Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Story of Something Glittery

I forced myself out of my creative funk with the help of two things...

1. Some fabulous new product.
This set of miniature Mister Huey's and the new alpha stamps called 'Kit' (named after April and Greg's newest baby!!) came in my last Studio Calico order and I've been waiting for something to come along to bust these out on. 

2. A scrappy challenge from Jot Magazine
There's nothing that inspires me like a good challenge, which might say something about my personality, but I prefer to just think I need a goal to work towards. Jot's challenge to include "something stripey, something bold, something glittery, something gold" was definitely something I could get on board with. And here's what I came up with..

Stripes? Black and white strips behind the photo. Check!
Bold? I figured I'm going to call my large title the 'bold' bit... do you think that will do?
Glittery? More subtle than I initially thought I would include, but there's glitter paper backed behind a few of those hearts.
Gold? Easy enough, I've used some gold star rubons by Jenni Bowlin scattered across my page in various locations.

And yes, those Alpha Stamps were just as fun as I imagined! These are sure to get a lot of use in my projects. I used them here with StazOn Ink so I can add the Mister Huey's as a watercolour - painting them roughly, not making any real attempt to keep that colour within the lines, 'cos I think it looks better that way!

What I also really enjoyed about the process behind this layout was that I essentially just used a bunch of scraps from my desk and recent products lying around. I didn't search too hard for any of these things. Most of the papers are Maggie Holmes, the diecut hearts was left over from a project from long ago, and there's a good scattering of Studio Calico Printables from the August Kits as well.

And the topic of the photo was glittery, even if not much else was! My girls love their 'scrap time' just as much as I do. You've probably already noticed that! And I've got bundles of photos capturing their artwork in progress. It's good to get one down on a page.

Here's to inspiration restored, and plenty more scrapping in the future.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Story of Speed Scrapbooking

Help! I'm in a bit of a funk! It's been over a week since I last scrapped or did anything remotely creative (which is a sort of record for me). I've walked into my scraproom a few times, even pulled out photos and paper and then.... nothing happened. No spark to ignite a flurry of activity.

Don't worry, I don't think it's anything serious. I don't think it's going to lead to "I need a break", it's only a week after all. I think it was just that last month was quite busy scrap-wise that I'm just needing a little breather. I'm confident the soon-to-arrive September Studio Calico kits will get me motivated again!

One of the three tutorials I prepared last month went live on Wilna Furstenberg's blog on Friday. What an honour to be featured by her. I think Wilna is simply amazing, and I love her mixed-media arty scrapbooking style. She's such an open and generous artist - constantly sharing her techniques and teaching new tricks on her blog.

What I decided to share was a little tutorial that's been part of my scrapbooking philosophy this month and that's how to make "Speed Scrapping" work for you.

Speed Scrapping in my book is just about maximising your creative time. It doesn't mean you end up with a rushed unattractive layout at the end of it, and it doesn't mean you can't incorporate your favourite techniques and have a lot of fun along the way! I still painted, I still stencilled, I still sewed...

and I most certainly still layered!!

You can check out the full tutorial, and see the final product over here on Wilna's blog.

Meanwhile, I've got a whole day off today and I'm psyching myself up to attempt some scrapping today. Perhaps instead of a break, I need to 'force' myself in there and make something. I think I just want to do something weird and wonderful and different for me. I'll let you know what I come up with!!

Happy Scrapping.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Story of No Pockets

When I decided to buy the Handbook as my mode of Project-Lifing I did so because of it's smaller size. I figured it would be a lot easier to fill a page, and if it's easier then I'm more likely to stick with it. In a frenzy of purchasing and no specific plan in mind, I made sure I bought every configuration of filler pages available so I could have plenty of options. 

The one-pocket 6x8" pages means I can essentially make miniature layouts to fill them, and so I tried that out for the first time this week. It's going to take some getting used to, to create something that fits nicely on this scale - I mean, I don't mind the giant rose, but perhaps it's a bit too overwhelming on the page?!

On the left hand side of the spread I've used a combination of the Penny Arcade PL kit, and the Printable Journal Cards from this month's Sandlot kit. Bright and cheery aren't they? And you know I have such a thing for deers!

I'm a little bit head-over-heels for the Color Theory Inks and Refills lately. I've never really considered Refills to be an essential part of my stash before, I thought they were just for filling up dry Ink Pads. But there's so many different techniques you can use them for! Today, over on the Shimelle blog (yes, can you believe it?!!!) I'm sharing my techniques for creating an ombre title and some background stamping - all using the Ink Refills. I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think.

Happy Scrapping,


Sunday, August 3, 2014

30 Days of Me

The next class offering from Studio Calico is called "30 Days of Me" and is taught by Maggie Holmes. In all honesty I've never taken a class by Maggie before, but everyone who has always raves about it! I think she has such a lovely colourful feminine aesthetic and her pages are always inspiring, so I'm sure her class is going to be as well.

The idea of this class is to include more of yourself in your memory-keeping and to include more you-moments in an entire album dedicated to yourself! It's something we often forget, or in fact, it's something we often purposefully avoid isn't it?! Personally, I think it's a great idea as far as leaving a legacy is concerned, and I'm sure it's something that our children will thank us for doing in years to come.

I know what some of you are thinking! You're thinking your daily life is hardly worth documenting, that your routine is mundane and is just a constant revolution of sleep, work, cook, put kids to bed, start the cycle again sort of deal. I've thought that before in the past too. As a full time doctor I'm often out of the house working for 16hours of the day, then I come home and sleep! Not much to talk about there! But guess what? I'm one of the contributors and I'll be bringing that very perspective to the class prompts and I hope to show you that there is plenty of scope of topics to document :-)

But if you're still uncomfortable with the idea of a whole album about yourself then I've also heard some members on the board talk about how they're going to use the prompts and apply it to someone else in the family and make an album dedicated to them. That's a really good idea too!

Like most Studio Calico Classes, it comes with it's fair share of included goodies. For a limited time, there's a bonus class kit that ships free wherever you live! Then there's the Printables, Cutting Files and Digital Stamps designed by some of our SC favourites like Shanna Noel and Kim Stewart.

Here's Maggie's video sharing a bit of closer look into all those products, and a sneak into her album. She's going to be using a Handbook, and so am I. I'm not sure what the other contributors will be using, but you're welcome to substitute anything that suits you of course.


And if you're shopping for supplies, don't forget that for this week only you can get 10% off all class products when you sign up (that includes the Handbooks).

Class will be enrolling until the 31st August and the first lesson will be posted on 1st September. Let me know if you're signing up, 'cos I'd love to see some friendly faces in the classroom!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Sandlot Reveal ETA: Unpacking Video

How would I describe the August Kits from Studio Calico? Well they're full of bright pastel colours (is that an oxymoron?!), funky graphic patterns and have a very playful theme to them. Take the Main Kit 'Sandlot' for example....

Talk about fun! I for one am embracing that small splash of purple, that rainbow paper, and those awesome acetate alphas (yep... then I threw in an alliteration as well!). Here's my Main Kit only layout for the month. It's a 2-pager! Yay!

Sometimes I find that I want to go really quite simple with my style. It never lasts of course. Usually after one layout I've got that out of my system and then want to go back to my normal layered and embellished pages. But here I took up the challenge of keeping it clean and graphic.

The title page was created by printing out one of the journal cards in giant form to fit the whole 8.5x11" page, and then I cut out the word 'light' with my craft knife so I could back it with a pop of colour. I used Clean Slate Ink to stamp the 'Be Happy' and arrow which help jazz it up a notch too.

Add On 1: Hercules

So it turned out that Hercules became my favourite Add On this month. I never would have guessed that to be honest. I really don't consider myself a floral kind of girl, and I've always struggled with the bold black and white prints. But then I did this layout and my world just got turned upside down...

The reason I tried this combination of prints? I was pushed out of my regular scrapping zone by attempting to lift this fabulous layout by the amazing Marivi. Most of the Creative Team have taken up the challenge of choosing one of our community member's layouts to lift, and if you haven't seen Marivi's work before then I suggest you check it out because she has such a whimsical but structured style. I was immediately drawn to her "Remember" layout because of it's lengthy journaling, and in an attempt to pick similarly designed papers I ended up with this composition here.

And can I be completely honest? I actually really really love this layout! It's definitely my favourite for the month. Thanks Marivi for letting me lift you!

After that, I wanted to add those roses to every other layout, but stuck with just this one. I didn't want all my pages to look same-same, no matter how fabulous those roses are! So this one is my hybrid attempt for the month, and again I kept it a little more simple in it's design. Which is what I seem to revert to every time I do hybrid. I don't think I've quite got the hang of it yet, because I struggle with knowing what the overall design of the page will be when I'm doing the digital side of it. And obviously once it's printed out it's essentially unchangeable and I just work around it.

I don't really mind though, 'cos I know the simple look can still be quite striking. Perhaps even more so. And I love the focus on the photo whilst then adding some textured elements on top. My title for this layout was once again made using one of the Printable Journal Cards. I opened it up in Photoshop and then erased the rectangle outline so I was just left with the words.

Add On 2: Jet

This kit is absolutely jam-packed with goodies, and has been designed as a mini-album kit. Marcy Penner is using it for her upcoming Mini Album Workshop. But if you're not a mini-album kind of person then don't automatically overlook this one. I've ended up using bits and pieces of this on 3 of my layouts and I've got soooo much left over!

For starters, I used lots of the 4x4" papers all layered up across my page for this layout, which was mainly because I couldn't bear to cut into that gold star vellum and I wanted to make a real feature of it. It kinda suited my theme of birthday parties even thought there's nothing specifically 'birthday-y' about any of these ingredients. But maybe lots of numbers and lots of stars are birthday-y?

Add On 3: Smalls

I'm really finding that each month the embellishment-only kits have been filled with some really fun supplies and this month is no exception. I'm really bummed my kit shipped before SC headquarters could get a lot of these things arrived in the warehouse. But obviously if you guys buy this kit you'll get everything pictured!

My last layout uses the papers from Hercules, the chipboard frames, alphas and star paperclips are from Jet, and in fact it's really just the gold sequins that are from Smalls! But I did use those acetate stars up on my "Turning 7" layout above. On this layout however my main focus was on creating a bit of an interesting background and then keeping the colours of the design minimal.... just teal, orange and grey. It was a good challenge, even if I wasn't really happy with the outcome. Embrace the journey though I say!

You can check out more details about my layouts in my Studio Calico gallery here. Happy reveal day!!

ETA: We didn't get a chance to pop up the Kit Unpacking video before the reveal, but here it is now in all it's normal colour-blind, colloquialism-loving Trophy-Husband and cute-kids glory!!


Sandlot Supplies:


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