Wednesday, May 30, 2012

LOAD512 progress report

It's official. I'm out. My streak ended on Monday. I am not mad or upset though. It came down to a decision to make my LOAD page or spend time with my husband. Time with him wins, always. I then spent the day on Tuesday with my son. I may not have scrapped on either of those days, but I did give my camera a workout. Since then, my creative endeavors have been involved in photo editing and printing. Just that alone is enough to make me excited to scrap some more. I have some cool photos of my son as we explored a small local cave. Some fruit bats also star in some of these photos. I must say that it's one thing to see an animal in the zoo and quite another to see them in their natural habitat. It's so awesome to see a creature as they were meant to live. I think my son was moved in the same way I was.

As far as LOAD's much more than the number of pages you create. When I started participating in the layout a day experience over a year ago, I did focus on the number of pages. Frankly, that often stressed me out. Somewhere along the line,my experience with Layout a day changed. It has become a way to peek into my creative methods. I experiment. For a little while, I stop worrying about taking the perfect photo of the layout itself. I concentrate on what I do and how I do things. Some of the pages are wonderful. I am now plan to go back with the intent of getting a more crisp photo of those pages. Doing so inspires me to continue onward.I am a little worn down, as far as making pages, but I feel the creative spark there. Figuratively, I may have banked the fire, but I can add more kindling any time I am ready. That's the wonderful thing about LOAD. I can take what I learned about myself and then use it to move forward.

So you may wonder why I keep track of the layouts I have made in the sidebar of my blog. It's not for bragging rights, I assure you. Last year, I tracked the number of pages made for a competition on Club Ck. I realized that just knowing how many pages I make is gratifying. It seems to help me feel like I am not behind in my scrapbooking. I have so many photos to document that at times it can become overwhelming. It's easy to look at the glass as half empty. Looking at the number of pages I have made helps me see things as half full. Sometimes, I forget to update the number on the sidebar. That's ok. Again, it's not about how much you were able to create, but rather, just knowing you have created.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Little Miss Helpful

That's what I call our kitten. She is probably the most persistently curious creature that I have ever met. Sometimes, I wonder if she is just imitating our behavior in some strange fashion. This morning, I found my pen jar overturned. The pens had been arranged in little piles around the desk. Once morning several weeks ago, I awoke to find Ju Ju Bee sitting on my chest. She had dragged some clothes from the laundry hamper and was tapping my face. I had been hoping to sleep in, but I guess Ju Ju figured we should be up and about. How thoughtful of her to bring me a blouse to wear.It's a s though she must be thinking " My humans move these things around and so should I. "

One of her favorite things to do is to sit on my scrap desk. She likes to open and shut the draws on my organizer. Sometimes, she pulls things out of the drawers or moves them from one drawer to another. Consequently, my once organized drawers are a mess.

It's not like my area is that clean right now anyway. Thank LOAD for that. I am thinking it's time to overhaul my scrap space and make things neat and tidy once again. We have a possible move in our future, so a little purging won't hurt either. Since I hate doing things all in one go, I plan to take it one shelf at a time. Maybe Ju Ju Bee sort of did me a favor. Hopefully, I can figure out a way to keep her from helpfully undoing my newly reorganized areas.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Over at Big Picture Classes...

I was asked to share some of my work over at the Big Picture Classes blog. I always feel a bit shy about bragging, but I do hope you will stop by to check it out.

LOAD512 progress report

I know I said I would check in after the weekend. Here it is, Friday already. It may seem as though my week went fast. In reality is felt slow but busy.  As far as how last weekend went, we beat Diablo 3. We had a great time but all of us lamented upon how short the game was. I did manage to keep up with the LOAD prompts. I am still keeping up in general, though I must admit that I am tiring out a little. Part of that may be how the week went. Nothing bad happened. We took our car in to get bodywork done. It's now repaired. I had the usual housework to do ( which I LOATHE). I worked on assignments for SNR mag.My son finished off last year's homeschool curriculum. This was really the big event of this week. He has been working so hard. Both of us are a bit mentally exhausted. So, I declared we should take a little break before summer term sets in. We homeschool year round and allow for flexible breaks as needed.

What I am now looking forward to is a nice long weekend with my husband. He has a three day weekend. It's still raining here. It has been steadily for days. So more than likely, we will watch a movie or two, play games and I will scrapbook. Sounds delightful to me!

Now I will share a LOAD page with you before I go bake some blueberry bread with my son.

Not every page you make during Load is stunning. Many are quick, but fun. That was the case with this page. This was based from a sketch we were given and it came together pretty quickly for me.

Patterned paper: Basic grey, Fancy pants and Crate paper
twine: twinery; chipboard: Crate Paper
other: cork, sequins, tickets

Part of the speed of making the page came from the pre-made kit. The paper had been grouped together in a game themed kit with a few matching embellishments. I was then able to add quick touches like the cork and twine. All of which supported the theme of my son shooting cork guns at the Easter fair. The cork letters were simple to make. I have thin sheets of cork which I got from an office supply store. I did hand draw the lettering, but you could easily use a stencil. The cork is thin enough that I was able to cut it with scissors.

The moral of this LOAD page...making pre-made kits is not a bad thing. I store much of my paper this way. It allows me to choose items quickly and get down to the business of making pages. Consider making some of your own kits this weekend and see how far they take you!

BTW,If you haven't had a chance to check it out, the latest volume of Scrapbook News and Review magazine is available. My first ever article is inside along with some wonderful pages from yours truly and fellow staffers. I saw some great tutorials to try my hand at, some of which include  mixed media techniques I hope to adapt to my pages. Stay tuned to see what unfolds on that front.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Load 512 Progress report

It's Friday! For the past few years, Friday has been my favorite part of the week. It means that when my husband comes home from work, there is nothing to do except for enjoying time as a family, scrapbooking and playing video games. This weekend is going to prove a bit challenging for me in regards to LOAD. Diablo 3 came out this week. I have been able to complete my pages in the early mornings, but now, with the weekend, Hubby is going to expect that I play this game with him. Quite honestly, I do want to play. Even my son can play with us. With rain in the forecast for the whole weekend, what better way to spend the weekend. The problem being, that hubby and I will most likely be playing the game pretty much non-stop. I know that sounds excessive, but you have to understand that this game has literally been a decade in the making. For fans like us, the Diable 3 release is EPIC. I guess I will be scrapping during the game's load time sequences. LOL It takes a long time to finish a page that way. However, you'd be surprised how doing a little thing here or there adds up to make a whole page. Last night, I stitched on an LO every time the game had to stop and load. Consequently, I have a page pretty much complete this morning.

As for the page I am sharing with you today, I must confess that part of it was made before hand. I started making base pages earlier on in the year. It's sort of a creative jump start for me. I play around with stamps, paints or found items in the house to see what effects I can get on paper. In the case of this layout, I had stamped with the bottom of a yogurt cup and some yellow acrylic paint.

Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Alphas: Sassafrass; Other: Buttons and ribbon
The daily prompt had been to use something from the trash. Since I had made this page a little while back,  and with the use of a yogurt cup rescued from the trash, it certainly fit the bill.

      It's a page made in under 30 minutes with a minimal use of supplies. Quick pages like these are another great way to jump start your creativity. I suggest choosing photos that don't have a great significance. You would not want to do a 30 minutes page of your wedding day( or maybe you would, but not me, I want it detailed and extravagant). These quick pages are also a wonderful way to use up scraps or spare supplies laying around on your desk.

I had taken these photos of my cat laying on my desk when I was practicing with my camera. Yep, you guessed it...another creative jump start for me. I am not a great photographer. So I like to practice and try things out with my camera settings. I end up with sets of photos like these that don't have a specific story to them. In this case, I did journal about practicing with my camera. However, you could easily use photos like these to tell a story about the subjects personality or to document a story for which you do not have any photos.

Ok, so now I am off to make my LOAD page for today. Ideas are already brewing in my head. I'll check back with more LOAD progress after the weekend. let's see of I can play my game and make my pages. Only time will tell!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Get your Grid on!


I love these silly little games over at JBS mercantile. Sometimes I get to play a little. Sometimes I get to play a lot.This month's challenge is all about making grids on scrapbook pages. The idea being that each grid is of a different size. I am not stellar at the whole grid thing. Most of my grids come out a bit wonky. I can't measure straight no matter how hard I try. So i just say it's artsy. ;D

Stay tuned to see how much I get to play along this month.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Experimenting with Distress Ink

Disclaimer: Yes, I know it's another pet page. I made it for LOAD. Today's prompt was to scrap about a conflict. So I scrapped about whether I was a cat or a dog person. I do love both. Lately though, the difficulties of caring for a VERY senior dog have left me loving the ease of caring for a cat. Both types of animals are great, but for a long time, I thought I would never have a cat. I had been told I was allergic. I am, in truth, slightly allergic to them. However, I REALLY like having cats. A few years ago, we rescued some kittens which I hand raised. Sweetpea is one of those pictured in the page below. We thought at first we would care for them and then give them to good homes. Happily, caring for those little fur babies allowed me to realize my allergies were not all that intense. Now our home is populated with 2 cats and 1 dog.

  This page was quite the experiment for me. I have a few of the Tim Holtz distress inks but really had not delved into using them. I saw a video over at Scrapbook News and Review magazines forum which inspired me to try using them with stamps and misted water. I also decided to pull out a stamp which I had hand carved about a month or so ago. My original intent was to stamp just a little. I ended up covering the whole page. I confess. I was having quite a fun time with the stamps and inks.

Which leads to me the page itself ( Pardon the photo.It's late here). It kind of reminds me of those times you go to the hairdresser wanting something different. It takes you a while to get used to your new haircut.Well, I'm still getting used to this page. I based my design on Paula Gilarde's Ad Inspiration challenge. I liked the grid design that challenge #49 provided. Grids are often  difficult for me since I can rarely measure anything straight( despite quite a lot of tools designed for that purpose). I felt that adding the artsy water color stamp effect might be a nice way for me to keep crooked lines a little less noticeable. Initially, I used a brown marker to make the grid lines. It was too bright, so I diffused it with some white acrylic paint.

Cardstock and alphas: Colorbok; background stamp: hand carved by me;
pet stamps: Basic Grey; ink: ranger; Jewel: Making memories;
 brads: Basic grey and Karen Foster; other: acrylic paint, google eyes

The stamped background added a bit of difficulty in finding the right embellishments for the page. I solved the problem by stamping a cat and dog directly onto the layout. I then used pen to outline the images and added small embellishments like brads, jewels and google eyes. Now my flat stamps had a little more character. I stamped a subtle border of circles with white acrylic paint. I then added some small punched circles to the border. The punched circles are simply made with  ink on photo paper scraps.
   Experimenting like this is not just for fun. It's a way for me to try out something that may become part of my regular arsenal of techniques. I am more likely to use a technique again in the future if I try it out on a page or tag. I don't recommend trying something new out a page with special photos. New techniques, at least for me, are done on pages which, though wonderful to have and part of my story, are not as important as say, wedding photos.
   I am off to submit my page to the Second floor challenge. I've been wanting to try one of these for weeks now. It's a wonderful challenge to try to inspire you to do something new. Check it out at Balzer Designs. If you need a little more inspiration, pop over to Scrapbook News and Review Magazine. Inspiration is posted on the blog weekly.

Been Caught Napping

Do you ever get some paper or supplies and think " What in the world will I ever use this for?" I'm sure you have. Sometimes it comes in a kit. In this case, mine came in a mystery box from My Little Shoebox. I got several sheets of pastel laundry themed paper. I rarely scrap in pastels. I also had no wish to scrap about my laundry. Or at least I thought I didn't. Then I found Ju Ju Bee napping in the laundry basket. She might not have been too thrilled about waking up to have her photo taken. I was quite happy though. I now had a cute photo and the perfect paper to go with it.
Carstock: Colorbok; Patterned paper and die cut: My Little Shoebox
alphas: American Crafts; chipboard: KI Memories; Stickers: Colorbok
jewel: Imaginesce; brad: Basic grey; mist: October Afternoon
Other: canvas, wire hanger; Sketch: Lain Ehmann for LOAD512
To add to the laundry theme, I hand drew and cut a shirt out of canvas. I dyed it to match the papers with some October Afternoon mist. I decorated the shirt with some faux stitching and a flower sticker. The page came together quickly with the use of a sketch. Since the paper was double sided, there was no guess work in choosing what I needed. There is only one big draw back to this page. I hate giving away papers or throwing out older stash. I keep trying to convince myself to do so. However, this page seems to support the  argument to save everything.

Monday, May 14, 2012

LOAD 512 Progress report

  At this point, we are nearing the halfway mark for LOAD. My husband paid me a compliment about it today. He told me that he was amazed that I had managed to keep up with the housework, homeschool my son, work on submissions for SNR magazine and make a page a day. Honestly, I am still not sure how I am doing this. I guess the creative juices are flowing and I am taking advantage while I can. I will say this...when you are doing LOAD some things do get sacrificed. LOAD pages are not always the ones with the deepest of stories. They are not always the pages with the most intricate details. Nor are they always the ones with the best photographs to upload to the gallery. Often times, they look a tad blurry. That's all ok though. At the end of the day, you are supporting a good creative habit and the rewards will benefit you so much more down the line. LOAD pages done now translate to more pages done on a daily basis each month. Once the creativity starts flowing, it's good to let it keep on growing.

 On a side note: I'm noticing quite a trend in my pages lately. My cats seems to be making an appearance on almost each and every page I have been making in the past week or so. Can you tell our pets are a huge part of our lives?!?! I took a ton of photos of both Boo and Ju Ju Bee over the past few months. Having a new kitten in the house certainly calls for many photo ops.
cardstock: Colorbok; patterned papers: Echo park and My Little Shoebox
Alphas: My Little Showbox; ribbon: Making Memories
flower: Jillibean Soup; brad: Karen Foster
title sticker: Momenta; Die cut: Echo park

  I'm off to create some more. I know I made my page for today, but I want to keep on going. I hope you do to. Oh...and if you want to see another pet themed page, head on over to the SNR blog. This week's color palette features a page with my itty bitty kitty.

Friday, May 11, 2012

LOAD 512 progress report and NSD

 Day 11. I am still hanging in there though I have no idea how. People often ask me how I can even think about making a page a day. I really attribute it to time management and a good creative habit. LOAD pages are not always my most detailed pages. The idea is to get the story captured, after all. Sometimes on weekends, I do manage a more detailed page.
 As far as NSD, well, I just did not get a whole lot of time to do the challenges. I made two pages. So not bad, but nowhere near what I was expecting to do. I had no internet on Saturday and a Power Outtage on Sunday. So I had no clue as to what the challenges were. Regardless, at the end of the day, pages were made.
  So I guess now you are wondering exactly what these pages look like....
Die cuts: scenic route, Alphas: Pink Paislee, Echo park and Sizzix
Flock: Hampton Arts; Buttons: Basic Grey
Jewels: Making memories and Prima; arrow: Sizzix
badge: Making memories; ink: SEI and Ranger
stamp: bubble wrap; Mist: Tattered angels and homemade
I made Fluffed and Dangerous for today's LOAD challenge. The idea was to use the sense of touch as inspiration. So I chose to add flocking to the word Fluffed. I also chose spiky elements to add to the theme of dangerous.
Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper: Basic grey and WE R Memory keepers
Ribbon: Making memories; Alphas: Sassafrass
other: Brads
Getting to know you was a page for LOAD. We were given a sketch and told to alter it.
Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned paper: Crate paper and American crafts
Flowers: Prima; Brads: making memories
Rub ons: Maya road; Chipboard: Sassafrass
Alphas: Basic grey; Badge: October Afternoon

This was a LOAD page inspired by sound. Around 3 pm we always here our kitten reminding us to feed her.
Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned paper: My Mind's eye
buttons: Basic grey, twine: twinery
alphas: Paper trunk, Other: Brads, button

This was an NSD page for Big Picture Classes. I love how I made this with a 6x6 paper pad.

I'll have more to share later. I'm off ot create just a little bit more. It's good therapy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A New Challenge Group

   As part of the SNR staff, I get a sneak peek at all of the exciting things coming up. Sometimes it's hard to not share it all.The new challenge group was one of those little secrets that I have been bursting to share. It has a lot of the things I love: Sketches, colour palettes, and inspiration photo challenges. In the last few weeks, I got to create a few sample pages for the challenges. The group is up and ready to join. The inspiration is up at the Scrapbook News and Review Blog. I hope you will pop by and participate. I have added a little sneak peak of my sample pages. You will have to stop by SNR for the full reveal.

The Sketch challenge:

The Colour Palette:

I am also excited to say that I was chosen to be featured as the Staffer of the Week. I created a tutorial and shared some of my pages. It's SNR's way of having everyone get to know the staff a little better. I hope you stop over and try out my tutorial. You will be making an embellishment and you must eat some chocolates in order to do so.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mother's Day Blog hop,2012

  Welcome to the Mother's day blog hop. You should have arrived here from Andrea Joy's page. If you stopped here first or have gotten lost along the way, please pop over the Amanda's blog to get going on the right path.
  Mother's hold a special place in our hearts. So do grandmother's. Today I wanted to share a page which highlights the photo of someone who was very special to both my husband and son. Her name was Pat and she is my husband's grandmother. I was very lucky recently to have been given some wonderful photos which feature her in it. This series of photos immediately caught my attention. For one thing, the cute little boy is my hubby. For another, I really loved this photo of  Pat.

Papers from JBS Mercatile April 2012 kit: Pink Paislee and Hambly Screen prints
Alphas: Sassafrass, chipboard: Crate Paper
paper border: American Crafts, mist- homemade
When I received these photos, they were very yellowed. My husband and I discussed at length the quality of different cameras and film over time. Since these photos are special, I made sure to scan them right away. I then touched them up as much as I could in photoshop and printed a set to use on my page. The original will be stored carefully in an envelope which I will attach to the back of the scrapbook page.
  We didn't live close to Pat. I really wish we could have. My husband always has such wonderful stories to tell about how she would take him to the toy store or of things they did together when he was younger. On the few occasions she was able to spend time with my son, she captured his heart. He remembers just walking around her property looking at ants and talking with her. She would sit and listen to him rambling on and on. It was something not many adults did, and he really appreciated her for it.If you notice, I have not yet journaled on this page. The story here is my husband's to tell. I hope he has the time to share it with me soon. It will be nice to have his own words on a page, rather than just mine.
  Thank you for stopping by and sharing just one brief moment in the life of a great lady. Your next stop on the hop is the blog of a truly talented, young lady( boy does saying that ever make me sound old!). So click your mouse and see what Jordan has to share with you.

Happy Mother's day!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Load 512 progress report

 So far so good. It always seems to start this way. I keep up just fine. This go around, I am really shocked that I have found a way to keep up with the daily prompts. I made it a point to have all of my page calls and assignments done for Scrapbook News and Review magazine.  Working on their staff has been awesome so far. it was a bit harrying at first, as is any job. Now I have a handle on the workload and am just enjoying being a part of the team. What did throw me a monkey wrench was life, as usual.On day one I was dealing with a sewage back up in the house. I haven't been feeling my best. The landlord asked me to show our house( it's for sale.) Little things here and there, but I have still manages to pull out pages.

Day one was to use a self portrait. I really dislike these type of prompts. Then I remembered I had a wedding photo of me prepping for the big day. So the issue of the self portrait became a non-issue. I used Paula Gilarde's ad inspiration challenge and was able to crank out a page with ease.
Cardstock: Bazzill; patterned paper: Basic grey
alphas and Stickers: basic grey, trim: Maya road
stamp: glitz designs with colorbox gold ink
mist: tattered angels, other: pearls, button, DMC floss, tulle

I am not 100% in love with the page. I liked everything until I got a little experimental. I painted the vine design with glimmer mist in the hopes of mimicking a design on the BG paper is was using. I then stamped the frames to use as journal spots. I have received many nice compliments about that portion of the page. I personally feel like it's kind of flat. It's funny how the parts you love are usually a miss but others rave about the parts of the page you think look horrid. LOL.

Day 2: I worked on my project life pages for February. I am no where near finished with those. I will share the full February pages in a later post. I know I am seriously behind with PL. Quite honestly though, it's not worrying me in the least.

day 3: My favorite page so far.  I have these HORRIBLY grainy photos of my new kitten meeting the family dog. Since these photos were a one of kind/ time deal, I am using them. I cleaned them up with photoshop the best I could. I used a stencil to make a custom background. Then I just layered some paint and embellies. The page came together fast. It's a fun page and I adore it!
Patterned paper: Die Cuts with a View
paint: claudine hellmuth; Die cuts: the Girls' paperie and
iloveitall- etsy; Buttons: October afternoon
Stickers: October Afternoon Other: acrylic paint, stencil,
and heart button
For whatever reason, the Beatles song was stuck in my head while I made this page. : You say "goodbye, I say hello..." It's time for me to go make dinner now. Check back with me later for the Mother's day blog hop and more LOAD pages.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Coming Soon! Mother's Day blog hop

I am happy to be part of this blog hop. My friend, Amanda is the host. I hope you' ll pop by on the 4th to see what we have in store for you.