Friday, April 18, 2014

Challenge Criteria

I've mentioned it before that I enjoy participating in challenges and always have a few that I return to time and time again. Lately the projects I've been working on haven't met any challenge criteria, so I've had to sit out and since that's no fun, I decided to do something about it. I'm playing along with the April sketch at Life.Paper.Scrapbook. and also linking up with the Stash Busters over at Two Peas in a Bucket.

Spring is in full swing in my neck of the woods and it's been a great motivator to grab my camera, go for a walk, and see what's blooming. The multi-photo sketch from LPS was perfect for some of my spring snapshots and I stayed pretty true to it. In the spirit of using up my stash, I pulled together several papers and got to layering. From bottom to top, I used Crate Paper, Echo Park, American Crafts, My Mind's Eye, and Pebbles.

The combination of papers is quite different for me, but I think with the dark brown wood grain paper, it works. I inked the edges of everything, which I hadn't done in some time, and also used some sequins. I wanted to take advantage of the heart cross stitch design, but worried if I tried to stitch it, I'd wind up tearing the paper. I instead chose to thread the design in the style of string art and did it to a couple of punched butterflies as well.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Travel Mini Album {In Full}

Last week I shared some of the techniques I used in creating my mini album and I'm back today with photos of the complete project. If you missed that post or just want to revisit it, you can find it HERE. Since there are so many pictures, I'm going to let them speak for themselves, but if you have any questions about techniques, supplies, or just want to say "hi", feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!

I'm glad I finally created a mini album that was free from page protectors, even through all the mishaps. Like what, you ask? Well, I dropped an inked stamp on a photo, got a pop dot stuck to another, and had to start one page over. Seriously though, the small page size emboldened me to try new techniques and there are definitely things I'm excited to explore further. I'm already brainstorming for my next mini. :)

Are there any products or techniques that you've shied away from trying?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Travel Mini Album {In Detail}

I have been wanting to make a mini album that is free from page protectors ever since I did my December Daily album last year. I have always admired those that I see on blogs, in galleries, and on Pinterest. The beautiful pages with elements overlapping and overhanging the pages always make me swoon, but I was certainly intimidated.

I decided that since I had a game plan, I'd step up and make my mini. There are photos that we've taken on our travels near and far that I just love, so those provided my content and theme. I've been wanting to experiment with new (to me) techniques with stamps and spray mists, so that fueled my creative side. I got 2 scrapbook kits from Studio Calico at the low, low price of $10.00 each for signing up for the Big Picture Classes National Scrapbook Day free online event, so my supplies were ready to go. Here is an in depth look at some of the techniques I tried.

My cover page, shown above, was printed on a piece of muslin bag. I did some research on the internet and found both good and bad results so just decided to go for it. I used washi tape to adhere all four sides of the fabric to a regular piece of printer paper, fed it through the manual feed of our laser printer, and held my breath. It all worked out, and I'll definitely be doing that again!

For this page, I wanted to have the appearance of the mist staining the page. I sprayed two different colors of mist onto a piece of parchment paper (next time I'll use something waterproof) and then used a wet paintbrush to add water to the mist. I spread it around in an area about the size of my page and then laid my paper on top. I did it a couple of times in different places to make sure I covered the entire background. I finished it off with spraying mist directly onto the page from a high distance.

I love the doodles and outlining that I've been seeing on projects lately. I have to say, I do not have a knack for making doodles look whimsical, but hopefully with more practice my hand won't freeze up as I scribble on the paper. For those of you that are eagle eyed, those are staples from the Tim Holtz mini attacher that I colored gold with a paint pen.

Masking isn't something that I'd tried before and figured a few letter stickers would be worth the sacrifice if it all went horribly wrong. I love the way the masking turned out, but while I was spraying my mists, I didn't realize how grey the Bronze Heidi Swapp Color Shine is, but it was too late to do anything about it.

Next week I'll share the complete album, but in the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

10-Minute Cards

It's no secret that I have plenty of Project Life cards, though thankfully I've been able to split apart the core kits I've bought. I've always used them in a variety of ways, and now I can add card making to that list. I was amazed at how quickly these cards came together because I'm not a speedy paper crafter, often needing to move the elements around, and then around some more.

For the first card, I used cards from the Azure kit and a sheet from a Studio Calico 4"x6" paper pad. The scrap from the yellow card provided enough paper to punch a couple of butterflies, and then I wrapped and wound some thread for texture. I have sticker sheets that I struggle to use, but found they provided the perfect way to add a sentiment.

The second card was made with the Coral kit and a sheet from another SC 4"x6" paper pad. The simple embellishments are made up of a Freckled Fawn metal heart and washi tape, mist, and thread.

Simple, colorful greetings to hopefully brighten up someone's day!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Super Simple Sides

I'm a baker at heart, but with cooking I am much less adventurous because I don't find it nearly as enjoyable. I'm a huge fan of food that is simple to make, yet still tastes good and so wanted to share a few vegetable side dishes that have been at our table time and time again.

Making these sugar snap peas has got to be one of the easiest dishes and the addition of the crushed red pepper flakes gives them just a little oomph. We love having them alongside comfort food dinners, like meat and potatoes.

I've only recently begun making potatoes this way, but it has become a go-to side dish. I made fish tacos for dinner and these roasted potatoes worked really well with keeping our dinner light, yet satisfying. (Different varieties of potatoes may be more starchy than others, so I recommend rinsing them and then patting dry with a paper towel once sliced.)

I grew up with cauliflower, but fell out of the habit of eating it for some unknown reason. I'm so glad that the hubs likes it as well and we've been having cauliflower mash regularly. Don't let the fact that you have to clean, chop, cook, and puree put you off of this tasty dish, it is definitely worth it!

If you give these recipes a try, I'd love to hear about it!