Friday, November 30, 2012

Kit it Out: Journal Your Christmas 2012 Edition

Every year when December Daily comes around, I want to buy one of the kits. However, I never do so.  I have a ton of holiday papers already. When it comes to themed patterned paper, a little really goes a long way. I tell myself that I need to use up those older papers before I buy more. I start off on the right track only to realize how disenchanted I am with the older supplies. This year, I chose to remedy that by scraplifting a December Daily kit.

I found myself drawn to the Studio Calico kit. I liked the blend of vintage with the chevrons and faux bois patterns. I was inspired by the use of ledger papers and pops of bright color. Using their December Daily kit as inspiration, I created a kit to which I can add color using mist, ribbon,wood shapes or other supplies as needed to match my photos. Think of it as a sort of neutral base set of supplies.

Kit Contents Include: Papers by Jenni Bowlin Studios, Fancy Pants, Anna Griffn, Scenic Route, Studio Calico and Basic Grey. Stickers by October Afternoon. Doilies by Recollections. Tapes by Recollections, Queen and Co., Target. Buttons by Basic Grey. Stamp by American crafts. Not Shown: wood holiday shapes and letters from Pink Paislee

I will also be using papers from my November and December JBS Mercantile Kits. I was the guest designer at JBS Mercantile during November and especially loved the mini album kit. It will be perfect for scrapbooking the holidays.

I feel a little more ready for the first prompt tomorrow. The only think I did not accomplish was to pre-make the Lego advent calendar layout. My son was around too much and I was afraid he would get suspicious. I will begin the layout tomorrow though. At least I plan to. We shall see after I get a look at tomorrow's prompt!

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Teaser Thursday- 11-29-12 edition

I am always looking for creative ways to journal and to use up scraps. I created a tutorial for Scrapbook News and Review magazine which show this layout and layered journal card. The layout is being featured on their blog today. If you'd like to see how I created it, you'll have to peak inside the latest issue of the magazine.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Journal Your Christmas 2012

image from
It's that time of year. I feel the peer pressure of joining in on the December daily fun. Don't get me wrong. I like the whole concept. I've given it a go a few times, but never really followed through. This year, I am trying something different. I have signed up to follow along with Shimelle and her Journal Your Christmas 2012 prompts.

December daily is everywhere and often, I feel overwhelmed by it all. There are so many choices. Many people put out their own lists of prompts and photo suggestions. You can take a variety of classes. Kits are available. On almost every message board, people are talking about it. It gets to the point in which you become inundated with it all, which sort of takes the fun out of it. At least for me. Maybe that's part of why I never have completed the project. I decided that I need to simplify things. What are the factors that may contribute to my ditching the project partway through?

Factor 1: The very first thing that comes to mind are the kits. Some are low priced. Others retail for as much as $100. I am a memory keeper on a budget. Having scrapbooked for over a decade, I have a wide selection of materials at the ready. I do like the convenience of a pre-made kit, however, I really don't want to spend the money on it.Most kits are made for mini albums. I tend to scrap 12x12 and would prefer to fit my December album in with the others. I often pull from my stash of supplies, however,  I find that I long for the ease of the pre-made, pre-cut items.

Factor 2: Too many prompts to choose from cause me a headache. Not literally. However, I tend to over research my options. I look too much at what everyone else is doing. Then I feel compelled to add more and more to my album. This inevitably leads to a long and overwhelming list of layouts. I feel less inspired by it all.

Factor 3: I think I am prepared, only to find that I am not. It's great that I pulled out my stash of holiday papers and embellies. However, they don't always fit my needs and then I tend to take too long figuring out what I want to use. I feel like my album has to match a whole paper line theme and then I feel hedged in.

This Year's Solution: I am not buying a kit. I simply can not afford to. I have decided to scraplift a kit. I have not yet decided from where.

 I have also decided to make a list of the things I want to specifically document this year. I will use Shimelle's prompts but will include or substitute my list as needed. I won't look for prompts anywhere else this year.

Based on my list, I will pre-make some items ahead of time. This way, the chosen supplies will match the theme of what I am documenting.

My List of items to document:
1. Lego a Day Advent calendar. This is the first year we are doing something like this. I know I want to capture what my son makes each day. I also want one large photo of him with the calendar on the first day and one of him building something. I think this will be a two or three page spread in my album. I will have 2 4x6 photos- one of the building and one of him with the calendar. Then I will have 25 small photos of the things he builds. I have decided to pull out my star wars paper and embellies since the legos are star wars themed. I plan to premake a grid page for the month.

2. the stories of ornaments on the tree. All of our ornaments are unique, but I have only documented a few of them. Some span back to our parent's childhood trees.

3. our favorite holiday songs

4. favorite holiday tv specials or cartoons

Now I have a game plan in mind. Things feel more simple and doable. Over the next few weeks, I plan to document the project. Hopefully, this year  can make it through. We shall see!

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Etched Backgrounds


Today I am sharing a quick tutorial over at the Scrapbook News and Review blog. All you need is something you can scratch paper with and your kid's crayons. Intrigued? Then I hope you will jump over to the SNR blog to check it out! 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Packaging Inspiration

Packaging can be used like a sketch. It shows you where the main elements should be placed and where to add supporting embellishments. It can also guide you in your choice of color palette. When I created this next layout, I chose to follow the packaging almost perfectly. My son  had finally decided to try peanut butter and chocolate together. It was an event that was literally twelve years in the making.

When I see packaging, I have learned to dissect it into sections that I can use on a layout. Of note here, the purple and the black divide the package in half. The main focus is the pumpkin. I can move the title to the rectangular section which is a window to the candy inside. The embellishments include a house, bats, a sign and a pumpkin. I can add the moon or a circular shaped element behind the focal point.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins by Christy Strickler| Supplies: Patterned Paper: Pink Paislee, Sassafrass; Trim: Webster’s Pages; Stickers: K and Company;Markers: Ranger, Bic Mark-it’s; Other: stencil,patterned paper, kraft cardstock
Shared with Layout Linky Love at the

As you can see, I followed the colors on the package. I used kraft to tone them down a bit. It also reminds me of chocolate. I substituted my journaling in place of the sign. My embellishment are similar to the images on the package. You could easily change the color palette and substitute embellishments for another theme.  I hand lettered my title and used markers to mimic the packaging. 

Think about packaging like it's a sketch. Look for the focal point and place your main photo there. Then place your embellishments and title around it, just as the packaging does. When you use ads or packaging in this manner, you will have a nicely designed layout. After all, advertising companies pay big bucks to have their packaging designed in a visually eye catching manner.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Mint on Monday, the Perfect Recipe

When I think of the color mint, two things come to mind: baby showers and retro kitchens. I waitressed in a retro style restaurant for awhile. The decor featured silver with lots of mint. So when I was assigned the color mint for a recent Get It Scrapped assignment, I once again found myself gravitating back to those retro kitchens.

Always Test the Batter by Christy Strickler |Supplies: Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper: My Mind’s Eye, Little Yellow Bicycle; Alphas: Jillibean Soup, Sizzix; Ink; Clearsnap; Buttons and Enamel Dots: My Mind’s Eye; Sticker Border:Basic Grey; Flowers: Sassafrass; Twine: October Afternoon; Other: canvas, framed spoon photo, DMC floss

Mint can be a very cool color. I wanted to warm things up a bit. As I perused the Get It Scrapped Mint Inspiration Pin Board, I noticed how many designers added bright pops of red or orange to warm the palette. With the design principle of Pint, Quart, Gallon in mind, I used a recipe of one parts white to two parts mint and orange. The white would have been a large, stark section of white space. So I cut out the word yum several times in white canvas and hand stitched it throughout the layout. I chose some cooking theme paper and accents, then added retro looking flowers. It was sort of a little salute to the retro based kitchens. There's a little silver in the recipe too. I inked all of the papers with silver and chose a striped silver paper and a silver embellishment.

Keeping the pint, quart, gallon rule in mind when using the inspiration from pinterest helped me to create a nicely balanced layout. 

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Teaser Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

It's teaser Thursday and Thanksgiving! So I decided to share a layout I created for the upcoming issue of Scrapbook News and Review magazine. We have a small family and as such, we often find ourselves celebrating Thanksgiving with just the three of us. I have come to love the cozy way we celebrate. I try not to make more food than we can handle, though I will confess to having  two pies every year. One for my husband who dislikes pumpkin pie and one for me. I adore pumpkin pie!

Feast For by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned paper: Jillibean Soup, Crate paper; Alphas: Sizzix; Stickers: Basic Grey, Jillibean Soup; Chipboard: Sassafrass; Button: Basic Grey; Marker: Ranger; Other: ribbon, canvas, kraft cardstock

I am always thankful for the time spent with my husband and son and for the food on our table. I'll be spending today baking with my son and playing some games. We might make a few crafts while we wait for my husband to get home from work. I am especially looking forward to the mashed potatoes and gravy this year!

 I hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Sound can be a powerful tool in your storytelling arsenal. Check out how with this blog post I created for Scrapbook News and Review Magazine's Inspiration on Tuesday Post.

Thump, Thump, Thump by Christy Strickler Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper,Sticker: Echo Park; Alphas, Canvas Tags: American Crafts; Button, Sheer Rabbit: Pink Paislee; Tape: Recollections; Mist: Ranger

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