Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Month In My Scrap Room - October 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!

It's Halloween and my scrap room is looking just a bit...spooky.

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Seriously, guys, it is a big scary mess, and not just because of the Christmas album festivities that have been going on here this week (by the way, the Simple Stories Sn@p album giveaway is still open). I really haven't been doing much beyond basic cleaning between projects (oh, so, so many projects!) in my office lately, which is why July was the last time I posted one of these scrap room updates. There were a few things that just couldn't wait any longer, though, so I've launched into a few organizational tasks that'll be ongoing here for the next little while.

This month most of my projects centered around the two Alex carts that are currently behind my scrapping desk. I used to store punches and washi tape in them, but apparently the weight of the items in the drawers was more than they could take and, well, this happened...

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The drawers look a little sad, don't they? I think they'll be easy to repair, but first I had to get those heavy punches out of them (the washi will move when I've finished making its new home) and into something that was a little more sturdy. I researched punch storage ideas on Pinterest and considered everything from an over-the-door shoe holder to curtain rods on the wall before deciding on something super easy- 12x12 plastic Iris cases in a set of wire mesh cubes that I picked up at Target.

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I already had the Iris cases on hand and had been meaning to clean some old product out of them anyway, so except for the wire cubes (about $25), I didn't have to buy anything new to do this! The wire cubes now live in my scrap room closet (the Antonius and Raskog carts that were in there are destined for a new home in my scrap room as soon as I finish another construction project I have planned, also with existing items), and the punches are sorted roughly by theme- animals, basic shapes, holidays, etc. The other Iris cases hold either design team product that I have to keep separate from the rest of my supplies or unfinished projects.

One of my two Alex carts (the one that didn't end up with broken drawers) is destined for my Mom's scrap room as soon as I've cleared it out, and I'm going to use the remaining one to hold lighter items for die cutting. I've already filled one drawer with 6"x9" felt (I love this sampler pack from Benzie's on Etsy) and foam sheets, and a couple of other drawers hold dies, other die-cutable mediums like glitter and cork pads from DCWV, and Silhouette mats and tools.

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I was also super inspired by this ink storage post by Jennifer McGuire, especially the part where she showed all of her ink pads "filed" in the drawer of an Alex cart. I don't have nearly the collection that Jen does- it's her job after all!- so all of my ink pads fit into one of the deeper Alex drawers with room to spare.

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I'm also slowly adding labels to the side of my ink pads showing the color of each, and every once in a while I'll turn on an episode of Stargate, pick up some ink pads and labels, and get a stack of them labeled in a super low-key and no-hurry fashion.

I also tweaked my video setup this month. For most things the Nikon D5100 is great, but for kit videos where the focus changes constantly it was making some viewers a little seasick. There's not enough light in the room (even with the softboxes) to set the f-stop high enough to have everything from the top of the desk up to the lens in focus, so I've had to add my iPhone (which for some reason is better about that than the DSLR!) back into the mix. I'll still be using the D5100 for process videos where everything is flat on the desk (it has more storage space than my iPhone, which is why I switched in the first place), but I've got an extra mounting arm in place now so that I can use the iPhone when needed and rotate the mounting arm out of the way when I need to use the D5100.

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The setup here is super simple- a Manfrotto Super Clamp attached to the D5100's monopod, a Manfrotto Heavy Duty Flex Arm that attaches to the Super Clamp, and then an iPhone tripod mount that attaches to the flex arm. I've already filmed two kit videos with it and it works great, so hopefully this will be a good solution.

During the summer I was alternately scrapping up a storm in my office or spending time outside, but now that it's getting colder I'll be working on a little more organization. I have several other projects on the radar for the winter months, including:
  • Build a new stand-up scrapping table using two bookcases and a sheet of MDF (that I already have!).
  • Build a dedicated computer desk separate from my scrapping table (no more mist splatters on the iMac screen!).
  • Install pegboard on the back of the scrap room door to hold washi tape, markers, and other items.
  • Clear out all the "decorative" items, including the tissue paper pom poms (you can see those here) to freshen up the look of the whole space.
  • New paint, mist, Distress Stain, and embossing powder storage (also using existing stuff- yeah, baby!).
I'll have details and some in-progress photos to share for these items in future scrap room posts, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Color Me : Spooky + Sweet

I didn't realize until I'd already put this week's Color Me post together that so many of the image links for these were broken on Pinterest. They were all repins, so I have no way of tracking them back. If you know of the original source, feel free to comment and let me know so I can link them up!

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Image Sources: Ffffound | Pinterest | Pinterest | Pinterest | Pinterest

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Christmas Journal Sneaks + Simple Stories Leather Snap Album Giveaway

My scrap room looks like Christmas exploded all over it, and nearly every inch of surface is covered in sequins, doilies, and festive paper and embellishments as I wrap up work on my next assignment for Two Peas in a Bucket. For November the Garden Girls are putting together holiday mini albums, and I chose to pre-make my 2013 Journal Your Christmas album in hopes that I'll actually be able to finish mine this year! As I looked back on the years that I did complete the project, they were the years that I made my album foundation ahead of time, so I'm returning to that philosophy this time around. I've got a couple of sneaks to share with you before the full reveal on November 1, and if you read on there's a giveway, too!

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This year I chose a 6x8 Simple Stories Sn@p album in red faux leather, and I could not be happier with that choice. Seriously, this thing has been so much fun to put together...so much so, in fact, that I've ordered up two more and have been working on planning out my 2011 and 2012 albums (you know, the ones I did the photos + journaling for, but never finished) and hope to have them finished by the end of the Christmas season, as well.

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One thing I love about these albums (besides the fact that they are absolutely gorgeous and so well made) is that they have enough space in them to hold all the pages I'm adding. Journal Your Christmas includes 37 entries, and I'm using one side of a page protector for each day- that's 19 page protectors! I have them all loaded in the album already, and each has at least one layer of paper of some sort per side, plus some embellishments thrown in (I don't use anything thicker than chipboard or flair for this album), and there's still plenty of space left- so awesome!

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I'm using an assortment of all of the 6x8 Pocket Page that Simple Stories carries, and I love being able to have a variety of layouts available but still have the ease of just slipping things in pockets. Yes, I really think I will get my album finished this time!

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And now for the really fun part- I get to give one of these away! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to log your entry (or entries), between now and Sunday night. On Monday I'll contact the winner, and Simple Stories will send you one of their faux leather albums in your choice of color, along with a set of Pocket Pages to get you started on your next project.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 28, 2013

Project Life at Two Peas - October 2013

In both 2011 and 2012 I ran a five day blog Use Your Scraps Week blog series, and, while I haven't done a full week again for 2013, I have tried to incorporate ways to use up paper scraps in some of my projects along the way this year. You'll find five of those ideas in a post for Shimelle's blog earlier this year, and in my latest Project Life video for Two Peas in a Bucket I took on the challenge of using paper scraps to embellish one of my weekly layouts.

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Supplies:

I started this week's layout with the new Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party Project Life Mini Kit (phew, that's a mouthful to have to say type!) and used the colors in the cards to help pull together a big stack of papers from my scrap bin. I turned those papers into embellishments and journaling cards for my layout, and you can see how I put everything together from start to finish in this week's video.


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Digging through my scrap bin is always inspiring, and this project had the added bonus of forcing me to pull out a bunch of tools (decorative edge scissors, anyone?) that hadn't been used in quite a while. A method like this would also be great for building a December Daily or Christmas journaling kit- just start with one new thing like the Bundled Up Journaling Cards from Crate Paper or the It's Christmas 6x6 pad from Webster's Pages, then shop your scraps and older embellishments for items to fill in the gap!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Geek Girl - October 27, 2013

The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is nearly upon us, and the BBC released the first official images from the upcoming special this week! Look for the special to air on Saturday, November 23, and there's also news that Season 3 of Sherlock and Season 4 of Downton Abbey are imminent.

There's also a bit of Doctor Who news in this week's roundup, along with the usual mix of geekiness, so lets's get started!

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From the top left:

  • Random House is set to publish the Death Star Owner's Technical Manual on November 5, and they've already posted a peek inside on their web side. 
  • Hostess with the Mostess featured a great monster themed birthday party.
  • Disney is set to open it's first Marvel themed ride since acquiring the comic franchise. Look for the Iron Man Experience to open in 2016...in Hong Kong.
  • Thanks to a time with the BBC didn't see any value in keeping films of old television programs, dozens of Doctor Who episodes from the earliest years of the show have been lost for decades. Occasionally tape will turn up in a forgotten warehouse or station that ordered copies to air, and recently nine of those episodes were found, restored, and offered for download on iTunes
  • Serenity is set to fly again in a new comic book series based on Firefly. Look for the first issue of Leaves on the Wind to be published on January 29, 2014.
  • A new Star Wars animated show of course means a new run of action figures, and the packaging for the spinoff toys from the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels has been revealed.
  • You know all those Star Wars duct tape jokes? Well, now there's the real thing...
  • This Boba Fett ornament is just one of many geeky globes you'll find at Ginger Pots on Etsy.
  • Does your little mad scientist have a birthday coming up? Check out this awesome chemistry inspired birthday party at Amy Atlas' blog.

I'll leave you tonight with an exciting little piece of video- a new trailer for The Day of the Doctor!


MTFBWY!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Giveaway - "Gilt Trip" - A Scrapbooking Novel by Laura Childs

I know from reading numerous threads on Two Peas that scrapbooking mystery novels are popular among papercrafters, so when Laura Childs' press representative contacted me and asked if I'd like to give away a signed copy of her newest book, Gilt Trip, to one of my readers, I jumped at the chance. Plus, it's fall and the winter reading season is rapidly approaching, so what better time than now to squirrel away a new book?

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Gilt Trip is the 11th book in Laura's Scrapbooking Mysteries series, and this time heroine Carmela Bertrand finds herself investigating the murder of a business tycoon whose body is discovered stuffed in a clothes dryer. And, as usual with Laura's books, you'll find scrapbooking tips and recipes sprinkled throughout, as well!

Want to enter for the chance to win a copy? Just pick one or more options from the Rafflecopter widget below, and I'll select a winner on Friday, November 1. That means that you have until midnight on Halloween to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Favorites - October 25, 2013

Hooray for Friday and the weekend, because that means it's finally time for me to go and meet this little guy!

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Photo courtesy of my Dad!
My brother and his wife were happy to introduce Finnegan to his big sister, Sophie Clare, on Tuesday, and this weekend the whole family is gathering at their almost-finished new home to help install hardwood floors. I actually like installing floors, so it sounds like a fun time to me!

I'm packing along a little kit of scrapbooking supplies, too, just in case I get a few minutes here and there to work on my Journal Your Christmas album (I'm making the whole thing in advance this year), and if your weekend calls for craftiness, too, the you might find some inspiration in this week's Friday Favorites roundup!

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From the top left:

  • Pam Garrison has me wanting to break out some felt and make one of these fabulous leaf garlands!
  • Add a little glitter to your Thanksgiving table with these DIY geometric place cards at Flax and Twine.
  • Photojojo posted a guide to finding and sharing gorgeous fall photos on Instagram.
  • Rebecca Cooper has a roundup featuring lots of her simple and easy fall and Halloween projects.
  • Christine Newman wrote a fabulous post about watercoloring with stencils. I love how this girl's mind works!
  • 'Tis the season to be thinking about Christmas crafting beyond December Daily albums, and Webster's Pages has a gorgeous advent calendar idea to get you started.
  • Michelle Wooderson recently shared her Project Life planning process.
  • Take a peek at Savannah O'Gwynn's craft space at Reverse Confetti.
  • PageMaps, home of Becky Fleck's super awesome scrapbooking and card sketches, is now offering classes, including a free one to get you started!
TTFN!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Family Thanksgiving Layout - Crate Paper Chalkboard Theme

You may have spotted this layout on the Crate Paper blog recently during their week-long chalkboard theme. Chalkboard is a huge trend in both scrapbooking and home decor right now, and I was excited to try some of it out for myself. I stopped and took a few photos of the various steps along the way showing how this page came together from start to finish, just to give a little peek into my scrapbooking process. :)

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Supplies:


I went the DIY chalkboard route with my page, and the starting point was inspired by how Wilna Furstenburg has used Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint on a few of her layouts (you can see one here, and there's another in her Art Class at Two Peas). I kicked things off by painting a big square of the chalkboard paint in the middle of a piece of Brown Sugar cardstock by American Crafts, and then I cut the cardstock down a bit and distressed the edges.

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After I adhered the painted cardstock to a full 12x12 sheet of patterned paper as a border/background, I pulled out several of the embellishment packs from Crate Paper's Close Knit collection. Normally I start a layout with the photo arrangement first, but this time around I was more excited to get some chipboard and die cuts on the page. After a few minutes of looking through pieces and moving things around, I came up with this arrangement:

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I went ahead and got the title going, too, especially since the woodgrain Thickers I wanted to use were a little larger than normal and my title was also slightly longer- I wanted to make sure it would fit!

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The photos I wanted to use for this page were from Thanksgiving last year, and I actually hadn't printed any of them yet. To help determine what size to print the photos, I pulled out a few scrap pieces of white cardstock that I keep cut down to the common sizes that I use for photos and tried a few different arrangements before deciding on this configuration:

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Having those sizes predetermined made it easy to just print out my photos and put them in place! I also took a few minutes to stitch around the outside of the cardstock mat at this point.

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Next it was time to add the "chalk" portion of the chalkboard effect, and the white Ultra Fine point Sharpie Paint Pen that I used worked perfectly over the black paint! I used it to add my journaling and also to outline around the embellishments.

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I added a few wood veneer pieces as finishing touches and also outlined them with the white pen.

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And with that, the layout was done!

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To be honest, this layout had been rattling around in my head for several weeks before Crate Paper assigned the chalkboard theme to the design team. I find Wilna's videos so inspiring that I want to immediately start scrapping and try whatever artsy technique she's showing, and it's so fun to be able to take her techniques and apply them to my own style. She's hinted that she has an Art Class 2 workshop coming out next month, and I can't wait to try it!