Friday, October 31, 2014

The DigiScrapGeek Podcast: Episode 8- It's all Good for the Industry

It wouldn't be an episode of the DigiScrap Geek podcast if something crazy didn't happen behind the scenes. Usually there is a slight technical issue. You, the listener, might not ever know about it. Carrie is wonderful at editing the shows. This time though, there was no denying it was obvious and it happened to me. We were almost through the end of the show when there was a power surge at my house. Power surges and outages are common in the Bahamas. For that reason, we have our electronics on surge protectors and voltage regulators. A good thing too. Ours did its job, flipping itself off when the power came back. We had power everywhere, except not to our tv, cable and internet. We checked all the breakers and finally figured out we had to reset the surge protector. Unfortunately, it wan't in enough time for me to rejoin the show.No matter. The show went on just fine and it's a good one.

This week's guest is Betsy Sammarco. I have had the pleasure to work with and get to know Betsy through my time with JBS Mercantile. In this episode, we talked about paper companies and their digital products. I personally think it's wonderful that so many products are now available to both digital and paper scrapbookers. To listen to this week's episode, stop by the DigiScrapGeek website .

Do you remember earlier in the month when I mentioned my Halloween class. It's now available. You can find out more about it here or at Creative Passions Classes. For a limited time, use code SPOOKY15 to save 15% of my class and other classes from Creative Passions.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get It Scrapped: Stand Out Products

There are scrapbooking products out there that are just plain cool. Sometimes they are big and bold. They capture your eye and make their way into your supplies. Then what? It's not always easy to use some of those stand out products. The simplest thing is often just to covet them and leave them in your stash. The better choice is to challenge yourself to work with them. Recently, I was called to do just that for Get It Scrapped.

I love wood veneer.Usually, I use it as small accent pieces on my layouts. However, I had come into possession of a die cut wood veneer sheet measuring 12x12 in size. I had some ideas, but the sheet was so large and seemed to call for a special treatment. Therefore it sat in my stash for a few months unused. I knew I needed to use it or my love of it wood wane. So I pulled it out and came up with a way to work it into a layout.

K and Boo by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: Studio Calico; Letters: American Crafts; Die Cuts, Flair, Acrylic,Stickers: Basic Grey; Wood Veneer: Crate Paper, Studio Calico, Basic Grey; Stickers: Crate Paper; Enamel Dots: Twine and Ink; Other: Sequins

The obvious choice would be to use the 12x12 die cut wood veneer as a layer over patterned paper. The paper needed to have a pattern that was discernible through the die cut portions of the wood veneer. I chose this numbered patterned paper to go along with the twenty four seven die cut. I liked that it contrasted subtly with the wood. I felt the wood veneer sheet would get lost within the layers despite it's large size. I used large wood veneer circles along with smaller wood bits to bring the wood layers into the upper dimensions of the layout. I used small wood hearts to reinforce the heart shapes in the large wood veneer piece.

Large eye catching products like this wood veneer sheet are unique but sometimes difficult to use. While you want that product to be a large part of the design, you also want it to work with all of the elements in your layout.Add smaller products that reinforce the texture, color, or shapes of those stand out products and use them to add repetition that supports the stand out product.

Additional Resources

The Get It Scrapped Membership
Click here to view more details

Monday, October 27, 2014

An Autumn Sign with Deflecto Craft Solutions

I have always been tempted to make a holiday themed banner for my home. However, I am often deterred from making one with paper products. I worry that the paper banners won't hold up long or will gather dust. If I was going to invest my time and supplies into making a banner, I wanted it to last. When I saw the Deflecto Flexible Pouches, I decided I finally had a product that would help me make long lasting decor.

I started by cutting down several of the Deflecto Chalkboard Sign tags. They were thick enough to prevent any curling of the pouches when I put them on display. Though the sign tags came with a chalkboard marker, I opted to use stickers instead. I didn't quite like my own hand lettering. I decorated the outside of the flexible pouches with washi tape, buttons and puffy stickers. Putting them on the outside allowed me to add dimensional items without stretching the pouches. The string is simply some left over ribbon. I tied it in knots to prevent the flexible pouches from sliding off.

Shown above on the upper left are the Deflecto Versagrip Double Sign holders. I decided to use them to hang my banner sign. I am a renter and can't really add holes or hang too much on the walls. The Versagrip Sign Holders allow me to add the banner to some of my furnishing without causing any damage.

Initially, when I hung the banner, some of the pouches twisted in a manner that made it unreadable. I opted to glue the pouches together, then add small bits of thin chipboard to make it more sturdy. It became more of a sign and less of a banner. However, I like the final product. The sign should endure being packed and stored when Autumn is over. I can also gently wipe dust off of the flexible pouches should they become dirty.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

The DigiScrap Geek Podcast 7: What's that Pig Doing There?

Being part of the DigiScrap Geek podcast is such a wonderful experience. I get to talk about scrapbooking with friends. Then, Carrie Arick works her magic to edit the podcast and publish it. It's been a fabulous learning experience and I think all of us cohosts are starting to get the hang of things.

On this episode, we talk all about journaling. The story is such an important part of our memory keeping. Yet there are times in which we just don't do enough. Come listen as we share tips and tricks for making sure you get the right details on your layouts. We're also talking about which aspects of the story we feel are important to include.

You'll also want to check the bottom of the DigiScrap geek Post. There is a giveaway for a seat in Curated Albums, a class from Get It Scrapped.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

JBS Mercantile: A Belated Mid Month Release

Things have been quiet on my blog and website for the past week or so. I was enjoying a much needed Fall break with my husband and son. Though we did not travel anywhere, we sure did enjoy the time we spent as a family. I did manage to finish a few projects for JBS Mercantile prior to my time off. Both were shared recently on the JBS Mercantile Inspiration Blog.

I was honored to see this layout featured on the JBS Mercantile Store's front page. I was experimenting with a few items on this layout when I made it. First, I wanted to color the large letter stickers. I used Bic Mark It's. I started with a light brown which seemed to be drying out a bit.( it was well used). The results were less than stellar with the coloring marks quite evident. I didn't want to scrap the letters, so I colored over it with a darker brown. Some of the coloring marks are still visible, but it reminded me of wood grain, so I kept it.

My second experiment was the wood grain background. It's a sheet of thin wood by My Mind's Eye that was available in the artisan kit. The wood sheet was thin enough to be cut by my paper trimmer. I noticed that it had a tendency to curl, so I mounted it on a piece of cardstock to add stability. This also prevents the wood sheet from cracking. I layered some patterned papers in the open space between the two wood pieces, then I ran it through my sewing machine. The wood sheet is thin enough that it passed through my machine with no issues.

The third experiment was the design. I chose to move the design to the right side, adjacent to the edge of the paper. I used packaging from the Fancy Pants True Friends Flair and journaled on it. This layout is all about how celebrating the Fall and Halloween has changed since we moved to the Bahamas. I also compared how what we experience is different then in the US. In the eight years we have lived here, this is the first Fall display we have ever found. We have noticed some halloween decor and costumes. Some neighborhoods do trick or treat, but not all. In fact, Halloween candy can only be found on one or two end caps in a few stores here.

This layout was created for this month's JBS Mercantile Inspiration Blog feature " From Pinterest to Page." I decided to once again work with the large letter stickers.These letters aren't my usual style, but I didn't want to just pack them away into my stash. I searched Pinterest for the perfect inspiration.

 I also chose to add a mason jar sticker. There is a whole pack of them in the main kit this month. I like mason jars, but find them challenging to use. I was able to work a jar into the page by adding themed items such as Jack O Lanterns and orange enamel shapes.

It remains to be seen whether or not I can kill this kit. I have been very frugal with the papers. I am performing my usual method of cutting out the paper behind the mattes to use on other pages. I think I can get another layout or two from this kit. Stay tuned to find out.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The DigiScrap Geek Podcast: Episode 6. Extraction Action

I confess that I am not always the best photographer. I am better than I used to be but still need more    experience. When it comes time to edit the photos, I sometimes need a little help. I use actions and plug ins in PhotoShop Elements to improve my photos and cover my mistakes. Episode 6 of the Digiscrap Geek podcast provides a comparison of actions, styles and plug ins. Come have a listen. It will help you figure out what might work best for you.

I began my exploration of photo editing with actions. I didn't have a lot of money, so finding free actions was the way to go. My favorite are a set from the Pioneer Woman. After installing them in Photoshop Elements, I could edit my photos with ease. Later, I discovered Totally Rad Labs. It's a plug in that loads itself into photoshop. I love it because very little technical knowledge is needed to run it. It allows me to customize a photo with ease, then apply the recipe to additional photos if I desire to. I love Totally Rad Labs so much that I became a Radvocate. At this point in time, I don't use a lot of styles. Many digital scrapbookers use them as time saving short cuts or to alter items in a digital kit. I am still exploring how I can use styles as a hybrid scrapbooker.

Additional Resources

My Photo Workflow- see how I organize and edit my photos.

Get Totally Rad Labs

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Get It Scrapped: Free Public Domain Images

Free is always good. If you are looking for the perfet little extra something for your scrapbook layout, free public domain images might just be the right thing. Public domain images run the gamut from scientific type prints to vintage valentines.

No Dog No by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper, Die Cuts, Rub-Ons: American Crafts; Stickers: Freckled Fawn, American Crafts; Tape, Letters, Chipboard, Enamel: Freckled Fawn; Printable: James Kimberlin via Flickr

No Dog No features a photo of our kitten meeting our overzealous dog. The encounter was brief and the photo isn't the best. However, how could I resist documenting this moment! The vintage valentine was the perfect addition to the layout. It features a cat and mentions a brief greeting. To ensure that the page didn't have a Valentine's Day feel, I used products with bright pops of color not associated with the holiday.

Printing the free public domain images is easy. My printer has an option for 4x6 prints. I chose not to fit the Valentine image to the frame.This prevents part of the image from being cut off. After cutting off the excess paper, I had the die cut image you see here. Another viable option would be to use the Silhouette Portrait print to cut feature. You might also consider printing multiple images by using photo collage options from your home printer.

Supply Options

Additional Resources

an article from the Get It Scrapped Blog

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome October!

It's October! Time to get out the Halloween and Fall decorations. Time to look forward to cooler weather and the promise of crisp nights with our windows open. Time for autumn themed layouts. Which makes this month's JBS Mercantile kits the perfect choice! I was super excited to get my kit this month. A selection of supplies from two of the Fall themed paper lines from my wish list were in the kits: Fancy Pants' True Friend and October Afternoon's Apple Cider. This kit has me excited to hunt down some Autumn photos.

made with a selection of supplies from the main and artisan kits.

I found these photos of my son when he was younger. He is making an improvised scarecrow. We didn't have a ton of money when my son was small. I still wanted to decorate the house with a fall theme. I had to get creative. I pinned some of his old clothes together then went outside to gather pine needles. The pine needles were bundled to make the hands and feet. Then I let my son stuff the body with old newspapers. To create the head, we stuffed a paper grocery sack which my son then decorated. We had an awesome time. I am sure the memory of the homemade scarecrow will stand out much more than if I had just bought some decorations at the store.

I still have plenty of older Autumn themed photos to work with. I am hoping to use up the entire kit this month. Stay tuned to find out. Meanwhile, if you would like to see more kit inspiration, check out the JBS Mercantile Designer Team Gallery.

Supply Options