Monday, April 30, 2012

Favorite Photos - April 2012

In April, I didn't take as many photos as I took in March when I was doing the 12 Days of Spring project, but I did take several I like.

My favorites:

(Daniel took this one, and I love how half of me is in shadow.)

Pick of the Month - April 2012

Every month that goes by, I think, "Wow! That month went fast!" April is no different, and it was a month packed full of creative inspiration and paper-crafting productivity. In thinking about what pick of the month to select, I had a lot of options to choose from, but I finally settled upon a person who has become a source of regular inspiration to me.

Jen Gallacher.

She has a fabulous blog called In-site-full that is always packed with new projects and inspiration, and she is one of the Garden Girls at Two Peas in a Bucket who does videos for the Memory Keeping Mondays series. I love her style of scrapbooking, as well as her instruction style. Jen taught a free class at Two Peas called Stretch Your Sketch, which is still available and so awesome, and she's got the Scrapbook Stampers Workshop on Two Peas right now, which I'm planning to sign up for soon.

Not only that, Jen's making photo corners cool again.

So, be sure to visit Jen's blog and Two Peas classes and see for yourself how inspiring she is.

New Distress Ink - Peacock Feathers

So, the other day, I was checking email and got a post from the LSS in my RSS feed. New spring Distress inks were in the store!

I didn't even know there WERE new Distress inks coming out, but of course, I had to get my set. Three new colors: peacock feathers, squeezed lemonade, and shaded lilac.

I dig the names selected for these inks. Very creative.

I set aside some time to play with the new colors, and I created a few projects. I'll be honest, peacock feathers is my least favorite of the three new colors. I'm not a big fan of teal. I know, right? It's everywhere! It seems to be one of the hottest colors in scrapbooking, but it just doesn't appeal to me.

Still, I put it to good use, inspired by a technique I learned from this post from Christine at Scraptime.

First, I took a piece of whisper white card stock (from Stampin' Up!) and applied ink, spraying it with water, drying it with the ink tool. I repeated that process until I was happy with the color. Then, I dry embossed the card stock with my Sizzix Big Shot and a texture fade (I think that's what it's called) by Tim Holtz. The last step was to rub the same color ink over the embossing to add depth.

It looked like this:

When it was dry, I punched several squares from the piece and created a card.

(Supplies: Card stock by Recollections and Stampin' Up! Ink by Tim Holtz Distress and Ranger. Brad by My Mind's Eye. All other supplies by Stampin' Up!)

Tomorrow, I'll share the projects I created with my favorite of the three colors. Want to guess which color I like best?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Inspiration Sunday - April 29

First up, I love this adorable heart garland from Francine Clouden. I imagine other shapes might be cute, too, like stars, especially if they're colored yellow.

This post just made me long to wander Paris even more than I already did! The photos are beautiful. I'm going to take my own someday. I'm determined!

This past week, I rediscovered Scraptime after listening to an episode of Paperclipping Roundtable with the host, Christine, who creates videos demonstrating a variety of paper-crafting products and techniques. Check out her blog, with all the videos, right here.

What's really inspired my creativity directly since I bought them on Thursday...

...the new special edition inks by Tim Holtz. I'll have photos of a project or two I created with these posted soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

12 Days of Spring All Wrapped Up

At long last, I can share the complete 12 Days of Spring album!

For my covers, I chose a couple of pieces from a 7 Gypsies acrylic album I bought awhile back. Each piece has either a window, like my front cover, or a decorative edge. The back cover is solid acrylic. Most of the other supplies I used are from the February kit from Cocoa Daisy.

I cut that big flower out of a piece of patterned kraft cardstock. The metal numerals from Tim Holtz came plain, of course, and I painted them with white paint to add texture, and so they would stand out a bit more against that darker background.

Day 1

Envelopes from Maya Road in a variety of sizes I used throughout the album to contain extra photos and journaling, as well as the background for that day's number in some cases.

I didn't photograph every single page of the album, but this one was one of my favorites from day one.

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Some days, like this one, there was only one photo. Thankfully, or there wouldn't be jump rings big enough to contain all the pages! As it was, I had to change out the rings twice, going to the LSS to purchase the largest ones available. Apparently, I go a teensy bit overboard on mini-book projects. :)

Day 5

Day 6

Another favorite of mine. I love the way the first photo sets the tone of that particular day, a relaxed Sunday. I used part of a banner border sticker on a sheet by Sassafras Lass as individual embellishments on three different pages. I like it when I can stretch supplies.

Day 7

Day 8

And another page from that day that I especially like:

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

And one final favorite page that also shows the back cover:

So I ran out of the little envelopes because I used one on a layout. I created a little pocket with a piece of patterned paper to tuck the printed out journaling into.

When I first created the base pages of this mini, I had doubts that I would like the finished project because there was a lot of darker kraft cardstock papers, and I gotta admit, teal is my absolute least favorite color. However, I wanted to use those supplies, put my Cocoa Daisy kit to work, and I really do like the finished mini book. Inspired by Jen Gallacher, who does awesome videos at Two Peas for the Memory Keeping Mondays series, I bought some photo corners and used those as a unifying item throughout the album, and I like that look a lot. I got both kraft and white, so I'll be using those on future layouts and projects.


In other news, I picked up the brand new Tim Holtz spring Distress ink collection, and I'll be playing with those on this bright and sunny Friday, so look for a post soon on what I made with brand new springy colors from the talented and always inspiring Mr. Holtz!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Walk

Taking a brief walk around the neighborhood yesterday afternoon, I encountered these beauties.

More blooms than the last time I walked by.

I do love that delicious shade of purple.

And speaking of purple...

...these grow like weeds everywhere I go. So tiny and delicate, and I've seen white ones, too.

Now, these ARE weeds, the bane of anyone who wants a nice lawn.

Up close, though, I think they look neat.

Class In Session

Just a quick note: I'm taking a class at Big Picture called Design Challenges. It starts today, and I've already reviewed all of the materials for the first challenge. The class includes 12 challenges based on design principles, and if it's piquing your interest, you can sign up until May 2nd.

Next...thinking cap time...

Meanwhile, I'll share a photo of lilacs blooming in our neighborhood. favorite part of Michigan springtime.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

12 Days of Spring - Album Complete

With those yummy challenges from Shimelle Laine's scrapbooking weekend all wrapped up, I had time to put my 12 Days of Spring album together.

A lot happens in twelve days, apparently, and my album quickly outgrew its jump rings and the next size up I had after that. A trip to the LSS solved that little problem, thankfully. I'll be posting more photos in the next day or two.

In other news, tomorrow is the first day of a class I'm taking at Big Picture Classes, called Design Challenges. I'm looking forward to it, and I think I'm just about ready to be challenged again. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Six by Six Papers

I see them and hear about them everywhere, 6x6 paper pads. Manufacturers of scrapbooking supplies have been producing whole patterned paper collections in that smaller size for awhile now. They're all the rage. A lot of card makers use these miniature versions of 12x12 papers because the patterns are scaled down and work better on cards than a larger pattern cut down to size.

Scrapbookers are using them, too, probably at least partially because there's a whole lot of variety in one paper pad for around $6, and there are a lot of ways to use those pieces that make it not only economical but also fun to go 6x6.

Awhile back, I received a collection of 6x6 papers as a thank-you, and I decided to see how I could make 6x6 work for me on scrapbook pages. First, I created a couple of Starting Points with only a vague idea of how I wanted to proceed with each layout.

Starting Point number one:

Starting Point number two:

For the first one, I went with two pages because I had several photos from a long-ago Thanksgiving Day that I wanted to scrapbook, and the colors fit the harvest theme.

Here's the complete layout:

(Supplies: Card stock by Stampin' Up! Patterned paper by Pink Paislee. Autumn stamp by Technique Tuesday. Stickers by Little Yellow Bicycle. Gems by K&Company. Letter stickers by Basic Grey. Ink by Tim Holtz Distress.)

For the second one, I chose a single 4x6 photo of my husband playing with Christmas lights, which was perfect for the story I had to tell, even though it really has nothing at all to do with Christmas.

Here's that completed layout:

(Supplies: Card stock by The Paper Company. Patterned paper by Pink Paislee. Buttons by Bella Blvd. and Crate Paper. Pearls by Hero Arts. Stamp by Stampin' Up! Ink by ColorBox. Stickers by Echo Park. Letter stickers by American Crafts. Punch by EK Success.)

Probably the biggest challenge with his page was finding masculine embellishments. Stars worked well on this page because they carried through the theme of light, fortunately. But I'm always on he lookout for more boyish accents, so if you've got ideas, feel free to share.

Those are two ways I found to use the 6x6 papers, and I'm working on another project that uses several sheets from a Bo Bunny paper pad I've got in my stash.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inspiration Sunday - April 22

What a whirlwind of scrapping productivity I had last week. Wow! Those challenges at Shimelle Laine's blog for the scrapbooking weekend, which turned out to be an entire week for me, really got my creative engines running.

Inspiration galore!

So, the first thing I want to share for Inspiration Sunday is the challenge that inspired me most.

That's the page I created in response to challenge number 3: mix your style with a look you haven't tried. I loved all the challenges, and I like all the pages I made for them, but this one stretched my creative comfort zone, and I think doing that makes me a better artist.

Another thing that really inspired me this past week was a blog post by Elise Blaha. I so often skim blog posts, but this one I read carefully, and I'm glad I did. What are the ways that you stay inspired? I'd sure love it if you posted a comment to share.

There's a new sketch site in the UK that I discovered in the past couple of days, Sketchbook 365 by Scrap 365. There's one nifty sketch posted there already that I think I'll take for a spin, see what I can do with it. I really dig sketches that provide dimensions.

What's inspiring you these days?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Challenge Sixteen

And finally...the last of the challenges from Shimelle's scrapbooking weekend, number sixteen.

I had lots of fun with this one, use leftovers from the other challenges on a page. As I worked on the other challenges, I tossed scraps into a box so I would have them to choose from when it was time for the last challenge. My inspiration for the page I created was this one by Mettek at Two Peas. I dug all the little bits and pieces and details, and it translated well into a challenge to use up some scraps.

Here's my final challenge page:

(Supplies: Patterned paper by Studio Calico, Crate Paper, Echo Park, October Afternoon and unknown manufacturers. Stickers by Crate Paper, Doodlebug, Little Yellow Bicycle, and Basic Grey. Journaling block by Amy Tangerine for American Crafts. Letter stickers by American Crafts, Pink Paislee and October Afternoon. Number stickers by Pebbles. Gem by Kaiser. Chipboard buttons by Echo Park. Ink by Tim Holtz Distress. Mask by The Crafter's Workshop. Spray ink by Glimmer Mist. Die cut card stock, unknown manufacturer.)

I love that I was able to incorporate so many bits from previous projects, especially the die cut card stock and the same brick pattern mask I used with a different color on the page I created for challenge number three.

And that concludes my version of Shimelle's scrapbooking weekend, which lasted a week and a day! I had so much fun, so much creative energy, and I got a lot of photos scrapbooked, a lot of pages made, and a lot of supplies used. Thank you SO MUCH, Shimelle, for a wonderful collection of challenges that made me stretch my creative muscles. I just had the time of my life.

Challenge Fifteen

Using "rubbish" photos on a page was our challenge fifteen, and as soon as I read the details, I knew exactly which photos to use: the ones taken on my iPhone for Valentine's Day. Even printed smaller than my standard 4x6, these pictures are grainy and out-of-focus, and I look...well...bad in them.

No matter. Onto a scrapbook page they went.

(Supplies: Brads by Making Memories. Marker by Stampin' Up! Glitter by Stickels. All other supplies by Basic Grey.)

I've thought for a long time that the quality of the photo isn't nearly as important as the story being told, and it's a happy story indeed that Daniel and I have shared ten Valentine's Days after being alone for so many of them.

One more to go!

Challenge Fourteen

Easy-peasy challenge, this one. We were to create a page with four distinct sections like this one by Jen Gallacher, part of the Memory Making Monday series at Two Peas. I'd already watched the video and really liked the layout, so I totally scraplifted, creating this page about our stocking tradition last Christmas.

(Supplies: Card stock by The Paper Company. Letter stickers by American Crafts. Ink by Tim Holtz Distress. Vintage buttons. All other supplies by Echo Park.)

I love when pages come together as easily as this one did. It certainly helped to have such great inspiration. I definitely dig the look of the four distinct sections, and I'll be using that again.

Two more to go!

Challenge Thirteen

For this challenge, we were gifted with a free printable from Little Musings we had to use on a page. To be honest, I had a little trouble with this one. The printable is adorable, don't get me wrong. But I didn't have much in that color suite to use with it.

What's a scrappin' babe to do? I went with kraft as my background and some photos with some of the color in the printable.

And made it work:

(Supplies: Card stock by Recollections and The Paper Company. Printable by Little Musings. Stickers by Little Yellow Bicycle and Sassafras Lass. Letters by October Afternoon and American Crafts. Swirl stamp by Stampin' Up! Line stamp by Technique Tuesday. Ink by Tim Holtz Distress. Flowers by Archivers. Gems by K&Company.)

Really digging that Picket Fence Distress Stain, which I used as the ink for the swirl stamp. If I put my mind and crafty hands to it, I bet I could come up with all sorts of nifty techniques for that product. I'll have to work on that.

For now, on to Challenge Fourteen.

Challenge Twelve

Using one photo twice was challenge number twelve, and I chose a photo of myself that my husband took. Usually, I don't care for photos of me very much, but I like this one, and I created a page using some favorite supplies that I've had in my stash for a couple of years, now.

(Supplies: Patterned paper and journaling blocks by Creative Imaginations. Card stock by Stampin' Up! Blue ink by Tim Holtz Distress. Letter stickers by Target and American Crafts. Border punch by Fiskars. Gems by Kaiser, K&Company, and Me and My Big Ideas. Pearls by Prima, Hero Arts and Queen and Company. Glitter by Stickles. Spray Mist by Mister Huey for American Crafts.)

Every so often, I do one of these "Right Now" pages, just to check in with myself, see what I'm thinking about or what matters to me at that moment. I chose the sea theme simply because I've been thinking a lot about the ocean lately, how much I want to be there. I keep saying there's nothing wrong with me that a week at the beach wouldn't fix! :) I also liked how the colors in the paper coordinated with the colors from the photo. I was able to use up some older supplies in my stash, and that always makes me happy, too. Challenge Thirteen!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Challenge Eleven

Challenge number eleven was to use two contrasting patterns to create a background. When I started, I really had no idea of where I was headed with the design, but after playing for awhile, I ended up with a happy page about my niece Olivia and her Grandma:

(Supplies: Letter stickers by American Crafts. Stamp by Stampin' Up! Ink by Tim Holtz Distress. Thread, unknown manufacturer. All other supplies by Doodlebug.)

Those sewing icons are so adorable, and I really dig how that half circle journaling block fits in. Since I don't have an accessible sewing machine right now, I did the stitching by hand, and it's one of those activities I can do while zoning out, quite relaxing. I liked incorporating stamping again, and that one was a perfect compliment for this story. I was able to use only a part of the stamp by using a Distress marker as my ink.

Five more to go! Wonder if I can get them all done today...

Challenge Ten

A new day, another challenge page to share from Shimelle Laine's scrapbooking weekend. I'm so glad I have until the rest of the weekend because I'm totally digging all these challenges and creating some pages that are making me happy.

That's always a good thing.

So...on with challenge ten, using two photos on a bold background. I went with a scraplift of a page by Jill Sprott that Shimelle shared, though I edited my original plan to create a bold background of my own with paint. I was on a bit of a schedule, so I chose a bold patterned paper instead, one from the Bo Bunny Forever Fall collection.

It rocked.

(Supplies: Patterned paper by Bo Bunny, K&Company, Studio Calico, Crate Paper and Basic Grey. Stickers by Bo Bunny, Jolee's, and K&Company. Clear die cut by Basic Grey. Leaf punch by EK Success. Gems by K&Company and Marcella by K. Paint by Adirondack. Spray ink by Glimmer Mist. Brown marker by SU. Glitter by Stickles. Letter stickers by Sassafras Lass.)

I went to my scrap basket for papers to coordinate and compliment with the bold background. Love how keeping the scraps in an accessible basket gets them onto pages. To add shine to the leaves and some splatters to the page, I mixed some gold paint with some gold Glimmer Mist for a splatterable consistency.

Here's a closer look at the title and journaling block:

All those yummy fall colors...*sigh* Makes me long for autumn!

Next up, challenge eleven...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Challenge Nine

For this one, we got to do something a bit different. We got to pick a past challenge and "re-open" it.

Who's surprised I picked a Starting Point? This particular starting point, as a matter of fact.

And here's what I did with it.

 (Supplies: Patterned paper by K&Company, Studio Calico, Crate Paper and October Afternoon. Stamp by Technique Tuesday. Letter stickers by October Afternoon and American Crafts. Ink by Tim Holtz Distress. Spray ink by Glimmer Mist. Stickers by Little Yellow Bicycle. Marker and border punch by Stampin' Up! Brads by JoAnn Etc.)

Starting Points are the inspiration that just won't quit. I'll definitely be using this one again in the near future.

I'll be back with more challenge layouts tomorrow...