Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tool Talk - Distressing

I don't have any Workspace Wednesday Hints this week, but as I've been slowly cleaning and organizing in my craft room, its lots of fun to find some of those forgotten items (both tools and supplies) that were past favorites.   And sometimes those old favorites work with new goodies to provide inspiration for the perfect layout.  This is a big advantage over a big purge with help from my daughter - she's great about pushing me to purge and keeping me focused,  but she doesn't give me the time to appreciate finds and put them to work.

So last week I came across my Creative Memories distressing tool.  It is really just a blade in a handle with notches that makes it easy to pull along a sheet of paper for fun distressed edges.

 As soon as I saw it, I knew all those pretty papers in the Studio Calico Savannah scrapbook kits just demanded to be used on a pretty "shabby chic" layout.  So I pulled a bunch of papers and scraps and cut rough squares and rectangles in a  variety of sizes.  I ran each piece through the distressing tool on all 4 sides.  I wanted to run an ink pad along the distressed edges for added dimension.  But the charcoal I started with appeared to dark in many instances - so I used gold to accent the distressed edges.

 The papers were really pretty but I wanted to add more details and layers.  I had added two sheets of stickers from the Basic Gray Dear Heart collection to my box and they were perfect for this.  I used the distressing tool and ink on the stickers too - but the gray seemed to work better this time.  I added the stickers between the layers and in a cluster at the bottom of the photo. 

The title is from the Pinkfresh Studios Happy Thing collection and is another goodie I rediscovered recently - I still have a couple of words left there to use up.  (I have determined that the reason my supplies appear to be so out of control is that I never finish anything - so I am trying to finish at least one partial pack of something every week this year.  I don't figure I will do it every week, but I do think I will finish some things if I work on it.)

 I finished the layout with a couple of distressed pieces of paper at the top of the page and added a small embellishment cluster.  The pink rubber banner was from the November Studio Calico kit and the color was perfect for this Thanksgiving layout. 

And the distressing tool - it is now in the tool caddy on my desk - I wouldn't want it to get lost again. 

Hope  you're having a great week. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016


On Monday the member challenge was posted at Studio Calico.  The challenge was to make a layout about a significant relationship in your life.  I knew I wanted to do a layout about my relationship with my husband - we celebrated our 25th anniversary in November.  And over he years he has made me crazy, supported me, helped me, put up with my crafting even when he doesn't understand it, and most importantly, never stopped loving me.

But we take most of the pictures in our family and I will be darned if I could find a recent picture of us together.  Then I remembered a picture I took of our feet when we were on a rare weekend trip alone to celebrate our anniversary.  And it was really perfect - even though it was from a weekend celebration, it captured the everyday support for each other that marriage means. 

I used the current sketch at My Creative Sketches to inspire my layout design.  I liked the chance to use lots of layers and fun patterned papers - I was trying to capture "that loving feeling" without going over the top romantic.

I started with papers from my February Citrus Twist Kits for my project - then added some green and the black and white stripes. 

The embellishments all came from the Citrus Twist kits and I love that there are so many textures in the choices this month.  The cork stars with the gold glitter are to die for and rub ons are always one of my favorites.  And I am a total sucker for rubber pieces so these Maggie Holmes tags and banners made my day.

The alpha this month was the biggest surprise in the kit.  It is from the new Crate Paper baby line and it wasn't even on my "maybe" shopping list.  But I seriously love it - the puffy alpha and the subtle gray lines are awesome - and the best thing - the letters are in two sizes which creates so many options.  I used the small size here.

I can't believe the weekend is almost over - I'm off to finish laundry.  Hope you found time to scrap this weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Making it My Own

Paper Issues has a scraplift challenge every Sunday.  I don't always complete the challenges, but I never forget to look - it is always eye candy!  This week's layout was by "Orange Gearle" and I loved it!

I loved the basic design, the bold colors, all the mixed media work and all the fun details.  But it was way outside my comfort zone.  "Messy" scares me a little and I have to be in the mood to experiment - otherwise I am just too afraid of ruining a project (totally dumb since I am playing with paper, but still scary).  And I rarely use such bold color combinations - I am generally drawn to soft colors in my own projects.

But the basic design stuck with me - and I had an idea that was definitely inspired by the design in the inspiration piece.

See - totally in my own way.  Everything was from my February Studio Calico box (except the shipping tags).  I layered the tags and photo, slid the heart paper underneath after inking the torn edge to add a bit more dimension and slid the woodgrain paper under the gold hearts to help make them pop.  Then I stitched through the tags using a paper piercer and gold thread.

Essentially I replaced the mixed media work with layers of paper.  But I was inspired to dig out one of my all time favorite stamps and do some repetitive stamping using pink and gray ink on the shipping tags.  I created a couple of embellishment clusters (the top one includes the title) to finish my basic design.  The last thing I added were paper strips at the top and bottom of the page to anchor the layout.

Easy -peasy.......And I captured the basic elements of the inspiration layout while adapting it to my own style.  And honestly, it would have gone together in about 30 minutes if I hadn't added the stitching.  I am just a slow sewer. 

Hope your week is going well.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Playing With Color

Every month a member at Studio Calico hosts the Layout a Week Challenges.  The challenges are generally applicable to traditional layouts, project life and card-making.  Its always fun to see what people come up with, but this month the first challenge might be one of my favorites ever.

Carson Riutta (also a member of the SC Creative Team) is hosting the February LOAW challenges and her first challenge was so much fun.

The challenge was to mix at least 10 inks and then blindly choose three.  Use just those three colors (plus neutrals) to make a project - layout, project life spread or card.  I love mixing colors and patterns but this challenge made me really nervous.  And I'll admit it - I was prepared to cheat and pick over if I really hated the colors that I ended up with.

I took all of my color theory ink pads (except the black, greys and creme brulee) and laid them o0ut randomly at my desk.  Then I had my husband mix them up.  I held a sheet of  stickers in front of my face and picked three at random.  Here's what I ended up with.....

That's right - purple rain, lime light, and glass slipper.  I happen to really like all of those colors, but I never would have thought about using them together in one project.  My daughter took one look and told me I really lucked out.

I decided to make a spring card for my project.  So I left the ink pads on my desk and when through my small scraps looking for papers in that fit my color story.  And I found a great card sketch at Paper Issues.

Here's what I ended up with.

I used a metal die to cut the word happy out of a piece of scrap paper and used some puffy stickers from Evalicious for the sentiment.  The tag pulls out and provides a great opportunity to add a "secret message" when I am ready to give the card away.  And those purple jewels were left from the Lemon Lush collection Studio Calico issued about a million years ago.  (Yes I am still hoarding papers and embellishments from that collection.)

This was a great way to experiment with different color collections.  Play along - and if you are a member at Studio Calico, don't forget to link to the challenge thread - a gift certificate goes to a random winner every month.  And link me up too - I will come give you some love.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Workspace Wednesday - The Washi Wall

Washi tape is so much fun - and it must be one of the best values in scrapbooking.  It is inexpensive and comes in an infinite variety of colors, patterns and widths.  And let's be honest - how often do you finish a roll of washi?

But it's easy to get overwhelmed by washi - for a while it seemed like every kit I purchased included a roll of washi tape.  And I kept seeing new rolls - and they were only a few dollars which made for a perfect impulse purchase. I tried keeping it in a basket, but I would forget what I had and it rarely got used.  As I've said before, I like my stash organized by color and I use what I see.  So that stash kept growing.

Then I talked my husband into hanging a giant pegboard in my craft room.  It is amazing, versatile storage and provided the perfect solution for washi tape storage.  I devoted one end of the peg board to washi tape - I call it the "Washi Wall."  I bought several dowels and my husband cut them into 12 inch lengths for me.  I used hooks on the peg board and fit 12 dowels down the side of the peg board.

I sorted my washi into a loose ROYGBIV order and started putting it on the dowels.  Neutrals are at the bottom of the wall.

Embarassingly, I had more washi tape than I had room for.  So I purged a lot - and I limit myself to the space on the Washi Wall.  If I get a new roll of washi tape and it doesn't fit, another roll has to go.  For the most part, this has put a stop to my washi buying habit - I have to really love it to buy it.  And because my stash is visible, I have a good sense of the colors and patterns in my stash - often I already have something similar to the roll that is tempting me.

And I actually have finished a couple of rolls recently - which made room for some new rolls - or to bring a roll back in from my purge box.  And means I am using more than I am buying - at least when it comes to washi.  (You have to count the small victories, right?)

So this is my solution - and one my favorite things about it is the versatility.  If washi becomes a smaller part of my stash - I haven't invested much in storage solutions and its easy to repurpose the space to store my new favorite supply.  But I'd love to hear what you do with your washi...

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Scrappin' My Snow Day Away

Yay!  It's a snow day - alright, I could have gotten to work but instead my husband and I chose to rain on our (teen-age) daughter's parade and join her in a snow day.  Because yesterday was a holiday for me this creates a 4 day weekend and I am having a ball in my scrap room - which brings us to this bonus blog post today. 

A new sketch went up at Stuck?! yesterday and I used it as inspiration for a layout this morning.  And I knew I would forget to link to the Stuck?! blog if I didn't go ahead and post today.  Anyway here is the sketch.

 I loved all the fun layers and couldn't wait to play. And I have to say that I really love my layout. 

Most of the papers came from the SC Savannah kits but I dug in my stash for some greens.  that matched the green dots in the polka dot paper framing the layout.  The title (actually gold but winter light stinks) was from the scrapbook add-on.  It is another one of those things I didn't think I'd use, but it was perfect for this.

I combined this sketch with the LOAW challenge Carson Riutta posted yesterday - finish something on your project.  I finished a pack of white rubber stars and those Pinkfresh wood/enamel chevrons were all by themselves in a package.  So I finished two things.

And finally, a quick tip - That polka dot paper was the perfect frame for my layout, but I kind of love it and it's a kit exclusive.  It was going to be hard to get more and I hated the idea of wasting the whole sheet to create the border around my layout.  So I cut the middle out - I have most of the sheet for another project or projects.

I'm going to go start another project - I have another layout idea and extra time to play.  I hope you are having as much fun as I am today.  Have a great Tuesday!

Not So Pink After All

As I've been playing with my Savannah kits and extras, the papers (or sides of papers) that were not pink started to stand out to me.  So I thought it would be fun to try and make a layout that featured those papers for a really different look from the kit.

Here's what I came up with.

Everything on this layout but the label and the red flag behind the photo came in my Savannah box.  The bright green paper and the jewel tone dots on the My Mind's Eye paper in the paper add-on really changed the feel.  The black and gold paper is a card from the Documenter kit and also helped to create a more masculine tone.

And that big rubber "Yep" that I used for the title - I have to admit thinking I was never going to use it.  But it was perfect for this layout.  And that is my favorite thing about getting kits - finding out that the things I never would have bought are so much fun to play with. 

I'm really loving the Savannah kits and can't wait to play some more.  I'll be back soon to share what I come up with. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pink for Fall Photos

I got my February kits from Studio Calico last week.  They are really beautiful -- and really pink.  Now I like pink and use a lot of pink in my projects.  But these kits might be the pinkiest kits I ever have seen.

Since I don't take many (read not any) Valentine pictures, these kits are a bit of a challenge for me.  But they are really lovely, so I decided to see what photos I could use that would be a bit of surprise with the pink papers and girly patterns.  I started with a fall photo from a trip to the apple orchard.  My daughteri s wearing a bright red sweatshirt, but it worked well with some of the pink papers.

design inspired by sketch at Citrus Twist kits
The papers I used are a mix from the scrapbook add on and the main kit.  I fell in love with the chipboard in the scrapbook add-on (from Crate Paper Hello Love).  And the pops of yellow helped to balance all the pink.

I'm off to embrace the pink - hope you're finding some time to craft.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday Morning Inspiration

I try to schedule some crafty time every weekend - and the more the better.  Most Saturdays I start my weekend by checking out my favorite sites for inspiration.  I let the things I see "sit" in my head while I do some chores and errands.  Then when I have some time, ideas are ready. 

Yesterday I found two of my favorite starting points in my browsing.  It was Sketchy Saturday at Paper Issues......

and 3 to Inspire at Citrus Twist Kits.  The 3 to inspire prompts were using frames, ink splatters and repetitive stamping.  And my first layout of the weekend was inspired by both of those starting points.

I really loved the sketch at Paper Issues and it inspired by design. I used one 4x6 photo and a cluster of frames in place of the three photos.  Otherwise I stayed pretty close to the sketch.  And I love the way the Crate Paper Hello Love papers work perfectly for Christmas.

The 3 to Inspire prompts definitely led me in the direction of the frames.  The pink and gold frame is from the Hello Chipboard and the others are from my stash I backed them with neutral papers to create layers and dimension.  Then I added a large acrylic phrase from Color Cast Designs to the cluster of frames.

I added some other acrylic pieces from the Pinkfresh Christmas collection and we were good to go.

Hope you're having a crafty weekend too.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentines Day Stash Busting

I don't make cards very often - but once in a while I really get in the mood.  Last Sunday I made this Valentine for a Super Bowl challenge at Paper Issues.  (Well to be honest, I made a Valentine, got up the next day, didn't like it and added some more bits and pieces - this is the end result).  The ombre fabric tag from Pinkfresh Happy Things was perfect and added lots of texture.  And lets be honest - the gold glitter thickers from Maggie Holmes that said "be true" are beautiful but were probably never going to end up on a layout.  So a Valentine was the perfect solution.

When I was done, I'd been bitten by the bug - so most of my crafty time this week was spent digging through scraps and embellishments for bits to use to make Valentines.  The papers all came from my "small scrap basket."  I didn't open anything new, but I didn't finish anything either - so we are going to call the process a stash busting draw.

The mint green paper that serves as the base is from the Open Road Collection by Crate Paper.  The stickers I layered were mostly "vintage" Crate Paper too.

The next one mixes pieces and parts from lots of old supplies - the pink and white papers were in Studio Calico kits, the stickers and die cuts were Maggie Holmes and that black paper - its from an old October Afternoon Halloween collection.

This one mixes scraps from Pink Paislee and Crate paper with stickers and die cuts from Crate Paper.  The globe with the sentiment is from the Crate Paper Wonder collection and the "adorbs" die cut is from Hello Love.  And the tiny gold puffy hearts - those are from the Pink Paislee Memorandum collection.

And last but not least - my favorite.I love the stickers with a vintage feel from Crate Paper combined with more modern papers from Studio Calico kits.  And adding the blue paper at an angle created an unexpected element.  The gold glitter hearts are from Sevenpaper.

Now if only I had remembered to mail these cards to some of the special people in my life.  I guess I will save them for next year. 

Have a Happy Valentine's Day. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Workspace Wednesday - Scraps

I'm a bit of a paper addict and have the hardest time throwing away even a small piece of paper I love.  So sorting, storing and using scraps is a constant challenge in my scrap room.   But I have finally developed a system that works for me,

Most of my scraps are sorted by color or pattern and stored in hanging files.

The hanging files go in this pretty wood file box on the shelf by my desk - in ROYGBIV order of course - patterned paper categories are in the back and vellum/transparencies are in the front.  I like to have papers sticking out the top  (so long as it doesn't get totally out of control) because it helps me remember to use them. 

 I usually try to look here first when I am working on a layout and decide that I need to add a particular color or pattern.  This works really well for larger scraps but small pieces tend to drop to the bottom of the folders and get forgotten.

So I bought a pretty ceramic berry basket at Marshall's to sit on my desk and hold small scraps.  These pieces are great for layering.  It often saves cutting and rummaging through the papers sometimes means I add a color or pattern that would never have occurred to me if I hadn't seen it.

 I don't have any rules about how small is to small or when a scrap goes into the folders instead of the baskets (except that it has to fit in the basket.)  When I am trying to decide whether to keep a scrap I consider size, how much I like the paper, how I think it will work for layering, and if I have larger scraps or even another full sheet.  If I love it and can't get more, it is quite possible that no piece is too small to keep. 

And of course the real trick to keeping scraps under control is to go through them regularly.  I find that I need to go through the berry basket every 2-3 months and the folders once or twice a year.  And I don't think too hard about whether to keep a scrap when I am purging.  I try to go with my first instinct.  And if I don't throw away as many as I hoped, it just means I will need to purge again sooner rather than later.  I cleaned out the berry basket Sunday - so now it looks like this. 

Are your a scrap hoarder or a scrap tosser?  Do you have any tricks for keeping scraps under control?

Share your tips - and thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Using Scraps

No secret - I love patterned paper - and I hate to throw even small pieces away.  They are great for making cards, for layering and for my occasional foray into pocket pages. And sometimes its fun to challenge myself to pull a layout together from just scraps - other than the layout base, no cutting into new papers allowed.

The first sketch of the month at Stuck?! was perfect for a "scrap only" layout.  It used several papers and showed three photos.  Since I rarely use three photos on a layout, some of those photos provided opportunities for adding more scraps.

I started with the paper scraps I had left from my January Citrus Twist kits.  Then I went to my scrap baskets to find some other papers to add - using the heart paper as a guide, I chose a piece of red and a piece of navy left from other projects.  From there it was just a matter of using the sketch as a a guide and pushing the scraps around until I layered them in a way that appealed to me.

Because there is so much going on with all the patterned papers, I needed to keep the embellishments pretty simple.And you can never go wrong with hearts and arrows, right?

Do you through your scraps away or hoard them?  How do you store them?  I'm planning a Workplace Wednesday post that focuses on storing scraps but I'd love to hear your ideas.  You know organizing supplies is almost as much fun as using them.

Have a great Superbowl Sunday!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


 I almost never scrap by manufacturer, line or collection.  I use kits to pull together my supplies a lot of the time, but generally purchase kits that mix lines.  So I generally don't participate in the challenges at Paper Issues that focus on single collections of lines.  But I gave the SevenPaper challenge in February a try.

SevenPaper is/was a product line from Studio Calico.  They were issuing collections starting with different letters of the alphabet and got as far as G.  But the line is ending their with the split between American Crafts and Studio Calico.  I am really bummed because I loved all of their collections - the collections were all right up my alley and I was already trying to guess what the next collection (H) was going to be called ....... 

I think maybe this layout could be considered my sad goodbye to SevenPaper......

Most of the products come from the Elliot line.  But the green paper is from Felix, the Christmas line.  And the alphas are from Amelia - the very first SevenPaper line.  The phrase stickers were 4 inches wide and I really struggled with them - then I realized that they didn't have to stay that long.  I tore the excess off both sides of the words and treated them like washi - then they were perfect. 

Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Workspace Wednesday - Big Alphas

One of my favorite trends in scrapbooking right now are those over-sized chipboard alphas.  They are so much fun and have such an impact on a layout. 

I found room for the first couple in the back of the drawer holding mini alphabets.  But as my collection grew, I needed to find a place to put them.  And I knew I wanted to keep them somewhere where they were visible and easy to use - remember this year I want to use my stash.

I had a pile of Avery Elle Stamp and Die Storage Pouches sitting in a drawer (left over from a stamp de-stash).

When I tried it out, an alphabet fit perfectly in one of the pouches.  That solved one problem - it was easy to use and see the alphas if they were stored in these clear pouches.

But I still needed to keep those pouches somewhere - so I went shopping.  And I found a pretty wire basket with copper accents at Target - it sits on a shelf and holds the pouches carefully.  I can see the alphas and remember to use them. 

It's working great so far.  I am using the alphas and they are staying neat and organized.  And I have a use for all those Avery Elle Pouches sitting in a drawer. 

What's your current organization challenge or best solution - I am really working on organizing my supplies better as a way to use them more.  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Different Look

One of the best indicators of a great kit is the ability to create layouts with different moods from the same set of supplies (at least in my opinion).  The first two layouts I shared from the January Citrus Twist kits were bright and fun.  The third layout I made with just supplies from my January box has a totally different feel.

My daughter took a selfie of us together at dinner a couple of weeks ago.  I love that we are close and that she likes to post pictures of us together on her social media accounts.  And those pictures are some of my favorite to scrap. 

We were both wearing shades of black and gray and the photo was pretty neutral - I was afraid all those bright colors would overwhelm the picture.  But I found lots of papers in blues and greys in the kit.  They kept the focus on the photo and the story. 

It's hard to believe these products came from the same set of supplies that I used to create the last couple of layouts I shared.  But I love that the kits gave me the option of bright and fun or soft and pretty. 

What do you think makes a great kit?  I'm currently subscribing to both Citrus Twist and Studio Calico and have to admit to loving them both.  But this year is supposed to be one where I use more than I buy in my scraproom.  So I keep trying to choose (so far with no decision made.)  I'd love your thoughts.

In the meantime, I will just keep getting both and splitting the month.  And at least I am (mostly) not shopping outside my monthly boxes from SC and Citrus Twist. 

Hope you're having a great week.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Off The Edge

Every once in a while, it sems like my layouts all start to look alike.  And lately, it seems like I've made lots of layouts with pretty papers layered under a photo right in the middle of the page.  I like those layouts, but I don't want all my projects to look alike. 

So, for my second layout with my January Citrus Twist kits, I really challenged myself to try to create a layout that was true to my style, but a little different too.  It turned out to be easier than I thought it would be - and I love the finished product.

I started by choosing some patterned papers that I thought worked well together - I initially pulled the heart vellum, the yellow paper from SevenPaper, the Pink polka dot paper from Maggie Holmes and the sheet of paper with different patterned pieces to cut apart from SevenPaper.  I added the floral and text papers later.

I decided to move my layers to one side as an initial break from the photo in the middle of the page.  I cut a wide piece of vellum to go from top to bottom on the page to anchor my photo block on the edge of the page.  Then I started to build the layers.  Angling the pink polka dot paper off the edge was another attempt to take my usual layers and make them just a little bit different. 

I actually added the paper and the photo on top of it and attached it to my layout before I trimmed the pink paper.  Then I turned the layout over and cut the pink paper along the edge of the cardstock base.  That's when the happy accident happened.  I didn't realize the photo also overlapped the edge of the cardstock (maybe it was the cold medicine) but that turned out to be my favorite feature of the design.  Running the photo off the side of the layout created a really different look.

I angled pink paper on the opposite side of the layout, and placed my title to finish the basic design.  I added some puffy "x's" to link the different components together, and then stitched some other "x's" to finish embellishing. 

Am I the only one who feels like they get in a scrappy rut where everything starts to look alike? What are your tricks for breaking the mold on your projects?  I'd love to hear.

I hope your Monday starts out great - thanks for stopping by.