Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Assembling My Own Kit

After a year of subscribing to kit clubs, two different subscriptions to two different companies, I decided I was done with that adventure.

The reason I joined in the first place was to branch out from my usual types of supplies and try new things. At first, that worked really well. I loved the first kit I received and enjoyed making layouts with supplies I probably wouldn't have chosen for myself in a scrapbook store.

But the second through sixth kits went straight downhill, and the same thing happened with the second kit club, only worse. My biggest challenge, too much of the same or similar embellishments and patterned papers that, along with other supplies, I simply couldn't use in my crafting. At all. Stretching my comfort zone is one thing, but paper-crafting is what I do for relaxation and creativity and joy, and with the supplies I was getting in kits, that wasn't happening.

So I canceled my second subscription and decided to try my own hand at putting together a kit.

Here's what I came up with:

Most of that collection came from my stash, patterned papers and die cuts I've had for awhile, or pieces of previous kits that I wasn't able to use yet. What got me started was that collection of buttons and chipboard by Teresa Collins, which I used as a springboard to buy the packet of stickers and the dimensional flowers from Basic Grey's Fact or Fiction collections.

Here's a closer look:

Lots and lots of variety, there, but it all ties so nicely together, and I can't wait to start making layouts--who knows? Maybe some cards, too!--with this kit.

I might do this every month, put together my own kits, either with mostly pieces from my stash or wandering through the local scrapbook store and seeing what catches my fancy. I hope to share projects created with my kits right here.

If you're creating your own kits, be sure to leave me a comment and share your experience, as well as your projects.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

JYC - Christmas Eve Number 2

All Wrapped Up

This one was so much fun to put together. I started with the photos, of course, and I tried them with several pieces of patterned paper, including one form the Echo Park This and That Christmas collection that has a delectable poinsettia pattern. But that didn't work because the photos covered up too much of the pattern.

I wanted to use a die cut doily my friend Amy (she of the Joy tag!) let me take home from luncheon she had for me, my Mom, and her neighbor earlier in the season. I cut it in half so I could repeat that pattern in two places on the page.

It worked perfectly and set the tone for including gold shimmer other places on the layout, particularly the title. To add more red and to break up the wall of photos just a bit, I cut apart a border strip and accented it with periods from the same set of Thickers I used for the title, as well as accents on the left side of the page and bottom.

A little holly, a few snowflakes, some bits cut out from another border strip, a bit of journaling, and the page was done.

One of my favorites so far.

I've still got quite a few layouts to create, but I've got plans for all of them except the Christmas Day pages. I'll share more as I complete them.

JYC - Christmas Eve Number 1

My friend Amy, who is also a scrapbooker, and one of the most passionate creative people I know, dropped off a gift at my house over the holidays, and it included a wonderful die cut tag of zazzy red glitter.

I knew I had to use it on a scrapbook page.

One of the things that delights me like nothing else is snow. I love it so much. Probably because I grew up in the South where snow was rare if ever, and I craved it and the cold that comes with it so very much.

Michigan, where I live, is supposed to have those snowy winters I fantasized about as a child, but the past couple years...not so much. We got a little sprinkling on the 21st of December, and while it was pretty, my husband and I had the same word for it: pitiful.

But Christmas Eve rolled around, and we got snow. Real snow.

It made me so happy, and I wanted to capture that happiness on a scrapbook page, using that tag Amy gave me, which had the word Joy in it.

Very rarely do I have a clear picture in my head of the page design I want to use. This page, though, was practically done in my head before I sat down to put it together, and I love it. Simple, sparkly, using an element someone gave me as a gift. It came together so easily.

I love when that happens.

I almost forgot to include a closeup of the title so you can gander at all that luscious red glitter!

Supplies from Echo Park Paper, October Afternoon, Pebbles, Thickers, and Queen & Company.

There's a companion page that contains the journaling, but I didn't take a picture of that because I wanted to keep it just for me.

JYC - Special Gift

Here is my page about a special gift I got for someone else this year:

How awesome is it that Echo Park Paper's This and That Christmas collection included papers and stickers with lumber as a background! So perfect for this page about tools I got for my husband. I was going for a bit of a masculine look, so that plaid paper from last year's October Afternoon holiday collection fit the bill nicely and coordinated well with the rest of the supplies. Red letter stickers from Jenni Bowlin and American Crafts make up the title, and the little bits of twine are from My Mind's Eye.

JYC - Ten Years

One of the prompts was titled "The Greatest Gift," and my mind went right to my sweetheart, especially since we celebrated ten years of marriage last October. I had a photo from our first Christmas as a married couple, and I had the perfect piece of patterned paper from Bo Bunny in my stash, just waiting to be put to good use.

Bits and pieces from different collections on this page that I really like a lot. Some Thickers from American Crafts, of course, the glitter paper from that company, also. Brads from Bo Bunny. Holly from Making Memories, stickers and patterned paper from Echo Park Paper.

One of the things I really love about this project is the mixture of past stories and present. It gives me the chance to include things about my holiday experience, my holiday history, if you will, that might not otherwise make it into a scrapbook.

JYC - Ornaments

One of the prompts for the Journal Your Christmas class was to write about decorations.

Since Daniel and I have been together, I've been giving him photo ornaments of us each year. The first three were Hallmark ornaments, but then Hallmark stopped making them, so I started getting them from Michaels. In 2002, the photo in the ornament was from our wedding. The years after, I made a point to have a photo of us taken together on our anniversary, and that photo went into the ornament. I only missed one year, and that year, I gave Daniel a framed photo, rather than an ornament because I simply couldn't find one.

The 9-slot divided page protector gave me plenty of room to include photos of all the ornaments, plus embellishment and journaling. I used Echo Park's This and That Christmas collection, along with some various other goodies to dress things up, and I adapted lyrics from "Blue Christmas" to fit with my story.

Here's the reverse side:

(Not the greatest photo, I apologize, but it gives the idea.)

I love this tradition that I created as a gift to both of us. Eventually, we'll have enough ornaments to fill a small tree all by itself, as the years go by...

Back to Scrappin'

I'm finally back to scrapbooking, after the holiday season and the New Year's celebration.

After Mom and I both caught the virus her caregiver brought to our house when she should've known better, it took us both over a week to recover.

With all of that behind me, I've had the chance to work on Journal Your Christmas, and with the brilliant sunshine we enjoyed today, I was able to get some fairly decent photos taken and get back to blogging as well.

I'll start with a page I did about one of my favorite treats of the holiday season, Panera's holiday bread.

I used mostly October Afternoon goodies for this 8x8 layout, except for the Thickers. I went for simple because the closeup photo kind of speaks for itself. I'm gonna miss indulging in that yumminess until next year.