Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Glitter, Stripes, and a Star Wars del Sol

Yes, I am indeed still alive, but, dude, what a week or so it's been since I last posted! After having an awesome birthday last Monday, I came home from work on Tuesday night with some flu-ish sort of virus. I say "ish" because it turned out to not be the actual flu, but it certainly felt like it for about a day! That little incident was directly followed by a sinus infection that took a while to diagnose since I thought it was simply the remnants of the flu-like mystery bug. I'm happily medicated now, though, and even happier to pop in today to share a couple of projects that I made for Crate Paper last week!

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Last week's theme on the Crate blog was "Glitter and Stripes," and I went in two very different directions with it. First, I combined both the glitter and the stripes to make a pair of cards. I had just ordered Papertrey Ink's Center Stage cover plate die and was of course itching to use it. It cut through a piece of American Craft's Pow! glitter paper like butter, and I used the full cutout on the card above and a few of the individual chevrons on the card below.

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Supplies:


The rest of the supplies are all from the Styleboard collection by Maggie Holmes, including the little sentiments that came from one of the cut-apart sheets in the paper pack. I thought that they'd both work well for birthday cards, but I suspect that poor Darren isn't going to quite know what to do with them next time he raids the card box (which happens often). Perhaps I should go back and stamp a birthday greeting inside each card just to help him out a little bit. :)

My next project is definitely more geeky than girly and uses the Boy's Rule line.

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Supplies:


This Star Wars themed Honda del Sol was one of the first things I spotted upon arriving at Star Wars Celebration VI, and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to be a good convention! Okay, so, yes, I knew that beforehand, but the car really sealed the deal! You see, I drive a del Sol and have for almost 12 years. Mine is actually a '93 model, has over 315,000 miles on it, and hardly ever gives me any trouble, meaning I'm in no hurry at all to replace it. I love it so much that I bought my cousin's del Sol (I actually scrapped a layout about she and I being "car twins" a couple of years ago) when she sold it, so now I have two of them! I suppose I could have a newer car if I wanted, but I've had the chance to drive a few dozen different models as rentals during all of my work travels, and there's just nothing that fits me like this one! It's a good thing that Darren, who is somewhat confused by birthday cards that omit the word "birthday" is MacGyver when it comes to fixing cars and...well...anything!

I turned on the camera while I was making this layout, so you can see how it came together if you like.


I'd actually intended to use the striped paper that you see at the very beginning of the video as a border around the whole page, but as soon as I pulled out that striped transparency from the photo overlay pack I changed course and used it for my "stripes" instead. After that, the entire layout literally fell into place, and I was very grateful for that since I'd literally spent 30 minutes off camera before filming trying to come up with a photo arrangement I liked! In the end I didn't use anything that I came up with during that session and even ended up changing page sizes. And, wow, I'm always so amazed at how fast an 8.5x11 canvas fills up!

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I've got another couple of videos filmed and either uploaded or in the editing queue, so I'll be sharing those soon! The lighter blogging schedule means that I have a little more time for things like that now, though I don't intend to let it be another week before posting again!

Monday, March 17, 2014

March Kit Layouts for Citrus Twist

I'm settling into a new blogging non-routine over here nicely, and while I don't intend to make it the norm to go for long stretches between posts, I've been putting the extra time to good use in my craft room! I've got paint drying on a layout as I type, and I'm about to go all kung-fu with a craft knife once this is posted and start in on an altered book for the April Citrus Twist gallery.

Speaking of Citrus Twist, I still have my March kit layouts to share! The new kits went live in the shop last week, and in the spirit of being a kinder, gentler blogging task-master to myself, I'm going back to sharing all of the layouts in one post again. :)

I didn't realize until after I'd finished my first layout (using just the main kit) just how many photos I have of my niece, Sophie, reading with someone in our family! There's this page I scrapped of her and Darren, one from January of her getting in a little story time with her Poppy, and in today's layout she's reading gardening magazine with my Mom- her Noni. I'm pretty sure that there's a photo of me reading a My Little Pony book to her floating around my Lightroom library, too, so I may have to scrap that one soon to add to the collection. And, total aside, but My Little Pony has changed a lot since I played with them as a kid!

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My next layout was for one of the sketch challenges over at Citrus Twist, and I got all inky and glitter splatter-y with this one! Glitter splatters are really easy to make- just water down some plain white glue, load it up on a paintbrush, and splatter it across the page just like mist, except you cover it in glitter afterward.

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I filmed a music-only (no voiceover) video of this layout since it's actually pretty easy for me to flip on the video camera that always stands over my work table. It still takes a bit of time to edit, but it really is so much faster than doing voiceovers, so hopefully you enjoy it! For those who subscribe to my blog via email, you can watch the video here on YouTube.


I must have been wishing for spring while working with these kits. Actually, I still am- it's cold here today! This layout mixes together pretty much all of the kits, and I started with a loose grid-style arrangement for my photos and then did my usual thing filling in the gals between them with papers, stickers, and other embellishments. It's pretty much my favorite way to make a page!

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My last layout with the April kits is a Project Life page from my 2011 album, which is I think only 6-7 weeks away from being completed now! Since I've stepped back from blogging a bitI now have more time for photo editing, and I'm working on getting the rest of my photos caught up and printed. It helps that I've finally made friends with VSCO keys for Lightroom. There's definitely a learning curve, but I can edit so much more quickly now!

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And today? It's my birthday! We've done the usual stuff- getting the birthday Starbucks treat and sushi for lunch- along with a few new things like picking up more oxalis (shamrocks) for the gardens and a new batch of succulents for my desk. I'll write up the full account of our adventures over on my personal blog once the day is over and I've processed the photos. I've already printed a few to scrap as I lift one of Wilna Furstenburg's layouts, including the one of some of my new plants below!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Breakup + The 6x8 Project Life Plan

Last week I decided to break up...with my daily blog schedule.

Oh, it was nice and structured and ensured that new content appeared here every day, but lately I'd started to realize that it no longer inspired me. I'm a one-chick show here, and, since I have a full-time job, blogging is simply a hobby. It's a hobby that grew out of my love for photography and scrapbooking (and of course, Star Wars!), but lately it's been threatening to take over all of the above. I have a tiny window of time each day for my hobbies, and over the last few months I've noticed that I would want to scrapbook a layout or play with paints or any number of crafty things...and then I'd stop and remember that I needed to write a new blog post for the day. By the time that post was finished, guess what? My crafty time would either be very short or gone altogether- not good!

So on Thursday I made a decision to simply not post Friday Favorites the next day or Geek Girl on Sunday (and really, to just not worry about posting on my blog at all), just to see how things went for me with that little bit of reclaimed hobby time. Almost immediately, I knew I'd made the right call. And I mean the right call! I was on fire getting things done this weekend, both in the house (dude, my attic is looking awesome!) and in the scrap room. And, instead of scrapbooking just so I'd have something to blog, I found myself scrapbooking just for fun (which is the point of it, afterall!) without worrying about how I would frame it in a post.

I also found myself snapping photos for Instagram more than usual, pinning on Pinterest a little more, and, wouldn't you know it, I even felt like recording a video last night. One of the projects that I started this weekend was to finally nail down a process for my 6x8 Project Life album for 2014 (it's only March, right?), and, when I started to put it together, I had no intention of blogging or sharing it. When I was finished, though, I started to think that it would make a fun, short video, and that simply flipping on the camera to share my new process would be a lot easier than taking gobs of photos, editing them, uploading, and then trying to format them into a post.

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Supplies:



And thus the new "online me." is born. I'm abandoning my daily blog schedule from now on for the sake of my sanity creativity. I'll still be posting here, but less frequently and only as I'm inspired to do so (or need to for a design team). Instead of letting a blog schedule drive my content, I'm reversing things and going back to a time when I was posting projects I made instead of making projects to post. I'll probably be using some other social media sites a little more, and if you like you can follow me on my Instagram account and over on Pinterest, which will hopefully help take the place of Friday Favorites (I've even got a Geeky board for those who loved the Geek Girl posts).

I'm not sure what form this blog will take in the future- I'm thinking maybe some of the usual scrapbooking content sprinkled with the occasional roundup post of my favorite recent pins on Pinterest, photos from Instagram, etc., but I don't want to commit to anything remotely resembling a schedule. My only plan right now is to not have a plan because, to be honest, my last plan had me considering simply shutting my blog down altogether last week- I was that stressed about it. For me, right now, freedom is key, and that's what I'm getting back to!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Workspace Wednesday - Working Kit Storage

The March kits went up for sale over at Citrus Twist this morning, and I thought this would be a great time to share the new "working kit" storage that I've been trying out this month.

About a year and a half ago I wrote a post about how I was using some super cute trays from Target's summer dishware collection to keep my current kits corralled. A couple of months ago I started to realize that being able to quickly and easily put something away was just as important to my organization as being able to quickly get it out and work with it. The trays were wonderful to use with my kits while they were out, but putting them away when I needed to work on a different project? Not so much. There were just too many loose pieces that needed to be stacked and balanced.

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Enter this Iris Organizer Tray, which fits neatly into any one of the many 12x12 Iris cases I already own. You can find them here on Amazon, though they are ridiculously priced through that link. I bought mine at Michaels when their storage items were 40% off, and they were offering a coupon for 25% off on top of that. I bought two for less than $9.00 total- one for my current Citrus Twist kit, and one for either a project kit or for a past kit that I've pulled out to scraplift my way through (long story short- I've decided to kill old kits by scraplifting anything from the design team gallery for that kit that I like).

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The trays are already molded with the vertical (top to bottom) dividers in place, and they come with quite a few of the smaller horizontal pieces that you can use to make your own compartments in the tray. In the photos above you can see mine configured to work with the smaller pieces of the Citrus Twist March Kits, right before I started working with them. I loved having the kit in this box- it was so easy to pull out the tray and set it to the site, revealing the paper underneath...

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...and also the alphabets, paper pad, and larger sticker sheets that didn't fit into the smaller spaces above.

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The only warning I have about this tray is that unless you have the area in the box under it completely stuffed with paper, the tray doesn't make contact with the lid. It's not a huge deal, but it does mean that you need to store the box flat to keep the small items from shifting to other compartments or even slipping out of the tray entirely.

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Wondering what will become of those lovely Target trays? They're actually already being repurposed, which is what happens with most of the organize-y things that I buy that turn out to not be as awesome for their intended use as I thought they would be. I have a little spot in the attic, right at the top of the pull-down staircase, where I stack all of these items, and it's the first place I check when I need a container or bin. Items shuffle in and out of the area constantly, and almost everything finds a new home eventually. These trays didn't even make it to the storage area, though- they're already destined for use in our camper this summer!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Project Life 2011 - June 28 - July 2

Checkered tablecloths at our favorite BBQ restaurant. My old and faithful car turning 300,000 miles (and I'm still driving it, almost two years later!). Spending a weekend with my family, running a 5K with my cousins, and photographing fireworks with Dad. So much happened during the week of June 28 - July 2, 2011- including all of the things I mentioned and more- making me so happy to now have this week tucked safely into my Project Life album!

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Supplies:


The bold reds and blues in Simple Stories' Homespun collection worked well with the colors in my photos from this week, and I've actually noticed that several of the newly released collections have healthy amounts of primary colors in them. Yes, Pantone's Radiant Orchid has definitely put purple more front and center this year, but it seems that bolder colors are also becoming the norm, especially when mixed with more complex shades such as the aquas in Homespun (which also match my photos- yay!). You can see this trend in several other collections, too, including Studio Calico's Lemon Lush, where bright yellows and blues mix with a light purple, and also in Dear Lizzy's Daydreamer, with its pinks and aquas paired with navy blue and red. If you find yourself with a handful of photos to scrap that have a bold color scheme, but you would really like to use some other tones, these new collections might be the perfect way to help bridge the gap between the two color families!

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I know that discussing color theory is a bit of a departure from my usual Project Life posts, but, to be honest, some weeks all I really have to say is, "yay, I finished another week, and here it is!" I was feeling much the same way toward the end of my term at Two Peas last year- like I had used up all of the new things I had to talk about in videos where Project Life was concerned, and it was just naturally time for me to be done with that. I have thought off and on for the last few weeks, though, about filming Project Life videos again without voiceover and just using music, like the ones I used to make and like Leena Loh's, which I've fallen madly in love with because a) they are nice and short and b) with music is actually my own preferred way of watching scrapping videos. I'll also admit that doing the voice part takes quite a bit of time that I simply don't have, but filming and then dropping the footage into iMovie to edit and add music is something I think I could handle...so, if I were to start filming "process" videos with music again, would you guys be interested in seeing them? I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I wanted to ask just in case. :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Scrapbook Generation Sketch Blog Hop

I love to continually try different things in my scrapbooking, and using a dozen photos (including five 4x6 prints!) on a single layout is definitely different for me! That's one of the reasons that I decided to join in on the March edition of the Scrapbook Generation sketch blog hop today. The other reason being that I collect their sketches, but with all of my design team responsibilities I rarely have a chance to use them!

My layout is based on a sketch from one of the February 2014 Four Packs, found in their store here.

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Supplies:


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When I said that five of those photos were 4x6, I should have said close to 4x6. I printed these at home, and my Selphy CP900 actually prints at a slightly smaller size- made even smaller still by the fact that I like to add white borders to my photos. No worries, though- I just spaced them out on the background paper a bit instead of lining them up, and it made things look a little more my style, anyway!

I also modified the left page of the sketch, using a solid 6x12 strip of paper instead of two 6x6 blocks to help tie the two pages together. I also swapped out one of the 4x6(ish) photos for a journaling card since I only had five large photos that I wanted to use from this event.

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The patterned paper and many of the embellishment bits here are from Elle's Studio's Love You More collection. I had originally planned on using Basic Grey's RSVP, but the colors in the papers were simply too muted for my bright, summery photos. Their die cut pack and printed wood veneer cards worked well, though, and I used them to set the color scheme for the rest of the page. This is the layout where everything went wrong with my supplies- I know I have more RSVP items, including the chipboard, but I have no idea where they are right now!

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Not being able to find the embellishments that I'd intended to use on this page didn't stop me, though! I sifted through my stash and found more pieces from Elle's Studio, October Afternoon's new Girl Talk line, and even some older Dear Lizzy and Amy Tangerine bits to fill in the spaces. I'm not entirely happy with the results, but I was scrapping on a deadline and decided to just push through and get it done.

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There's a prize up for grabs in this hop, and if you leave a comment at each blog along the way you'll be entered to win the sketch bundle of your choice from the Scrapbook Generation store. The winner will be drawn on Monday, March 10th.

Lori is next up on the hop, and if you want to see the entire list of links in one place, you'll find that on the Scrapbook Generation blog.