Monday, May 18, 2015

Scrapbook Challenges: A Quick Round Up for May Challenges

So far, May has been an interesting month...and not always in a good way. It's my goal to have all of my blog posts written and posted ahead of time. A few things have thrown me off track this month (including regular power outages and a sick cat). I managed to go through all of my written and scheduled posts in a blur! Despite those things, I have been working hard to find a new balance to my summer schedule and hope to be back on track very soon. Meanwhile, several challenges have posted over at the Scrapbook Challenges blog and I would be remiss if I didn't share my take on them.

Halloween Under the Sea by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: Studio Calico; Letters, Chip Board, Die Cuts: Basic Grey; Rub-Ons: Fancy Pants; Flair: Panda Eight Designs; Glitter Glue: Stickles

This month's Mood board is reminiscent of a sunset. Soft purples and oranges mix together with yellow and peach for an artsy feel.  Despite the sunset feel of the layout, I chose to focus on the color scheme. It's also perfect for Halloween photos. I managed to mix in a few summer themed items for this Halloween picture of my son with some Sea Witches.

Keep Calm and Just Be by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: Studio Calico, October Afternoon, Cocoa Daisy; Traci Reed Designs; Letters: October Afternoon; Chipboard: Studio Calico, My Mind's Eye: Flowers: Freckled Fawn, Sassafrass; Punch: Ek Success; Other: Doily, tape; Based on Scrapbook Challenges Sketch # 175

Flashback Friday continues with sketch #175. I manged to make this page from all scraps. That was quite a nice little victory for me. 

Just a Little Bit of History by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: Fancy Pants, Cocoa Daisy; Letters: Alison Kreft, American Crafts; Watercolor: Yasutomo; Enamel Dots, Chipboard: My Mind's Eye; Die Cuts: Elle's Studio; Based on Scrapbook Challenges Sketch # 440

Sketch #440 posted earlier this morning. This page ended up being a new favorite for me. I wasn't too sure of the supplies at first but they came together wonderfully for a page that has a mixed feel between fresh and traditional.

These are just a few of the challenges available to inspire you from the Scrapbook Challenges site. Be sure to stop by to see additional inspiration from the SBC sketch crew. I do have additional thoughts to share for all of these pages. It is just a matter of me re-balancing my current home life schedule with all the time I want to spend creating and blogging. Stay Tuned....

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Super Hero Desk Sign with Deflecto Craft Solutions

This month's theme inspiration for Deflecto Craft Solutions features Dads and Grads. It's also the end of  my son's first year as high school student.Now typically, I know most people don't celebrate graduation from 9th grade. However, I wanted to give him a little something(partially practical) that he could use in the upcoming school term. Homeschool kids have the option of continuing on through the summer months and my son has chosen to continue on his computer programming lessons throughout the summer.

We're huge fans of the Marvel and DC universes, so I figured that a gift featuring a comic book hero  would be perfect for him. The cool thing about this gift is that it's perfect for anyone who loves superheroes whether they are Dads or grads from any grade level. So what exactly is this gift? It's a themed wet erase sign.

The wet erase sign comes as you see here. It's designed to work with chalk markers. You can decorate it with a drawing or jot down a to do list. Now I know what you are thinking. That's for an office not for a kid. A few alterations is all you need to make any kid(or dad) think it's cool.

The first step is to paint the base. You probably want to have a superhero in mind so you can coordinate the colors. We're going with a Batman theme, so silver works well. Use spray paint for a nice even finish. I used a metallic silver from Krylon and of course, I completed this step outside in a well ventilated area. The chalkboard slides out of the base. Remove it before you paint,then you can decorate the chalkboard while the base dries.

You are going to need something to create a trim or border along the top of the chalkboard frame. Washi tape or ribbon will work well. If you want something really sturdy with a nice metallic finish I recommend HVAC metal repair foil tape. Cut a strip long enough to go across the length of the chalkboard. The tape is really wide. If you like, trim it down just a bit, then adhere it to the chalkboard.

Choose a sticker or tag to decorate the sign with. I am using a clothing tag I saved from one of my son's t-shirts. Any super hero themed stickers would work.  To make your sticker or tag a little more sturdy, adhere it to a piece of chipboard and trim off the excess parts. You can then use liquid adhesive or hot glue to add it to the chalkboard.

The nice thing about being able to remove the chalkboard is that it makes it easier to write on. You might want to write a simple message on the sign before gifting it. Don't forget to include a pack of the chalk markers!

A little paint and a few decorations will give you a unique gift that your child(or dad) will be sure to love. After making one for my son, I am now contemplating how I might customize one for my own desk.

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

Visit Deflecto Craft Solutions to find a store near you. Or look for Deflecto at

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Scrapbook Challenges: FlashBack to Older Sketches

In February, I successfully completed the Layout a Day Challenge. In a large part, that was due to my use of sketches. Once again, I am attempting to complete another one. Crazy? Maybe. I had a great start out to the month on iNSD, but other things captured my attention( like website maintenance and writing blog posts). Power outages cramped my style a bit this week as well. Currently, I have four completed layouts for the month. It's not too late for me to pick up the pace. It's also time to break out a little extra inspiration.

Trouble? by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Prima,Studio Calico; Letters, Vellum Die Cuts: Studio Calico; Chipboard: Marcella K; Tape: Amy Tangerine; Stickers: Freckled Fawn; Based on Scrapbook Challenges Sketch # 162

This month, Scrapbook Challenges is visiting the sketch archive.You'll find new inspiration from the SBC Sketch Crew to accompany refreshed versions of older sketches, starting with Sketch #162. Just the perfect thing to help someone finish a Layout a Day Challenge.

How is your month progressing? Have you made a lot of pages since iNSD or are you missing your creative space?

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Scrapbook Challenges: Going Geometric

Hands on homeschooling projects were a huge main stay of our early homeschool curriculum. I always tried to find things the my son could complete on his own( or at the least, very little help from me). This layout features a series of photos depicting my son working of a geo-dome. The dome is made from straw and pipe cleaners. I had two options when scrapbooking this layout: 1. choose to do a two page layout with larger photos or 2. find a one page layout design which features lots of pictures. I chose option two.

DIY GeoDome by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: I Love Scrap, Studio Calico, Bazzil Basics; Letters: PinkFresh Studio, Twine and Ink; Plastic: Studio Calico; Tape: Freckled Fawn; Stickers: Heidi Swapp; Flowers: Pink Paisleel Jewels, Wood Veneer: Pinkfresh Studio; Button: Jillibean Soup; Die Cuts: Sassafrass; based on Scrapbook Challenges Sketch # 438

Scrapbook Challenges Sketch #438 features five photos. It was merely a matter of me rotating the photo orientation to accommodate my photos. Each picture is still large enough to see well. I plundered my supplies for anything remotely geometric in nature. I did have a few circular dome like items such as the patterned paper I used for the canvas and the  plastic dome embellishment in the title. Otherwise, I settled for hexagon stickers in place of flower centers, triangles and a few dome shaped jewels.

How will you use the sketch? This is the first challenge of the month for Scrapbook Challenges with many more to follow. Check it out along with inspiration from the SBC sketch crew and don't forget to link your project up for a chance to win.

Would you like to make your own geodesic dome? Check out the directions found at BabbleDabbleDo.

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

To make your own dome, you will need the following supplies:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Keeping the Creative Momentum Going After iNSD

Saturday was pretty awesome. As I chatted away with friends( new and old) at the Get It Scrapped online crop, I managed to create four layouts. I didn't take the time to work on iNSD challenges this year. Instead, I opted to work ahead on some of my creative team projects. My goal is to get ahead so that I can submit them early and get the blog posts written and scheduled. After which, I will have tons of time to work on a few other challenges around the web.

 Normally, I might share my iNSD pages the week after, but since these were CT projects, you will have to wait until the release date. Instead, I am going to share with you a few of my layouts from Simple Scrapper. I didn't want them to get lost in the bustle of pre-iNSD last week. Also, they are a great reminder for me that I can still keep the excitement of iNSD going.

Is This a Mess or a Hint of Independence by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Bazzill ; Fancy Pants, Little Yellow Bicycle; Project Life Cards: 5th and Frolic; Letters; Ruby Rock-it, Twine and Ink, Basic Grey; Ink: VersaMark; Mist: Heidi Swapp; Flowers; Prima, Sassafrass; Pen: Sharpie;Inspired by a Sketch and Story Starter from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership

I avoided the allure of shopping this year on iNSD. Sure, I was tempted. There were a lot of great sales. However, I am currently in a place in which my budget doesn't like spending.( Everything moves in cycles.) I am also in the process of culling some of my supplies. Two areas that challenge me are using my large stash of Project Life cards and using up scraps. While I don't feel as though I am challenged when it comes to layering, I am not great about using messy stacks of scraps. Some of this month's sketches in the Simple Scrapper Premium membership afforded me the ability to practice using those messy stacks. I managed to slip in lots of paper bits and a few Project Life cards.To add to the messy feel of the page, I use a distressed alphabet and some messy stitching. 

Wonder and Create by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Heidi Swapp; Letters: American Crafts; Stickers: Heidi Swapp, PinkFresh Studio; Chipboard: Echo Park; Transparency: Die Cuts: Heidi Swapp; Inspired by a Sketch and Story Starter from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership

What's the point of owning something if you don't use it? I found a 12x12 text background and then used a mini kit which consisted of a 6x6 paper pad with matching embellishments to create this layout which compares my childhood hobbies to my son's.

While I was happy with my iNSD results, I still felt that at time, I was struggling.I have a tendency to walk into a crop and just start to play around with supplies. There isn't necessarily anything bad about that, except , I find I am more productive with a kit or a starting point. The first layout had a story to guide my product choices clearly. I wanted kitchen themed supplies which consisted of matching scraps. The second layout began with a photo and a coordinating kit.It seems that my process always needs a clear starting point rather than just randomly choosing supplies.

There is a simple solution for me to keep creating effectively throughout the rest of this month. Something that is especially important if I am going to be successful with my personal Layout a Day challenge. I need to have mini kits ready to go. Some might even have a photo or two inside them with some notes for stories. I can either search my photos or search the Simple Scrapper Membership story prompts for starting points and then build the kit around the story I want to tell. I still plan to use my monthly kits from Cocoa Daisy and Pinkfresh Studio, but I also want to use older supplies. Making kits from older products will save me some time and.I am far more likely to grab a kit than I am to grab single stored products. 

Knowing your process is defintiely important when it comes to keeping creative momentum going. Finding simple solutions to support that process always leads to more productivity. The bonus to being more productive in creative work is that creativity breeds more creativity. A good recipe for success when it comes down to carrying on our excitement from a recent project.

May is going to be a busy month. Not only do I plan to scrapbook a layout a day, I also have plans for more supply and photos organization. I will be participating in Photo Crush with Simple Scrapper. We have more shows to record for the DigiScrap Geek Podcast. I have lots of blogging to do. All of this can only be done with a bit of creative mojo and good organizational skills.

How did you do for iNSD? Did you scrapbook the amount of layouts you had hoped to? Or are you looking to find a better way to streamline you productivity?

Additional Resources
This posts contains affiliate links when possible.I am both a member of the Simple Scrapper Creative team and an affiliate.Thank you for supporting MSE by clicking on affiliate links around this website.

I have been a part of the Simple Scrapper membership even before I was part of their creative team.Simple Scrapper provides tools to help you create an efficient memory keeping process.The best way to experience the community for yourself is at the upcoming Photo Crush event. During this 7-day challenge, Jennifer Wilson will help you streamline your photo library so that memory keeping is even easier. Best of all, this event is free. Would you like to join me? Click here to sign up.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A look back at past iNSD Celebrations

Scrapbooking with my friends at Get It Scrapped on iNSD has become a little bit of a tradition for me. I don't have regular crop events here in the Bahamas so it's nice to be able to meet up with others and just create. Get It Scrapped live crops aren't like the ones held in message boards. It's an actual live meeting similar to google hangouts but instead it occurs in the Get It Scrapped classroom. Instead of reserving a table in a convention hall, we sit down in our home creative spaces and plug in our headsets. We snack. We talk. We talk a lot.Sometimes, people shop. We share about life in general. Kids and pets are often playing in the background. No one minds.Some of us share our webcams. I usually have mine focused on my workspace so people can watch me crop. A few digital scrapbookers share their screens and you can watch them work live. The best part of it all is that I don't have to pack up my supplies and take them somewhere else.

My goal today is to make four layouts. We'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, I thought I would share look at a few past pages from iNSD.

In 2013, I had the honor of being a guest for  I enjoyed making this layout about my son on a homeschool field trip to a local pond.

In 2014, I managed to make six layouts during the iNSD crop. This one was my favorite of the six pages I made. I wasn't feeling very motivated last year which I find kind of ironic since I finished so many layouts. Perhaps I should rethink my goal and try to beat six pages. I am definitely feeling more creative this year. So how did I make so many layouts? I used a lot of sketches. I think that's going to be the key to my productivity again this year.

If you would like to join us at the live crop head on over to the Get It Scrapped forums. You must be a community member to join the crop, but both the community and crop are free. Trust me when I say that it's a whole lot of fun! I hope to see you there!

Additional Resources
6 steps to a stress free National Scrapbooking Day - from fellow Get It Scrapped Design Team Member Margereta  Carlsson

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution's board Sketches on Pinterest.

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution's board Prompted on Pinterest.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Welcome May!

May is one of those months that is just filled with excitement in the scrapbook community. There is a lot going on, especially since iNSD ( International/ National Scrapbook Day) happens on the first Saturday of the month. There is also LOAD515. LOAD or layout a day is a challenge in which you create a page a day for the whole month. I do plan to be in the thick of it all. How? With a little careful planning on my part.

First, my plan for LOAD515. This isn't a public challenges. Rather, it's one that is run through the group site. Scraphappy is a group membership. The benefits to joining include access to all of the Layout a Day challenges( several of which are for the family group only), free webinars and monthly scrapbook inspiration in the community.I am a member of Scraphappy and have been for several years. Anyway, the LOAD 515 theme this year centers around music. My approach for the month will be a bit relaxed. I am not trying to complete a page a day plus my creative team work. I will incorporate that work into my monthly page count. Some of the work I can't share right away and I am ok with that. I am making this more of a personal challenge.

If you are thinking about joining a Layout a Day Challenge, you might want to check out some of my posts about past LOAD preparations:

Load in Vogue Blog Hop
Scrapbook Mythbusters LOAD214
LOAD215 blog hop

Of course, the iNSD events will be a large contribution to the number of pages I make. Saturday, I will be joining members of the Get It Scrapped communtity in a live online crop. I generally make 2-4 pages on a crop day depending upon how much time I spend chatting. Today is all about getting ready for a full day of scrapbooking tomorrow. I will be perusing my photo library to see if any pictures catch my attention. I will also be looking around at my various sources of inspiration. However, if you really want to get pumped up for tomorrow, the best bet is to watch the DigiScrap Geek Podcast Live show!

One of the great things about iNSD is all of the sales and giveaways. Speaking of which, today is the last day to enter the DigiScrap Geek Podcast(#DSGPromo) giveaway. You can enter until 12:15 Pm Eastern. There are lots of great prizes including a membership to History Lines. Just click her to enter. You don't have to be present to win.

I hope you have a productive and fun iNSD. If you are shopping,I wish for you to have a great haul of supplies found at the lowest possible prices. Happy Scrapbooking Day!

P.S. I made a short process video of a hybrid layout to kick my creative spirit into gear. You can watch it here.