Friday, May 30, 2014

Pause in 2014 {June}

Here's a quick recap of my May goals before I move on to what's in store for June's project with my word for 2014. I did apply to Scrap & Play, a new challenge blog, to be part of their design team, but wasn't selected. Since I only want to apply to teams I feel I could be a good fit, it's limiting, but I'm sure there will be more to try out for and I definitely don't feel bad for not being selected. These were the layouts I submitted, the one on the left was made for their first challenge.

The hubs and I had my parents over for dinner and I gave a go at making my own pasta. I have to say that while I'm glad I tried it, it most certainly was not worth the trouble. The baked chicken parmesan and salad were quite tasty, and we topped it all off with a strawberry galette. I didn't have a chance to make French macarons, but it's still on my list.

I've taken the hubs' camera out a couple of times now and I feel like I've learned more about being a better photographer. The hubs helped me with understanding more technical aspects and with his camera, I worked on composition and finding good light. I'm still not sure what type of camera I'd like to move to, if at all, but this has been an eye opener for sure.

Now onto June! I'll be picking one day to photograph our day as it happens. I've never focused on an entire day of ours and think it could be fun to do this yearly or so to see how or if it changes. We are creatures of habit, right?

I'm thinking maybe a photograph each hour from 8am to 8pm. I'll sort out the details later, but one thing is certain, I'll be using an alarm to remind me throughout the day to snap my photo. I'll create a fun layout with the pictures and share it once it's done. Hope you have a great weekend, and be sure to come back on Monday, I have a BIG announcement that you're not gonna wanna miss! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tiptoe Through the Garden Pt. 2

Last week I shared the first two layouts from a recent visit that the hubs and I made to a botanical garden and here are the other two. For these, I used sketches from the Sketchbook by Kelly Purkey class at Studio Calico. Not knowing anything about these classes, I can see why the response was so great when this new one was announced. Along with the twelve sketches she provides, there are interpretations by other creative folks and their projects each inspires a new sketch. So at the end, you wind up with 72 sketches and the examples not just for scrapbooking, but for cards and Project Life as well.

I think paper crafting is the only time I will use the color red. Any other time I shy away from it, especially with clothes. For this layout, I really liked how the red paper complemented my photos, but just to be certain it didn't distract, I used vellum for my strips and matted my primary photo.

I'm am in no way a girly girl, but I really wound up loving this Maggie Holmes collection, and this little bird paper is a favorite. I struggled with embellishing the two areas and actually wound up changing it twice after I thought it was done. In the end I removed a couple of elements because it was causing the entire page to be a little chaotic.

I still have quite a few projects on my to-do list, but with the weather being so nice, I'm having a hard time focusing. I'm not stressing in the least though, it's all about balance, right? :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tiptoe Through the Garden Pt. 1

Taking on my daily photo challenge has certainly opened my eyes to everyday beauty, and I can honestly say I've never noticed spring like I did this year. Visiting botanical gardens had already become a happy place for me, but now I take away much more from our visits. With so much in bloom, I of course took plenty of photos and decided that I'd make several layouts, not minding that it was all about one afternoon.

The first layout was made with a sketch from Studio Calico, and I can't believe I hadn't tried a large circle element before. I love the way it looks and you'll be seeing another from me in the near future! I traced my circle from a dinner plate and then hand cranked my sewing machine around and around. The embellishments are labels I printed on vellum, a journaling card I'd made previously, along with some of the vellum die cuts, stamping, and Thickers.

With my enjoyment of working with sketches, it was a no brainer for me to take the latest Sketchbook class at SC. This is only the second class I've ever taken, and while the class lessons are mine forever, it's motivated me to carve out some time to get these pages done.

This is actually similar to a page design I've used before, because it works well for when you have both, landscape and portrait photos. I'll be back after the holiday with the other two pages that complete this lovely afternoon. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

PL & CY365 {April 2014}

My April Project Life and daily photo pages feel sparse to me in many ways, but they are definitely full of color. It was one of those months where my focus was more on big events that I'll be scrapbooking and not so much on items for pockets. Couple that with an embellishment kit I wasn't crazy about this month and bold, bright PL cards, and I had a recipe for keeping my pages less embellished and making sure there was plenty of white space.

I really loved many of this month's PL cards, but some of the colors were quite rich for April, a time when so much around here was budding and blooming. For my PL pages, I incorporated a handmade card as well as a few from the Coral kit. I also added text on a couple of photos in Photoshop Elements before I printed them and found the perfect use for the overlay that came with my PL kit.

Since my album contains these pages with full 12"x12" layouts in between each month, I have to make sure I use both sides of the pocket pages. I usually use a page and a half for PL, and then another page and a half for my daily photos. When I only use one page for PL, I'll use one 6"x12" page and one 12"x12" page and that keeps everything even.
I added Kraft core kit cards to my April PL kit and then cut most of them in half. I used grid cards from my stash in order to provide breathing room. I used a couple of flair badges, a little bit of washi tape, and some stamps to provide the finishing touches.

Just like in March, I strayed from the daily prompts at times, finding it freeing and rejuvenating to step off the beaten path every now and again.

Whether you want to improve your photography, notice more in the world around you, or have extra pictures to add to your Project Life pages, I strongly suggest taking on a daily photo challenge, even if just for a month!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Love These Girls

One of the last challenges that I participated in for NSD was the #NSDrockstar challenge posted by Studio Calico. The gauntlet was thrown to incorporate all six of their challenges into one layout. Since I've been short on time for scrapbooking lately, this was a fun way to play along, and with so much criteria needing to be met, I didn't have to make very many decisions.

There was a color scheme of pink, aqua, navy, and gold to use and one of three sketches to choose from. You needed to use a new stamp, as well as making a pattern paper using stamps. You also needed to use washi tape in three different ways, and use scraps from any projects from challenges you completed.

I wound up with quite a different layout than what I would have normally created, but not only did I enjoy the challenge, I used quite a few supplies in new ways. I'm hoping to get some more layouts created this weekend and hope you have a wonderful weekend, crafting or otherwise!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Paint Splatter Printables

While I like the softness of pastels, and enjoy clean lines and simplicity, sometimes you just need to shake things up. I've created a bold set of day of the week printables and no matter what type of paper crafting you do, I hope you'll enjoy using these!

As always, they are free for personal use, and I'd love to see what you've done with any printables you've downloaded from me, so please link me up! You can download these cards HERE via Google Drive (no login needed) and my past sets can be found HERE.

I have a couple other sets in the works, but please let me know if there is something in particular you'd like to see!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Visiting the Greenbrier

I had a nice stack of photos and supplies on my desk in anticipation of the challenges that were going to be announced for National Scrapbooking Day. I scrap chronologically, so began with the photos from a day trip we had taken in March. I chose the scraplift challenge at Two Peas in a Bucket for this layout and since it was hosted by Mel Blackburn, I went through her gallery and found this fab layout HERE.

There were so many components to her layout that I use, but she assembled her page and elements in new to me ways and so I was definitely inspired. On top of the Studio Calico {Lemon Lush} paper I layered various My Mind's Eye 6"x6" papers and one Project Life card. I used a couple of die cuts from Crate Paper and washi tape, brads, and enamel dots from My Mind's Eye. It's definitely a different style of layout, but I'm really happy with how it came together.

I already had this pocket page done from when I did my March PL and CY365 pages, but wanted to share it now that the coordinating pages are done. More Studio Calico {Lemon Lush} supplies as well as a few different stamp sets and a couple PL cards.

This last page is based off of a sketch from a brand new challenge blog called Scrap & Play and I'm excited to have found it. It's organized by Tammi Bennett who founded My Scraps & More, and per the blog, there will be 2 challenges a month, complete with prizes. yay!

I kept this layout relatively simple, but like the added touches of wound thread, mist droplets, and bits of washi tape. The papers are from Dear Lizzy collections and an older Studio Calico scrapbook kit and the die cuts are from Crate Paper {Oh Darling}.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Greetings

I hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend and had a chance to participate in some of the festivities for National Scrapbook Day if that was on the agenda. I was pretty productive considering the weather was gorgeous and the hubs and I wanted to enjoy that as well. I had almost forgotten that I needed to make cards for my dad's birthday and for Mother's Day, so that was first on my list.

For my Mother's Day card, I cut the patterns from 2 Project Life cards in my April Studio Calico kit and then used washi tape to adhere them together. From there it was just a matter of stamping my sentiment and punching out a couple of shapes. I felt it needed a little more stamping so added the little row of hearts at the top and put an enamel dot on the butterfly to finish it off.

I only had a few Project Life cards left from my March kit and this one was a favorite. Turning it into a birthday card for my dad wound up being the perfect way to showcase it. I used watercolors for the stamped sentiment as well on the wood veneer pieces. I had forgotten that I wanted to sprinkle some mist droplets before adhering everything and went ahead and did it after the fact. You can see that I didn't do a good job of covering up everything and got some on the yellow star. oops!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pause in 2014 {May}

For this month's focus on my word for 2014, I thought it would be a good challenge to pause and try new things. While I don't make New Year's resolutions, keep a bucket list, or have 40 things to try before I'm 40, I do like the sense of accomplishment when I push myself out of my comfort zone.

I've been experimenting with making my own embellished 3"x4" cards for paper crafting projects and that's my first set pictured above. I'm also trying something new with a set of printable cards that I'll be sharing soon.

I'm going to try again with sending submissions for publication and a design team or two. It can be a little disheartening not to be selected, but with the huge amount of very talented people, I know it's nothing to take personally. Maybe this one will help me be selected. ;)

I've really been meaning to give a go at making homemade pasta and even if it's just noodles and not filled pasta, that's fine by me. There isn't much that I haven't tried baking so I'd like to try my hand at French macaroons. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!

Lastly, I told the hubs that I'd like a new camera for Christmas if I make it through 365 days of daily photos. (I'm over halfway there!) In the meantime I want to learn how to use his camera to see if that might be a direction I'd like to go. To be honest, I'm a little intimidated by the thought of it.

So that's how I'll be focusing on my word this month. If you've selected a word, has it been factoring into your day to day?