Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Is In the Air...

Yes it is! Hooray! In honor of my favorite season, I thought we could take a trip back in time and look at some of my favorite fall projects...

Something about the cool fall air always has me itching to make home decor. Well, that and I have found it hard to find fall decor that doesn't go Halloweeny. So...

I just make my own!

Like this wreath created for Gauche Alchemy that is currently hanging on my door:

Or then there is this beach ball turned pumpkin...

And, there is also this leafy banner that I will hang on my mantle as Thanksgiving gets closer...

Of course, I also love scrapbooking some fall goodness...

Like this mini book....

And this page that also has a video that goes with it, created for A Flair For Buttons...

Ah yes... it is my favorite time of year!
Happy Fall!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Some Resist For the Win!

Hello, hello! It's Monday and that means we have a new challenge waiting for you at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog

Of course, it wouldn’t be STAMPtember without techniques – so show us what you’ve got!


As for me, I decided to show you one of my favorite techniques and use it on one of my favorite things to make.

Let's get started...

The first thing we need for this technique are some stamps. Any stamps will do, but I have chosen this fun little Tim Holtz Blueprint set...
 Then, simply stamp with Versamark and sprinkle with white embossing powder...
 Then, cut them out in a free-form, hand done circle...
Once those are heat set, just set them aside. We will get back to those. But for now, we need to work on creating some interesting layers. 

Here I have gathered some lovely patterns and some vellum that has been stitched in some free-form circles, leaving a small opening...
Now, fill those fun circles with anything you please! I have chosen multi-colored sequins. But, you could also do rhinestones, wood vaneers, glitter, or confetti. Just have fun!
 Then, just stitch them closed and trim out. Love that!
Now, continue on using your patterned papers and cut out more free-form circles. Here, I have cut out some tissue paper in that way...
 And now we layer! I love this part...
OK! Have you guessed what we are making yet?

With your layers at the ready, cut the rest of your patterns into random strips. Then, punch out some basic white circles...
Then, layer those up... and staple the bunch together. The white circle that you punched out is going to act as your "base."
YES! We are making prize ribbons. I just love making these!

So... now that we have our circle layers and our strips, we just need to finish these off... assembly line style...
Now, what about those heat embossed blueprint images? They are going to be our resist for a beautifully custom finishing touch. Simply take some watercolor and paint up your embossed images. The embossing will resist the watercolor perfectly and create such a lovely and subtle effect. Choose colors to match the patterns you have used... for me.... pink and grey!
 With all of those layers adhered, a few sequins, and a lovely resist...
There we have it! How fun (and easy) are these?!?!

Now, what's with the free-form circles? I just like the randomness and wonkiness of that. However, if that sends you into a twitch, feel free to take a more streamlined approach of punches or die cuts :)
What might you do with these fabulous things? Put them on a card, a layout, or a package! Such a fun way to embellish anything.
So, there you have it... one of my favorite techniques, put to use while making one of my favorite things to craft up!

So... now it's your turn!

Go get your craft on and link-up with us! Every week a random winner is chosen to win a $50 spending spree from SimonSaysStamp.com.



How awesome is that?


Here is my supply list :)


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Me... A Work in Progress

Hello there and happy Friday!

A couple of months ago, I was thinking I needed a little project or class, or some sort of "assignment" to propel my scrapping and give me a little motivation...

Well, as luck would have it... I found just the thing over at Studio Calico and signed up for the month long class with Maggie Holmes, 30 days of Me.

Then... the next day, I got a lovely email from May Flaum inviting me to work with her on her new class! HA! Well, talk about something to propel and motivate me. In fact, you can read more about my contribution here

Turns out I didn't really need a class after all. 

But, I am happy to report that I have been able to take advantage of the prompts and content provided in this awesome class and am working away on a little mini, all about little ole me...
I was lucky enough to sign up in time to receive the kit for this class and it is so full of loveliness!
Maggie's prompts really are perfect for jotting down things I wouldn't normally think to document about myself...
 I must admit, I felt a bit uncomfortable at first focusing so much on myself...
 But, seeing a gallery of projects where people are doing the same thing certainly helps...
 It really is fun to document the seemingly mundane...
 ...because in future years it will no longer seem so mundane...
I am incorporating plenty of versions of this gorgeous stamp designed by Kim Stewart. I purchased it in the Yeats Poet Society add-on. This class included lovely cut files from Kim, but since I don't do electronic die cuts, I am putting this stamp to use and it is perfection!
Oh... and lots of selfies. 

A word about selfies...
They make me feel old. Back in Art College, some 15+ years ago, there was no such thing. In fact, no one had their own phone. We had a pay phone in the common area. There was no Facebook or Instagram. Many people still didn't even have email.

As a photography student, we were often given assignments to do self portraits. Not selfies, self portraits. If we didn't go to the trouble to set up a tripod, we were holding our 35 mm cameras at arm's length, manually adjusting the f-stop and shutter speed, and hoping for the best. We would take many, many exposures... sometimes a whole roll of film or more. Yes, film. Digital photography had yet to reach the consumer marketplace. With said roll of film, we would head to the chemical-laden darkroom and hope that we got something worthy of the class critique.

Self portraits. Not selfies.
I feel old....
Nonetheless, I find it so interesting how phone cameras, more specifically forward facing phone cameras, have really changed the landscape of photography and have given us so many more options as to how we can document... especially when it comes to ourselves.
Likewise, the instantaneous nature of phone photography and the ability to print at home make projects like this all the more possible... especially when including random shots like my "mom bag."
 And it never hurts to document favorite colors...
 Yes, I am still learning. I hope to always be learning...
 And this class is helping me get all of those random thoughts and facts down...
...so that my girls can one day read about and learn from them too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rethinking the Brain...

Hiya!

Before we get to our post at hand... a little housekeeping business...

The winner of the Supplies on Hand class pass is Stephanie K! YAY! Stephanie, you should be receiving and email from May soon. See you in class!

OK - now for the post at hand...

You might remember The Brain?

Yes, The Brain is what I affectionately call my planner/calendar/homeschooling binder. I make a new one each year and with each year comes new and different approaches.

Well, here we are, it's only September and I am already rethinking what I just created a couple of months ago. So, what was wrong with what I had?

Well... other than the cover, pretty much everything. 

I love my cover. 

But, the insides were completely non-functional for my needs. For starters, the notebook rings caused the pages to stick while turning. I turn the pages a lot. That got very annoying. In fact, it was so annoying that I found myself avoiding page turning in general. And, well... that is not helpful at all.

Plus, the insides that I bought, while lovely, did not work for me. Why? The weeks started with Monday. Totally my fault for not noticing that until I bought it. My week starts on Sunday in my head, so I really need that reflected on paper.

Thus began a ridiculously long evening of googling, pinteresting, and overall interweb perusal. Ah - but it did not end without progress! I found the most fabulous blogger who creates her own planner pages. Most of them are even free! Huzzah!

I downloaded a bunch, and then I pondered. Here is what I came up with...

I really like the idea of a super cute scrappy planner (those seem to be all the rage these days), but the reality is that I am not going to sit down and scrap in my planner daily, weekly, or even monthly. I want to make it cute once, then use it as a calendar for the rest of the year. 

I need to see the whole month all the time. It really drives me batty flipping back and forth between the week spread and the month. In fact, in my old planner, I was writing things down in the month view and forgetting to add them to the week view. I even missed a couple of appointments due to this. Planner Fail.

I really don't need an entire double page 8 1/2 by 11 spread for one whole week. It's overkill. Most of my lists are on scratch papers, in my head, on my phone... all over the place really.

That being said, I still want my planner to be letter sized as I use it for my homeschool record keeping and want to be able to insert things printed off the computer without resizing or folding.

Soooooo.... here is what I decided to do. I printed out some of the aforementioned freebies, the ones that are a month on the top left with room to write below, and one that is a simple note paper. Then, I set about making a "template" view.

Here we have the left side. This is general and will work for most every month. I drew a week layout under the month, then using washi I decorated and added things that happen each and every week. I also took the liberty to add in some embellishments and mist splatters.
I then set up a "template" of sorts to be used on the right of this...
The plan? Scan these in and print on cardstock to use each and every month. No more writing in the same activities and meal plans week after week. I will simply operate off of one spread all month. The left with get the basic appointments written in the month view while the right will house all of my notes and scribbles. When it starts to fill up, I will begin the sticky note layering. 

I can't tell you how excited I am about this new approach!

But, one question still remained... the notebook?
What am I going to put all of these in? Well.... another internet search and I came across the Arc System at Staples, otherwise known as "Disc Binding." The pages turn smoothly, and can be taken in and out. Hot diggidy! SO exciting. And, as luck would have it, my Staples has several of these on clearance. So, armed with my Arc system, including custom punch, and my new pages... 

I worked up my new Brain!

Now, what about the cover that I love so much from my old Brain? I just cut if off and used my snazzy new Arc Punch to get it on my new Disc-Bound planner...
Yep, there are some extra holes there... I messed up the first time. But, it worked out and now I am just calling that extra texture!

I also used some scrap paper to add tabs for each month...
I just love how each spread is already cute and now I just need to jot my notes in...
I've been using this system for a week now and so far so good!

Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you soon...
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