, title, and journaling are done, I look at the layout again to see if I want to add/change anything.  I may even leave for awhile, and come back later.  If I'm happy with the result, then I call it done.  I used to be very critical of my layouts, and stress out about every little detail.  Unless the page is for a special project, I can usually be happy with the page however it turns out.  Not every page is awesome, but I have gotten the important things down, which really are the photos and journaling.

Take some time to think about your process.  Is it similar to what others have shared, or is it very unique?  I'd love to hear about it!  Thanks for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

February "Love" Mini Kit

I want to thank Bethany and Meridy for asking my to join you all this month at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge!!  I was so excited when I heard what they were doing by having all of the Master Forgers, and a few guests create a page kit and share about their creative process.  I thought this was an awesome way to get caught up on some of those photos we all have laying around, that we may not have had a chance to scrap yet.  I was excited, as well, for the chance to create a page kit for February, the month of "Love"! 

When I think if February, the first thing that comes to mind is Valentine's Day, which is known for "love" themed projects.  Hearts and flowers as well as the colors pink, white, and red are common elements associated with the holiday.

For my page kit, I wanted to go for papers with a vintage shabby chic elegance that I find especially appealing.  I like the how grown up these are compared to the more cutesy quality of many Valentine papers.   Of course, if you have small children, you may want to go more in that direction.

I chose papers from three different manufacturers, but which all have the same distressed look.

Papers include:

Kaisercraft - Sweet Nothings Collection "With Love"
Crate Paper - Paper Heart Collection "Define", "Delicate", and "Valentine"
Glitz Designs - Pretty in Pink "Roses" and "Toile"
Prima - Madeline "Beautima" (half sheet)
Kraft Cardstock - Bazzill

I included embellishments which matched the color and feel of the papers.

Embellishments include:

Clear Stamps - Inkadinkado
Thickers alphabets "Rockabye" & "Marquise"
Webster's Florettes Princess Petals
Glitz Designs Pretty in Pink Giant Rhinestones
MME Miss Caroline Pins & Buttons
Jillibean Soup Sugar Picks
Jillibean Soup Corrugated Butterflies
Webster's Pages Whimsey Heart (pink)
Rose transparency (Glitz)
Tulle Ribbon

My sketch is from Page Maps - February, 2012.  I like how the background is split right down the middle, and how there are multiple layers behind the photo.  This sketch could easily be adapted to any style of page.

Here is the page I created using my kit and sketch.  I love how the papers worked so well with this photograph of my daughter and her boyfriend.  As you can see by my example, a "love" themed kit does not have to be used exclusively for Valentine's Day projects! 

Good luck getting 2012 scrapped!  I hope you are able to participate this month at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge, with all the business and activities of the season.  I'm sure the Master Forgers have some fantastic ideas and inspiration to share with you!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Counterfeit Kit

I went back and forth on the October Counterfeit Kit this month.  Although I liked the inspiration kit by http://www.gossamerblue.com, I was really in the mood for something with a Halloween theme.  It seems like very few kit clubs are offering Halloween kits anymore.  I ended up buying the October Afternoon Witch Hazel line from Two Peas because all of their Halloween items were on sale for 25% off.  That satisfied my need/want for holiday themed papers, and so I was able to finish putting together this kit without obsessing about it too much.

Inspiration kit (Gossamer Blue September, 2012):

I had a few sheets of paper from the inspiration kit, and did use those.  I also included more pages from October Afternoon Woodland park collection, because lately I just can't seem to get enough of October Afternoon, despite all the controversy over their never meeting their release deadlines.  I still think they are one of the best on the market.  In fact, I included an old, old page from another OA line from 2007 in this kit, and I bet you can't even tell which one!!  I threw in a few other assorted sheets of paper and some cute embellies to finish it off.  I quite like how it turned out!

My counterfeit:

A little layout

It's been so long since I posted anything, so today I will do multiple posts in an effort to catch up with the blogging world!

Here is one little layout I made from all those pre-made pages I did with the perfect collection class, using my August Counterfeit Kit.  The photos are from our vacation this summer, where my hubby participated in half of a 50 mile mountain bike ride.  It turned out to be such an ordeal for him.  He finished his leg, and we were all really proud of him!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Perfect Collection

So, I've been on quite a Shimelle Laine kick, watching every free video of hers I could find, signing up for a few of her classes.  Most recently, I watched "The Perfect Collection", where she teaches you how to cut up an entire collection of paper to make multiple layouts.  I love collection kits, and the concept was a little scary at first.  Being able to actually use up the paper, is very liberating, though!

I used my August Counterfeit Kit as my first attempt.  This was probably more difficult than using a coordinated paper line for a few reasons.  First, the patterned paper base color varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Some of the papers were cream based, and some leaned more towards white.  This can pose a problem when putting the sheets together in one layout, because they can tend to look "off".  That made putting the layouts a little more challenging.

Secondly, I had over 100 photos to choose from.  I had trouble deciding if I was just going to scrap them randomly, or if I would just stick to one theme, like vacation 2012.  I decided to go with random photos, but then I had to go through a ton of photos trying to find one that fit my pre-made starting point.

I don't do two page layouts very often, so I was not able to us all the starting point examples that Shimelle gave in her video.  On her website, if you do a search for "starting points" you will find many many examples of different ones to use while putting yours together.  I liked having this flexibility, but not having to think too hard coming up with my own starting points.  

It was definitely a learning experience, which I hope to repeat soon.  I want to scrap all these layouts first before I move on.

Here are the eleven "starting points" I came up with.  I will post the layouts as I complete them.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ugly paper....and a little layout!

 Back in June, I found a fun swap on challenge blog called "Inspired to Scrap", but unfortunately saw it too late to participate.  The ladies in the swap each sent another person two sheets of the ugliest paper in their stash, which they were then to do a layout with.  My scrappy buddy, Joyce, happened to receive two very ugly sheets of paper, that I also had in my stash!  Can you believe I actually bought the left piece of Sassafras Lass when I found it in a local store!  I had just found out SS was going out of business, and thought I should grad some sheets while I still could.  It's kinda cute, in a weird way.  The other sheet, is just plain ugly.  I had received it in a kit with the rest of the line from SS Amplify.

So, that's how the idea for this layout began.  I was going through a bad patch with my oldest son, Leo, and found this awful photo of him which is a self portrait from his iPod.  I tried to express my mixed emotions in this layout, which is much harder than you think!  It's much easier for me to scrap about things that make me happy!  When I showed it to Leo, he said he hated it, and never wanted to see it again!  I'm pretty sure he is not a follower of my blog, so I'm pretty sure I'm safe.  Can you keep my secret?