Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In Midair {Start to Finish}

I was looking at the April mood board challenge by Life.Paper.Scrapbook. that was recently posted, and immediately I was inspired by the colors and the images of the pencils, triangles, and chevrons.

I had a die cut sitting on my desk and thought that the photo I chose would be a nice contrast. From there I picked a sheet from the 6"x6" Maggie Holmes {Styleboard} pad. It has the same colors as the mood board, just muted. I cut some squares of wax paper for layering, then picked out an alphabet, some wood grain sequins, two threads and two spray mists. I knew this wouldn't be a layout heavy with supplies, so stopped there.

While I select items, I'm already beginning to think about how they'll go on the page. I assembled my layers in the center of the page. Next I lined up my title, found out that I didn't have any more of the letter "t", and so changed it from In the Air to In Midair.

I knew I'd be sewing a frame around everything so instead of sprinkling the sequins, I decided to include them in the frame. I used glue dots to adhere the sequins and then hand cranked the sewing machine over them. After each set of three, I removed any glue that was stuck to the needle and continued on. My stitches got a little wonky in one corner and I usually remedy that by making multiple passes, but wanted to keep it to just one row of stitches so came to terms with my mistake and moved on.

After the sewing was done, I added some small drops of mist and then put the layers back into place. I wanted a little more dimension so found little aqua gems to add to the areas of mist droplets.

I've mentioned before that I've been using my stamps a lot more and I badly wanted to incorporate them onto this layout. I decided I'd stamp onto scrap paper and cut the images out. That way if I changed my mind about them, I didn't have to use them.

At this point the layout was done, I just needed to decide on the stamped pieces. I usually leave my projects in process to let them marinate and then I'll return with fresh eyes to make sure I like how everything has come together. In the end, I decided to keep the stamped pieces.

Sorry for the lengthy post, I think it's a good idea from time to time to evaluate my process and in doing so, I get to share it with you crafty people. :) Do you stick to the same process or does it vary?

Friday, April 25, 2014

PL & CY365 {March 2014}

My March pages came together rather quickly and I love the color scheme of this month's PL pages. The red, pink, green, and navy worked so well together and I filled in with cards from the Azure PL kit seamlessly. Since I recently shared a close look at my process HERE, that's about all the detail I'm going to go into for these pages. I didn't try anything new, or else I'd share, but if you have any questions about technique or supplies, please don't hesitate to ask!

For my CY365 pages, I thought it would be fun to take inspiration from St. Patrick's Day and create a rainbow across the pages. Since I tried to stick to a month of black and white photos, I think the effect is perfectly paired.

April has been speeding by, but I'm just thankful there was no more snow! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

About Me

Friend and fellow crafty chick, Jana, over at Scissors, Glue & Paper recently got in touch asking if I'd be up for participating in a new blog feature she's kicking off called Ten Questions on Tuesday. If you'd like to learn a little more about me, you can find out the post HERE!

I'll be back later this week to share my March pages of Project Life and photo a day. Hope you have a fab day!

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!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pause in 2014 {April}

I have a list (no surprise there) of various ways to keep focus on my word throughout the year. As I was expanding that list a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a good idea to create a layout every few months.

Before we get to that, here's a quick update on how my other projects are going. In February I introduced my little jar of stars, which is slowly filling up.

For March, I made wallpapers for my phone and computer as a reminder to unplug more often. While it wasn't a complete success, I did buy 4 paper books, removed a time-suck of a game from my phone, and didn't keel over when we left all our electronics in the car while we went on a tour.

I finished two books in March, one which was Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creativeby Austin Kleon and it was a fantastic read. I'm currently reading S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst and A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R.R. Martin and am enjoying them both.

I selected the word pause for many reasons, but one of the biggest is because the single quality that I've always struggled to improve is my patience. I used my March self-portrait from my photo a day challenge and journaled about how I may always have room for improvement, but it's equally important to remember what I've accomplished so far!

I used a paper from Studio Calico {Lemon Lush} collection for my background and then piled all the goodies on top of a piece of vellum. The layers consist of a 6x6 sheet from Studio Calico {Wanderlust}, a few cards from the Azure Project Life kit, Thickers, October Afternoon alphas, and some of my printables. I've been trying to be better about using the few scraps I keep, so made a couple of punched embellishment clusters.

How has your focus on your word been going so far?