Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Here Comes the Sunshine!

You may have noticed that I wasn't up on Monday with my usual Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge post... well, that's because I have a little tutorial up my sleeve!
I am playing with paper piecing and glitter - so fun! Be sure to head on over and check it out.

And don't forget to play along with our Sunshiney challenge and to link-up with us.

Remember... One lucky winner is chosen at random each week to win a $50 shopping spree from

Can't wait to see what you all make!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Roundup and Recap - July 2013

Hello, hello! As July comes to an end, I figure it's time for a little R and R. And by that, I mean... 
That's right! Welcome to a new, end-of-month, newsletter style post here at The Mailbox.

This is the time and place where I will share what has caught my eye around the web, things I am loving, what I hope to try soon, and more...

Let's jump right in, shall we? (wondering where the usual Monday Simon post is? Not to worry! The DT is up with all of their fabulous inspiration and I will be back with a fun tutorial on Wednesday!)

I try to find time every single day to get creative. Sometimes it is only on the computer, or the iPhone. Other times it amounts to several hours of inky, fun play. Here is a little glimpse into my creative life this past month:
  • If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I have been enjoying my time in both Hello Story with Ali Edwards and Technique Toolbox with Claudine Hellmuth, both at Big Picture Classes. 
Originally, I was only going to take one of these classes as I was trying to be kind to my pocket book and I wanted to get the most out of whatever class I chose and not be overwhelmed. Well, thanks to some lovely birthday gifts, I was able to sign-up for both! And, I just have to say that they are the perfect combination for me. 

Ali's class is going deep into the journaling side of things. I love to journal on my layouts, but I was starting to feel like I needed to get to the next level and focus on scrapping more meaningful moments. Hello Story is NO disappointment! In addition to creative inspiration, Ali is providing many thought provoking journaling prompts. As in: "I have to think about this for a few days before I am ready to scrap it." LOVE THAT! 

As for Claudine's class, well - I do love a good technique and we get a new one every single day. I am trying each technique on a smaller scale and incorporating bits and pieces into my layouts for Hello Story. So fun! What makes it even more fun is that my oldest daughter took an interest in all the painty, inky play and is working along side me and learning all of the techniques as well.

Here are a few of the layouts I have completed thus far:

In addition to the above, here's what else I have been up to:
  • I am in love with the Pic.Tap.Go App! I filter just about every photo through this little app before posting or printing. It makes such a difference! Thanks for the tip on that one, May!
  • Speaking of Apps... I am sure you have heard of the new one, Rhonna? Well, it is AWESOME! It's kinda like a miniature digital scrapbooking app. It can seriously suck me in for a ridiculous amount of time :)
  • When I am not sucked into my fun new Apps, I have been trucking away on my Document Summer and still enjoying that process.
  • Over at A Flair For Buttons, we just finished our fourth posting in the No More Floating Flair Mini Series. I am having so much fun with that!
  • I spent lots of time online this past month viewing all of the lovely new CHA goodies and pinning my must-haves to my "Want It, Need It, Have to Have It" Pinterest Board.
  • My favorite technique right now seems to be adding little touches of watercolor here and there, in addition to using my stamps more.
  • And, I have even started to play around with shooting some videos of my process!

There is always so much fabulous inspiration all over the blogosphere and such! I try my best to peruse my favorites on a regular basis and here are a couple of things I found most notable this month:
  • I am always inspired when I see something I have never seen before. That is often the case when I visit Chantal's Blog over at Girls Just Wanna Scrapbook and this layout was certainly NO exception. The composition, combined with all of those photos, lovely layering, and stitched flowers are all just fabulous!
I am in LOVE with those stitched flowers!
  • We are half-way to Christmas and CHA has me planning and plotting all things December Daily. Ruth Bonser put together a fun Christmas In July Blog Hop full of gorgeous and practical inspiration for getting last year's Christmas projects finished up so that you can be ready for this year:

Ah yes, the brain is always rattling around with things...
  • Wanting to scrap, and laying out in my head, a page containing some of my old business cards... inspired by Hello Story, of course!
  • Pulling supplies and printing photos for a mini book that I have on my mind
  • Pondering the idea of personal style and the fine line of everything looking the same
  • Staring at and over-thinking a painting I have been working on for a ridiculous amount of time
  • Wanting to start using more fabric in my projects
  • Thinking about how it will take time getting used to the sound of my own voice on video :)
  • Milling around some fun design team assignments and thinking that my stamps and punches are going to be getting a major workout
August is rapidly approaching and I have some fun things up my sleeve:

Can't wait to see what all of you will be up to in August!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Planning The Art Journal

Planners. Organizers. Calendars. Love Them! 

I used to carry around a very detailed Filo-Fax. Man, I loved that thing. I highlighted, scribbled, crossed out. That was back in the day when I had a desk job, pre kids, pre digital, pre- life as I now know it.

In the past, I have bought pre-made planners, converted pre-printed elements into my own books, and made my own from scratch. Once, I even bought one from a girl on Ebay that was comprised solely of duck-tape. Then came digital... as in: fancy phones full of apps. It took me a while to join that party, but once I did I thought how wonderful it would be to use the digital way of organizing my life. 

I downloaded countless apps. Note taking apps, calendar apps, list-making apps, mind-mapping apps...In theory, that is fabulous! But the messy, artsy, post-it note using, doodling, list making girl in me could not work with this digital way.

Soooo... then I went by the very (not) effective way of messy notes scratched on various pieces of paper around the house. Not so good. And seeing as we homeschool, it's kinda important for me to have some sort of a system that works for me. Not only for my sanity, but as a form of record keeping. 

Last year I was oh so excited when SMASH came out with their large books. I thought: "Oh goody! A scrappy way to keep all of my stuff!"
But my goodness, those things are ginormous!!! When opened all the way up, I hardy had room for anything else on my table. See how I even bought two? I thought I was so smart.... thinking... Oh my, this is so perfect, what if they stop making them? I must have one for back up. HA!
I stumbled through the year attempting to make that work for me, but knowing that I would need something different for this upcoming school year.

Then I saw this video by Paperclipping that shows Dyan Reavely using her art journal. Amazing! I knew I had to have that journal, even though I had no idea what I would do with it. I just can't seem to get into "art journaling" for whatever reason (more on that in another post, perhaps)... however, I just wanted that book!

I promptly ordered it and then it sat on my desk for a ridiculous amount of time. A.VERY.LONG.TIME.
 Then it dawned on me! What if I made this into my 2013-2014 planner?
 Worth a shot anyway! So, I just misted and played...
 And blotted off excess...
 Until my pages were full of messy goodness...
And then I just blocked out areas in Gesso for writing. This area is in the beginning of the book and will serve as a place to write out our yearly goals:
 Every few pages, I created something like this...
 That I then made into the monthly calendars:
I didn't "finish" any one page and the idea is that I will mess, and stamp, and play as I go along through the year. This book is even large enough to tuck in a letter sized sheet of paper. Not to mention the pocket that is included on the inside cover. Perfect for my homeschool sanity and planning needs!
YAY! I can't wait to fill up this book and to see how this approach works for me.

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

No More Floating Flair....

It's time for our fourth installment of the #NoMoreFloatingFlair series over at A Flair For Buttons!

Can you guess what we are looking at this time?

Head on over to see if you guessed right...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy to Celebrate

Nearly three years ago Simon Says Stamp put out the call for a design team for an all new challenge blog, and now here we are, still issuing weekly challenges and sharing creativity with our wonderful community! To celebrate, let’s have a birthday inspired challenge! From balloons to cake, parties in general to birthdays in particular – the theme is one of celebration. Please do join us!

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog even has three new members on our design team starting this week, so it really is quite the party! I think you’re going to love what the team has dreamed up for you this week.

For my project, I decided to revamp an old family tradition. For as long as I can remember, my mother has hung a simple "Happy Birthday" banner in the kitchen whenever we were celebrating a birthday. Until recently, she was using the very same banner she paid $3 for at the party store many, many years ago. She upgraded her banner, and passed down the old one to me. We have continued to use it, but now it's time to upgrade mine!

To get started, I simply cut some cupcakes out of a sheet of Crate's Party Day paper, covered them in rock candy and now we are ready to add even more sparkle...
While those dry, let's get started with our banner base. After cutting some pennant shapes out of white cardstock, just use a background stamp, along with some white acrylic paint to stamp on a resist - one of my favorite techniques, for sure!
 With the paint dry, time to play with some watercolors...
 A rainbow of fun!
 Now for some paper! American Crafts Mayberry 6x6 paper, to be exact:
 A quick run through the Sizzix....
  And with a scrap of gold misted white paper at the ready... let's make some fringe!
Ah yes!!! Look how cute! Fringe placed behind our die cut patterned paper, a simple white paint smudge, and a glittery cupcake! That is the making of a super fun banner right there! 
Putting that Sizzix to work again with some Grungeboard cut letters:
 All embossed, they add the perfect  contrasting touch...
For my happy little celebration banner...
 Suitable for any occasion worth celebrating...
What will you celebrate with us this week? I can't wait to see your interpretation of this week's challenge! Remember... link-up with us.

One lucky winner is chosen at random each week to win a $50 shopping spree from

And, as always, if you would like to try something like the above, a complete supply list is below: (affiliate links used)

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