Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I Need a Challenge

Hello Lovelies!

I drove from my home near Charlotte, NC to visit my family in Richmond, VA yesterday. For a big part of the trip, I listened to old Paperclipping Roundtable podcasts. Driving five hours with an eight year old engrossed in movies in the backseat gives you a lot of time to think. Naturally, I was thinking about scrapping.

One of the episodes I listened to was on embellishments. Who here has a ton of embellishments that you bought with every good intention of using, but didn't. Now when you look at them, you feel like you should use them but they're not quite "in style" anymore. Yeah. That's me too. I know for many this is the perfect excuse and the very reason they purge. Emotionally, I'm not quite there yet.

As 2017 approaches, I thought it might be fun to challenge myself to use some of those old supplies. The ones I "had to have" and then never used. I already have my first challenge in mind. Remember when raw chipboard was the thing to use? People would paint, ink, emboss, cover, and make it perfect for their needs. I was rather depressed at that time. Shopping made me feel better. Unfortunately, I shopped a lot. I bought stuff new. I bought it used. eBay was my favorite place to be. I have some Maya Road chipboard that came in little metal lunchboxes. I've used so little of it though! One set is of frames. I think they're mostly square. I think it would be a great challenge to see how much of that I can use. I even have an idea of small square pictures hanging in a gallery almost. When I get home later this week, that's my challenge to myself!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Design Decisions - Prompt 1

Good evening, scrappers!

I had a lovely day planned out.  I was home to rest after I had spinal injections yesterday.  Resting in the chair in my scrapbook room was my plan.  However, that didn't happen until about 5 tonight.  I tried to sleep after posting this morning but that lasted for all of five minutes.  I couldn't lay still so I got the bright idea to clean up some more.  The cleaning lasted until my husband texted about addressing the Christmas cards. One thing lead to another and suddenly, my husband was calling to say he was on his way home with our daughter.  What?! Oh well...maybe Saturday morning.

Cleaning did lead to some happy discoveries.  I found my graduation cap and the plan book I used for lesson plans when I was a senior at App State.  I also found an old feather boa. I think I still have white feathers floating around my room! 

I wanted to share the first prompt for Design Decisions.  It was all about analyzing why you chose cardstock instead of patterned paper for the background or if you felt you needed more or fewer embellishments.  A lot of decisions we make without thinking about them.  Reflecting on the answers you make automatically helps to analyze pages down the road when something just doesn't feel right.  I love that Shimelle included sketches or starting points, as she calls them. 

My first try came together faster than I thought.  I've had an itch to use my Basic Grey paper and was so happy how the layout about my sweet nephew came together. Their Boxer line was a perfect match! Almost all the embellishment clusters came from either their sticker sheet with that kit or off-cuts of paper.  One thing Basic Grey really knew how to do was make subtle textured looking background sheets.  It adds enough visual movement but doesn't really draw your eye. 

The second layout is of my daughter at the Carolina Renaissance Festival.  I used a Bella Blvd fall line whose name escapes me at the moment. I think it's Finally Fall. Does anyone recognize it?  Let me know if you do! I followed the sketch much closer this time and made everything line up.  I'm awful with lining things up without going uphill or downhill so I usually make them crooked on purpose.

I included a lot of embellishments this time around.  Some are from the Bella Blvd sticker sheet.  Most are just random embellishments from my embellishment holder.  I have things separated by color.  That's a lot easier for me and lead me to use things I usually wouldn't.

Which layout is your favorite? What do you like to use as background paper?  Solid cardstock? Subtle textures? Wild prints? Let me know because I'm curious!

Have a great evening and see you soon!

Project Life Week 37

Lately, I've been working on classes by Shimelle - Design Decisions and Journal Your Christmas.  One project that I've neglected has been my Project Life album.  Once summer vacation ended, life became super busy again!

I've been doing Project Life since 2012. I adore these albums. It lets me feel caught up with everything so I can devote time to 12x12 scrapping without "feeling behind". I'm not a fan of that mindset, but that's a totally different blog post!

Even though week 37 is way back at the beginning of September, it so easy to quickly add pictures, some journaling, and call it finished.  Sometimes, I embellish a lot.  Other weeks, I keep it minimal.  It depends on how much time I have and how my creativity is flowing.  I had some steroid shots in my spine yesterday and got only about thirty minutes of sleep last night! I decided to come in my scrap room and work on this week at about midnight.  I'm going to blame any misspellings on lack of sleep. LOL

This was a stumbling block week for me.  I have those occasionally.  Some weeks are lots of fun, others are hard and bring up difficult memories.  Labor Day weekend was one of those difficult memories weekends.  While joyous, it brought up a very frightening time in my family's life.  My dad had a bicycle accident and broke his neck a year ago that weekend. He should have died from his injuries or been, at best, paralyzed.  It is truly a miracle that he survived and has made pretty much a complete recovery. Still, I kept thinking back to the phone call from my stepmom.  Initially, she thought it was a broken arm; that's why he couldn't move it. The phone calls that day just kept getting worse.  Happily though, I have wonderful pictures of my dad and stepmom this year on that same weekend.  While it was a stumbling block week, I made it through.  I'm going to work on printing pictures today to keep moving though that album. 

I used the Honey PL kit.  I've had this one for a while. I got it the year I discovered and started using monthly pocket scrapbooking kits.  Needless to say, there's a lot left over from that year! It's odd because Honey is one of my favorite kits.  I used the Amber kit first and then Cherry.  Both of those are very floral and organic to me.  The bright, geometric colors and patterns were a refreshing change in 2014. I want to use it more often!

I did minimal embellishments on the right side of the page.  I chose three washi tapes on both pages to try to keep things a little consistent.  I was a little annoyed with myself over the last 4x6 card on this page.  I flipped the card so when I started journaling, I ended up with a gap under the lower right corner of the picture.  I decided to use a Maggie Holmes roller stamp to try to fill it in a bit.  It's not great, but it is an improvement.  I considered redoing the entire card but didn't. This stuff happens occasionally. I just sucked it up and moved on!

The right side has a bit more embellishment because I had two filler cards.  I kept rearranging the top two slots.  The photo of my students should technically be on the left.  The arrows make it look like they are pointing to them and saying "Remember".  I decided to flip, since what I really want to remember is how lucky I am to have my dad still with us.  The "Remember" is in gold glitter and comes from one of the older value kits.  It was on a plain, large vertical card.  I rarely use that layout so I punched the words with my 2 1/4" square punch.  It took off the edges of some letters but enough remained you can still tell what it said. 

The little boy on the bottom right is my youngest nephew.  I love that little guy!  I get to go see them in Virginia in just two weeks.  I can't wait.  His older brother (you can see him with my dad and stepmom on the left side layout) just taught him how to say "Mimi".  Older brother named me that when he started talking because he had trouble saying "Amy". I love my name from my nephew! 

I'm going to try to get some JYC and maybe even Design Decisions layouts uploaded today.  Which layouts would you like to see first?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Journal Your Christmas - Days 6 & 7

I think the day 7 prompt of Christmas cozy is one of my favorite. Last year, I wrote about the Joy tea. That tea shows up on the day 8 prompt this year. One sign of Christmas cozy for me is new jammies - especially flannel ones. While out shopping with husband and Elizabeth, we saw some beautiful navy blue pjs with owls and moons. They spoke to me, so into the cart they went. (Along with another knit pair with nail polish bottles on them! I own way too many pajamas but I don't care in the least.) I've worn them a couple times already and each time I feel so calm and cozy. 

Day 8 is sensory overload - all about the different things your fives senses experience during this festive season. There's my tea! I bought a new insulated tea "cup" too. I could probably do a page for each of the senses. Hmmm...that's a thought for next year for sure!

I included a pic of my husband's Christmas display. He loves Rudolph. Years ago, a store put out pieces from the movie. He likes to create a Christmas scene on the piano each now. Buddy, Elizabeth's elf, likes to climb on top of the Bumble during the school day. I'm going to need to get a picture of that silly elf!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Journal Your Christmas - Days 4 & 5


Today I have three more days of JYC to share. I'm working on keeping up to date (unlike Project Life right now) and reminding myself not to get stressed if I do fall behind. I've got Christmas vacation coming up shortly and know I can get caught up then if need be. At the very least, I'm reading the prompts and mulling ideas over in my head.

Day 4 - Planning Happiness - I shared this layout on Shimelle's forum. As soon as I posted it, I noticed I misspelled a word. Isn't that how it always works out?  There's not much on the list because many of the things we have planned are special treats that are in my daughter's Advent box. For instance, tonight, we are walking on Main St. and taking in the Christmas sights. She's excited and so am I! I'll be adding to this list as she finds out about the fun things we have planned. (Shhh...tomorrow we are going to see a drive through Christmas lights display. Don't tell her!)

Day 5 - I didn't follow the prompt. It's supposed to be about Christmas cards. I don't send them and have gotten very few so far. Instead, I wrote about the Saint Nicholas assembly at school and included a photo of my daughter's shoe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Beauty Shop Shark

Hello! Here's prompt 14 from Design Decisions. Three questions were posed about placement of pictures, words, and other stuff. My choices changed during the process because I ended up writing a whole bunch more than I originally expected. 

The pictures - put the photos on the left side towards the bottom. I matted them together to kinda join them. I don't know how to say what I'm trying to say there. I think y'all know what I mean though. 

The words - I wanted the title and journaling to be close to the pictures. I added a wide solid matte to give me space to write. I wrote a lot more than I expected which changed up decision 3. 

The other stuff - I ended up using less of "the other stuff" than I had originally planned. The embellishment cluster by the title is there because I had some trapped white space due to the need to move the word shark lower and under the P so the pink letters wouldn't run onto the pink background paper. I tried to include a punched label or stamp sticker with each group. Also a card stock heart sticker, puffy sticker, washi, and enamel dots. I think included more of the same stuff in each cluster (more than I used to do) is a big take away from this class. 

About the paper - this is an old Echo Park line called Little Girl from 2010. Because she's playing with her shark, I was looking for some blues. When I studied the pics, I decided to go with hot pink to match her jammies. I kept trying different papers but the stripes seemed to work so I could easily pull together other colors. I added the yellow because I wanted somewhere to journal. I was going to use a light pink heart print but you could only tell they were hearts along two of the sides. The green plaid turned out to be an even better choice though.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Journal Your Christmas - Days 2 & 3

The next two Christmas prompts are always fun ones. Well, the whole thing is fun to be honest but these two are some of my favorites. Day 2 involves signs of Christmas. When I was a little girl, one sign of Christmas was an Advent calendar.

In 2011, Silhouette came out with their Advent calendar. It came with a download card with all the different boxes you could cut out of any paper you wanted. I decided I just had to get it. Elizabeth was 3 and finally ready for something like this. Each year, I've filled up the boxes again and again, much to her delight.

This year, the boxes needed a little TLC. I reglued some. Others I added more adhesive to the numbers. I even reglittered one of the brads - this time with Stickles though!

It brought back memories of making all the boxes for the first time. I still have some leftover bits of paper from the Echo Park collection pack I used that year. I decided to use it in this year's JYC.

Day 3 is about a favorite Christmas gift. This one was harder for me. I wanted to use a gift I gave to my family but couldn't find the pictures. Instead, I chose a very recent gift that is clearly a favorite. I found out my sister was pregnant two years ago. I just love my little nephew Scot. Briton is a great big brother, and Elizabeth loves to play with them both. Finding out about Scot is one of the best gifts ever.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Journal Your Christmas - Title page and Manifesto

December has started! Last year, I finally took a class from Shimelle that I had been debating about for a couple years - Journal Your Christmas (JYC for short).

So far, I've kept up. It's actually harder this year. I don't want to repeat everything from last year so there's a bit of difficulty when the prompts are the same. One goal I have this year with JYC is to use the supplies I already have. I did purchase Shimelle's new stamps. Aside from those, everything else comes from my stash. The album is a red Simple Stories Sn@p album with a red spine. I bought it years ago. I meant to use it last year and couldn't find it. So, this is my year to use it!

For the title page, I used one of the papers that came in it. The stripes reminded me of a candy cane. Since most of the papers I'll be using have a more distressed look, I decided to spray some mist to remove the bright white. Heidi Swapp's Gold mist and Silver Sugar Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels worked well. I'll be combining gold and silver again this year and wanted to start that from the very beginning.

Most of the embellishments are certainly older ones! They come from a Making Memories pack from 2009! The title page isn't in a page protector so I decided to use the string of Christmas lights. They're rather bulky so work well like this. (I have no idea why, but I can't make this picture larger.)

My first page is my Christmas manifesto. Manifesto seems like a big word for a Christmas album but it fits the purpose so well. This is my statement of intentions for this Christmas season. I want to approach this season with joy again. I want to bake cookies, go see the light displays, and reflect on the real meaning of this beautiful season. I want to do all of those things with my daughter who brings me so much joy and happiness.