Thursday, April 28, 2016

C.R.A.F.T. Challenge: Inspired by a Book

Happy Thursday!  This week, the C.R.A.F.T. Challenge blog is hosting an Inspired by a Book Challenge. I decided to step away from the cards that I have been creating for their challenges and showcase two of my layouts this week. The first layout was for Dr. Seuss' Birthday and based upon a few different activities that we did with the kids to celebrate both at school and at home. I also included elements from Dr. Seuss' books and the classic color scheme to mimic this theme.

The second layout is of my two boys at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. They were so excited to choose their own magic wands and complete the magical tasks throughout the world and this quote from the book served as a perfect title. I really pulled my color choices and style from the photos and buildings that we encountered in Diagon Alley during our trip.

I hope that you enjoy these two layouts that pulled their inspiration from books. I love this challenge and I often use books as my inspiration for layouts. I can't wait to see what you create!  Make sure to head on over to the C.R.A.F.T. Challenge blog to check out the work from the rest of the design team and to leave us a link to a project that you base upon a book. Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Revisiting 2016 Goals So Far: Real Reflection

Hey everyone! I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on my goals and what I set out trying to achieve in 2016. Here's what I started the new year with...

A New goals....and a new journey. It seems everyone sits down and pours over lists of things they want to change, experiment with, and grow into over the course of the year.  Even my six-year old decided to set some reading goals for the new year since his older brother was shooting for 100 novels.  Last year, at this same time, here I was trying to think of goals and my own personal journey ahead. Working full-time and raising three kids doesn't leave a lot of room so I have to be very strategic with my time. I love being creative although I often struggle with that little voice in one's head saying that my talent isn't strong enough. I have sat back and watched You Tube videos and blog posts with design team call after call and could never bring myself to take that step to put myself out there. Then, you run into the problem that everyone wants to see your blog or media posts sharing your work. It is a little overwhelming but yet my heart remains consistent in wanting to be a part of that creative world. I vowed to try more techniques in 2015...check. I vowed to work on my photography skills...check (although still not exactly where I want to be). So now, here we are reflecting on 2015 and goal setting for 2016. This is my time to take control. To put my work out there and hope against hope that I can inspire someone. That I can join a design team or get involved. I used to teach classes and I miss it terribly. I want to get back to a place where I have something creative that I do for me. To push me to grow. To push me to document. To push me to inspire others. we go!  The recommended blog and social sharing...The necessary steps to try and jump head-on into the creative world beyond my little scrap space! Let's make this a place to chat, learn, and grow together. I want to make new friends, grow my techniques, and just relish in the journey of discovering my creative self. Let's go 2016!

Okay...let's chat about where I am now. Well....for starters, I have a blog...yay! I have been pretty consistent with posting so I consider that a success so far and you are reading it...BONUS!

I have definitely been turning out more completed projects and pages than in previous years which makes me feel great and my kids are loving looking at everything I create! I still love both traditional layouts and project life and I am confident in the belief that I will continue to use both systems to document my life and tell my stories. point towards 2016 goals so far!

Next...You Tube...I have started filming process videos and have gone from 0 to 80 subscribers as well as having quite a few views and some comments by the crafty industry favorites. Another success? Partially maybe. I look at all these people with thousands of subscribers and wonder if I will ever get there or maybe I am just not that talented. Anytime I see one person unsubscribe, I think and wonder what I did wrong or what wasn't liked....Does the self-doubt ever go away??

I have made it onto a few design teams and been told no by a few design teams as well. I have gained a better appreciation for my own style as well as the styles of others. I've learned this is sometimes more about them and less about me. They want a specific look, technique, or recognizable name in the industry. I will get time....

I have met a TON of new virtual friends and started to get to know some of them. I feel more confident to comment and talk and share my work which is a big success in my book. I am most grateful for these two things! But still the self-doubt sneaks in. Is this really something that I can do? Can I really grow my own creative corner of the world and inspire others? The answer is yes! Both for me and for you. There is enough room in this creative world for everybody. Every unique outlook, perspective, and idea has a place, purpose, and audience.

If you are out there in the crafty world with these same goals, inspirations, and even struggles...Please leave me a comment, send me a message on Facebook, check out my You Tube Channel, email me. Please reach creative lady looking for some help reflecting on her progress and offering to support you as well...Just looking for friends who "get it" to bounce ideas off of for creative pursuits.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Use Your Stuff Challenge: Scraps

Happy Monday and welcome to a new challenge over on the Use Your Stuff Challenge Blog. This week, we have been challenged to dive into that box of scraps that we all have to create a project. Scraps are one of my favorite things to use because you can do so much with them. I hope you enjoy my layout this week and a few close up shots of the different embellishment clusters. Layered photo mats are one of my favorite design elements and scraps are perfect to use to add tiny peeks of color and detail to the various layers.

I can't wait to see what you come up with for using your scraps this week. Pull out that scrap bin and create something amazing! Be sure to visit the Use Your Stuff blog to check out the work from the other design team members and to leave us a link to check out your project using scraps. Happy Crafting!!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Process Video: Fly!

Happy Sunday! I have a new process video up on my You Tube channel for you today featuring some pictures of my son on vacation. He is my youngest and very adventurous and fearless. Of all of my kids, he is the first one to want to try something new and the most daring. He is the one that we end up in the emergency room with and the one that we love to watch soar, explore, and defy fear every day! I can't wait to see where those traits take him in life. Enjoy the video and please like and subscribe to my channel. Happy Crafting!

Traditional vs. Project Life and Why I Do Both

Lately, I have been spending the majority of my crafty time working on design team projects and creating process videos or preparing for my son's birthday party. When I stopped to reflect last night, I realized that the vast majority of these projects have all been traditional layouts. I was sitting in my craft room and pushing around a series of photos that were of my son on a recent field trip. The lighting was terrible, the photos were taken by another parent and sent to me, and editing only helped just so much (you know you have those photos!)

As I sat here unhappy with the options and ideas floating in my head, I thought about project life and how I haven't done so many of those layouts lately. Now I am not a traditional project lifer in the sense of creating weekly spreads or even monthly ones. The majority of my layouts are still theme or event based even though I do take and include a lot of everyday shots and important stories.  So, I switched up and decided to give it a shot with these photos. As I started to play around with a traditional design A format, the ideas started to flow and the embellishments worked so much better. I found myself reaching for stamps and labels and pulling out some of my favorite products. For these photos and my style and the feelings I wanted to portray in this layout, project life was the answer. The layout turned out so much better than I had hoped and I had renewed love for these types of projects too!

*The bottom card is blank for journaling because I want to have my son write the majority of the journaling for this page and then I will add a few thoughts of my own afterwards. I think that it is essential to have him involved in his memory keeping especially for those events that I don't get to attend with him.

That all made me think....I am not a scrapbooker who stays in one closed box. I like to experiment with different layouts, different styles, and even different formats. There is no reason I can't combine projects and products and make them my own. Sometimes a traditional layout works best for me and I love what I can create on those pages. But...sometimes a project life layout works even better for me and that's okay too! I mix and match and ignore the rules and I love that freedom. I hope that each of us as crafters can remember that we don't have to get stuck in a box of "our style" or "our format." I like to play and try new things and change my style sometimes and you can too!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

C.R.A.F.T. Challenge--Christmas

Happy Thursday!
  The new challenge is up at the C.R.A.F.T. Challenge blog this week and the topic is Christmas. If I am being honest, I will admit that I struggled a little bit with this one. Here in Arizona we are just starting to hit 100 degree days and moving rapidly into our very hot summer season and I just couldn't wrap my mind around Christmas products. This is the card that I created for the challenge this week and I would love to have you visit the blog and check out the projects from the rest of the design team and leave us a link to a Christmas project of your own!

For this project, I used the Heidi Swapp Christmas collection and art screen prints with the red art screen ink. After I created the image, I outlined it with black pen to help it stand out and then used some clear glue in my FineLine bottle to outline and add very fine glitter sparkles to the first word of the phrase. I finished the card with torn red, glittery washi tape around the panel on the front as well as along the closure of the envelope. Enjoy and Happy Crafting!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Use Your Stuff Challenge: Punches

Happy Monday and welcome to a new Use Your Stuff challenge. This week, the challenge involves using punches in your projects. Punches are definitely a category of tools that I have quite a few of but don't find myself using nearly enough. I am telling a story this week of my son playing laser tag at our Mother-Son Night at this school. He was being silly with his pose and so the "seriously" title was just a perfect fit!

This week, I decided to stick to my basic circle punch but dressed it up with some stitching and mixed media.  For the circles, I used the packaging technique on some watercolor paper (from the dollar store) and created a whole page of different colors. I waited until it dried and then added some black stamping with one of the new Tim Holtz stamp and stencil combination packs. Once everything was dry again, I adhered them to my background paper and stitched the vertical and horizontal lines by hand with some thread. I absolutely loved the look that this created!

After the background was complete, I used the packaging technique again on the title (Heidi Swapp) and then created a few small embellishment groups to help draw your attention around the page. The title and the small circular photos are all on dimensional adhesive to add some depth as well.

If you have any questions about how I created this look, please leave me a comment below. I hope I have inspired you to take a second look at your punches and create something new and unique. Make sure to visit the Use Your Stuff blog to check out the projects from the other design team members and to link us up to check our your punch challenge project. Happy Crafting!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Process Video: Today

I am sharing a new process video today for the layout below using Crafty Jen Schow's new cut file circles. There is a previous process video using these same cut files in a  completely different way as well. This one came together pretty quickly and I am really happy with the final result. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and visit me on YouTube to watch the video, like and subscribe if you are enjoying these videos!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Process Video: With You

Hey guys!
  I finally have a new process video up on YouTube. Between spring break adventures and the enormous amount of prep work for my son's 9th birthday party Harry Potter extravaganza this weekend, I haven't had time to create and I am missing it like crazy. From this point forward, I am going to be back on my regular schedule and creating more than ever as the ideas in my brain are bursting at the seams! Here is the layout that I featured in a process video today and I hope that you will watch, like, subscribe, and enjoy. Even more importantly, I hope it inspires you to great creative and make something amazing! Happy Crafting!!

C.R.A.F.T Challenge #359 Clean and Simple

Happy Thursday!
   This week over at the C.R.A.F.T Challenge the challenge is to create a project that is clean and simple. The challenge this week is sponsored by Sassy Studio Designs and Sami Stamps with some great prizes being offered from both companies. I decided to work on a card this week rather than a layout just for a change of pace. Here is my design team contribution for this week....

This was a quick and easy card to create that I am sure anyone would be happy to receive. I used primarily the Hello Love collection from Crate Paper and created an envelope insert to match the card as well. The hello stamp is from Dear Lizzy. In order to create this card, I just punched a few hexagons and inked the edges as well as the edges of the card with black Heidi Swapp Archival Dye Ink. I adhered those in a diagonal pattern and added that chipboard heart and stamped by title. Quick, easy, and clean.

Head on over to the C.R.A.F.T. challenge website to participate in this week's clean and simple challenge.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Use Your Stuff Challenge: Tissue Paper

Welcome to Monday and a new week! This week, I had the honor of choosing the challenge over at Use Your Stuff and I wanted to challenge everyone to use tissue paper in new and unique ways. I have seen so many different amazing patterned tissue papers in the stores lately all the way from store brands to Tim Holtz in his idea-ology line. Plus, all of those kit clubs and online stores send your goodies in beautiful tissue paper!  So, this week I challenge you to use that tissue paper to create a unique project!

Take a look at what I created to get the challenge started and then make sure you visit the Use Your Stuff blog to see what the other members of the design team created and to link us to your project so that we can check it out!

For this challenge, I used tissue paper in two different ways. First, I created the background strip with a piece of Tim Holtz ideology tissue paper that was perfect for my theme. It was also really beautiful when I stamped on it with distressed ink in the bottom left corner near the photo. The tissue paper also worked well with the texture paste I used for the "travel, adventure, journey" phrasing. I also crinkled up some plain tissue paper and used it to create the ink smears in the top left and bottom right corners below the airplane images. I did this just like you would with the packaging technique only with tissue paper on an ink pad and it created a little bit different look. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

MEG Designs: Mellifluous

Happy Friday!
   I am here today with a layout for the MEG Designs Design Team this week. This is the newest collection from MEG Designs which is called Mellifluous and it is amazing for all of those musical pages that you need to create. From playing instruments to music playlists, there is something for everyone in this collection. You do not have to be a digital scrapper to enjoy these files. I create all of my layouts in the traditional way and just print these details to enhance my photos. I encourage you to check out the MEG Designs shop over at The Digital Press.
  My son received a mini drum set for his birthday and it was the one gift that he had asked for and asked for since much before Christmas even! He had to set it up right away and was so proud of his skills. It was a joy to watch! For this layout, I used several of the papers from the Mellifluous collection as well as the elements collection including the hand scripted words of the title which are also included.  Make sure to visit The Digital Press to see the rest of the Mellifluous collection as well as what the rest of the design team created!