Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekend Update: Rhinos and Whispers

The weekend is here which means more family time and more creative time. On the creative agenda this weekend, working on summer Project Life pages, maybe some layouts, work for some upcoming projects I am excited about but can't share.

 I can share one particular layout with you. I recently played a round of Chinese Whispers with some friends. What's that you ask? Many Americans call the game telephone or gossip. Someone starts with a phrase and the phrase is whispered among a group of people until it gets to the end. Usually, when the last person says the phrase, you find that it has changed quite a bit. In scrapbooking, you use a sketch instead of a phrase. The first person gets a sketch and then each person after has to scraplift the previous person's layout. At the end, the sketch and the series of layouts is revealed.

  Many people struggle with sketches because they feel like it has to be used as you see it. This game is a great example of how a basic underlying structure can be used while subtle changes are made to the rest of the design. I was the second person in line. The person ahead of me changed a two page sketch from Kiwi Lane into a single page layout.

It appears as though the lady ahead of me used the right side of the sketch to make her layout. I added a photo to accommodate my story. However, I used a matte and placed my title, journaling and the tag in the same position seen on the sketch.

R is For Rhino's Running by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper: Bazzill; Buttons, Sequins, Rub-ons, Ephemera: JBS Mercantile; Other: twine, wood tag, vellum, stickers

I was inspired to use materials from the July Mini Album kit from JBS Mercantile. I don't make mini albums, but I did use some ideas from the project sheet to create the tag. I just love those German Foil animals. I have plenty of zoo photos which will accompany those quite well.

If you are looking to play a game of Chinese Whispers, check around on scrapbook forums or offer to host a game yourself. The game is pretty basic. You need 3-5 people at the least. Just keep in mind that the more people you have the longer it takes to play a round. You may want to have 2 groups going. That way the host can share the sketch with her group but play in a group with another host. No one can share their layout until everyone is done. At which time, the hostess reveals all of the layouts in a row with the sketch that started it all.

Now, I am off to enjoy my creative time. Happy Creative Weekend Everyone!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Get It Scrapped:Using Inspiration

Pinterest is a wonderful source of inspiration. Or should I say that it can be a great source. The trick with any inspiration is that you need to use it. When I first started using Pinterest, I randomly pinned items and hoarded ideas. I rarely went back and used what I saw. Over the past year, I have begun to change the way I use it. This means Pinterest is actually a tool and not a means of wasting time.

When I sit down to create a layout, I have one of several starting points. A common starting point for me is often a photo. Another starting point might be a new acquired kit or product. Sometimes I have an idea inspired by a texture or color. Then there are the times I get stuck and just need some direction. Whichever the case, Pinterest helps me find which way to go.

You may have heard terms like vision board or mood board. Those terms can be an apt way to describe how I now regard Pinterest. I begin a board and add a series of pins which include texture, color,patterns, sample layouts, and inspiring images all geared around the present topic I want to scrapbook. I am still moving my Pinterest boards around a bit. However, Over the past several months I have created a variety of boards with more specific topics. I often create the boards during the process of  choosing my supplies. I can look at the board as a whole and create a kit which makes completing the layout a breeze.

Underwater Wave by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper: My Mind’s Eye, Jenni Bowlin; Letters: American Crafts; Flair: A Flair for Buttons; Paperclip: Pictome; Ephemera, German Foil: JBS Mercantile; Wood Veneer, Mist: Studio Calico; Enamel Dot: My Mind’s Eye; Embossing Powder: Ranger; Other: Washi Tape, bread tag, sticker, Glossy Accents, DMC floss, chipboard

He Wept by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Webster’s Pages, Tim Holtz, Heidi Swapp; Transparency, Flowers: Webster’s Pages; Buttons: Jenni Bowlin; Vellum: Studio Calico; Images:

Botanical and Zoological prints are beautiful but sometimes difficult to incorporate into a scrapbook layout. When I received my assignment for this particular Get It Scrapped article, I initially turned to the GIS Pinterest board and also created my own idea board. I used the boards to explore how the prints were used with colors and other patterns. In the end, I went with a grid composition so that I could separate each step in the butterfly life cycle through my photos.

Currently: A Beautiful Life by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: Studio Calico;Letters: American Crafts; Ribbon: Prima; Jewels: Glitz Designs, Hero Arts; Bird, Flowers: Webster’s Pages;Journal Cards: Kelly Purkey; Metal Charm: Jenni Bowlin Junque Box

Home decor projects often can be used as inspiration for product placement. You can take visual cues from the photos. In some cases, the photo comes with an article with suggestions on how to group items or use colors and patterns. With a little adjustment, you can easily use those suggestions to place products on your layouts. I used suggestions from an article about how to create a gallery wall to make this layout. The photo was inspired by an article about creating a portrait by using only objects

Pinterest is full of inspiration. However, it's only inspiration if you use it to complete something. Organizing your pins into mood or vision boards can help guide your choices in supplies. You can also find ideas for how to place your products. You don't need to use every single pin you find. Identify what you like about the pin. Doing so will help you understand your own sense of style better while at the same time it encourages you to make use of the things you find inspiring.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Get It Scrapped: August Photo a Day Challenge Part two

 I always carry a camera(or two) with me. You never know what you might see. Sometimes, I think people are too busy moving through life to see all the neat things they pass by. Today presented me with two wonderful moments in which I was glad I took the time to look around and take stock in the things happening near me.

The first opportunity was quite a unique one. Despite living on an island, we don't often see a lot of sea creatures in the wild. They don't seem to care for the bustling harbor and usually, my family is out during parts of the day in which the animals are in deeper water. Today though, we were able to observe a spotted eagle ray.

He was exploring the shallows near the docks.I happened to spy him and knew right away he wasn't just a piece of trash floating in the water. A lot of people walked by but none stopped to look. Whenever I see someone with a camera, I always want to see what they are photographing. It must be something cool if they took that moment to pause and capture it. Everyone was too busy bustling to their boat or to the restaurant. Think about what they missed! This little guy is so cool and with a tail this long, he fits the Baby Got Back Prompt.

The second moment happened so fast today that I missed the opportunity with my camera. We were sitting in traffic and we spotted a  hummingbird flitting around some pink flowers. I can remember a time when I had never seen a real live hummingbird. I see them every now and again around the island. Every time I see one, I always appreciate that moment.

 Slim Pickin's or maybe not such slim pickings afterall. I captured this moment earlier in the week. The bird on the left is an adult red legged thrush. She is feeding a caterpillar to her fledgling. The adult bird picked a variety of insects which included a centipede from a rotten log. She would bang each one on the ground to kill it before feeding the fledgling. Yet another example of the cool things one can observe if they pause and look around a bit during their day.

Sweet, Sour or Sassy: This cart belongs to a man who calls himself potcake. He pushes this cart around the island, feeds pigeons in a few spots and sells hub caps. The roads here are very rough and people lose a lot of hub caps. He calls himself potcake in reference to the stray dogs who wander the island, in much the same manner that he does. Potcakes are the scrapings at the bottom of a pan of food which people then feed the dogs.That's where the name comes from. Anyhow, we don't believe Potcake  is homeless. He has an iPod and can be seen in the grocery store buying food. In this case he parked his cart in front of the pharmacy. He likes to make signs which almost always start off with " Potcake says" and which usually have a political statement or opinion about Bahamian culture or government. Some of them can be quite sassy.

Get to the Point: These are sandpipers sitting on one of the rocky points of the island. There are sand beaches in the Bahamas, but many people don't realize just how rocky the islands are.

Cat Nap: My cat fell asleep in her box after playing. She is just the cutest thing ever! Sometimes, people ask me how I get good photos of my cats. I take the time to lay down on the floor with them and get to their point of view.

I know life gets busy. That's why I always keep a camera close at hand. Stopping and taking the time to just look around can really yield some interesting results. Even if you don't take a photo of every moment, think about what you might miss if you just keep going through with blinders on, head down just moving forward to the next place you need to be. It really doesn't take much effort to look around as you move on to that destination. You may not always have time to stop and smell the roses, but you can open up your eyes.

Meanwhile, if you need a little photo inspiration, you can join us in the Photo A Day challenge in the Get It Scrapped forums. The prompts can be a fun way of making yourself more aware of your surroundings.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

The Weekend Update: Time to be Challenged

It's been awhile since I posted a weekend update. Not that weekends change a whole lot around here. Island living is pretty quiet. I anticipated an early start to this weekend and took the opportunity to challenge myself a bit. Despite the hubbub of back to school, things are quieting down around here. This means time for creative play. I know many of you will be scrapbooking this weekend. If you are looking for something that's fun, easy, and gets you to the heart of your story then you will want to check out the challenge archive over at

The first challenge I undertook involved making more use out of my kits. I get monthly scrapbook kits from JBS Mercantile and Studio Calico. Over the summer, I used little bits of those kits, but mostly, they just occupied space near my feet. Both of the layouts I will be sharing today use supplies from those kits. I have also set myself the goal of re-kitting some older supplies and reorganizing my desk space to make some unused embellishments more visible.

Why Did the Ducks Cross the Road by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper: Echo Park, LilyBee Designs; Button, Jewel, Stencil, foil ducks: JBS Mercantile; Pen: Sakura; Ink: Ranger

This was the perfect opportunity to capture a recent conversation with my son. We were out walking in the rain when some ducks crossed the road to walk along the sidewalk ahead of my son. It prompted my son to crack a series of " why did the ducks cross the road" jokes.

I Love Our Morning Routine by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper, Die Cut Card: Studio Calico, My Mind's Eye; Stencil: Heidi Swapp; Modeling Paste: Liquitex; Letters: Basic Grey, American Crafts; Other: Paint

I decided to take on the most current challenge at Document Life- " What I Like About You." The challenge is fairly pen to interpretation. I initially wanted to document what I like about each of our cats. Instead, I chose to document how our cats spend part of the morning with us. I know these are not the best photos. They are the first shots I ever took with my new Fuji Instax 8.  I am learning a bit about the camera's capabilities. Never the less, they capture something I love.

The weekend is officially here for most of us. It's time to grab some unused supplies and some inspiration. I hope you enjoy some awesome time with friends and loved ones while still finding some time in your creative space.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tales of a Craft Class Junkie: Grids and Blocks with Masterful Scrapbook Design

Today I shared a layout over at the JBS Mercantile blog. This month's projects feature all of the new product releases from Jenni Bowlin. One of the ways I am able to incorporate the classes I take is to work on some of the class assignments in conjunction with my design team work. Some classes work better than others for this. Masterful Scrapbook Design is one that allows me to incorporate the topic into whichever style I choose to work with and whatever design team assignment I may currently have. I have been a student since the class began and have always loved the way Debbie Hodge teaches design. It's one of the reasons I chose to apply for the Get It Scrapped design team last year.

The current seminar is all about grids and blocks. As usual, Masterful Scrapbook design invites me to take a look at my past work and at my current process. As I created this layout for JBS Mercantile, I decided to incorporate the grid design. What did I observe? It seems that, though I am not completely opposed to using grids, I am more likely to use a block design or to use a grid the same way I use a sheet of patterned paper. I tend to be more comfortable floating my page elements above the grid versus working all of my elements into the grid itself.

Now, is my observation correct? I'm not 100% sure. I plan to submit this layout for analysis during office hours next week. Office hours are an opportunity to submit your layouts for critique. No worries though. The critique is always done in a very constructive manner. It's a great way to learn about what others perceive in your style as well as opportunities for you to tweak your future work. Perhaps I will see some of you in an upcoming session.

Meanwhile, it's time for me to go practice some more grids and blocks.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Get It Scrapped: Pinwheels and Random Thoughts

In Chinese culture, a pinwheel symbolizes turning your luck around. You could definitely say our new kitten had turned her luck around when she came to live with us. We found her and her siblings abandoned in a local park. My son became one of her best friends. He loved to introduce her to new things all around the house.

Hello: I will Share my World with You by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Letters, Paper Tape, Stamp,Stencil: Jenni Bowlin; Tags: Elle’s Studio; Punch: Fiskars; Embossing Powder: Ranger; Stickers: American Crafts; Modeling Paste: Liquitex; Other: Sequins.cellophane bag, Jewels; created for Get It Scrapped

Creating the pinwheels was pretty easy. I used my JBS Mercantile pinwheel punch with some scrap pieces of cardstock. I covered each side with a different washi tape, trimmed any excess away, then folded the pinwheel. I used a liquid adhesive to secure the folded pinwheel and added a jewel to the center.

The supplies are from my April JBS Mercantile kits. I really adored the kit and was being as frugal as possible with it.It came with some tags from Elle's Studio. I loved the design on the tag packaging( it's the large pink matte). I cut away the Elle's Studio label and placed part of a journal tag in it's place. ( I was surprised to see there are a few April kits left.)

I did use a lot of sequins on this layout. We've been talking about how you can achieve that perfect random sprinkled look over at the Get It Scrapped forum. I think I might be bordering a bit on sequin sneeze on this layout. In my opinion, the key to achieving a random look is to just practice. Try to cluster a few groups of sequins or confetti, let them overlap and adhere them with a fast drying liquid glue. 

Yes, today's post is a bit random. What everything mentioned today has in common is a bit of frugality. My pinwheel punch is an awesome tool. I can customize my own pinwheel embellishments for nay layout. Paying attention to the packaging your supplies come in offers you the opportunity to upcycle it for additional embellishments. Sequins are inexpensive and can be a lot of fun on your scrapbook layouts.

If you have any random thoughts about pinwheels, sequins or anything scrapbook related, pop on over to the Get It Scrapped forum to share.

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