Sunday, March 31, 2013

geek girl | march 31, 2013

Happy Easter, everyone!

Darren and I have just downloaded the new episode of Doctor Who from iTunes and are about to retire to the living room/dining room/library/home theater (told you our house was small!!) for a little quality time with the TARDIS. I couldn't let the weekend slip away, though, without posting another round of geeky picks for you!

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From the top left:

  • Allison Waken posted this super cute idea for a Lego minifig display on her All For The Boys blog.
  • The detail in the fondant work on these Star Wars cupcakes is simply amazing!
  • Fashionably Geek reported on a pair of quit sylish C-3PO and R2-D2 dresses.
  • This incredible Lego Hogwarts castle took a staggering 400,000 bricks to build!
  • You'll almost always find me curled up under a blanket while watching one of my favorite shows, and I just might have to make this TARDIS throw my new snuggly viewing companion.
  • Nerd Approved brings us artwork showing several popular movies and shows reimagined with Muppets. 
  • Angry Birds. Star Wars. Wedding Cake. Need I say more?
  • Hello Kitty is getting her first graphic novel! Check out the details at Gizmodiva.
  • Douglas Adams, late author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, was recently honored with his own Google Doodle. Doctor Who News has the story along with several variations on the image.

In this week's video pick, Stan Lee shares his hilarious thoughts on how Star Wars (and several other movies) should have really ended. His views on the prequels are particularly awesome.


MTFBWY!

Friday, March 29, 2013

friday favorites | march 29, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone- I hope you've all had good weeks!

It's been a super busy Monday through Thursday around here with lots of phone calls and appointments being made. So much going on- we got estimates and hired a contractor for a new driveway and front walk (finally! we've needed this for years, and it'll make space for some new hydrangea and peony bushes- yay!), made an appointment with our financial planner, and cleared up tons of little things that have needed to be done for a while. Here's hoping for a much calmer Easter weekend!

On the scrappy side of things, new mid-release collections are trickling in at a slow, but steady pace. You can check them out on the Mid-Release Sneak Peeks page. And as for today's picks- everything's coming up Easter! There have actually been so many great Easter projects posted in the last week that I didn't have space to fit in them all in, so I pinned a few extras to my Easter Pinterest board, too.

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From the top left:

  • I love Rebecca Cooper's seasonal book page banners, so of course I had to link up her latest Easter version!
  • Learn to make these adorable origami bunnies at The Red Thread. You can also check out a tutorial for making an origami bunny garland at Hello Bee.
  • Sharpies make quick work of decorating Easter eggs! Check out the details at Vale Design.
  • Need even more ideas for decorating your eggs? Brit + Co. shares 40 more, including these lovely Pantone eggs.
  • The Red Thread links up their favorite Easter crafting finds, including- you guessed it- more ideas for decorating eggs!
  • I love it when craft bloggers get real, so it was quite a treat to see a post on The Sweetest Occasion about what it looks like when a craft project for the blog goes quite wrong. So awesome to see an acknowledgement that not everything is perfect! 
  • The House That Lars Built shows you how to make your own bunny topiary wreath.
  • Oh Happy Day DIYed up some gorgeous egg pinatas.
  • Need something that's quick and easy for Easter this year? Check out the fun, free Easter printables at Tiny Me.

TTFN!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

inspired by wilna

Ummm, so it seems that one of the giveaways that I was going to post this week is a bit delayed (it's of the digital variety and the release date slipped), so I'll instead regale you with the tale of a recent scraplifting adventure and will post the last giveaway when it becomes available!

I have a confession to make.

I love to scraplift. At any given time I probably have 42 tabs open in my web browser with various projects that I'd like to copy. Unfortunately, I stay so busy with my own designs that I rarely have time to play with any of the things that are inspiring me, and every once in a while I'll go through and clean those tabs out and close a bunch that I know I'm just never going to get to.

I was doing just that last weekend when I came across a lovely page by Wilna Furstenberg at Dear Lizzy's Paper Party showing a great idea for layering up stickers on a layout. I loved that part of the idea quite a bit, but what really caught my eye was that she made her page over a piece of that fabulous ruffled crepe paper from the Dear Lizzy Neapolitan collection. The same piece of paper (well, hers was pink and mine is yellow and white), as chance would have it, that's been sitting in my scrap room ever since it arrived in a Studio Calico kit...last February. I loved the look of that lovely sheet of ruffles, but I was always too chicken to use it for fear of messing it up.

And then it happened. An ethereal, Obi-Wan like voice spoke from out of nowhere and said to me, "use The Stash, Melissa."

With reverb and all. Really.

Or maybe I just forgot to take my medications* that morning. Who knows.

In any case, I pulled that old kit along with a few little extras out and pretty much copied Wilna's layout, changing just the number/size of photos and using a bit less embellishment than she did, because, dude, I am so not the master of layering that she is!

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Supplies:






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In the spirit of keeping the scrapping inspiration going around here even with a slightly lighter posting schedule, I'm challenging you to lift Wilna, too! Whether you use her layering technique to use up some of the stickers in your stash or you, too, have a sheet of this crepe paper in your stash that you find just a bit intimidating, let's get it used up! If you participate, please leave Wilna some love on her post, and I'd love it if you'd comment here, too, with a link to your creation so I can check it out!

*actually, the only medications I'm on are for asthma and some weirdo condition where I have an overactive histamine reaction- all the time!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

giveaway : elmer's adhesives + paint pens


For the second post in my week of giveaways, Elmer's is offering my readers a chance to win a selection of their adhesives and paint pens!

Elmer's has been celebrating National Craft month throughout March over on their Craft It! Facebook page with lots of great projects, including one of my favorites- a set of decorated clothespins decked out with their Painters Markers. Now that I've seen these, I want to grab a set of miniature clothespins from the craft store and make my own version of the tiny decorated clothespins that are so popular in scrapbooking right now!



One reader who comments on this post will win an Elmer's prize pack including foam mounting tape, CraftBond glue spots, an all-purpose glue stick, and a package of Painters Medium Tip Markers!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post by midnight on Sunday, March 31st. I'll contact the winner on Monday morning to arrange shipment of your prize package! One comment per person, please, and unfortunately due to shipping costs, this giveaway is limited to residents of the US.

Good luck to everyone entering!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

giveaway : swingline long reach stapler from officezilla


A couple of weeks ago I received a surprise email from Susan Mintmire, former owner and author of the PaperCrafter's Corner blog. Susan and I met briefly at CHA a year or so ago and also worked together when I was on Heidi Swapp's team, and in her email she was excitedly telling me about her new job as Director of Marketing at an online office supply retailer, OfficeZilla.


Now, you guys know how much I love to use office supplies in my scrapbooking, and Susan wanted to arrange a giveaway for my readers! After talking back and forth a bit, we decided to go with something that's just a bit different from your normal scrapbooking tool:



OfficeZilla is going to send one of the commenters on this blog post a brand new Swingline Long Reach Stapler, and I'm pretty excited about this as it's one of the nice models with an adjustable measurement guide, just perfect for stapling together booklets and mini albums. And my favorite use for it? Stapling together paper layers on my layouts! I first spotted this technique in the video below by Lilith Eeckels- if you jump to the 2:50 mark you'll see the magic of having one of these babies on your scrapping desk!


No more stacking up layers, then unstacking them and trying to remember where they were while adhering them in place. Just staple through the whole thing a few times and be done with it!

So, here are all the details- to enter, simply leave a comment on this post by midnight CST on Sunday, March 31, and please make sure that you enter an email address somewhere on the comment form. One comment per person, please! I'll contact the winner on Monday morning and get you all set up to have your new stapler sent to you. Since OfficeZilla only ships to the continental US, entries need to be limited to the 48 contiguous United States (my sincere apologies to Alaska, Hawaii, and all my lovely international readers).

OfficeZilla also has a massive stock of photo papers, shipping tags, pens, and lots of other goodies that are just perfect for scrapbooking. They've even got a whole section dedicated to crafting- definitely my kind of office supply store! They also offer free shipping on purchases of $45 or more and have been known to send out some pretty sweet coupons in their weekly email newsletter.

Good luck to all who enter! I'll be back tomorrow with our second giveaway post of the week!

Monday, March 25, 2013

project life 2011 | july 10-16 + real life right now

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Darren has been busy studying for his MCAT next month and it's still too cold here (ummm, we had snow flurries this morning) for me to want to spend lots of time outside, so I've been splitting my time between work, the gym, and being a domestic diva at home (I cooked so much this weekend!). I've also had some time to do a bit more photo editing than usual, including going back and working on those weeks in my 2011 Project Life album that I haven't finished yet.

July 2011 was probably about the time I'd decided to give up on Project Life for this particular year, which meant that I also slacked way off on taking pictures. Luckily I still had some pretty ones this week, including a shot of a sunset reflected in the lake near my office that I blew up to fill most of one of the spread's pages. My local Sam's club does 12x16 prints for just under $3.00, so I cropped this photo (along with one other for a later week) to 12x8, then cut it apart to fit the pockets. I was already headed over there to pick up groceries, so having them do my printing was a win-win.

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I kept this layout fairly simple, and since I already had an old Studio Calico kit (So Cal) out on my desk for another project, I went ahead and used it for this page, too. Yay for using up stash!

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And now for a little real life...

There were some major upheavals at my job last week (for those who don't know, I work full-time as a software engineer), starting with my program manager leaving at the end of this week to start his own company and ending with me taking on a second project to support along with the one that I'm already on. With the shifting around of responsibilities and addition of new ones, it's going to be kind of crazy at the office for a while. Something in my schedule has to give, and on my list of priorities blogging falls somewhere well below taking care of my family and being the absolute best that I can at my job. I've thought long and hard about it over the last week, and with the changes (the work changes are only the beginning...D should be finishing his master's degree this semester and will then be applying to medical schools across the country- I have no idea where that will take us!) I'm going to have to cut back on the blogging.

This doesn't mean that I'm going to quit scrapping! I'll still be doing lots of that, and I'll still be sharing it here, but the format for sharing is going to have to change. I plan to keep the weekly Geek Girl, Project Life, and Friday Favorites posts (I love doing those!) along with posts to fulfill design team requirements (luckily I had already let my design team commitments dwindle down to a much smaller number that's completely manageable and enjoyable). I'll also be sprinkling in the occasional creative post "just because" (since, like I said, I have no intention of stopping the scrapping!), but big features like Back to the Future are going to be few and far between. I'll do them as I can, but at home if it comes down to choosing between writing a blog post or cooking dinner or walking through the botanical gardens with D...I'll choose dinner and the gardens over blogging every time. I have to maintain a balance, and I have to get it in place now before the craziness really sets in.

What you'll probably see here is the blog turning into more of a "gallery" for my layouts- lots of pictures, fewer words. Fewer posts, but the posts will likely have more than one layout in them. And definitely still working on using up my stash!

One thing I will not do is turn my blog into a series of ads and endless promotions. Even though I do scrap for design teams, every page and every photo that I scrap is something that I wanted to do anyway for my albums, and I'll always keep that genuine-ness about my scrapbooking. That being said, it was a huge coincidence that three different companies contacted me recently and inquired about doing giveaways. I actually get asked this fairly often and definitely do not offer every giveaway that comes along (very few, in fact), but I thought that these three had products that my readers would truly enjoy the chance to win. So there will be a giveaway post each day for the next three days here, which will help me in the taking-a-break department. This will not be the norm, I assure you! It's just to give you guys a little something fun and to give me a breather, and then things will get back to scrapping next week.

Hopefully by getting a handle on things now before things really start changing, I can keep everything balanced when life gets even nuttier than it is now. And in the meantime I still have some fun projects that are already in the works, including one that fans of my past Use Your Scraps Weeks might be very interested in. ;)

Hugs and smiles to you all! I truly appreciate all of my wonderful blog readers!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

geek girl | march 24, 2013

Happy Sunday, geeky peeps!

Have you spotted the new poster for Disney's Star Wars Weekends yet? It's definitely more "Disney-meets-Star-Wars" than "Star-Wars-meets-Disney," which is what I was a bit afraid of when I first heard that the Mouse had purchased the franchise, but I'll try not to judge the whole thing based on one poster...for now.

sww

We have other summer vacation plans, so once again I won't be in attendance ::le sigh:: - one of these years!

And now for MacGyver, Precious Moments, and...pirate tights? This might just be the most random Geek Girl post ever!

 
From the top left:
  • Geek Style site White Hot Room puts together an Imperial-inspired wardrobe.
  • Shirtoid combines The Lord of the Rings with an unlikely partner- Precious Moments!- in an absolutely adorable design.
  • Firefly fans will love this Doctor Who mashup featuring the TARDIS in one of the more daring heists from the series.
  • Do you think that this TARDIS scarf is warmer on the inside?
  • NerdAlert's Etsy shop is filled with geeky couture, including this Harry Potter Marauder's Map skirt! 
  • Nerdalicious found and linked up a beautiful Doctor Who wedding cake.
  • I have no idea where I would wear them, but I want these pirate tights!
  • How sweet is this adorable Wall-E cake?
  • You, too, can be MacGyver with this amazing multitool...which I think I have a few hundred of in my desk drawer. :)
The interwebs have also graced us with another Star Trek: Into Darkness trailer...though I'm actually more excited about the fact that Series 3 of Sherlock is officially filming now, and Series 4 is on contract!


And, for even more fun, here's a Lego version of one of the many Star Trek trailers we've been treated to so far!


MTFBWY!

Friday, March 22, 2013

two peas gardener's digest : march 2013

 
It's March 22, which means it's time for another edition of the Gardeners' Digest- a monthly blog hop where the Garden Girls at Two Peas in a Bucket share sneak peeks, favorites, and bits of inspiration!

If you arrived here from Lisa Dickinson's blog, then you're making your way around the hop. If you get lost or just want to see all of the links in one spot, you can find those back on the main Two Peas blog.

 
There'll be a new crop of Garden Girl projects in the Two Peas gallery on April 1, and I shocked myself this month by making a layout without a hint of patterned paper anywhere on it! I was more inspired by watercoloring with mists and playing with little fiddly embellishments this month, so I went with it! It's definitely different- not something I'll do every time, but fun to play with for sure!

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I've actually got two sets of "Inspired By" layouts for you today!

First, the Two Peas gallery has been on fire lately, and I've loved seeing what everyone has posted. I've also made it a point to check out the digi side of things more often, too (I swear there's a digital scrapper in me that's trying to get out!), and here are five of my recent favorites- you can click on the image to see the project in the Two Peas gallery.



Second, there's been a lot of talk lately both here on my blog and over on the Two Peas forum lately about style, and as I was browsing the gallery of Jaime Warren, one of my favorite scrapbookers, I decided to scroll back to the middle and beginning of her gallery to see how her style changed over the years. The difference was amazing! I love every stage of her scrapbooking evolution, and she's gone through some major style changes over the years. I've linked up five layouts from different time periods (newest to oldest) to give you a little idea of what you'll find amongst her posted projects.



 

I'm continuing to try to choose just those products that won't sit in my stash, and if they coordinate with something that's already there it's a huge plus! Here are five items that have recently caught my eye- and some I've already bought and ::gasp:: already used!


  • This Snippets journaling card pad by Basic Grey, part of the new Knee Highs & Bow Ties collection, is simply perfect for both Project Life and traditional layouts.
  • I'm not the only one in my house geeking out over this Kick The Can paper, also from the Bow Ties collection- my (biologist) husband loves it, too! I definitely see this making it onto a layout or two soon.
  • Okay, so I obviously love journaling cards! This rainbow set from Doodlebug landed on my desk not too long ago, and I'm thinking it'll make an appearance in a Project Life video soon!
  • I'm absolutely loving the new Road Trip collection from Chic Tags- perfect if you love to travel or just adventure near your own home.
  • These aqua ombre Thickers from the Studio Calico Sundrifter collection have already made an appearance on one layout here. I'm sure it's just the first of many (and I love the green ones, too)!
That's it for my portion of our little hop today! Paige Evans is up next with another round of inspiration for you. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

friday favorites on thursday

The monthly Garden Girl blog hop falls on Friday again this month, so I'm moving the Friday Favorites up a day. There's a bit of Easter in the air and in this week's picks, but also lots of great organizational ideas and other random scrappy inspiration. Enjoy!

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From the top left:

  • Amelie Mordret's page showcases a lovely way to use 3x4 journaling cards on your traditional scrapbook layouts.
  • You can find a tutorial for making these paper strip Easter eggs (a great way to use up some scraps!) at Minted.
  • Sophie Crespie shows a novel use for the Silhouette's sketch function at Crate Paper.
  • Leena Loh posted a great tutorial showing how to weld letters in Silhouette Design Studio.
  • My Mind's Eye shared lots of great everyday uses for washi tape.
  • I love Tracie Claiborne's post on how she organizes her patterned papers by color, including how she handles multicolor prints.
  • Michelle Wooderson shares her storage solution for her scrapbooking kits that are currently in use.
  • Life of a Scrapaholic posted a gorgeous mini album and tucked a little hand-stitching tutorial into the mix, as well.
  • Jennifer McGuire shows how to make your own multicolor ink pads using baby wipes.
TTFN!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

lawn fawn inspiration week | felt food fiesta {layout}

Today I get to share my second layout for this month's Inspiration Week over on the Lawn Fawn blog, and I broke out some felt and two of the new Lawn Clippings dies to make this one!

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Supplies:



There was a thread recently over on Two Peas in a Bucket about the resurgence of using solid color cardstock as a layout background, and while this is something that I used to do for nearly every page I made, I really haven't been in the habit of it in the last year or two. I've been trying to get back into using non-neutral cardstock at least every once in a while (goodness knows I have enough of it!) this year, and for this page I searched my stash to find a shade of aqua to match the Daphne's Closet papers from Lawn Fawn. I spritzed just a bit of white mist over the center of the cardstock to soften the color and help the photos pop- a little trick I think I'm going to be using quite a bit from now on.

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The photos on this page feature my li'l niece Sophie and my Dad, and while they were taken on his birthday (with balloons in the background and everything), the story isn't birthday themed, at all!

Sophie loves to play with her toy kitchen (and I admit that I might have gone slightly nuts with the IKEA and Melissa + Doug toy food purchases for her in the last year or so...) and "cook" for everyone, so I captured that piece of her personality on this page. I also have regular birthday photos to scrap, of course, but these little non-event moments are some of my favorites to put in my albums.

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I'm absolutely loving these new Lawn Fawn dies as they give you so many great opportunities for embellishment, even if you're not a stamper. I've got some self-adhesive cork sheets around here somewhere that I'll be trying them with soon, and word is that Lawn Fawn has some new dies in basic shapes in the works, too!
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