Saturday, October 3, 2015

Welcome October with the Stories We are Meant to Tell

Fall is a season full of change. I continue to make adjustments as I prepare for our new family adventures abroad. I am aware of my son starting a new school year and being another year older. Autumn has a way of reminding you that a season has come to an end while another is beginning.Regardless of all the change, there is one thing that remains a constant for me in my life: scrapbooking and telling my family's stories. I can document our current events, but in these moments where I am aware of so many endings and beginnings, I can take the time to reflect and find gratitude.I can find the story I am meant to tell right now.

Christy Strickler for Simple Scrapper, Scrapbook Layout about a teen
Not a Typical Teen by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock, Stickers: American Crafts;Letters: Basic Grey, American Crafts; Vellum: Studio Calico: Pocket Cards: Cocoa Daisy; Tags: Evalicious,PinkFresh Studio;7 Gypsies; Acrylic, Button: Freckled Fawn; Tape: Freckled Fawn, Amy Tangerine;Inspired by a Sketch and Story Starter from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership

Documenting my son's life when he was small was so very easy. We lived in a city which was close to many other cities. There was always something exiting to do with a young child. Moving to a quiet island lifestyle was difficult for me. It was hard to learn to slow down. At times, it seemed as though there wasn't anything new to document in our lives.Everyday felt the same. One of the biggest advantages to living in the Bahamas for us, as a family, was learning to live a simpler experience from which I am sure has influenced my sons' character. 

I often hear so many parents complain about the difficulties of living with a teenager. Yet, I don't feel any of those struggles with my son. A story starter from Simple Scrapper inspired me to document all of the little details that make up the unique characteristics of my son's current personality. In many ways, this is a page about the right now, but it also will provide a look into how my son had changed since he was small. Furthermore, it will provide me with inspiration in the future when I find myself looking back once again.

This layout was wonderful for me, not just due to the story told, but also through the ways in which I used up many of my scrapbook supplies. I started with the  pocket cards. Several of the cards had distinct phrases which had been difficult for me to incorporate into a traditional monthly project life spread. The references to the sun, moon and stars guided me to choose the celestial themed vellum as my canvas and the vellum moon as a die cut.

 I struggled with the placement of the story. Should I use a journal card or journal strips? A list seemed a practical way to get my point across but placing either the card or the strips on the layout seemed to make the page feel unbalanced. Small tags were a wonderful answer to my dilemma. Each tag houses a short phrase or a few sentences about my son.. I moved the tags around on the layout to get the spacing just so. They added balance, color and a bit of dimension leaving me with what felt like a well balanced scrapbook page.

The changes ahead in my life are definitely leading me to be a bit more introspective. It's not a bad thing at all though, especially when it comes to my memory keeping. These moments in my life help me tell more defined stories...stories that feel fulfilling, that help me feel gratitude for the people I know, my family and the wonderful opportunities that I have been blessed with.

Life gets busy and we forget to stop and be thankful for it. If you have ever complained about  not having something interesing to scrapbook about, I invite you to pause a moment and look at your life as though you were reading a book. Are you beginning a new chapter, in the middle of one, or coming to the end? None of these is a bad place to be for each one inspires you to feel a different way about the photos you are putting in your albums. That moment in which you find yourself right now...that's the story you should be journaling about. It is the story you were meant to tell.

Looking for more story inspiration? Try some of the story starters available with the Simple Scrapper Premium Membership (an affiliate of My Scrapbook Evolution). Learn More...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Project Life: August and September 2015

It's been so long since I have written and published here on the blog. Too long. Some of you may know, but for those who have wondered what I have been up to, I have been in the middle of packing for a huge international move. My husband has taken a job in the UAE( United Arab Emirates). We're beyond excited to move to a wonderful country filled with a rich cultural heritage. I can not wait to explore the city of Abu Dhabi and experience the beauty and art found there.

I will be sharing my experiences on the MSE blog and website. I know that I am sure to be inspired by all the wonderful things that Abu Dhabi has to offer. I have another week or so left here in the islands. While I wait, I have started a Pinterest board about Abu Dhabi which features some of the architecture and things to do. In the short time I have looked around the web, I can already tell that my weekends will be full of fabulous family adventures.

Though I haven't had much spare time to blog, I have managed to make time for memory keeping. While I didn't meet my summer goal to finish some of my Project Life pages for previous months, I have continued to complete one page for each month of 2015( a much better track record than the previous year).

August Birthday Celebration by Christy Strickler |Supplies: Digital Kit: Pocket Life August '15 Collection from Traci Reed Designs

The most exciting event of August was my son's birthday. We didn't have a big party but celebrated in small ways throughout the day. A pocket page was the perfect answer to show the day's highlights. I streamlined my process in order to create this layout. If you are short on time and want to do the same, I have a few resources for you.

First, check out the article that I wrote for the Traci Reed Designs blog. It includes 3 tips which will help you become a little more efficient as you design your page.

Second, you can watch me create the birthday pocket page layout in this video:

I didn't make a video for my September Project Life page but I still wanted to share it with you. It features just a few of the photos I am taking to document our moving experience.

September Pocket Life Intro Page by Christy Strickler |Supplies: Digital Kit: Pocket Life September '15 Collection from Traci Reed Designs

I don't have any concrete plans for the upcoming weeks ahead. My family is in a holding pattern until we receive the final go ahead to book our flights. My goal is to do my best to keep sharing projects and articles here on MSE but if for some reason things quiet down a bit on the blog, you will know why.

This posts contains affiliate links when possible. Please shop your stash first, but should you find you need something, consider supporting MSE.

Pocket Life '15 August Collection from Traci Reed Designs

Pocket Life '15 September Collection from Traci Reed Designs

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution's board Project Life Inspiration on Pinterest.

The Get It Scrapped Membership has a complete module on pocket page design.
Click here to visit Get It Scrapped.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Altered Paper Mache Animal Collaberation Blog Hop

It's time to welcome September and what better way to do so than with a creative project! A few months back, I mentioned on the DigiScrap Geek Podcast that I was part of a collaborative mixed media project. I joined some friends and acquaintances in a commitment to create a paper mache animal. It's finally time to share what we made!

I was pretty excited that my son chose to join in the project as well. It's been a while since I have gotten to do any crafting with my teen. We started by looking around Pinterest for  a few ideas. I finally settled on a cat and my son chose a fennec fox. 

We cobbled our animals together from plastic cups, duct tape, cardboard and tin foil. These bits of left over "trash" made a nice skeleton for our animals. We chose to use paper clay instead of a traditional paper mache. It is very humid in the Bahamas and the paper clay has a reputation for being fast drying whereas traditional paper mache may take weeks to dry fully here.We were very happy with the results though the paper clay ended up being a little rougher than we expected.

Because of the rough surface, we opted to use spray paint as our base coat. Initially, we chose acrylic paint to decorate the animals with, however, we quickly switched to chalk markers. We had a little more control with the chalk markers and they were fast drying. They also allow for coverage over darker surfaces( in most cases not even needed a second coat).

My son chose a navy base coat for his fennec fox. He then used both silver and gold to spray sections of the fox, in some cases using a stencil. 

The rough surface made it harder to draw on the animal, so he opted for a more primitive tribal look.

I chose a gold spray paint as the base for my cat. The coat was rough but nearly as rough as my son's animal. I was able to lay down a stencil in a few spots and to spray some of the navy paint to allow the design to show through.I also drew some hearts and used the stencil to give my cat a sort of crown.

Not all of the stencil was crisp, given that the surface of the cat was curved. I used a chalk marker to outline small sections of it.

My son and I had a great time making our animals together and I am truly hoping to work on future collaborations. I have wanted to to more mixed media projects in the past, but I never seemed to find the time. Joining the collaboration gave me a bit of accountability while still allowing me to enjoy creative freedom.

You can see other animals from the Altered Paper Mache Animal Collaberation by hopping from blog to blog. There isn't a specific order to hop in. You're free to hop around and enjoy at out own whim.

Affiliate links when possible. Thank you for supporting MSE.