Sunday, September 29, 2013

Creative Practice

If you are looking for the LOAD in Vogue Blog hop, head over here.

I have been working on several big projects lately and needed a little break. Those projects might be crafty in nature, but sometimes, the very idea that it's a big project just puts the brakes on my creative workflow. I decided to take a quick break and create something that had nothing what-so-ever to do with those bigger goals.

For me, personally, working with a sketch is just super easy. I can create a layout in under a a few hours (sometimes less than 30 minutes) if I find a sketch that really sparks my attention. Late last night, that particular sketch came from Let's Get Sketchy.

Winter Breezes by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper: Crate Paper, Studio Calico; Letters: Jenni Bowlin Studios; Wood Veneer: Freckled Fawn; Badges: Bluebird Chic; Brads: Basic Grey; Jewels: Hero Arts; Stamps: American Crafts, Pebbles; Sequins: Studio Calico; Other: Vellum, doily; Sketch 105 from Let's Get Sketchy

I also decided to set myself a challenge. I needed to use up some older papers and items in my supplies as well as two new items from my embellishments. I had really been wanting to use the flair from my scrappy friend, Leah's shop. I also wanted to use up the last of these wood frames. I was happy to fit some scrap cardstock in behind them.

Initially, this was going to be a layout about two of my cats hanging out together. The photo was taken last January and  I realized this was a great opportunity to document our winter weather here. We do get cold spells,but often, living in the tropics means getting to have your windows open when the weather cools down. My cats adore sitting in the open windows, listening to the birds and watching the lizards. Since I never know where my husband's job might take us, I try to make it a point to document the weather. Who knows!?!? I might very well be living someplace freezing a year from now. I have been thinking about that a lot lately, especially after listening to the last Paperclipping Roundtable podcast.

I know that some might say I should try to stay focused on the bigger projects. Just push through right? If creativity is forced, it's not always your best work. Now that I have had time to work on something just for the fun of it, my creative block has lifted and I can refocus on the bigger projects. After all, creativity breeds more creativity.

Supplies Used:

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Weekend Up Date: Photo Round Up

If you are looking for the Load in Vogue blog hop, head here.

I can't believe September is coming to a close. I haven't even posted all of the my photos for the Get It Scrapped September Photo challenge. I can admit that another small batch hit instagram here and there. However, it seems fitting that I should post a few more here during the last weekend of the month. Some were taken by me. Some were taken by my son from the passenger seat of the car.

I guess you could say that my son's tablet is The Book Thief. Though my son is playing a game here, I have to admit that we use the tablet more and more often when we read a book. We have a few real books still laying around. However, it's less expensive and easier to find a wider range of books on Kindle.

Twilight is almost here. The magical time of the day when the sun is setting and the sky turns many beautiful shades of color. This is the best time of the day for an evening walk through the neighborhood.

Rot and Ruin. An old rotten tree near one of the older Nassau churches.

They go together like Peas and Carrots. Two blonde heads. Both wearing black t-shirts. Discussing video games. My son is definitely a lot like his dad.

What makes me Happy at Home? One of the many things is the help I get from our cats when doing my chores.

Oh the places you' ll go! One of the narrow streets of Nassau carved into a hill.

You Might have Missed:

A review of Feckled Fawn's Oh Deer Me kit

Exercise 1: From Inspiration to Sketch

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend! With October having a LOAD challenge, there will be lots to share. I am hoping I can keep up with all the inspiration!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

LOAD in Vogue Blog Hop

Welcome to the LOAD in Vogue Blog Hop! You should have arrived here from Lynette's blog. She is the first stop on this hop and you sure don't want to miss here post! If you have never heard of LOAD, it stands for Layout a Day. Several times a year, a bunch of us get together for a challenge in which we do our best to create one layout every single day. This month, we'll be playing along at You must be a member of Scraphappy to play along. If you aren't a member, no worries. There is plenty of time to head over and join.

One of the benefits of being a member of Scraphappy is that you get to participate in every LOAD challenge for free. Usually, Lain Ehmann heads up the scrappy hijinx. During October, the members of the Scraphappy family give her a break. Lynette is just one of the fabulous ladies who step up to get the challenge organized. I say Scraphappy family because many of us have formed friendships. We all share a love of scrapbooking and we're just crazy enough to want to scrapbook almost all of the time.

Layout a Day is a series of prompts which are designed to take you deeper into your own process while also stepping outside your comfort zone. Several years back,I would have complained about being a slow scrapper. LOAD taught me how to make more decisive product and design choices which also led me to scrap faster. I have participated in LOAD for about 2 years now. Of the many challenges I have participated in, I have completed two.

While the point of the challenge is to create a lot of layouts and have fun, the biggest thing you need to remember is how this particular challenge really forces you to focus on what's important. The story becomes the main focus of your creative process because you can not stop to worry about whether or not there might be another perfect paper in your supplies. You learn to use what you have close at hand and to really make those products support the story. In short, LOAD is a great stash buster.

It does help to be prepared before you set out to create a layout a day. I like to make sure I have plenty of adhesive and cardstock in basic colors. I keep several kits close by and often have a set of photos ready to go. This month, I will be using up current and past JBS Mercantile kits. Having a set of papers and embellishments that match make LOAD less stressful. Knowing the theme may also help you gear your kits to match. Some LOAD's have focused on journaling style prompts. October's them is Vogue. To me, this means the prompts may be very visual in nature. I plan to kit some of the current trendy items to use on my layouts.

Don't let the challenges stress you out. It's easy for me to say that as a veteran. I can remember how much I would worry about getting a page done every day. Once I realized that this challenge is a creative learning exercise, I was really able to focus on learning more about my own process. Do your best to get a layout done every day. If you don't finish one, think about what held you back. Did you take too long to select supplies or photos? Do you need a go to design to use for quick layouts? Knowing the answers will help you become a more confident memory keeper.

I know you may have heard some of this advice before. If you still think you are a slow scrapbooker, the advice might not quite have clicked. LOAD is really the perfect place to have that eureka moment. Trust me when I say that participating in these challenges will really help your process out. Plus, you have the added bonus of meeting some truly wonderful people. I hope you will join me over at  Scraphappy!

It's time for you to hop on to Heather.  Just for reference, here is a list of all the participating hop members.










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Monday, September 23, 2013

JBS Mercantile: 4x6 Photo Love

There is that moment when you open a new kit and know just what you want to use it for. I had one of those moments when I opened the September JBS Mercantile kits. I spied a tiny card which read Itty Bitty One. I know most people might think of baby photos but my first thought was of my cat, Jujubee. She'll be two years old soon but still weighs in at a teeny tiny eight pounds.

This meant that the Fragile sign ephemera was a perfect kit too. Though I must admit that Jujubee is more tough than fragile (and a bit of a mischief maker). She is also pretty awesome about posing for photos.

I created this layout along with several pocket pages for a quick tips article for the JBS Mercantile blog. If you love 4x6 photos then you might want to check it out.

The kits are going fast. Some are sold out already. You can grab them here while supplies last.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Negotiating with Neon

It started with price tag stickers this time. I was supposed to start with a story, but I didn't have one in mind. So I rifled through my supplies hoping that something would come to me. When I saw the price tag stickers, I was reminded about how my son had been negotiating with me just a few days earlier. He possesses expert negotiating skills. For him, it's not a matter of  whether the deal will happen but rather when will he get it to work. It's a trait of his that I have never quite documented.

This particular negotiation involved purchasing a video game from Steam. It would seem that the game in question was on sale, several of his friends had purchased this game, and he wanted to purchase it but was just a bit short. We proceeded to negotiate how he would earn the money he needed. I didn't have a photo of our conversations about the game, so I snapped a photo of him playing a game on his computer.                                

The Negotiator by Christy Strickler Supplies| Cardstock: Colorbok; Paint Chips, Stickers,Stamps: Frog Dog Studio Kit-September; Paint Pen: Viva Decor; Mist: Dylusions; Die: Simon Says Stamp; Sequins: Kelly Purkey; submitted to Document Life Workshop Sequin challenge

This month's mixed media kit from Frog Dog Studios is filled with neon. I converted the photo to black and white so that it would fit in well with the bright colors and stand apart from them.  The kit came with white Dylusions ink. I had been experimenting with the mist of a scrap sheet of black cardstock. There was no need to waste even that scrap. I cut stars and sprinkled them among the sequins and stickers flowing across the layout.

Neon is one of those color trends that probably won't stick around for very long. I plan to enjoy it while it lasts. If you have been creating with neon, share your project for this month's challenge at Frog Dog Studio.

Additional Resources 
The Color Palette Process: Neon
Color My World: Neon Pinterest Board
Under Inspection: Hero Arts Neon Ink Daubers

Supply Options

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Friday, September 20, 2013

The Weekend Update:Social Media and Scrapbooking

It's Friday, which means the weekend is here! This means family time and creative time for many of us. During the busy week, many of us use social media such as twitter, google plus and instagram to interact with friends and family. Have you ever stopped to document this part of your life right now?

Communication certainly has changed since I was a kid. Who knows what communication will be like a decade from now. It's certainly worth taking pause to tell this everyday story.  I documented my son's use of the telephone, on-line chat boards, and skype earlier this year. Since then, the way he communicates has continued to change. Our telephone barely rings anymore. It has been abandoned for on-line methods of communication.

Multimedia Kid by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper, Ephemera, Badge: Jenni Bowlin; Letters,Stamp: American Crafts; Flowers: Webster’s Pages; Buttons, Stickers: Basic Grey; Jewel: Prima; Punch: Fiskars;  Other: twine, digital stamp

You might recognize this layout. It appeared in a recent article I posted on my website. The article focuses on how I used color to create this layout. What I didn't mention was my use of symbolism. The receipts and vintage telephone represent older forms of communication. I used a playing card and a bingo card to represent my son playing games while chatting with friends. The #12 card depicts his age at the time of this photo. 

Looking for more Scrapbooking Inspiration to document your social media?
Everyday Storytelling with Modern Media at Get It Scrapped
Free download: Social Media Journal Cards from Peppermint Creative

If you create a social media themed page, please share it over at the Get It Scrapped Gallery.

Just In case you missed it:

Two new articles were posted on the My Scrapbook Evolution Website. The Color Palette Process: Neon shares ideas for how to use the latest neon color craze. While I was at it, I shared a review of Hero Arts Neon Ink Daubers.

The latest Scrapbook Coach class is now available. It's on sale until September 23rd.

Now, I am off to create with my September JBS Mercantile kits. I have a lot of ideas but I am not sure if the weekend is long enough to accomplish them all. How about you? What will you be creating this weekend?

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