Friday, January 31, 2014

Roundup and Recap - January 2014

Hello, hello! January is coming to an end... so, I believe it's time for a little R and R. And by that, I mean...

That's right! Welcome to the 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?

I achieved a long-time goal and opened up a little Etsy Shop! The support has been wonderful and I can't thank you all enough! 

I also had the pleasure of sharing a video over at If you missed it, be sure to check it out!

CHA. Need I say more? I have a Pinterest board where I pin my MUST haves and it has been filling up quickly lately. I know, you have all seen your fair share of the new goodies yet to come, but I thought I might highlight the things I am most intrigued and excited about. And perhaps some things I am not too sure about either :)

SO, first up....

Let's take a look at the collections I will buy. And when I say "will buy," I ALL. OF. IT!

This is actually a rare thing for me. In years past, I have always cherry picked from a lot of different collections. And, I will still do that. But, I have learned that there are certain designers and companies that just work for me. I have also learned that even if I am unsure about a particular piece in their collection, I will still buy it as I trust their work and want to try things and step out of my comfort zone.

Case in point....

It is completely gorgeous! I am totally SOLD. Except... 

I am not one to gravitate toward the "cutesy" little girl images. But there is just something about this Dear Lizzy one that intrigues me. She is sweet. I think I like her. I am willing to give her a try:
One of the things I am most excited about with this collection? This die set...
I love all the pieces in it, but those hearts are sheer perfection! They have the most perfect hand-drawn appeal to them and can be nested. I love a good heart and my favorite kind... asymmetrical, can be hard to find. I will be scooping these up ASAP!

Another one that makes me swoon? 
Every single patterned paper in this collection makes me happy. I will buy them all!  I love the soft florals combined with vintage tones. And those prize banners? YES!

What element of this collection has me unsure?
The photo overlays. Crate releases this with most of their collections and I'll be honest... I just don't get it. If I am going to alter my photo, I am typically going to do it in-camera. However, it occurred to me recently that these are essentially small transparencies. I love a good transparency. So, I think I may give these a try.
Oh, and this die set with the little make-your-own ribbon action?
Completely FABULOUS! In fact, the other day I tried my hand at free-cutting a little bow. It worked. I had a bow. But, it was not the same. I NEED this die!

Alrighty... so what collection has me completely sold that I will buy every single piece, no questions asked?

Our Travels by Webster's Pages:

This collection has it all, in my humble opinion...
Soft tones, super fun photo realism, gorgeous and versatile embellishments. I could go on and on. And you know what, I rarely travel. But, I find the prints versatile enough to use in my everyday scrapping. And the globes? Too adorable NOT to get. I will find a use for them. Or, they might come in handy during Homeschool :)

Now, what will be cherry-picked? Let's have a look:
Studio Calico Essentials. The hearts. I NEED the hearts! (Except the brown. Brown and I don't usually mix well.)
These lovely soft floral Thickers from Pebbles. Photo courtesy of Scrappy Jedi. I like that the floral is neutral enough that these could work with many different schemes and prints.
These gorgeous rub-ons from the Studio Calico Lemon Lush Collection:
I like several of the papers in this collection as well and will most likely get a few, but these rub-ons are so very pretty, yes? They are a MUST.

Now, I really could go on and on with little bits that I will pick up here and there, but those are the "I gotta buy them as soon as I see them in the store, or I might implode" products :)

And, I have been doing so much stash-busting lately that I am ready to BUY!

Well, I do have baby on the brain a lot as I am officially at the 8 month mark with baby number 4. And, the side effect of that is lots of scrapping and napping as I anticipate a different sort of schedule coming my way very soon.

  • I have been shooting lots of video and am pondering a new series on trends.
  • I am still contemplating a series on personal style but really haven't had a clear vision of the direction or approach to take on that yet. Any ideas?
  • Oh yeah - and die cuts. Lots of fun new dies are going to be hitting my desk soon and I have lots of ideas that will keep the Sizzix busy for a while.

I have lots of fun new tutorials and videos as well as some new items soon to come in the Etsy Shop

Oh, and as soon as I get my hands on those lovely goodies mentioned above, I will be sharing how I put them to use!
See you soon!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Washi, Watercolor, and Wonderful Flair... With a Video!

Hello, hello! Do you ever find yourself obsessed with a new technique? As in... I love this so much, I can't stop doing it...

Well, that has happened to me lately and I have put together a little video so you can see too!
I promise you... I managed to get my big 'ole belly out of the shot before the camera started rollin'!

So... head on over to the A Flair For Buttons Blog to take a look-see.

See you soon!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cowboy Finest...

Happy Monday! We have a new challenge for you up on the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge blog. This week, we are all about Cowboys. 

Will you use Tim Holtz western stamps? Do something cowboy inspired? Maybe do something with a setting sun, or about saying goodbye? Maybe you’ll be inspired by old western movies, the desert, cactus, or just colors that remind you of the wild west. Or, perhaps you will take inspiration from a favorite country song?

For this challenge, I headed straight for the old family albums as I knew there were a couple of black and white picts of my dad in cowboy apparel as a young boy. As luck would have it, I found this great picture of him and his brother. After asking Dad for more information and the background behind this fun photo, I just knew I had to scrap it...

Here you can see some Maggie Holmes goodness, along with said photo...
I know I want to do some mixed media in the background, but first... I am just playing with the composition of things here:
And here...
I like that title that I cut using my Tim Holtz Die, but can't seem to get satisfied with the page layout. There is something a bit too controlled and predictable about this:
Still futzing...
OK! I felt like all those bits were distracting me, so I set them all aside and just plunged into some mixed media fun with white paint, the title, and some stars.
Once that dried, I got back to the futzing...
...and it really came together quickly! Turns out I just needed a fresh perspective. One thing that really helped was eliminating several of those tags and cutting down the pieces of patterned paper into smaller strips. Sometimes less is more, ya know?

Here I have all my little bits where I want them and am just brushing around some gelatos for added texture and interest...
A few stars stamped around, some washi, and some wood veneers... And then, I simply added my journaling!
The words are quoted directly from the text message my father sent to me regarding this photo. It describes how he attended the local town fair with his family and that it was a huge treat for them to dress up in their "Cowboy Finest..."
There was a professional photographer there, but my Grandmother and Grandfather could not afford the price he charged. The man was quite nice and allowed my Grandmother to borrow his backdrop while she photographed my father and his brother using her dime store Brownie Camera. She thanked him later that week by baking him an apple pie.

Now if that isn't a scrap-worthy story, I don't know what is!

Alrighty! Now, its your turn... go get crafty and link-up with us!

Every week a random winner is chosen to win a $50 spending spree from

How awesome is that?

Here is my supply list :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Last of the Letter Stickers...

If you are a regular reader here, you have probably figured out by now that I have been on a stash busting mission. Using the term "stash busting" is probably a bit of a stretch as I don't tend to keep a whole lot of stash on hand anyway. However, I do not want a bunch of mostly, yet not completely, used supplies laying around when all of the new CHA goodies that I plan to purchase start hitting the doorstep.

Recently, I did some cards that put quite a dent in my letter stash. But, as you can see from the picture below... I have a long way to go. Now, I could certainly play the word game and make the most of these stickers. But, quite frankly... I don't feel like it. All of these sheets are picked over to the point that only random letters are left and no words could possibly be spelled. I have been flipping through this stack of stickers for a year or more. I am over it. They need to go...
 Some of them will get one last hoorah on a page background, covered in paint...
 And watercolor...
The rest? In the trash! Sometimes you just have to do that, ya know?

(ETA:  After several comments, let me just assure you all... the sheets that went into the trash, were not in any way "donate-able." I promise :) Trust me, if they had any shred of life left in them, my kiddos would have gladly put them to use or I certainly would have donated them. These, I assure you - were much more trash worthy as there really is only so much you can do with a z and a w, yes?)

Okie dokie! 

Let's make a layout! An intro page to my 2014 album to be exact. There is a nice bit of serendipity using the old to make something for the new, yes? 

Here you can see I have worked up a little packet of scraps and now I am playing with ribbon. 

A word about ribbon....

I really like it. I tend to buy it, or take it as a hand-me-down. But, I rarely use it. For some reason, it makes my pages look a little more froo-froo than I like...

This time seems to be no exception and I am struggling with that here:
I finally settled on straight up and down curly cues. I am not sure, but let's forge ahead with some more scraps and such...
 Coming together...
 I do like the soft colors, the texture of the letters and the depth of the layering...
But those ribbons... hmmmmmm....
Somehow they make this page look a bit less like "me." Ahhh - but that's ok. It's fun to try new things. And, I do like it, but it is strange to look at a page that contains a large element that you don't usually include... 
Here's to trying new things in 2014 :)

See you soon!
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