Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Tale of Two Trends

Chevrons and the color orange are two trends that have something in common. They both have a lot of energy. Today's inspiration piece at Scrapbook News and Review magazine managed to capture both trends. I thought they were the perfect combination for scrapping about superhero Easter eggs.

Super Hero Easter Eggs Redux by Christy Strickler
Supplies: Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned paper: Sassafrass; Alphas: Sassafrass, American Crafts, My Little Shoebox; Ribbon: Prima; chipboard: Rusty Pickle; other: cardstock, candy wrappers, stickers, egg stands, Sketch Support Sketch #15

You might be wondering why this is a Super Hero Easter Egg Redux. Well, that's because we used the exact same theme Easter egg Dye kit the year before. I live on an island, and there just isn't a whole lot of variety from year to year. We were pretty sure the store was selling the leftover kits from the prior year.

Though the layouts about the kit are quite different, I kept a few details the same.I used some of the same letters, stars and bright colors on both. When I made the redux layout, I didn't have anymore of the letter r. I turned a J over and used it in the place of R. It looked a little different from the other letters. So I overlapped the star on the curve of the J.

Super Hero Easter Eggs by Christy Strickler Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper: Fancy Pants;
Alphas: American Crafts, My Little Shoebox, Sassafrass; ribbon: Jillibean Soup; Mist: Tattered Angels
Chipboard: K and Co. Rub-On: Fancy Pants; Other: Toilet paper, tag, Egg Dye bands

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday, Monday

It's here again. I wish the weekend were longer and my husband could stay home more. Mondays are when I have to start back to housework and when my son starts back to homeschool. This week is a little different. I still have housework, but my son does not have a lot to do for school since it's summer. I'm catching up on the Masterful Scrapbook Design Seminars. I sit down for short stretches, in between the housework, to scrap a little. I usually only get a long stretch to work on crafts in the evenings or on weekends ( unless I am spending time with family). So I have learned to work in short spurts.

I sort of do my housework in the same way. Little bits get done here or there. My son has a hard time sitting for hours, as do I. So we take 10 minute breaks during the school day, during which, I dust or vacuum a room. Everything gets done within a day or so, leaving me time to scrapbook during our breaks.

It makes me sound very organized. I am, sort of. I am by no means caught up on all of the things I want to do for my scrapbook albums. I always have more ideas than the time to implement them. I do work on a layout almost every day, even if it's just for 10 minutes.

Where am I right now?
- behind on project life. WAY behind. I am ok with it. I haven't worked on it since February. Life threw a wrench my way and I had to prioritize. Creative team stuff came first.
- working on layouts for Get it Scrapped and Scrapbook News and Review Magazine. I see these like creative challenges. Though I will admit I wish I had more time for a few I have seen lately
- catching up on classes I have been taking
- Finishing prep work for my son's official start of the next grade level in homeschool

I keep hoping I will feel caught up. My goal is to feel that way by the end of August. We shall see!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two Photo Scrapbook Pages

I was reading a recent article at Get it Scrapped about composing pages with two photographs. I decided that I wanted to share a two photo page layout on my blog, so I set about going through some past layouts to find just the right one. Doing so was quite an interesting journey. I have never counted the number of photos I tend to scrap with on each page. Now here I was doing just that. I learned a lot about how I tend to compose my pages and the number of photographs I like to use. It's yet one more way of learning about my creative self. I invite you to do the same. It's a simple step and even if you use sketches, going back through your pages will teach you a little bit about your own design preferences.

And yes, I did find a page to share with you:
Cardstock: Colorbok, Patterned paper: October Afternoon; buttons: Basic Grey
Mist: Tattered Angels; Stickers: ATD, Recollections and October Afternoon
die cut: Sassafrass; Other: ribbon, transparencies, jewels, DMC FLoss, Glossy Accents
Page Maps sketch

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Salute to Sports

This weekend, Scrapbook News and Review is sharing inspiration and ideas for sports related pages. This six part series will feature multiple blog posts throughout Saturday and Sunday. Scrapping about sports is the perfect way to spend your time watching the Olympics!

Soccer by Christy Strickler Supplies Patterned Paper: Ek Success, Marcella K; Die Cut Machine: Cricket; Font: Ck Beantree; Glitter Glue: Ranger; Punch: EK Success;Brads: Basic Grey Other: chipboard, metal tag

My Interview With This Memory Keeper's Life

I was nervous about it at first, but by the time Friday came, I was perfectly calm. Debbie is so easy to chat with and the time sped past. If you'd like to listen in on our conversation, you can check it out at This Memory Keeper's Life.

My son was listening in on the conversation. He did want me to add one thing. He told me I forgot to say that he is part of where I get my inspiration. Indeed he is. Often, when I am feeling stuck, I ask him to help me out. Sometimes he tells me what I can or can not use on a page. It's kind of like a challenge. For example, he will tell me I need to use small squares of paper, bright colors, and emoticons for a page. Other times, I let him play with my tools. Children have very few inhibitions when it comes to trying things. They have not read the instruction manual for your machines. So within, reason, letting a kid experiment can bring interesting results. One day, I let him play with my Texture boutique. He loves running the embossing folders through for me. He decided to use some clear packaging and he ran it through multiple times. Each time he used a different folder. The result was pretty interesting. So, long story short, if you feel stuck, ask a loved one. You might be surprised at how much  they can help you out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Extending a Page

For a long time, I only made two page layouts. About a year ago, I broke out of this mold. Well, not completely. I almost broke away from the need to make two page layouts. I started making two single page layouts. I would make one page  based off a sketch or a challenge. Then later on, I'd come back and make the other page using the rest of the photos for that event. Sometimes it worked and sometimes the two pages together looked a bit off.

  Around January, I allowed myself to make single page layouts. I even allowed myself to put two layouts next to each other in the album that were totally unrelated. Guess what?!?! It was ok.I like storing my pages this way. I still have a few albums with the one page done and the other still waiting to be made. For this week's sketch over at the Scrapbook News and Review blog, I finished one such layout. 

In April, 2011, I made this page:

This week, I made it's other half:
Mighty Beanz Collection by Christy Strickler SuppliesCardstock: Colorbok, Die Cuts With a View; Patterned Paper: Creative Imaginations; Ribbon: Prima; Markers: Ranger; Other: DMC floss

In real life, the colors are the same for both pages. I am a better photographer now. Plus, I have the magic of photoshop ( and quite frankly, I was too lazy to photo edit the older picture). The new page will go on the right hand side of the album. I linked both pages together using the chain of Star Wars characters and the band of burgundy patterned paper. It's not the most ideal, design wise.

I guess I could go back, and try to redo all those albums with my odd two page spreads, but at the end of the day, this was a phase I went through as I became the memory keeper I am now. That, in and of itself, is part of the memory keeping process.  Your layouts tell two stories. The most obvious story is the one your photos tell. Underlying that, is the story of the memory keeper you were at the time you made the page.

 I invite you to take a walk back through your work. What does it say to you? Do you giggle about the techniques you were trying six years ago? Do you see the phases you went through as you learned and developed your story telling skills? It's fun to look back and I guarantee you will learn a little bit more about yourself.

TGIF check in 7-27

Here it is. Another Friday. I am craft handicapped this weekend. my upstairs AC is not working. Happily, we have a downstairs AC . This means we are camping out on the ground floor. My DH moved our mattress downstairs. My son thinks it's pretty awesome.

I'm not too thrilled as I miss my craft space.

What am I up to this weekend?
- in about an hour, I am sitting down to talk with Debbie for This Memory Keeper's Life podcast.
- I have layouts to work on for Get it Scrapped.
-I have more layouts to work on for Scrapbook News and Review magazine. Some of which, you will see on their front page.
- I have some blog posts to work on.
- I would like to sit down and listen to the current Masterful Scrapbook Design seminar. We shall see if this happens. I also would like to work on my class projects for the Art Studio.

We'll see how it all goes. I always plan on doing more than I am capable of.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

MicroVolts and Instagrams

Ok...so I get the whole instagram trend right now. The photos are not awesome, but it's fun. I have been saving them to my computer so I can then print them out. The come out nicely on a 4x6 photo paper. I then cut and trim them down so I can scrapbook with them.

I took an instagram of my son playing a video game and then made a layout about it. I know...big shocker, another video game layout. What can I say except that it's a big hobby in our household. When I created this page, I used the composition I saw on the cover of a music album. I also googled an image of the character my son likes to play in the game.
MicroVolts by Christy Strickler | Supplies: Cardstock: Colorbok; patterned paper: Basic Grey; markers: Ranger, Bic Mark it; mist: Ranger; other: buttons, soda can tabs, cardboard, photo paper

Scrapbooking on a budget has gotten me using my pens a lot more. I took a hand lettering class at Creative Passions. So I decided to put what I had learned to use here.

For more ideas about using Print ads and other materials as inspiration check out this article( in which this layout appears) at Get it scrapped. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Streets of Old San Juan

I love to travel. I was lucky as a child that my grandparents took me along with them in their RV. I continue to be very lucky as an adult. My Husband takes me along with him on business trips whenever he can. While I don't get to travel as much as I want to, I really appreciate every opportunity I have had to do so. Last Fall, My husband took my son and I with him on a business trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Though we were only there for a few brief days, we made the most of the trip. This layout is only the first to document our adventures there.

The Streets of Old San Juan by Christy Strickler | Supplies: cardstock: Colorbok; alphas: Pink Paislee,Creative Memories; glitter glue: Ranger/stickles; sticker: American Crafts; brads: Basic Grey; flowers: Maya Road,Fancy Pants, and Jillibean Soup; other: acrylic paint,glass beads.

This year, we really don't have a lot of travel planned. It's just not in our budget. However, I plan to document the city we live in a whole lot more. Perhaps you'll see more of my town and more layouts from past travels soon. 

This Memory Keeper's Life Podcast

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm being interviewed for this Memory Keeper's Life Podcast. I'll be sure to post the link as soon as the interview is up.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Beginnings of a Foundation

Sometimes it's hard to get going, creatively speaking. When I get into a rut like this, I often just need to experiment with some of my supplies. Making page bases is one of the ways in which I do that. Sometimes I just need to work without photos or guidelines. I simply mist or doodle or whatever strikes my fancy at that particular moment. It's not just the beginning of a foundation for my page. It also is part of the foundation for building a creative habit.

My recent experiments with page bases have involved mists. I have been taking Mists: Beyond Point and Shoot over at The Art Studio. I won't share everything I have misted. That would be a ton of stuff! I will share one of my favorites though.
The point of this creative exercise is not about how I will end up using this page base. I currently have no pictures in mind. For now, I will set it aside. I may pull it out, every now and again, and glue something onto it. I may one day pull out a photo and just know that this is the page base to use with it. Who knows. The point of the exercise was that I used my supplies and I had fun creating.

After I spent the better part of an afternoon misting and stamping a variety of objects onto plain white paper, I was ready for a week of scrapbooking. You need not take a whole afternoon for this type of creative exercise. Sometimes, I only take about 10 minutes or so. So try something today. Make a page base or a tag. Try a handmade embellishment. Just try something!

For more ideas for page bases and fun check out:
classes at The Art Studio from Scrapbook News and Review Magazine

Ransom Letters

Recently, I posted a tip over at the SNR magazine blog about what I do with extra letters. I have a Big Shot and when I cut letters for a title, sometimes, I get a few extras. I also like using the blocks left over with the letter as the negative space. Other times, letters fall off the sticker sheets or out of the die cut sheets. I don't want to throw them out. So I  got a box with dividers inside to store my spare letter. It's may not be full but it's a great way to keep loose letters. In fact, if I want to create a whimsical ransom title, I have the letters ready to go.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Journal Tag

Sometimes, you need a little creative jump start. Sometimes, you want to create, but time is limited. Either way, it can be a blast to play around with a few leftover items. You just need to look around your desk.

Around 11 pm the other night, I wanted to create something, anything, but my time was limited. I really needed to head off to bed. Couple that constraint with the creative block I had been feeling lately...and I ended up with a sort of hopeless feeling of another night without anything accomplished.

  I started poking around my desk and I saw the leftover packaging from some Sassafrass flowers. I had been wanting to use it for something. just had no clue as to what. On my computer, I had the SNR color palette for this week, and suddenly the lightbulb came on! The trim in the Sassafrass packaging was the same color as one of the colors in the palette. I set to work gathering a few materials here and there. I chose each one based on the color of the palette. In a short time, I came up with this sweet little journal tag:
                 Journal Tag by Christy Strickler Supplies: ribbon: Prima;
      flower: Sassafrass; Alphas: My Little Shoebox;
other: electrical tape, packaging

I am not quite sure when I will use it. I will say thought that I am far more likely to do something with it now that it's cute and finished. I did have to come back in later and use glossy accents on the letters. It seems stickers do not like to stay on glossy packaging surfaces. All in all, it's a cute tag that can be used for a spring or summer page.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Morning

Sitting here with my coffee, still in my pajamas. I have been listening to the rain coming down on the roof. It let up for a short time and revealed a rainbow, so close, you could almost believe that a leprechaun with a pot of gold was nearby.

The picture just does not do this rainbow justice!

It's a typically quiet morning. I must say, I am happy it's a Friday. As usual, I am looking forward to time spent with my family and getting some scrapbooking done. Perhaps we will see the new Batman movie this weekend. Who knows!?!?

Projects I am working on this weekend:
-tweaking some tutorials for SNR magazine
-blog posts
-layouts for SNR and Get it Scrapped
-reorganizing my space just a tad bit more, one shelf at a time

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Inspiration on Tuesdays-Unsure

Every Tuesday, Scrapbook News and Review magazine will be sharing an image,quote or song lyrics to help get your creative juices going. Last week, they started off with a tantalizingly sweet photo of a decadent cake. This week, we have a Japanese Modern ad. Quite a switch, but inspiring none-the-less. If you are a little unsure how to translate an ad to a project, check out some of the tips posted at Scrapbook News and  Review Magazine.

   Unsure by Christy Strickler Supplies: Cardstock: Die Cuts With A View; 
    alphas: Chatterbox, Pink Paislee; ink: ranger; stamp: Jenni Bowlin; 
      pen: Sakura; ribbon: Cosmo Cricket; Other: alligator paper, DMC floss, 
glossy accents; acrylic paint, buttons

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Orange is Everywhere!

You may recall that I got to scrap with Tangerine Tango for a Get it Scrapped assignment. Well, here I am again, scrapping with the color orange. Lately, it's ended up being a go to color for me. Maybe it's the hype about it being the color of the year. Maybe it's because it just works well for me. Either way, I have managed to create a variety of pages with orange as of late. My most recent was a page for Scrapbook news and Review magazine. The color palette for this Friday featured Orange with a bit of yellow and kraft. Kraft is another one of my go to products. I love it for toning down bright colors. I've said it before and I will say it again...Kraft paper feels special somehow, kind of like getting a surprise package and you know something good must be inside that brown paper wrapping.

This layout just called for orange. We have an energetic kitten and there she was playing inside a shopping bag. Of course, I did have a dilemma. I have a lot of other similar cat photos. So the question was whether or not to scrap the same story again. Instead of going the route of " here is my cute cat playing in a bag", I chose to document the story of how she got her name.
How JuJu Bee Got Her Name by Christy Strickler
Supplies: patterned paper: my Mind's Eye and Fancy Pants; alphas: Pink Paislee; buttons: Basic Grey; stamp: SEI; ink: SEI and Tsukineko; punch: American Crafts; other: kraft paper
Do you recognize the border? It's made with the American Crafts punches that I recently reviewed. Overall, this was a very fast page to make. The papers are cut from 6x6 sheets. I simply cut them down to match the size of the photos, then adhered everything in a loose grid. The punched borders and buttons were just the right amount of embellishing. I stamped bees on the buttons using Staz On ink. I now use bees to symbolize my kitten. her name is Juju Bee. Finding something that is a special symbol for someone in your family is a unique way to personalize a page.

Pages don't have to be complex to tell your story. Quick and Easy pages are often perfect. In this case, the bright colors needed only simple embellishments. Find new ways to use common photos to tell stories that you may not have specific photos for. You'll find you have more stories documented and more pages in your albums.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sketches on Friday

It's Friday and that means time to scrap! My hubby has a 3 day weekend which translates to even more time in my craft space. This week also kicks off inspiration in the form of sketches and  color palettes from Scrapbook News and Review magazine. I hope you pop over to the SNR blog to check out the sketch that inspired Spring Storms.

Spring Storms by Christy Strickler Supplies: cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned paper: Echo Park and American Crafts; Alphas: Jillibean Soup; Stamp: We R Memory Keepers; Ink: Recollections; Chipboard: Sassafrass; Felt: Sassafrass; Die Cut: Sassafrass; Office Tab: American Crafts;Trim: Fancy Pants; Other: canvas

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Inspired by Print Ads

Whenever I am short on inspiration, I look to print ads. The ads are always well laid out. After all, they are designed by professional marketing teams to grab the viewers attention. It makes it easy to substitute my photo for the ad's and embellish as I please.

This Macy's ad was one of my recent choices. With a little vision, you can see where you can add in a photo or a block of paper. There's a nice spot for the title and a subtitle. Take out the ad's text, and you have a place to journal. Whether you choose to use one photo or four, the ad is well balance.

I decided it would be easiest to start with my main photo and then scale the rest of the page around it.This is often the best way to work with ads.It can be difficult to try  to crop and print a photo to the same sizes as those in the ad. I chose a 4x6 photo of my dog and cat napping together. I then cut blocks of paper and placed them around the photo to create a rectangle just as you see in the upper portion of the ad.

Sometimes ads are very flat. This one had that feel. So I added dimension within the blocks by using brads, jewels and ribbon. Adding glossy accents to the title letters helped keep them in place while also adding a bit of dimension. I chose soft colors paired with brown for my palette. I often use brown when I scrap my pets. The soft blue and pink lends to the theme of them napping together.

Side by Side by Christy Strickler | Supplies: cardstock: Die Cuts With a View; patterned paper: Basic Grey;alphas: Paper Trunk; brads: Making Memories; ribbon: Basic Grey; badge: Pink Paislee; sticker: Momenta; other: jewels, DMC floss,glossy accents

For more Ad Inspiration and tips for using ads on Scrapbook Pages, check out Get It Scrapped!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One Shelf at a Time: Buttons

I love buttons. I love buttons stored in jars. I love looking at photos of scrap rooms with jars full of buttons and embellishments. I have tried to emulate these gorgeous scrap rooms by collecting a wide array of glass jars from spaghetti sauce to baby food. I am sad to say I have discovered that jars just don't work well for me.

 Right now, I have buttons stored using two different methods. Since I am on several creative teams, I need to know whose products I am using so I can properly credit the manufacturer. Method one: buttons of unknown origin are sorted by color and stored in jars. Method two: Buttons by manufacturer( then by color) are sorted into a tackle box style contraption. In examining both the way I purchase my buttons and the way I store them, I have realized that the tackle box is far more useful to me at this time. I will probably never buy enough buttons to fill up a single jar. I also hate having to dump them out, sort through them to find the right button, then return them to the jar.

I tend to buy my buttons in a bulk  from the daily deal sites. The last time I bought buttons this way was almost a year and a half ago. You get a lot of buttons when you purchase them like this and they tend to be from the same manufacturer. I was running low, so I recently made a bulk button purchase.

I used to store the buttons by product line. I decided I liked having them by color. So I decided to use my storage cases in the way I use colors. I scrap a lot of blue and green together. So keeping those buttons in the same container made sense. Pink and purple also went well together. Orange( I need more orange buttons!), red and yellow fit into another container. Which left me a container for neutrals and browns.

I now have one case filled with buttons  from one manufacturer, all sorted by color. It has sure made it easier to reach for a button when I am scrapbooking. I plan to ditch the jars in the future and switch my unknown buttons to a similar system.

Friday, July 6, 2012

TGIF! Time to start the weekend!

Almost time, anyway. It officially begins when my husband gets home from work. I have a lot going on this weekend. Class wise, that is. Nic Howard's Dimensional details class stared at big Picture. I love her stuff, so you know I am in her class. Masterful Scrapbook Design began a month long storyteller seminar. Of course, I still need to finish listening to last month's webinars about art journal looks. Today, my first class at the Art Studio begins. It's all about misting. I am addicted to mists. Now, how do I go about fitting so many classes in? I try to combine the things I learn onto one page as I go along. We'll see how that goes. ;)

Meanwhile, I have a few more blog posts to write for you. I did manage to sort those buttons and would love to share my storage solution and thoughts. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Fourth Came and went

It's the day after the fireworks. We had an awesome time watching fireworks at the resort my husband works for. This year, Atlantis seemed to be on fire. Literally.Columns of sparkling fireworks shot off the roof. It was awesome!

I tried out the fireworks setting on my camera. Some of the photos came out. Some did not. I took several dozen shots though. So there is sure to be one or two or three that I can scrapbook. If you would like to see a little more inspiration for scrapbooking your Independence day photos, check out the SNR blog today.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope you enjoy a happy and safe Fourth of July! If you'd like some inspiration for all of those awesome photos you are going to take, check out SNR Magazine's blog.

jsw pureandtrue.cs

Pure and True by Christy Strickler Supplies:  Cardstock: Colorbok; patterned paper: Sassafrass,Cosmo Cricket; alphas: Making Memories; flowers: Prima; buttons: Foof a La; Stickers: Basic Grey and 7 Gypsies; Die cut: K and Company; other: Denim, DMC floss: Sketch: Page Map

Monday, July 2, 2012

Right now...

I am working on a variety of projects this week.

 Recently, I was promoted to the role of Front Page and Blog Coordinator at SNR magazine. I am really excited about it. My first post went live yesterday and today I posted tips for creating a themed Patriotic kit. Over the next few days, there will be a tutorial and lots of patriotic inspiration from the staff of SNR mag. I hope you will go check it out!

I am also currently working on layouts for Scrapbook News and Review and for Get it Scrapped. Being on creative teams is  a lot of work  However, it's very rewarding. I am getting a ton of photos on pages.

I am taking a few classes too. Over at Get it Scrapped, I continue to learn more about design through the Masterful Scrapbook Design course. I am also taking some Doodle and hand lettering classes through creative passions. I keep looking back to my beginning days when I used my pens a little more. I think this will be a great way to go both creatively and budget wise. Meanwhile, I am waiting for a few classes to start at SNR's Art Studio. So far, I am signed up for Modeling paste. I have my place saved for the Gesso class, as well as for the classes on encaustics and Diving into Distress inks. I think I signed up for too many classes. LOL It was really hard to pick just one though!

In my craft space, I need to continue to organize and clean. It's a challenge given that I have so much I need to create at the same time. This week, my goal is to try to do at least one thing. I think that one thing shall be button organization. After a year, I have finally restocked my BG buttons and I need to sort them and put them away.

Stay tuned for further project postings. I have a lot to share. I just have to find time to blog about it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July is sizzlin at SNR magazine

If you are in search of inspiration for Patriotic themed pages, head over to the Scrapbook News and Review blog. Tutorials, tips and projects will be posted all week long! Projects from around the globe will be shared by SNR staff members. You will learn how to make a background from eggshells which works fantastically for cards, mixed media or layouts. On a budget? There will even be some tips for you to create your own page kit from your stash.