Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful month full of time with friends and family!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Document Life: It's so Sweet!

Today brings us another inspirational challenge from Document Life Workshop. Sweet can mean many things. It could be a tender moment between you and someone you love or watching your child interact with a friend.  My immediate thought was about food! Originally, my goal was to document my son and I baking for the holidays. However, I ran across some photos of him on a field trip to Auntie Anne's Pretzal store.

Pretzal Perfection by Christy Strickler Supplies| Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper, Stickers: October Afternoon; Letters: American Crafts; Stamps: Jillibean Soup; Die Cuts: Elle's Studio; Acrylic, Flair: Freckled Fawn: Jewel: Hero Arts: Other: Button

I had been meaning to scrapbook this field trip for awhile now, but I always struggled with the right supply choices. I wasn't wowed by the color palette of blue, white and brown that the photos offered. I really wanted to capture how much fun we had that day. As I thought about the pretzals, I realized I often associated them with being at the fair. Once the association was made, it was easy for me to select papers from October Afternoon's Midway collection. The bright, carnival like papers added a fun element that I desired.

If you are struggling with supply choices, take a moment to consider what associations you have with objects or activities in the photos. Are there sights, sounds or emotions that come to the forefront? Use your associations as you choose your supplies. Whether your choices are literal or figurative, your associations will add more depth to the layout for you and your family. They may even spark ideas for a title or provide a more in depth story than the event itself.

How will you interpret the challenge? Share your take of Sweet Inspiration with us at Document Life Workshop.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Get It Scrapped: Breaking the Rules

Over the last few years, I have spent time working on a better understanding of design principles. Sometimes I have felt that I have a strong understanding of those concepts. Other times, not so much. I really never realized how ingrained the design concepts had become within my process until I was asked to break the rules.

Breaking the rules sounds easy. In practice, it's so much harder. Design rules when practiced regularly become a habit. As we all know, habits can be very difficult to break. Before I could break any rules, I had to sit down and think about which of the rules I used the most often. The most obvious rule was the visual triangle. It is, so to speak, my design crutch. Adding a visual triangle is the easiest fix when I am looking at a layout and it seems off to me. This leads me to repetition. It's a concept that often works hand in hand with the visual triangle.I also tend to fall back on the need to add contrast. I often choose to find a contrasting color within my paper to make the photo stand out more.

When breaking rules, it seems advisable not to break too many. One or two rules broken and life becomes interesting. Break them all and big trouble often follows. Since I rely the most heavily upon repetition and contrast, I chose to exclude them from the layout.

What Will the Future Hold by Christy Strickler Supplies| Cardstock: Colorbok;Letters: Basic Grey; Embossing Paste: Wendy Vecchi; Stencils: JBS Mercantile; Wood Veneer: Studio Calico, Basic Grey; Coloring Medium: Gelatos, Watercolor paints by Yasumoto; Button: Queen and Co.

I began by choosing a picture without a specific focus. This is a double exposure print which features a silhouette of my son. Rather than find a contrasting paper, I chose to blend it into the background. The background is created with embossing paste and a set of stencils. I did not repeat any of the stencils designs throughout the layout. I added one stencil at a time, allowing them to dry between each layer.In some cases, I dripped white gesso onto the background. Once I was satisfied with the overall look of the background, I painted it with watercolors. I did my best to match the watercolors with the colors of the photo.

The title is comprised of white stickers. It's not clearly placed on the layout and I painted over the letters so that they too blended in with the background. I scattered jewels and a series of wood shapes in a diagonal pattern across the layout. I was very careful not to repeat a shape. I also colored them with a white gelato to give them a milky haze.

The concept of this layout is to express the uncertainty of the future. Breaking the rules helped me to add more meaning to this particular layout. It reminds me a bit of an art journal page, but it also provides me with the feeling of tension and possibility of the unknown.

I found it very difficult to break some of my design habits. Doing so with purpose allowed me to support this particular story. I don't think I will be breaking the rules very often. However, I now see it as a useful tool.

Have you broken some design rules to tell a story with more meaning? If so, please share it over at the Get It Scrapped Gallery.

Supply Options

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Monday, December 16, 2013


Monograms were a big trend which hit earlier in 2013. I didn't jump on board right away. Really, I am not a 100% there. I think it's one of those embellishing trends that works once in awhile. I might never have tried it if not for the acrylic letter my son found.

We were at the local book store and he spied them in the gift wrap section. They had tags in an array of colors, each one featuring a single letter. Getting several to create a full title would have been a bit pricey. One however, was in my budget. I knew I could use the single letter as a monogram title for a photo of my son. I didn't realize it would take me so long to find the perfect photo.

Supplies originally from the JBS Mercantile November kit
K by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterened Paper: Echo Park; Tape, Sequins: Jenni Bowlin; Die Cuts: Chic Tags, Jenni Bowlin; Chipboard: Fancy Pants: Acrylic Letter: Hallmark; Pins, Flower: Maya Road; Bag: Webster's Pages; Other: Jewel, buttons

I knew the photo when I saw it. My son was sitting on the railroad ties, oblivious to the camera. There really isn't a story to tell here. It's just him. This made it the perfect candidate for the monogram.

Supply Options
At this time, most of the November JBS Mercantile kits are sold out. I have created a product list from Two Peas in a Bucket which gives you the option to create a similar layout.

Additional Resources

Ideas for Embellishing Scrapbook Pages with Monograms from Get It Scrapped

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Membership I Treasure

Every month, I get a little bit better. I learn something new and expand on something I have learned in the past. Every month, I meet someone new and cement friendships I have made. I recently wrote about how my participation in Get It Scrapped community and Masterful Scrapbook design have affected me.  I owe my confidence as a scrapbooker and the understanding of my creative process to Get It Scrapped and Masterful Scrapbook Design.

Get It Scrapped is merging it's powerful Masterful Scrapbook Design classes with  Scrapbook Coach  to create a wonderful membership opportunity. You can get 15% off  the price of membership until December 18th.

Click here to view more details

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Saturday, December 14, 2013


The list is a long one. It's full of techniques to try and ideas to execute. I think it's a good thing to have such a long list. I rarely want for an idea, though I admit, sometimes inspiration eludes my grasp. The con to having a long list is that items from that list become neglected. One item surges to the top of the priority list while another moves toward the bottom. Using a foil kit was one of those ideas that fell off the priority list.

It's often a prompt for an assignment or a challenge from a friend which renews my interest in an item or a technique. When Michelle Houghton mentioned that she would be working with Gold Leaf, I remembered I had always wanted to experiment with the foil kit. It was now a matter of finding it. I always advocate using supplies right now and not holding on to them. I don't mean too, but sometimes specific supplies get lost in the shuffle. Out of sight, out of mind! Now that the foil kit was on my mind, it would take a little bit of reorganizing to bring it within my sight line. Organization is something I am always working on. I want the items to be put away but I also need to see them or know they are there so I can make good use of them.
Move some items here, donate some there, sort into new containers and, aha, there was the kit!

The kit is actually very easy to use. It comes with a set of themed glue shapes which you apply in a manner similar to a rub on. Peel off one side, stick it down, rub into place, pull off the top sheet then, simply lay the foil sheet over the glue shape and rub once again. The glue only removes the section of foil it comes into contact with. 

Waiting for Santa by Christy Strickler Supplies| Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper,Brads: October Afternoon; Letters: My Little Shoebox; Glitter Glue: Ranger; Foil: Making Memories; Adhesive Shapes: Colorbox;Die Cuts: Chic Tags; Flair:; Jewel: Hero Arts

The pack of glue shapes came with several sets of Christmas trees. This allowed me to fill a block within the layout. While I could have varied the style of tree( the kit had several to choose from), I preferred the uniform look of this particular style. Using the foil was a wonderful way to subtly add a bit of sparkle to the layout. I repeated the hot pink color inside the flair badge with the word color and a jewel.In addition to foil, the glue shapes also work with glitter and flock. 

I am glad I finally broke the foil kit out. It has literally been out of sight for almost two years! I am not going to buy more until I use these sheets up. However, I can say I have been tempted to get other foil colors. It's just so easy to use!

If you experiment with some gold leaf or foil, we'd love to see your projects in the Get It Scrapped Gallery!

Supply Options

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Tales of a Craft Class Junkie: Working on my Photography Skills

I am at a point in which I would say I am just a bit above the novice skill level when it comes to taking pictures. It's no secret that practice makes perfect. It's also no secret that I love on-line classes. I especially love on-line classes that are free! I recently became aware of two free on-line photography courses. I have signed up for both and I thought I would share them here, just in case you wanted to join me.

Now that I want to create more interesting/appealing product images for my blog, I am finding the need to improve my still life photography. Cheryl McCain is offering a free 8 week course that I am hoping will help me out. If you are interested in still life photography, you can learn more about the course at Cheryl McCain's website.

As a member of Scraphappy, I get unlimited access to the webinars that Lain Ehmann hosts each month. What many people don't realize is that they can get free access to the webinars during a short window of time, even if they are not a Scraphappy member. The free access is generally granted while the webinar is live and then for a few days afterward, you can see the replay. This month, the webinar will feature Katrina Kennedy and is entitled  "Oh, Shoot! Creating a Successful Daily Photography Project." Katrina is known for sharing daily photos tips from her blog.  Click here to view more details

Each year, I try to push my skills as a photographer to the next level. Starting 2014 off with a few courses that will help me do just that seems like a good plan. How about you? Is improving your photography skills something you want to do?

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