Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Month in My Scrap Room | July 2013

This Month in My Scrap Room is based a regular series of posts by Sue Althouse, who graciously allowed me to use her idea on my own blog. Each month you'll find me documenting the little (and big) things that I'm working on to make my scrapbooking space more efficient so I can spend less time looking for things and more time playing with paper!

Most of the changes in my scrap room this month are thanks to Darren, who installed and built some custom pieces to make it easier for me to shoot videos. And while I know that filming videos isn't exactly related to the scrapbooking process itself, it's something I have to do on a semi-regular basis, so these changes make it faster for me to get through the video setup part and on to the actual scrapping.

DSC_3254.jpg

First, my lighting softboxes got ceiling mounted! This was a big deal for me since they were previously on tripods that I was continually tripping over. It turned out that the perfect place to set them up for shooting was also directly in my walking path in two areas of my scrap space, and having them in the way made me cranky. Cranky + trying to shoot videos is not a pretty combination, so I'm happy to have them overhead now!

DSC_3245.jpg

The mounts were built using about $10 worth of plumbing supplies from Home Depot and a little solder to hold it all together. The cords kind of hang down randomly in the middle of the room right now, but Darren has something in mind to fix that down the road. For now, it's awesome!

The second change to my video setup is the camera + mount.

DSC_3237.jpg

Previously I'd been filming on my iPhone using quickly thrown together mount that Darren built for me last fall, but then my iPhone's memory started to get filled up with apps and music. I had a choice between continually pausing shooting to clear off the iPhone memory (a pain), upgrading to a new iPhone with larger storage (or buying an iPod Touch to film on), or using a different type of video camera altogether. I wavered back and forth between those last two options for a couple of months before finding a factory refurbished Nikon D5100 for a steal at Cameta Camera, and I decided that a DSLR capable of HD video for the same price as an iPod Touch was a great buy and went that route. It's taken a little getting used to since the D5100 works a little differently than my iPhone in terms of setting the exposure and the autofocus system, but we've finally come to an understanding, and it's been a great little camera to use!

DSC_3241.jpg

The camera mount is quite the piece of engineering, and Darren did a great job on it! We'll be making one change to it before too long, though (and I'll probably paint it at some point, too). Right now the camera is attached to the center pole of my tripod, but I'd like to reassemble my tripod soon so I'll be using a monopod in the mount instead. It's here in the scrap room and ready to use, but I was waiting for Darren to get back from his trip to South Africa last week to install it.

Oh, and one other fun addition to the video setup? A new microphone!

DSC_3255.jpg

When I switched away from using my iPhone, I also switched over from using the iPhone's headphones + mic for filming to a Blue Yeti microphone, and I love everything about it. The sound is awesome, and I think it looks pretty cool, too.

DSC_2861.jpg

One last thing I did in my scrap room this month was to put about 40 layouts into albums! These had been laying in a pile on the copy stand, and I had to move them every time I needed to photograph a new page. I finally sat down one day, sorted them all out by year (I don't scrap chronologically, but I do file my layouts that way), and then slipped them into the proper places in their albums. It's nice to have that job done, and I'm going to try to not let them pile up like that again.

DSC_2862.jpg

That's it for the changes in my scrap room this month! The next few weeks are busy scrapping-wise, and I'd much rather scrap than organize, so August's changes may be a bit light. We'll see how it goes, though- if something in my current storage system starts to really bug me I might just have to stop and fix it!

Note: I've drawn a winner for last week's Two Peas giveaway! Congrats to Kelly O! Please check this post for details on getting in touch with me to claim your prize.

Monday, July 29, 2013

project life 2013 | week 22 with simple stories

I never thought that I would be posting a Project Life layout using the statement "...and this was the week I bought a laser cutter."

But I did. And I am, and I'm excited to talk a little about both here today!

First, the layout:

project life 2013 week 22.jpg

Supplies:



I put this week's spread together using Simple Stories' I Heart Summer line (it's also up on the Simple Stories blog today), and, oh, man, am I ever in love with this collection. Very rarely these days do I find scrapbooking supplies that I think that I really need to have extras of on hand, but these papers, journaling cards, and embellishments? They are totally my style. Colorful, bold, fun, and cute without being cutesy. I love them!

DSC_0023.jpg

DSC_0024.jpg

I used the collection (with just a touch of Sn@p) thrown in) to document the week that included Memorial Day. A week where I ran a 5K and had a few random adventures both at work (in the form of some "light" reading on a new topic for me) and home.

DSC_3207.jpg

DSC_3205.jpg

This was also the week that Darren got his MCAT score results back in, and I took advantage of the fact that Simple Stories' Pocket Pages divided page protectors are true to size and will actually fit these cute little accent pockets and added a little hidden journaling.

DSC_3204.jpg

So, about the laser cutter thing- I'll be able to talk more about it in a week or so, but a couple of months ago I purchased a cutter to use at home to make my own wood veneer embellishments. It's partly for me to play with and part business venture, which is why it's been a little light on the creative side here on the blog lately. Between learning to use the new toy and some changes to my hours at work, I've been trying to get used to a new schedule and fitting it all in. It should be settling out soon, and I'm looking forward to getting more traditional layouts posted here again!

I won't be opening a retail shop with the custom veneers right now, but I am producing items based on customer-provided designs for a few companies, including one that will start unveiling the lineup next week. I can't wait to share more- it's been such a fun adventure so far! And I'm sure some of those laser cuts will show up on future layouts. :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

geek girl | july 28, 2013

So I just got back from picking Darren up at the airport after his ten day trip to South Africa, and I remembered that I hadn't yet posted Geek Girl for the week! Luckily I already had the roundup in place, so I'm just dashing in for a minute to post this before I finish making our homemade pizza for dinner and start working through the mountain of laundry he brought back home. It's a glam life, right? :)

gg july 28

From the top left:

  • This amazing Lego portrait of Han Solo contains more than 20,000 individual bricks!
  • A Death Star mold is the latest in the whole geeky ice cube/candy tray lineup.
  • More Design Please reported on a periodic table inspired set of tableware that recently met its Kickstarter goal!
  • Minions are adorable, but Minion cake pops? Those are too cute for words!
  • I so need this "Then I Don't Care" t-shirt...with Star Wars added to that lineup, of course. :) 
  • Speaking of shirts, Darren has absolutely forbidden me from buying this Nathan Fillion tee featured on Fashionably Geek. Hmmm, I wonder why!
  • There's been an understandable shortage of Firefly news for the past several months, but it was recently announced that a mobile game based on the popular and short-lived series will be coming to Android and IOS platforms in 2014. 
  • Nerd Approved explores what newspaper headlines and magazine covers might look like in a world where The Avengers really exist.
  • Hostess with the Mostess featured two cute Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed parties recently. You can find them here and here.

Oh, and that Firefly video game I mentioned earlier? Here's a super short and super vague video announcement for it from San Diego Comic Con.


MTFBWY!

Friday, July 26, 2013

friday favorites | july 26, 2013

Hola and happy Friday evening, everyone! Sorry to be posting this a bit late, but the day got away from me! I've been switched over to working four 10 hour days per week instead of my usual Monday-Friday schedule, and, while I'm getting used to it, I can see that Fridays are going to be major catch-up days as I work to make up for those lost evening hours during the rest of the week. I'm not complaining- life is all about change, after all- there's just going to be a bit of an adjustment period. :)

Lucky for me, I got most of the housework and chores out of the way today, so I should have some time for crafty fun this weekend! And I have the usual roundup of links to share just in case you find yourself with some spare creative time over the next couple of days, as well.

ff july 26

From the top left:
  • Jennifer Larson shared some great tips for using patterned paper with big printed designs. 
  • This beach souvenir box by Marie Lottermoser is such a cute idea for capturing summer vacation memories!
  • Altering Project Life cards has been a popular blog topic lately- you can find posts about it both on Michelle Wooderson's blog and at Pebbles, Inc.
  • Jessica at Talk About Priceless has a system for storing die cuts that's making me nostalgic for my sticker collecting days!
  • If you're looking for ways to add an interactive element to your layouts and hide your journaling at the same time, then you'll love this post at Chic Tags.
  • Adrienne Alvis shows how to make an adorable mini album using the Pebbles Lakeside journaling card pad at Come On Get Crafty.
  • Learn how to make your own colored vellum flowers with a tutorial video posted on the Papertrey Ink blog.
  • This is definitely more crafty than scrappy, but I'm really digging this DIY camping chair tutorial at Design Sponge.
  • Kristen at Ella Claire Inspired posted a list of fabulous, free dingbat fonts.
TTFN!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

my cha summer 2013 picks

I know. I know! I'm supposed to be using stash and not drooling over the new goodies that are being released at the CHA Summer 2013 show this week. And, honestly? I've done way better about that this year than I have in years past. In fact, I even refrained from choosing favorites at the Winter 2013 show in January simply so I wouldn't be tempted to go shopping for them. I'm still trying to limit my new product influx to mostly my monthly design team kits, so let's call this my "I hope Trina includes it in a Citrus Twist kit" list. Trina, are you reading this? ;)

Let's start off with Christmas. I need more Christmas scrapping supplies like I need the proverbial hole in the head, but some of these lines are just so darn awesome that I'm wishing for them anyway!

Bundled Up by Crate Paper is definitely at the top of that list. Crate always blows me away with their Christmas lines, but this one is just really something special! Such a sweet color palette, and those snowmen are too adorable! And, while the collection does have a few cute elements to it, it's not overdone and comes off as more nostalgic than whimsical.

cha picks7

Basic Grey's Christmas lines are a perennial favorite of mine, and their latest, 25th and Pine, is not only beautiful in its own right, but it also looks like it'll coordinate quite well with Crate's Bundled Up. I'm especially excited to get my hands on the Snippets pad from this collection. I'm currently working on a project with some of Basic Grey's Capture line, and the little Snippets cut-apart pads that are part of the system are some of the most inspiring products I've worked with in quite a while!

cha picks6

Allison Kreft's It's Christmas collection for Webster's Pages bring her signature graphic style to the season. I love the holiday-themed starbursts and sprinklings of star confetti, and there are some great embellishments in the line, too. Reindeer shaped paperclips? Yes, please!

cha picks

Stepping away from holidays and into the everyday, there's a lot to love on the non-seasonal side of this year's CHA releases, too.

Two of Fancy Pants' new collections, Happy Go Lucky and Collecting Moments, are among my very favorites from the show. Ever since the Winter 2013 CHA, Fancy Pants has been gravitating toward a more modern style, and I love it! They've also really upped the number of embellishments that they release with new collection- their mid releases included flair and ephemera packs, and they've introduced resin flowers at this CHA, as well.

cha picks3

cha picks2

Maggie Holmes has a signature line with Crate Paper again at this show, and Flea Market is a beautiful continuation of her first collection. I love the punches of navy that have been added (and that globe chipboard piece- oh, my!), and I'm happy that this will coordinate so well with some of her last release that I still have hanging around the craft room.

blog4

Allison Kreft has a non-holiday collection with Webster's Pages in addition to her Christmas line. Recorded does a lovely job of incorporating trendy fall colors without having an autumn theme, and with motifs like woodgrain and star charts, you know I'm going to have to have it!

cha picks5

I've included just one image of Simple Stories' new Sn@p Sets- the Everyday set since it's my favorite of the group- but they have eight of these little collections coming out late next month. Each will include a selection of 3x4 and 4x6 journaling cards, sticker sheets, and a variety pack of coordinating pockets- the perfect mix of items for putting together one of their 6x8 Sn@p albums without having a ton of product left over in the end. Also, chalkboard camera card. 'nuff said.

cha picks4

As much as I've talked about loving non-themed items so far in this post, I do still love a Fall collection that's done well. Lawn Fawn's Into the Woods is cute without being overdone, and really most of the prints are generic and can be used for any sort of page...like a Spring Project Life layout.

IntoTheWoodsCollectionKit_productImage

Lawn Fawn is also releasing a Stitched Journaling Card die set, and, while I may be a bit biased since I'm on their design team, I think that they've come up with something absolutely brilliant with this one! The little banners and designs that you see inside the journaling card outline are actually separate inserts for the card, so you can cut designs right into it as you run it through your die cutter. I've had one on my desk to play with for the last few weeks, and it's so much fun!

StitchedJournalingCard_productImage

Once again, The Crafter's Workshop is tempting me with their new stencil designs, especially the Mix Tape and Fancy Feathers templates by Ronda Palazzari. Stencils are a tool that I've found helps both stretch my stash and also add depth to a layout without adding bulk, so I don't feel guilty for buying new ones at all!

cha picks1

Rounding out my picks list is the latest entry into the Blueprints stamp line by Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous. I will admit that I don't get as much use out of my stamps as I probably should, but as a geeky engineer, I simply have to buy these whenever a new set comes out! I always opt for the miniature version with scaled-down designs that are perfect for Project Life or just as a cute accent somewhere...and I see that Simon Says Stamp already has these up for preorder!

Layout 1

In retrospect, this is really a bit of a short list for me post-show! I think that the fact that I didn't get to travel to CHA this time around (you can find fabulous coverage of it on May Flaum's blog, if you'd like to see booth reports) has something to do with that, and I'm sure that I'll fall in love with more items as we get to see the products and projects up close and personal and not just in sneak peeks. I'm especially excited to see what the new Amy Tangerine and Dear Lizzy collections from American Crafts look like off the screen, in particular, since AC has only shown us fairly small, low-resolution images of those collections thus far. I wish that they would do image-heavy, full reveal posts in the Crate Paper vein.

And now that I've rambled on about my favorites from the show, I'm curious to know what's on your wishlist this CHA!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

color me : california dreamin'

california dreamin

Image Sources: Heart Handmade UK | Heart Handmade UK | Decor 8 | Drizzle & Dip | SF Girl By Bay

As always, I hope that this palette inspires your scrapping!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

project life 2013 | week 13

The Pocket Life kit from Citrus Twist was filled with lots of great little embellishments this month- love that! Tidbits from October Afternoon's Travel Girl, Wise Words from Jillibean Soup, and sequins all made for great tiny accents on my page documenting the week that April turned into May.

project life 2013 week 13.jpg

I never really worried about putting items on top of my photos before I started Project Life, but now I totally have no fear of doing something a little nutty- like using Glossy Accents to stick a sprinkling of sequins right on top of a photo collage! I don't worry about the archival aspect of my albums, and since all of my pictures are printed from digital files I don't have to worry about losing my one and only copy of these. I just have fun with it!

DSC_9983.jpg

DSC_9984.jpg

DSC_2800.jpg

DSC_2803.jpg

DSC_2799.jpg

I've put together a set of sketches based on some of the pockets in this page... please excuse the obviously oversized flair! I was tracing the bottom of that bottle of Glossy Accents that I mentioned earlier. 

DSC_9985.jpg

And now it's get real time.

I don't worry about being behind in scrapping my Project Life album, but being behind by more than 3-4 weeks on editing photos has always bothered me. Right now I have a whopping 10 week backlog! In the last few months we've had a graduation, Mother's Day, Father's Day, a two week vacation, a couple of birthdays, and countless little every day moments that have been captured, too. As soon as I'm done with my current round of assignments, you'll find me buried in my Lightroom catalog with a good movie on in the background, working to get those caught up again!

Monday, July 22, 2013

two peas gardeners' digest blog hop | july 2013

Update: Congrats to Kelly O for winning the giveaway! Kelly, please email me at jediflame (at) gmail (dot) come so I can arrange to ship your prize to you!


 

It's July 22, which means it's time for another installment of the monthly Two Peas Garden Girl blog hop! In this month's edition I have a peek at an upcoming project, some inspiration discovered in the gallery, and a little bit of enabling to share with you. And there just might be a giveaway at the end, too. ;)

If you arrived here from Lexi's blog, then you're on track to follow the hop all the way around. If you get lost, found your way here to the middle first, or just want to see all of the links in one place, then you might want to start back at the Two Peas blog.

 

DSC_3142.jpg

This pile of stuff on my desk is the start of my next Project Life video for Two Peas. I'll be filming it during the evenings this week, and it'll be all about ways to fill in weeks where you don't have a lot of photos. I've got a bit of Studio Calico's Atlantic collection ready to combine with the brand new Memories Captured line from Fancy Pants, and it should be a fun page!

 
I seem to flip back and forth between clean and simple and layered and artsy styles from month to month, but one of the great things about scrapbooking is that you can make each layout completely different from the last if you feel like it- there's no wrong way to do things at all!

This month I'm feeling the artsy side of things coming on again, and I've picked five recent favorites from the Two Peas gallery that reflect that style. You can click on any of the smaller images to be taken to the project page in the gallery.





 
It's no secret that I love map papers, and lately there have been some really unique ones that go beyond the normal latitude, longitude, and continent offerings that we're used to seeing. I had no problem finding three new favorites in the shop, including camp-style maps from Pebbles' Lakeside and Jillibean's Happy Camper, and a really cute boardwalk map in Crate Paper's The Pier. Tiny letter stickers from My Mind's Eye (there are eight different colored sheets in the pack- something that can be easy to miss with the computer-generated shop images) and gold woodgrain printed alphas by We R Memory Keepers (again, the photo does not do them justice- you can see a better photo of them here in my CHA Winter booth post) round out my little pile of favorites this month.




 
Two Peas has recently added several exclusives to the store, including shaped paper clips, digital cut and print files, and wood veneer cards, and it's that last one that I have to give away today!



If you'd like to enter to win a set of all six of the wood cards currently available in the store, just leave a comment on this post by Sunday, July 28th. I'll draw a winner on Monday morning and get in touch with you about getting your cards sent out. Note: I'm providing this giveaway on my own, and, while I'm leaving it open to international entrants, if shipping to your country turns out to be exorbitant I may get in touch with you about sending you a Two Peas gift certificate instead.

Thanks so much for stopping by my little corner of the hop! Michelle is next on your list with another fun and inspirational post to share.