Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Get It Scrapped: Stencils and Changes

Life is moving at a fast pace these days.My ideas for a simple summer have been replaced with a flurry of activity and anticipation. So many upcoming possibilities have my family abuzz with excitement. It would be so easy to become completely encased in the rush of life. Scrapbooking allows me a moment to stop and think about how some things are changing while other remain the same.

Recently, both my husband and I have noticed how much our son is maturing. It was especially noticeable on some of our recent outings. My son used to have a toy in hand wherever he went. Now he doesn't take a whole lot with him. He still has a lot in common with his dad, but I believe our days of shopping at the toy store are approaching an end.

Mature by Christy Strickler | Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper: JBS Mercantile, October Afternoon, My Mind’s Eye; Letters: Basic Grey; Pen: Signo, Sharpie; Stencil: Jillibean Soup

I experimented with a full page stencil on a recent assignment for Get It Scrapped. I have always loved the look of large stencils, however, I don't often use them. That may be something I need to remedy. I loved being able to hide bits and pieces of scraps under the stencil. 

This particular stencil came in one of my recent JBS Mercantile kits. I do plan to cut more stencils using my Silhouette Portrait. I might not be able to cut full 12x12 images, but I can still make good use of the positive and negative portions of the image. I really enjoy using tone on tone background that add texture. The stencil achieves that here. If I had cut this on my Portrait, I would have used the circles on another sheet of cardstock to create a canvas for another layout or an art journal page.

I chose the circle pattern to match the circle shape of the pie chart. It represents the different stages of life. The colors and the chevron pattern all feel tense to me. They represent the mixed feeling I have about my son growing up.

There are times when life slows down and other times in which it moves at a fast pace that can come quite close to knocking you off your feet. Whatever life throws at you, memory keeping can provide you with a quiet moment to slow down. It's important to capture the memories. It's also very important to capture our feelings and reflect on those moments.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Get It Scrapped: Cityscapes

Whenever a motif hits the design scene, I find myself curious as to where it came from and why it became predominant.  If I intend to use a something on my layouts, I like to know what meaning it lends to my story. I found very little regarding cityscapes other than some vague references to the cityscape motif representing a society that is moving forward, progressing, and being affluent. It may also represent a desire to move away from difficult times.

None of this really works for my stories. While it's nice to incorporate deeper or hidden meaning into the use of a motif, sometimes, using a particular item is really just about what it can mean for you personally. In my case, cityscapes can represent one of two things: places I have traveled to or support for comic book themed photos.

 FLL by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Studio Calico, American Crafts, Webster’s Pages; Letters: American Crafts; Flair: A Flair for Buttons;Die Cut: Silhouette; Other: vellum

This layout inspired today's blog post. I created it for a Get It Scrapped assignment about the cityscape motif. Here, the cityscape motif is used to represent travel. If you have a Silhouette machine, you can find a cityscape for almost any major city in their on-line store.The yellow skyline is supposed to be an actual depiction of Fort Lauderdale's skyscrapers. I was documenting our flight from Fort Lauderdale. The airport code is the title. I used papers that represent the different views from a plane. Some of the buildings are easy to see, there is a map view and a view from the clouds. In hindsight, I wish I would have swapped the position of the map paper with the cityscape paper.

Opening the Presents by Christy Strickler | Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill; Hybrid Elements- Patterned Paper, Alphas: Heroic collection by Traci Reed; Letters: My Little Showbox; Wood Veneer: Studio Calico; Stitching Stencil: Amy Tangerine; Tape: Queen and Co.; Pen: Sharpie; Other: DMC floss

This layout was also created for Get It Scrapped. The topic was all about using book papers. I used comic book inspired papers and added a handstitched cityscape to support the motif. The cityscape is a template from Amy Tangerine. I love the simple look the skyscapers add to the layout. They feel somehow bold and understated at the same time.

Sometimes, motifs have a deeper meaning which you can easily apply to your stories. Other times, you need to search for personal associations that make the motif work well for you. Whatever the case, remember, you don't have to take things to seriously. Make your layouts meaningful but don't forget to have fun.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

JBS Mercantile: Summer Weather

You may have noticed the posting on the blog has been a little slower than usual. That's because I have been out and about enjoying the summer weather with my family. Weather affects the things you do. If it's hot, you might cool yourself down at the pool. Thunderstorms may keep you indoors for a family movie or game night. Sometimes, we even have special words or phrases for the weather.These could be regional quirks or perhaps something special your child may have said when they were little. Whatever the weather, I think it's important to include it in your memory keeping.

This month, we're sharing summer inspired layouts and projects over at the JBS Mercantile blog. Today's my turn to share and you might have guessed by now what topic I chose. If you said summer weather, give yourself a pat on the back. I shared two layouts. However, I also wanted to share a simple title treatment that you can use on any layout. You will need to choose a set of letter stickers and have some vellum on hand.

Start off by cutting a strip of vellum about the same width as the letter stickers. Arrange the letter stickers on the vellum however you wish. I though it would be fun to stagger mine a bit.

I chose to work with Jenni's  cardstock letter stickers. It's so easy to color them to match the theme of my layout.

This step is optional, but I find it creates a more interesting title. I used my sewing machine to stitch the letters to the vellum. It's easy to move these letter strips around my layout so that I can get the title in the perfect spot.

With the doily underneath,the layers were pretty thick. It would have been difficult for me to add machine stitching. By sewing the letters onto the vellum strip, I was still able to get that machine stitched look without risking a broken needle.

All of the products shown here are from JBS Mercantile with the exception of this thrift store doily and the wood veneer. The wood pieces are from Freckled Fawn. The doilies reminded me of rain clouds.

The weather here has been hot and rainy. We've taken the time to enjoy walks in rain when it's much cooler outside. We've also enjoyed the pool quite a bit as well on the sunny days. I wanted to document those bright moments, so I used the JBS Mercantile Seal stencil. The seals look like little suns.

You don't have to use themed product to capture your weather. Look through your supplies for items that remind you of weather icons. When used in the right context, it's easy for your viewer to understand how they support your story.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Tales of a Craft Class Junkie: Hello Story

Last week, the Hello Story class began at Big Picture. I have never taken a class with Ali Edwards before but I have always heard wonderful things. She definitely goes above and beyond with content and videos. I spent an evening watching them all and taking her suggestions in.

I enjoy classes which allow me to really put my own spin on things. This class was no exception. I have been wanting to document how my son spent his first half on life in one country and the second half( so far) in another. Part of my issue centered around finding a way to use the colors of both flags on the same layout without it looking garrish. After seeing the prompt for the first week of Hello Story, I decided to create an infographic style layout.

1/2 American and 1/2 Bahamian by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper: Jillibean Soup, My Mind's Eye, Webster's Pages, Studio Calico, Bobunny; Letters: Kelly Purkey, American Crafts; Brad: Making Memories; Bingo Card, Bows: Jenni Bowlin; Die Cuts: Kelly Purkey; Tape: My Mind's Eye; Wood Venneer; Artchix Studio; Pens: Sakura, Pilot, Ranger; Other: stickers, flags, sequins, jewels, label maker, kraft cardstock

I used flags to create a timeline. I also added some pie charts to depict how many homes my son has moved to in each country. 

I am looking forward to more lessons from the Hello Story class. Hopefully I can keep up with the class by incorporating some of the layouts into my creative team efforts. Meanwhile, Technique Toolbox starts today. Perhaps I will see some of you in class and around the gallery.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Get It Scrapped: Travel Preparations

I had never really thought about documenting my travel preparations.A recent assignment from Get It Scrapped got me thinking about how we prepare for a trip. Though overlooked,travel prep reveals a little about the personality of your family members. It can also reveal a little about where you are in your life right now.

Pack Your Bags by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper, Mist: Pink Paislee; Journal Cards: Sahlin Studio Project Mouse; Flair: A Flair for Buttons; Wood Veneer: Studio Calico; Tape: My Mind’s Eye; Pen: Signo

This particular layout documents a weekend family getaway. We tend to pack empty bags so we can restock items we don't often find available around the island we live on.  If I were to pack for a business trip or a long vacation, the packing might be a little different. What you take and how you pack it often gives little clues about your lifestyle at the moment. If my son were still an infant, for example, there might be a lot of baby items in the suitcases. The types of clothes reveal clues about the destination. A suit for a business trip or a coat for a cold wintry climate. Carry-ons only for a business trip or lots of suitcases for a long family vacation.

How you document your travel prep doesn't have to be complex. I used a set of pre-made checklists from a kit. It would also be easy to create your own. You may want to document whether or not you pack things ahead of time or if you are a last minute, down to wire type of person. Do your kids help you? Your spouse? Is their style of preparing for a trip different then yours?

 Should you forget to take photos of the preparations, don't worry. You can take a few photos at the destination or even after you have gotten back home.

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a Happy and Safe 4th if July. I had hoped to have a few more layouts to share of our past holidays, but things have been busier than expected. Instead, I have a few past favorites from my archives.

I always like to document the making of our holiday treats.

And of course, the fireworks. Don't forget to double check your camera settings before the fireworks start! My camera is set up and ready to go!

Have a wonderful and safe time with your family and friends!

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Get It Scrapped: Fringe

With the popularity of The Great Gatsby, fringe seems to have made it's way into clothing, home decor and scrapbook layouts. You don't need to cringe. It's easier than you think to use. The nice thing about fringe is that you don't need to go out and buy special supplies. All you need are some scraps, scissors and perhaps, a little patience.

Garden Mess by Christy Strickler |Supplies: Cardstock: Colorbok; Letters: Basic Grey; Flowers: Sassafras;Mist:Pink Paislee; Other: buttons, denim, bamboo skewer, cardboard, twine, DMC floss, dish towel, created for Get It Scrapped

I used scraps of cloth from an old pair of jeans and a dish towel. You could easily substitute paper scraps or cover scraps of cardstock with washi tape. I recommend cutting the fringe before adhering it or sewing on your layout. It's as simple as cutting small slits in a strip of paper or cloth. If you cut the slit too far, it might come apart. Never fear though...just adhere it down, overlapping the next part of the fringed strip if necessary.

The orientation of the fringe can make things interesting. I placed mine so that it resembled grass. You can also use it to make tassels or handmade flowers. I made the little broom here using a fringed border of twine which I covered with cardboard. I have also considered using fringe to make little cat embellishments or to decorate chipboard letters for a pet layout. Need more ideas? Check out my pinterest board.

Fringe might be trendy, however, I think I might opt to use it more often. It's a great way to use up scraps. Have you used fringe lately? 

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