Saturday, June 28, 2014

American Crafts June Blog Assignment

Did anyone see all of the inspiration happening on the American Crafts blog this past week? I have so much fun checking in there briefly each day to see what my fellow design team members make. We were all asked to create something using circles and this is what I came up with...

This is easily in my top 3 favorite layouts that I've designed for American Crafts during my term. There was something special about the ease in which it came together after I picked out the sweet photo… sometimes projects are just like that… everything clicks, and before you know it the page is complete. 

I still feel so incredibly lucky to be on the team. It's been a blast receiving these assignments and having leeway to make whatever I want within the theme. It's been fun to push myself. Here's the card I made with circles in mind…

Friday, June 27, 2014

Me Series: June

Hey everybody! Today is my birthday! I have a lot of thoughts I'd like to share on this and a funky layout (and possibly even a song) but I didn't make the time to take photos and prep the post this week, so I'll share later.. :) Instead I thought it would be a good time to show you the June page I made for my Me Series. It's a wild one, hang on to your scrappy britches….

Evareaux watercolored on white cardstock and I just knew I had to incorporate it into a page somehow… then I just kinda threw on the rest… sort of turned out like a scrappy tornado… but I also kinda like it that way.

If you'd like to read about this series and why I'm doing it you can check out my other posts and projects….

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Black and White and Cute All Over

What's black and white and cute all over? This baby boy in his fake little baby tux shirt. Oh man, I'm a sucker for cute boy attire. Had to doll the photo up with this black and white/beige layout. 

It occurs to me as I look at this now that I was way better at taking little mini photo shoots of the kids when Dez was a wee babe. Every month being a milestone was a great excuse to pull out the real camera for some snapshots. Hmm I want to be better about doing this again.. 

Also, did you hear about Two Peas in a Bucket closing down?! So sad. First Scrapbooks Etc, then Creating Keepsakes, then Northridge Publishing, Archivers, now Two Peas. It seems even the biggest retailers are struggling. Totally bums me out. :/

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Three cheers for the internet!… After 4 days with no information super highway I'm baaaack! We had a strange/awesome weekend over here… I'll tell ya all about it when I have some time. After a spontaneous overnight trip, today is all about getting back to work and figuring out what the summer looks like for us. But I wanted to pop in today to share a favorite layout since it's been so long since I blogged. So here ya go!…

These photos are from another overnight trip that Hottie & I took to attend his company party last year. I have to say people, quick 1-2 day trips are highly underrated. I think we need to do this more often, and I need to scrap pages of the two of us more too… which means I also need to start taking photos of us together. Why should the kids have all of the fun dominating our albums? Three cheers for more couple moments and three more for mini-vacays!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Get in On the Joke

I've been wanting to talk about this for awhile, but never got around to it… scrapping with humor. Looking around at your favorite designers and companies you'll see tons of pages with sweet photos, darling embellishments, beautiful art work even.  But in this industry there aren't a whole lot of pages that are infused with a sense of humor, or tell funny stories. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of big personalities out there… I've met Suzy Plantamura in person and she is hi-larious… and maybe you know about Elizabeth Kartchner's husband, larger than life funny-man Collin, and his character named Cleetus. If not, google it. Seriously. 

There's just something that doesn't get translated sometimes to these beautifully designed, sentimental pages in the scrapbook world as a whole. Where are the punch lines? The funny stories? The embarrassing moments? Life is full of these. I mean, my own personal life is a total joke.. ;) Why is it that we're only drawn to including the softer, more picturesque moments of life? I'm so guilty of this. I'm constantly trying my hardest to see the funny side of things, but when I sit down to scrap all this mushy stuff just pours out. Thats cool, but why not incorporate both? 

Once I did do a page to memorialize the time one of the times that Ev poo-ed all over Hottie as a baby.. which is disgusting, but also hilarious. (If I remember correctly I titled it, "...For Me To Poop On.") Her future husband should totally hear the story one day… and see the embellishments that I chose to include with the photo ;)… and then there's this one…

When I first printed the photo my thought was to do a page about how much she loves her new brother.. but in the end I decided to keep it real (although she totally does love her brother). What happened at the very moment that I snapped the pic, and why she's laughing so hard, is that he farted. One really huge, noticeable fart. She could not stop giggling and said, "I sink so he farted!!!" She was completely floored, having no idea babies were capable of such a thing. 

When I look at this page now it just makes me chuckle. It was a real moment and I'm happy I captured the whole story. So get in on the joke, people! (And not just poop and fart pages, there are so many funny things to scrap about!) This is something I want to work on too. I need to start having a mixture of pages that make me say, "awwwww," and "hahahahaha." Because that is so totally my life right now… except for maybe the eight million times a day when I also say, "AHHHHHH!" --while pulling my hair out.. But hey, maybe I'll keep those memories locked deep down inside me for the therapist to dig out later. ;)

Friday, June 13, 2014

To Be Continued

It seems like a good time to post this, since I made it with Father's Day in mind. The second I snapped this photo I knew it would be a favorite of mine. There's something about Hottie standing with these two looking off into the distance.. almost as if they are glimpsing into the future. I hope they always let him show them the way in life, walk beside him always. He is the perfect guide. 

I've been waiting to scrap the photo for quite some time because I wanted to do something special. I'm so glad I did. Cutting all of those flowers out of patterned paper and then layering them with the painted frames.. oh man, the layers are really rocking my world on this one. I folded up the edges of some of the flowers and just let the frame pieces wrinkle and bow, it adds some nice dimension to the page. Have you made a special page for the Daddy in your life?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Paper Camellia

Hey everyone, good news! I joined another design team! This one is for a scrapbook kit company called Paper Camellia.

From July-December of this year I'll be working with their Everyday Pages Kit. I'm really excited about this opportunity because it was one of my scrappy goals to work with a project life/pocket page style kit on a design team. Also, the kits Ria puts together are ga-ga-gorgeous. I can't wait to work with them. Here are the past couple of kits..

Look at all of that scrappy goodness! Yay!

Paper Camellia also offers a main Scrapbook Kit and Add-Ons. Check them out! And you can read about the other designers that have been added to the Everyday Pages team on the Paper Camellia blog. So exciting! Did I mention I'm excited!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Graduation Day

My stepson Aidan graduated yesterday. (Mind blown.) My mind isn't blown because he did it, graduated… there was never a doubt with him. He's a really smart kid and a wonderful student, school has always come easily to him… it's blown because I've known him since he was 7 years old. He's lived with us full time since he was in the 7th grade. When people ask me how many kids I have I always say four. I consider him mine, even though I'm his wicked stepmother bonus Mom. I've seen him grow and change and then there I am watching him walk across the stage to retrieve his diploma.

It's a strange thing, attending your childs' graduation. You sit there listening to the inspirational speeches, scanning the sea of caps and gown, trying to spot your child… all the while you can't help but remember back to how you felt when it was you in the oversized robe. How you felt like everything was over but just beginning at the same time… how nervous you were about the next step and what life would bring. How every single decision felt like it carried the weight of the world… and now you look back and realize that tiny piece of life is just a blip, a speck of time in the scheme of things. 

It makes me think about his future more than ever. I want so much for him in life. He is such a truly wonderful person. Smart as a whip, incredibly musically talented, confident, capable, fun to be around. He has everything going for him and I hope that he attacks life with gusto and quickly finds himself in a happy, inspired, and ambitious state of living. Aidan is so laid back and I worry some that he will lose a couple of years finding his footing in the adult world… I suppose we all do in some way or another… we all have our own path, don't we. :)

I guess what I'm saying is that I hope he figures out what wants out of life.. what his hopes for the future are, and I hope he just goes for it. I hope he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work creating the life that he wants… and I also hope he makes good choices. :) …. man, I really do sound like such a Mom!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In Stitches

Sew, I wanted to take a bit of time today to talk to you about a little stitch-uation I like to call stitching on layouts. It's something that I love doing… well, I don't love that it can be sorta challenging and intimidating because sometimes it can just go wrong, and sometimes your machine has a mind of it's own and gets hungry and just eats your paper! (just me? oh, ok.)…. but the overall look and texture of it really takes projects to the next level, I feel. It just makes them look more finished and polished to me.

Lately I've been playing around a lot with machine stitching. On this layout I wanted to use random lines around the page to add some texture and visual interest….

In fact I planned the project around stitching, instead of putting it on at the end as a finishing touch. On a page like this it's good to have a plan so that you aren't just sewing right on top of all of your wonderful layers.

A little trick I used (that is probably a total no-brainer but it never occurred to me before), is to draw really faint lines with a ruler. Then you'll have a guide for keeping things straight, instead of eyeballing and failing. 

Something I have ideas for, that I'll share when they finally make it onto paper, is using multiple colors and machine stitching. This wouldn't have necessarily been successful on the project above since there is already a LOT going on. But what about doing this same thing with various colors on a page and less embellishments? Instead of stitching being a background accent it would become the focal point of the page. Your friends will flip through your album and say, "oh! I didn't know you could sew!" And you'll say, "I didn't either."

 Here's another way I used stitching to anchor some of the patterned paper…

Stitching took this page to the next level, for sure. It lent a quilt-like look to it and enabled me to pull on the edges of the cards to add some more texture…

and on this one you can see how it was used as a finishing touch, very subtly….

So go forth, fellow scrappers, sew your scrappy little hearts out… play around with it and see what fun it is!  I've even been going back on some of my older pages and adding it here and there. --Just be careful not to do it during nap time because you might wake the baby! (Every time! Just me? Oh, ok.)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

American Crafts May Gallery Assignments

Happy June! The start of a new month means gallery highlights from the American Crafts Design Team. woot! Check them out here.

Heres the one of mine that you haven't seen yet. :)

That photo just kills me. Nakiah tells me all the time that him and Dez are going to be best friends when they grow up. I really hope so… looks like the feeling is already mutual.