Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's All in the Process

In the past two or three months, my creative process has really evolved.
  • I've started to embrace spray mist in my own small way.
  • I keep pictures and papers on my "work" table the entire week and take five minutes here and there to move things around and get the creative juices flowing.
  • I use my small bits of creative time during the week to jumpstart my larger blocks of creative time on the weekend.
  • I'm doing my very best to embrace my mistakes.
  • I stamp on my layouts.
  • I try new things.
  • I'm finally realizing it is okay.
So in the spirit of all things creative and process oriented.  I thought I'd show you the evolution of a layout.  Since I've started scrapping about my nephew - I often choose the photo prior to the story.  I'm finding that I don't always need words - which is a HUGE departure from my previous approach.   I still love my words - I'm just okay with them being minimal, and in some cases, non-existent.  I'm kind of loving that right now.  So without further ado....

First I chose the photos and products.  I played around with the photo placement.  I really loved the picture on the left and wanted it on top.  I went with the second option.  

Next, I chose my spray mist and paper colors based on the boys outfit.

Then I placed the pictures based (very loosely) on a sketch from the lovely Shimelle Laine.

Next up, title work - probably one of the hardest steps.  I always wish I had more letters in different styles.

Now the embellishing begins...

Finally - I added some sewing around the clouds and the hearts on the cameras.  Finished!

So, that's it for today.  Hope my process is interesting or helpful in some way.  I can't say enough about splatters and sewing.  I love it so much.  Hope everyone has a great Thursday.  Until then...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Product Love

Pic Tap Go is an amazing app with a lot of buzz right now. It's 1.99 at the Apple app store. It allows users to edit photos through a variety of sweet effects. It allows you to apply multiple filters and save your favorite "recipes.". My absolute favorite feature is its ability to interface with Instagram. I love to edit my photo and then put it in Instagram. I don't add any of those filters. I just make the photo square and frankly, I'm in love. Hope everyone has a great Monday. Until then...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Confessions

Where to start? Well...first things first - my cat is not 12. She is eleven. I'm in my mid-thirties and I can't remember my cat's effing age. Yes, it's the end of the school year. Yes, I'm a hot mess on my best days - and I embrace that happily. Yes, I love her crazy ass with all my heart. Still, I didn't remember her age. I'm considering keeping the title as is and doing a facing page on me at 36 and how I can't count well enough to know my cat's effing age. Quite dumb, I am.

On another note, this page is based on this sketch from Studio Calico. I love their sketches and I've just joined their kit club (another confession). I was a member at Cocoa Daisy for six months and wanted to give another kit club a try. I really liked Cocoa Daisy - I just couldn't make a final choice until I tried Studio Calico. Eventually I'll figure out what club is best for me but for now I'm liking the shopping around phase. So that's it for now. I hope everyone has had a great Sunday! Until then...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Curse of the Ereader

There was a time, just a few years ago, when anyone would ever bring up the idea of an electronic reader, I would raise my hands to the heavens and shake them violently and swear I would never, ever, ever give up my books. I loved the feel of their pages. I loved their smell. I loved running my hands across their spines as I walked in the bookstore or the library, preferably the bookstore. I didn't like the idea of old books, but I loved the idea of new ones.

And 2013...I've completely flipped to the dark side. I prefer the feel of my iPad in my hand. I prefer NOT to feel the thickness of a long book, it seems foreboding and overwhelming in so many ways. And I will duplicate books for their electronic versions for the smallest reasons: for old yellowing pages, for fonts I don't like, for large books that are clunky and difficult to hold as you fall asleep. I have completely embraced the idea of the ebook and in some ways it disappoints me.

I still love my magazines and I still love my craft books but even those are going by the wayside as PagePerfect and electronic magazines are taking over. And I wonder if I'll miss those days when I walked through the bookstore with my hands running against their spines or if thirty years from now I'll be explaining to my great nieces and nephews how there was a time when you bought books in a real store and you opened them and turned their pages - that you didn't swipe a screen. I wonder, and it makes me hope...that...someday, my great love for the written word in my hands on real paper will return and the immediacy and the ease of the ebook will be less important...and then I realize there is goodness in both. Until then...Happy Reading!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday: My "Materials"

Everyone has their little quirks and trust me I'm no different. Last month marked the eight year anniversary of my right foot surgery. It was an absolute nightmare but something really great came out of it. And when I say great I mean in the bizarre, zany way that only bat crap crazy people can appreciate. I was blessed enough to have my parents come for six weeks each to take care of me. Man alive did I drive them nuts. But I learned something important during this time.

First, one should only have foot surgery as a last resort because it blows....hard. Next, surgery should be scheduled when you're at a moderate weight not morbidly obese. Third, healing will NOT take four weeks if you're on immunosuppressants. It's not possible. Finally, it helps to know the essential things you will require which I decided to refer to as "my materials."

At the time of my recovery, my materials were an amalgamation of books, magazines, etc.. This practice has stayed with me and I now have a short list of absolute musts on my materials list.

1. Yellow Highlighter - I prefer the erasable kind. I have the set with all five colors but my preference is yellow. Always.

2. iPad - this handy gadget has cut down on my mega stack of books and magazines. For years I swore I would never get an ereader. I loved the feel of a book. Now I revel in the amount of space it saves and my reduced back pain.

3. One Real Book or Magazine - Because you never know when you're iPad will go dead or you'll throw it across the room because Christian Grey is disrobing once again.

4. Pilot Precise Pen Extra Fine in Black or Blue

5. Small notebook - for writing down project ideas, funny quotes, or to keep you from throat punching the person next to you.

It goes without saying that you must have a bag large enough to fit these items. Trust me, I always do. I feel somewhat naked without them. Unfortunately, I burned my parents out on the word materials when they were taking care of me so now I'm actually only allowed to say the word twice a day. Anyhoo...that's my list for this Friday. What's yours? Hope everyone's having a great day. Until then...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10 Book Quotes on the 10th

Although this year is shaping up to be the year of scrapping and really not reading. I still wanted to share these quotes from some of my favorite books last year. I tried not to include any spoilers despite one quote that cracks me up from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - actually two quotes. Nevertheless I restrained myself and came up with these ten. I hope you enjoy. Until then...

1. “What are you going to do with your life?" In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer... "Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.”
David Nicholls, One Day

2. “That's the thing about demands to be felt.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

3. “You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

4. "What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

5. "You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

6. “We think, in some ways, we have all done this our whole lives, searching for the book that will give us the keys to ourselves, let us into a wholly formed personality as though it were a furnished room to let. As though we could walk in and look around and say to the gray-haired landlady behind us, "We'll take it.”
Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters

7. “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

8. "Even under the best of circumstances, there's just something so damn tragic about growing up.”
Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You

9. “I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have. Good and bad. ..Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. And be who you are about them.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

10. “Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”
Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall

Monday, April 8, 2013

Product Love

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I'm completely in love with hand sewing on my layouts thanks to Amy Tangerine.  It started with her great embroidery stencil kits and has grown.  It has given new life to my punches.  I just can't wait to see what else I can do.  I'm in love with embroidery thread.  It's inexpensive.  It comes in SO many colors.  It's wonderful. really packs a wallop on layouts.  It has the ability to take a layout to another level.  I'm slightly addicted.

Supplies: Paper: American Crafts; Echo Park Paper; Stickers: American Crafts; Simple Stories; Stamps: Hero Arts; KI Memories; Brad: Basic Grey; Buttons: October Afternoon; Studio Calico; Spray Mist: Studio Calico; Ranger Dylusions; 

This layout was definitely the moment when I realized how much hand sewing had to offer to my scrapbooking process.  I can't say enough about it.  I love it so much.  The elephant is actually a stamped image from Hero Arts that I sewed and cut out.  I made the circles with a Fiskars punch with leftover scraps.  I pieced the scraps together to make full circles and then sewed around each.  The pictures are actually tucked into the folds of patterned paper.  The boy is definitely the star of this layout.  However, the embroidery thread/sewing just makes it so much better.

So that's pick for this Monday.  I hope everyone has a great week.  Until then...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Confessions: Scrapbooking Children

Another Sunday and another confession...I'm hoping no one will be offended by it.  I'm a single scrapper.  No children, no boy in my picture.  But since my newest nephew was born, I have come to a realization...babies/children actually make my scrapbooking easier.  It gives me a subject, purpose, and let's just face it - they're adorable.  I've always suspected that those scrappers with children had one leg up on me.  The boy has confirmed that.  However, I know I have the great privilege of extra time.  Still, there's only so much one girl can scrap about books, cupcakes, and a banshee cat.  And trust me, as an introvert, I'm not nearly interesting enough to scrapbook year round.  I don't travel or go to fancy restaurants.  My life is pretty small - and I'm okay with that.  I just have to confess - babies make scrapbooking something special.  Here's just one more piece of evidence...

Paper: Glitz Design; American Crafts; Die Cuts: Glitz Design; Crate Paper; KI Memories; Embellishments: Studio Calico; Stickers: American Crafts; Echo Park Paper: Other: Thread; Buttons

This was not an easy layout to finish.  I had some problems with overworking it.  Still, it's done and I enjoy it all the same.  Please note the elephants and his signature paper.  He gives me a reason to tell stories where there was a void before.  And that's definitely a part of me.  I would never put that off on anyone else.  Scrapping means different things for different people.  I just know - this baby has been a big part of jumping me into the action phase of creating.  I appreciate him so much.  So that's it for this Sunday evening.  I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend.  Until then...

P.S. I also greatly appreciate that right now he's with his momma (my sister) while I write this blog post.  I know what I have is pretty great too, just really different.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five for Friday: Patterns

I'm hoping to make this a quick post. I wanted to share five patterns that are rocking my world right now. So without further ado....

1. Book Text...This paper is called Wild Hearts from the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm line. I love all things book related. Love the book text so much.

2. Ombré...defined as graduated color, this is an amazing effect. It's absolutely beautiful. I prefer it in teals and blues - but this pink from the Dear Lizzy's Lucky Charm line is gorgeous.

3. Watercolor effects...Paper is from Amy Tangerine's  Yes, Please line. I love this particular pattern. It takes out the guess work of trying to do anything remotely painterly myself and quite frankly, failing miserably.

4. Bokeh...I love this effect in photos. I think I might love it even more on paper. Luckily this trend seems to be really gaining momentum in the crafting world. So excited. BTW: this paper is from Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper.

5. Ikat...this pattern is most often seen in fabric but it translates really well to paper. I love the colors on this paper and the blurred coloring. It's beautiful. It's from the On Trend line from Crate Paper.

A couple of short things before I head out...please click the picture to be taken to the original source of all the photos. If you're interested in seeing more of these patterns, I highly recommend checking out Pinterest.  I hope everyone's had a great Friday. Until then...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Challenge Love: Sketch #10

My next challenge comes from the creative mind of Shimelle Laine - now that I think about it, so did my previous challenge.  I love her sketches and starting points and am constantly amazed at her fearlessness when it comes to mixing patterns.  I'm in awe.  When I'm lucky enough to have my crafty mojo and a sketch available to me - I try not to spend a lot of time looking at the layouts that go with that specific sketch.  At least that's what I'm doing now - which helps with the (wait for it, friend) intrusive thoughts that tell me how much I suck at this whole scrapbook thing. BTW: there's an inside joke in that sentence for someone special.  So let's stop all of my effing gabbing and move on to the sketch shall we...

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I have not been part of the triangles band wagon.  I find this trend a little exhausting.  Who the hell has time to cut all those triangles perfectly?  Not me.  So I went the simple route.  I got out my square punch and cut those puppies in half.  Did I say puppies?  I meant squares.  They're not perfect triangles, but they work in a pinch.  So without further ado - my interpretation (which is pretty close to the original sketch I might add)...

Supplies: Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Basic Grey, My Mind's Eye, Echo Park Paper; Stickers: American Crafts, Simple Stories, Tag: American Crafts; Stamp: Hero Arts: Ink: Prima; Pencils: Derwent Inktense

One super cute little boy + one finished layout = one happy, proud auntie.  I love this boy.  Before you say anything...yes I know the top row of triangles is crooked.  Yes it bothers me a little or a lot depending on the moment - but I'm taking a deep breath and saying eff it.  Why?  Because that was my second effing attempt at making a straight line and at some point you have to just laugh at your limitations.  He's cute.  The story's told.  I had fun.  That's all that matters.  Right?  Right!  Here are a few detail shots...which is just an excuse to show you the boy a little more.

You can see here that the triangles are not that "perfect" angle - but they work and that's all that matters.  The sentiment from Dear Lizzy's Lucky Charm line seemed to work perfectly with this page.  I was so happy.

If you look really closely at this picture, you can see little tiny splatters.  The color is very subtle.  I made these with my Derwent Inktense pencils.  I used the brush to pencil technique and then started splattering with both the brush and pencil.  I'll working on perfecting this more in the future.

One quick note...I'm taking Shimelle's advice in another small way.  I'm trying to add this piece of paper from Amy Tangerine's Ready, Set, Go line from American Crafts on each layout of the boy.  I'm running out of my one sheet pretty quickly.  I'm also trying to put an elephant in some form - his mother's favorite image.  I think it will unite the layouts for his first year.  It's a small thing - but I really love it.  I didn't start doing this until the third or fourth layout - but I'm happy that I finally did.  It brings unity to the visual part of the story.

So that's it for today.  I hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday.  Until then...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Reading Love

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Meet the newest member of my book family.  I had a great coupon from my local book chain and it could be the coolest thing I've ever bought.  As you can tell by the title - there is nothing high brow about this book.  It's not meant to teach you how to draw figures.  It's meant to teach you how to let go and have fun.  It's meant to teach you to connect with your childhood self - the one that didn't give an eff about perfection or greatness.  For me - I have to go way back to connect with that girl....way, way back.  But she's in here somewhere.  It's nice to see little glimpses of her.  So without further first two assignments.

If you're wondering...I used my non-dominant hand to draw these birds.  They mostly look angry and suspicious if you ask me.  Great exercise.  I love it.

Next up, I was drawing birds upside down and man alive was that an experience.  I actually like them a lot from this angle - but was even more surprised when I turned the page right side up.  I made birds.  They're huge.  Some of them look a little like silly mutants, but who the eff cares...I drew birds!

So there it is for today.  A little bit of reading mixed up with a lot of new crafting experiences.  I can't wait to do more.  The next exercise seems super hard - but I'm game.  It's supposed to be silly and different.  Gotta love that.  I hope everyone has a lovely Tuesday.  It's my last day of vacation.  I plan on laying around with my banshee kitty, getting silly with it, and making a layout of the boy with inspiration from the title of this book.  Have I mentioned how it's helping me so much.  Thank you Carla Sonheim.  Anyhoo...again, I hope everyone has a great day.  Until then...
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