Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

This post is coming on the tail end of a very relaxing day spent with my family. We colored eggs, ate and snacked, watched movies and hung out together. Just the three of us. Our holidays are a little more simple than some and quieter than other families. I admit I kind of like it that way.

I am just now making it to my scrap cave and I thought I would share the layout I made yesterday. As much as Easter is still the same for us, some things have surely changed. Most notable of late, is how much my son has grown. My little boy no longer dives into the consumption of his chocolate bunny with wild abandon. Today, he ate his bunny slowly, savoring each bit and commenting on the good chocolate that it was made from. He did crack me up with one quick comment. " It my bunny! Mine. My bunny!"

I have been told that I have a knack for working with hard to use color combos. I am still wrapping my head around that. Maybe I am just used to my color combos so they don't seem hard to work with in my eyes. I do however, think today's layout was comprised of an unusually bright color palette that some might find hard to work with.

Chocolate Hands by Christy Strickler Supplies| Cardstock: Coredinations;Letters: Fancy Pants; Digital papers and elements from Speckled Eggs-Brights by ; Flowers: Sizzix; Other: Cardboard, button, napkin; Sketch from

This was my first time using a napkin on a layout. In retrospect, I should have adhered it with gel medium. As I stitched it down, it wrinkled a bit and I later realized that it was off kilter. Of course, you could argue that these errors add to the charm of the layout. One of the ways I have learned to scrapbook faster is to just embrace what happens. I altered the design a bit to compensate and I love the way the whole layout feels.

 I went hybrid which meant  I printed only small portions of the patterned paper and design elements. To add dimension, I emulated the smaller hybrid flowers by creating a few larger cardboard flowers. Layering a finishing touches such as machine stitching can keep a hybrid layout from feeling too flat.

I am still not sure about my using unusual color combos. I will be taking mental notes about my current and recent layouts. Observing yourself is a good way to get in touch with your process and how you use products. This leads to faster scrapbooking and always helps you direct your budget when you shop.

Regardless of whether you enjoyed a quiet day or a house filled with relatives, I hope you had a wonderful Easter. I would also like to wish my Jewish friends a Happy Belated Passover.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Calvinblogging with a Bunny Nose

As we near the end of March, we also near the end of calvinball. This is my second time playing and I must admit I am sad to see it end.  I am excited to see what game Doris comes up with for next month. Playing these games always keeps me using up my kits.

Today, I wanted a quick fix. I grabbed a sketch from and then set to work mixing and matching some papers and embellishments from my February and March JBS Mercantile kits. Whether you kit club or make your own, some kits will mix and match well. I like to keep a set on a shelf near my desk. After a some time, I do break them down so they can be remixed into new kits. This keeps me using up my supplies.

Bunny Nose by Christy Strickler 
All supplies from JBS Mercantile March and February kit except for Tulle and Ranger Mist.
shared with Layout Linky Love at the

I decided to work with one of the lessons from Wilna Furstenburg's HeArt class at Two Peas in a bucket. While I have used many of the supplies that Wilna uses, there have been a few new tricks I have learned. I have used Tulle and fabric before, but never like this. I love how the flower sequins are layers inside and on top of the tulle.

My Calvinball total so far this month:

Daily Blogging- 28.5 points
Layouts- 12
Scheming- 1 point
cleaning up after yourself- 3 point
shopping- 1 point
scrapbooking past my bedtime- 1 point
linking to calvinbloggers-1 point
reorganizing-1 point
retro stash item- 1 point
using a photo w/in a week of taking it- 2 point
using a new technique and reporting on it- 1 point

Total: 52.5 points

Not half bad considering the month I have had!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Right Stuff

I have a ton of paper and supplies. Sometimes though, I just don't have the right materials. When this happens, I turn to my pens, inks and stencils.

Pose for the Camera by Christy Strickler Supplies| Cardstock: Colorbok; Stencils/ Mask: Tattered Angels, Creative Memories, unknown; Photo Strip: Time Holtz; Modeling Paste: Liquitex; Mist: Tattered Angels; Marker: Bic Mark-it; Tape: Target; Other: Sticker, Glossy Accents; as seen in Scrapbook News and Review magazine

You can doodle but if you are't confident in your drawing abilities then you can use masks or stencils to trace images.The flourishes seen here are a Tattered Angels mask that I traced. The key to varying the image is to rotate it and allow parts to hang off the page.

The next time you don't have the perfect paper for your background, get creative and make one of your own to match your photos.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Just Discovered: Rogue Redhead Designs


Rogue Redhead Designs offers a growing collection of rubber stamps.I became acquainted with these stamps via a fellow Scrapbook News and Review Staffer. Vicki just joined the DT and she has created a fabulous mini album for her first project. I must say that I like the behind the scenes set the best. Looks like they will be having some more new release coming soon. So it's worth keeping an eye on their website.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Color and Symbolism Add Impact

One of the best ways to add more to your layouts is though symbolism and color. Recently, I was challenged to use orange for it's color associations with nature. Orange connotes change and transition. I immediately thought of some of our moving photos.

Moving to P.I. by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper: Jillibean Soup,My Mind’s Eye; Alphas: October Afternoon; Tape: Target; Other: Buttons; submitted for shape up your scrapbooking at Two Peas in a Bucket

We are expats. An expat or ex-patriot is someone who does not live in their home country. This means we rent a place to stay. We didn't intend to move around as much as we do. However, for various reasons we usually end up moving every 2-3 years.

Triangles are also a symbol that signifies change in chemistry. Having a background in science makes them a significant symbol to me. In some cases, the viewer of a layout will instantly get the symbolic associations with the items used. Other times, those symbols are more meaningful to the person who created the layout. This doesn't make them less of an impact. When you use colors and symbols that have meaning to you, the viewer can still feel it. The more thought behind the things you use helps you to make a more cohesive layout.

This is just one set of moving photos for me to document. You can bet I will be using more orange and triangles on future moving layouts. The next time you create something, give yourself a moment to think about colors or symbols that will make a meaningful impact on your story. I bet you will find more satisfaction in your layouts when you incorporate supplies that trigger your own memories.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Quick Calvinball Update

This month's efforts at Calvinball have sort of been stylmied by a family emergency. Yesterday's power outtage didn't help. It was out for most of the day. Irregardless of events, I am doing my best to get back into the game. There is still time to check out the fun. Head over to the JBS Mercantile forum!

My Calvinball total so far this month:

Daily Blogging- 24.5 points
Layouts- 6
Scheming- 1 point
cleaning up after yourself- 1 point
shopping- 1 point
scrapbooking past my bedtime- 1 point
linking to calvinbloggers-1 point
reorganizing-1 point
retro stash item- 1 point
using a photo w/in a week of taking it- 1 point

Total: 38.5  points

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Game Over Man! Game Over!

If you are a fan of the Aliens movies, then you know the exact part I am referring too. In this family, we are big into SCIFI. My son has been collecting Aliens action figures since he fell in love with the movies years ago. When we found out that there was a new Aliens video game, we were all very excited( to say the least)!

Aliens: Colonial Marines by Christy Strickler Supplies| Cardstock: Colobok; Trim: Webster’s Pages; Tool: Gelli Plate; Pens: Signo, Sakura, Bic Mark-it; Other: brads, acrylic paint, vellum, metal washer, pearl, DMC floss, buckles

The hard part about capturing the excitement of a favorite movie or video game is that the photos we take often don't fully capture the emotion of the story. Many times, I find I have simply captured yet one more photo of my husband and son playing a game. I want to find the right papers and embellishments to help set the mood, however, those are not always readily available.

One option would be to print a copy of the movie poster or the video game cover. I did try that here, but I found that the images available to me were not easy to size and fit with my photo so that the font on the poster would be legible. Instead, I opted to partially trace/partially draw an alien onto a piece of vellum. I then fussy cut it out and adhered it over my sons head. It might be hard to see, but I used a little glossy accents to add some dripping saliva.

My son has just learned a little about Gelli Printing. I liked how the images he had made had a sort of alien vibe. Torn Paper, distressed black cardstock and metal embellishments also worked well with the theme. You can find a variety of inexpensive items such as metal washers at your local hardware store. I also used buckles found in the sewing section of a craft store.

Sure, I could have used an alien print patterned paper. I just didn't feel like that kind of cutesy design was right for the feel of this layout. Making my own embellishments and using techniques such as distressing allowed me to add more excitement to an otherwise low key photo.

The next time you have a movie or video game themed layout, look for ways that you can creatively support the photos. The right embellishments and techniques will help support the theme of your layout in such a way that even someone who is not a fan will immediately understand what is going on in the photo.

Need tips for tearing on your next scrapbook layout? Check out this article at Get It Scrapped!

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Getting Back to Motivation

It's been several days since I have blogged. It's also been several days since I scrapped. Last week wasn't easy. Suffice it to say that family needed to come first. Now here I sit, trying to get back into my creative habit.  I am used to creating something almost every day. Being creative stimulates more creativity. When I don't create, I find that I create less and it's hard to get going.

How do you get yourself back on the creative track? It can be different for everyone. Sometimes, what works one time doesn't work the next. You just have to keep trying. Some things that often work for me are to look through photos. Some of them just get ideas flowing. It also helps to look at kits, photo galleries or challenge sites. Rearranging your supplies can stimulate your thought process too. You tend to run across older things you forgot you had.

 When your creativity is low, it can be a good time to look through past layouts. Keep notes of supplies, techniques, and even the number of photos you are using right now. Ask yourself if there is one cool thing you like to do. My one cool thing right now is repurposing supplies. I like to find things around the house to see how I can make them into trendy, fun looks for my layouts.

Wax Lips by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper, Flowers: Sassafrass; Alphas: Sizzix; Brads: Artsylicious; Chipboard: American Crafts; Mist: Ranger: Stamp: JBS Mercantile; Ink: Tsukineko; Other: Faber Castell Gelatos, cat food can lid,cardboard, masking tap, crayons, DMC floss, star rhinestones

I have really been recycling more and more items since last year. Knowing this means I can go through some items to see what sparks my interest. If I am not motivated to do a whole layout, then I can start with just making some embellishments. Usually one small thing leads to another bigger thing and before you know it, I have a whole layout in mind.

Creativity can be like a tsunami. It might start off as a small ripple. With a little time, it will grow. You can keep the stream of creative thought flowing by making sure you create, if even just for a few minutes,everyday. If your creative energy ebbs, it's ok. It will come back. Just give it time and try smaller creative projects until it does. Take the opportunity to make small changes to your creative space or to observe your creative process.
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Friday, March 15, 2013

You Can Have This Back!

These days, my son loves pineapple. That wasn't always the case though. His first taste wasn't quite what he expected.
You Can Have This Back! By Christy Strickler Supplies Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Alphas, Buttons: Basic Grey; Flowers: Prima; Modeling Paste: Liquitex; Punch: EK Success; Other: dish towel, wire form mesh, sequins

Sure, I could have used pineapple embellishments on this layout. Truth be told, I didn't have any. I opted for a more tropical style flower. I also loved the diagonal flow that was established by the pre printed patterned paper.It's always a lot of fun to find ways to add flowers to a boy's layout. The theme and bright colors keep it from feeling too feminine.

I created this layout for a tutorial in Scrapbook News and Review magazine. The tutorial gives you ideas for using wire mesh on your layouts. I hope you will crack open and copy and check it out.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seeing Green

During March, many people celebrate St. Patrick's day. It's also a month that celebrates Spring. Many people have developed an association with the color green around this time of year. Then there is also the fact that Emerald is the Pantone color of the year. Some shades of green can be difficult to work with. Yesterday, I shared some tips for green color combinations over at the Scrapbook News and Review blog. I hope you will hop over to check them out.

It Is Time by Christy Strickler Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Letters: Sassafrass, My Little Shoebox; Stickers, Patterned Paper: We R Memory Keepers; Mist: Ranger; Die: Sizzix; Other: Metal from soda can

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