Friday, November 30, 2012

friday favorites | november 30, 2012

Happy Friday, everyone!

It's the last Friday of November, which means it's a perfect day to share some advent calendar ideas and a few last-minute bits of Christmas journal prep inspiration before December arrives. I'm all set to go with my Project Life based approach to Christmas journaling, though more and more things have been sneaking their way into my "kit" bag in the last week. The latest is this OMG sticky note pad by Knock Knock (from ModCloth, where they stock a great selection of snarky office items)- I'm thinking that this will be very appropriate for at least one day this Christmas season, and who couldn't use a bit more snark in their holidays, right? ;)


Is anyone else so very glad that December 1st is on a Saturday this year? It feels like a nice, calm way to start the merriest month of the year!

 

From the top left:

  • All you need to make this lovely advent calendar from More Design Please is a bit of washi tape, a pack of clothespins, and some space on a wall- brilliant!
  • I love it when Michelle Wooderson posts up a big bunch of pre-decorated Project Life cards, and the set she's prepared for her Project December albums is fun and festive!
  • This advent calendar of tiny decorated paper sacks from the Chic Tags blog is quite lovely, and so easy to put together! 
  • I've been back a couple of times to browse the Thanksgiving Day photos at Hula Seventy- so many great ideas for subjects and compositions! I'll definitely be taking some ideas from these for my Christmas Eve and Day photos this year.
  • Marcy Penner posted a free downloadable Project Life planner, complete with space to write notes for each day and a Design A layout to help plan your photos. I've already downloaded mine and put together my planning notebook for next year!
  • Tina Walker created this lovely vintage style advent calendar for Pretty Little Studio. You really should click through the link to see how she put those lovely vintage die cuts to use on each day's entry.
  • You guys might remember when I completely geeked out over Tim Holtz's Blueprints stamps- I totally fell in love with them! When I spotted this fun card putting the mini versions to use on Paper Pile Kitten, I just had to share it here.
  • Stephanie Baxter talks about how she's using Project Life to document her past travels.
  • If you're looking for a start-to-finish tutorial for making a December Daily mini album, Carta Bella has a lovely, bright one on their blog.
TTFN!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

scrappy strategies for christmas cards {lily bee}

We're having a week full of Christmas Card inspiration on the Lily Bee blog this week, and I was up yesterday (along with fellow design team member Andrea Budjack) sharing a few cards that look suspiciously like miniature versions of layouts I've made in the past.

Cards are not my strong suit, but ever since I switched over to scrapping square cards (mostly 6x6) instead of A4 and started treating them like small scrapbook pages rather than cards I've been a lot more comfortable making them. For this card set I even opted to use a photo as the main focal point- very helpful since Lily Bee doesn't have large chipboard or die cut pieces in their collections.

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Each card has the same basic structure as most of my layouts- little strips of paper across the top and bottom and a photo matted with vellum and popped up on dimensional adhesive. From there, I went back through my albums to identify some of my favorite strategies for adding more paper and embellishment and came up with three different "layouts" to work with. The card above uses the first layout strategy- punches or die cuts loosely (very loosely, in this case) arranged in a diagonal line across the page. You can see examples of this type of page here and here.

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My second card uses one of my favorite "messy" embellishing strategies- sewing several rough circles and then scattering punched shapes and small items like bling and buttons around the stitches. This is a fairly easy-to-spot strategy that I try not to use it too often on my pages so it doesn't get old, but you can see it in two layout examples here and here.

The last card below shows one of my most commonly used layout strategies (so common that there are four examples- here, here, here, and here)- adding one or more pennant-shaped strips of paper behind the photo. Here I've layered up three horizontal strips of varying widths, but you could do this with more or fewer strips and also switch the strips up to sit vertically.

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I don't normally make the Christmas cards that I send out this year, but I do make a few special ones for friends and family to use as wrapping for gift cards, magazine subscription gift notes, and other flat items to give them something pretty to open on Christmas Day. These cards have been added to that stack for this year and will be in the happy hands of gift recipients in less than a month now!


Supplies (click on images for product links):



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

geeky gift wrap {pretty little studio}

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This week's sketch at Pretty Little Studio included pie charts as embellishment options, and even though these spots could really be used for anything, I chose to stick with the circle graphs. I'd had a small technique in mind for a while to help put a bit of a geeky spin on the pie chart trend, and this layout was the perfect place to try it out!

 

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There are several easy ways to make pie charts including hand cutting and using an electronic cutter as I did on this previous layout. This time around, though, I turned to the circle graph "Plano" stamp by Hero Arts for Studio Calico to help make my embellishments.

I stamped several different patterned papers in Pretty Little Studio's Jingle Bells collection with VersaMark ink, then embossed them with white powder (you could also do this technique with just plain stamp ink, but I like how the slightly raised texture of the embossing powder really stands out on the busy patterned papers). The Plano stamp left behind perfect radiating lines for cutting wedges out of the stamped circles, and I mixed up several different size wedges to form new circles. The circular lines around the outside were helpful when I wanted to make two of the pie charts a bit smaller- it was so easy to just cut along those lines to keep the circles even!

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And since this layout was about the lovely geeky Christmas wrap that a friend put together for my gift last year, I thought that geeky Christmas pie charts were the perfect touch for the page! I simply topped them with a bit of patterned paper, a button, and some twine to finish them off.

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This week for me is going to be gift wrapping week! Everything is currently piled up on one side of my scrap room, waiting to be packaged up and put under the tree (which is not up yet- I'm not that far ahead!), so I've got double the reason to get it done now- to have it all finished by the end of November and make some space in my scrap room!


Supplies (click on images for product links):



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

hello, citrus twist design team!


I write and schedule a lot of my posts in advance, and obviously when I wrote this morning's (several days ago) I hadn't yet received the email from Trina at Citrus Twist kits with this exciting news!

I mentioned in both this morning's post and in my stashbusting post earlier this month that in 2013 I was going to attempt to rely solely on Citrus Twist kits as my source of new scrapbooking products while I worked through my backlog of older stuff that I want to get used. I thought I would be doing that as a subscriber, but when Trina invited me to join the design team I knew it was a perfect fit for me- especially after the fun I had with the November kits as a guest designer! I'm very excited to be joining the talented group of girls already in place over there and am looking forward to a year of working with Trina's fabulously colorful kits!

I know you might be wondering, is this going to change your 2013 stashbusting/blogging plans? Nope, not in the least! In fact, everything will stay exactly as I planned for it to when I wrote this post earlier this month. All of my single manufacturer team terms except for Lawn Fawn will be over by the end of March 2013, and I'm not applying for any more- it's pretty much all old stuff for me after that! My plan to blog my stashbusting efforts next year is also exactly the same- I was planning on blogging pages made from older stash along with pages made from the new Citrus Twist kits, and that's exactly what I'll still be doing, just in a more official capacity. Plus, since I'm now on the hook to do a tutorial for Citrus Twist every 6 weeks, you're guaranteed to see more layout videos in 2013, as well! (I had already planned those with older stash, too.)

I'm so excited at how this opportunity fit so perfectly with my scrapbooking plans for next year- I'm looking forward to 12 months of spending less, creating more, using stash, and having a blast with Citrus Twist's kits!

fibonacci caterpillar {citrus twist kits}

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There are still a couple of Project Life pages in the hopper for the November kit cycle, but yesterday Citrus Twist posted the last of the traditional layouts that I made as part of my guest design spot with them this month.

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This photo is a prime example of what happens when two geeks go to the botanical gardens and one geek is taking a photo while the other geek stands behind them and notes how...mathematical...the caterpillar looks. In this case I was the geek with the camera and Darren was the geek pointing out the Fibonacci curve, but it could have very easily been the other way around since it gets to be so very much like Big Bang Theory at our house sometimes.

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This sheet of numbers paper from Studio Calico's Yearbook collection was included in November's Take Note add-on, and as I was flipping through my photos to be scrapped (more on how I print and store those photos here) I spotted this one and thought that the mathematical memory behind the picture would work perfectly with this print in the background. I added in some turquoise, yellow, and green accents from the kit to pick up the colors in the picture- it was all so easy, and the kit helped this layout come together quickly!

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As I've mentioned before, I've switched my kit subscription over to Citrus Twist and will be doing my best to only purchase those kits (and add-ons) as my source of new supplies next year during my stashbusting adventure. I had so much fun working with their November kits that I think I'll be very happy with that decision in 2013! Though we all know I'm going to slip up and buy something else...right? ;)

Monday, November 26, 2012

project life 2011 | december 11-17

Happy Monday, everyone! Just popping in with a rather festive share from my 2011 Project Life album this morning. I still had one Christmas-y December week that I hadn't yet scrapped in last year's set of catch-up pages (and the list of those pages is getting shorter and shorter overall- yay!), and in a sudden burst of early Christmas sprit (probably the same one that convinced me that it was indeed time to finally work on my 2011 Journal Your Christmas album) I decided to get it done.

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These pages came together with the help of the Jingle Bells collection by Pretty Little Studio- a festive red, green, and white collection if ever there was one! I also slipped in a bit of washi tape, those fabulous peppermint striped Thickers that were part of last year's American Crafts Christmas release, and even a bit of older Tim Holtz's Christmas Memories kraft paper. I thought that last bit was the perfect offset for that ornament-shaped die cut Christmas scene- definitely my favorite item in the collection!

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Pretty Little Studio's newest Christmas collection, Christmas At Home, just arrived at my house a week or so ago, and I've already been crafting with it! I'll be showing a non-scrappy project that I made with it very soon (I think I'll be able to post it this week), and of course it'll be showing up in my Project Life album and my regular Christmas layouts this season, too.

I'm getting so very excited for the Christmas season this year- how about you guys?


Supplies (click on images for product links):



Sunday, November 25, 2012

geek girl | november 25, 2012

So, would I lose any geek cred with you guys if, say, I confessed that I've only played through a handful of levels in Angry Birds Star Wars since downloading it on release day? ::hangs head in shame:: Unfortunately, it's been so crazy busy here that I just haven't had time!

I did, of course, find time to round up some fantastic picks this week (the Tigger/Who one in particular has me tripping all over myself in geeky glee), so perhaps that'll help restore my geekling status. :)

 

From the top left:

  • This custom made R2-D2 engagement ring is simply stunning. Now there's a guy with serious geek cred!
  • My brother sent this along (thanks, J!), and I laughed so much that I had to share it here- how to explain Doctor Who to various people in your life.
  • Last week I shared a fabulous dollhouse-sized Bag End, and this week the iconic residence from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit makes an appearance in...twisted ballons?
  • Roqoo Depot takes a peek into some possibilities for upcoming additions to the Star Wars/Haynes manual line.
  • Timothy Zahn's Scoundrels novel isn't due to release until January 1st, but on December 10th you can download the prequel short story, Winner Lose All, in the electronic format of your choice. 
  • Her Universe shares a peek into their Cyber Monday (uggggghhh! I hate that term!) offerings. Love the "Whovian" shirt in particular.
  • I'm not sure if this is cool or just plan wrong, but Think Geek is now carrying light-up lightsaber popsicle makers.
  • You guys, I've discovered a new-to-me cake decorator to end all cake decorators. You'll be seing a lot more of Nerdache around here, especially if it means that more epic awesomeness like this Tigger/Doctor Who cake are in the future. I mean look at Dalek Piglet! Look at the Fez! The cuteness, it kills me!
  • And let's end with something else cute, shall we? Amy Atlas posted this adorable monster themed party- love the color and those funny little faces!
MTFBWY!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

happy birthday, d!

Darren's birthday is at exactly the wrong point in the school year- he's always studying for tests and writing papers, and this year he's teaching on top of all that (one year he literally had time for nothing more than Chick Fil A sandwiches and a quick round of gift opening at home). Luckily both last year and this year he's had time to at least go out for dinner, and, like last year, he opted for Greek cuisine this time around.

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We didn't go to a typical Greek restaurant, though, because just a week or so earlier we heard about a diner of all places that serves fabulous Greek food along with the typical diner fare. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of how good the food would be, but when the staff at the City Cafe Diner in Huntsville plopped this hummus platter down on our table shortly after we arrived, I knew we were in for a treat!

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And when this bread showed up just a few minutes later? Well, let's just say that the next words out of my mouth were, "I'm so not eating Paleo tonight." And, yes, the bread was really, really good!

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We put our orders in, and then Darren tore into his gifts...which I had lazily wrapped all in one box. :)

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These Onion Goggles from ThinkGeek are going to get a lot of use around here- we're constantly chopping veggies for some dish or other, and as chief chopper Darren usually gets the worst of the onion vapor. I also gave him a couple of t-shirts (Black Mesa and BaCoN) along with a bottle of Zombie hot sauce just for fun.

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Oh, so stylin', right?

When our food came out, we both just stopped for a minute and stared at the enormity of the portions. We seriously were not expecting this much food!

Darren got a Greek sampler platter...

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...and I opted for sauteed shrimp, chicken, and mushroom pasta. Soooo good! And we had tons of leftovers to take home, too.

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Speaking of home, that's where D's birthday cake was served. Per his request, this year's model was a pound cake (unfortunately store-bought since my kitchen was still ripped apart for the new tile installation) frosted with Nutella.

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And of course he had to take a minute to play with this food...because getting older so doesn't mean that he's getting any more mature. :)

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Dinner + cake + three episodes of Last Resort made for a perfect birthday evening for D- so glad that he's easy to please!
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