Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Really Love This Page

and that is not something that I say often about my own pages.  Usually I kind of pick them apart and focus on what I feel I didn't do right or for what didn't match the way I thought it should have.  This page is different.  I truly just love everything about it from the colors to the papers (the ones that were screaming for me to put them back in my stash so that they wouldn't have to be cut up:)) to the embellishments.  It just fell together.  The picture is one my hubby took of my little guy when we visited Universal Studios.  We were trying on wigs and he just looked so adorable!  That hair looks like it could really be his....

The next lo is of me and my little guy.  My husband snapped it at dinner one night.  My hair was falling forward and he snapped the picture at the perfect moment when it was framing me & Q.  The lo talks about how free he is during this time in his life.  He doesn't mind showing affection, wearing quirky things or delighting in weird stuff. 
I put a couple of pictures on the lo that represented just what I meant.  In one he is wearing his Halloween costume and had had it on all day long.  It was a gladiator one and it didn't bother him at all that it was essentially a skirt.  Now, he would not even wear it to bed!  The third picture shows how proud he was of himself for peeling the skin off of an orange in one piece.  So weird to be happy about that but he had been trying to do it for days and was finally able to get it right.  He displayed the peel in the kitchen for days until I finally made him throw it away, lol. 
Anywho, thanks for stopping by and have a great Wednesday!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Creating Scrapbook Layouts With No Photos

I'm not talking about photoless pages but about creating pages than printing & adding your photos later.  I talk about it a lot.  I do it all the time.  In fact, I have a stack of about 7 layouts sitting on my desk that I plan to print photos for today.  For me, the worst part of the process is editing and printing my photos.  My husband is an amazing photographer and I love the photos that he takes of our family and adventures.  Me, not so much.  My photos are often dark, out of focus, to far away or just plain crap.  Our older photos tend to have many of the same issues that the photos that I take have.  But, and this is a big but, these photos definitely represent memories of our life that I want in our family albums.   So I end up editing 90 percent of the pictures that I put on my layouts. 

Friends, I do not like editing photos.  I don't want to take the time to really learn how to do tricks with my software and sometimes my program has a mind of its own and will not print the way it should.  Bottom line, the stuff that makes me happy is the creating.  The rest is grunt work.  This is one of the why's of why I would create scrapbook pages without photos.  Sometimes, I will remember an event and get a page idea for it and I feel the need to get to work on the page right away and I don't want to stop and print pictures.  Or I will have a story that I want to tell and I plan to take photos that represent it.  Crazy right?  Crazy fun and easy:)

So you may be wondering how it works.  It is not hard at all to create this way and it works for mainly 2 good reasons:

Reason #1 - I'll have to edit the vast majority of my photos anyway so why not do it to fit a layout that is already done.  Photo editing programs have made it fairly easy to resize photos so the different photo sizes are easy for me to get. 

Reason #2 - Photos often need to get cropped in this house so this is a step that can easily be customized to make them fit a page I've already finished. 

This is such a great method for me and I have been using it for years.  While I do have a few layouts that don't ever get photos, the vast majority of pages are done and in my albums.  These are going to get photos this week.....

I was able to create a couple of layouts this weekend that I did have photos for and I have about 4 pages done that I created with my kit.   It did get easier to get some pages done once I relaxed about using only the kit products.  Trying to make myself only use the kit was a major pain! 

This is one of my youngest a few years back when we had this epic snow storm.....


This one is the September page for my calendar.........

And this is a layout about when my youngest was little.  We could not keep him out of our bed!  He loved his room and would happily nap in his own bed.  When we tucked him in at night, it was always in his own bed and he didn't fuss about it at all but it never failed, he would wake up in the middle of the night, climb a flight of stairs to get to our room and crawl in bed with us.  It took years to break him out of this habit!

On the home front, my husband has finally gotten around to installing the backsplash in our kitchen.  I LOVE it!  Seriously, I am in love, love, love....

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope that you will give scrapping without photos printed a try.  If you do, I would love to hear your thoughts (love it, hate it, or indifferent:))

Happy Monday y'all!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Including Everyone In My Scrapbooks

I don't seem to be doing a very good job of that.  In fact, when I look back through my pages, there are some people that I love very much or who have had a profound impact on my life that I don't have layouts of at all.  Like my brother.  Or my grandmother, who practically raised me.  Most of my layouts seem to be of my oldest daughter, youngest son, 2 of my nieces and 1 of my nephews.  With my husband and oldest son thrown in every now and than for good measure. 

Why I don't know.  I have wonderful stories about all of these people.  Some photos too but for whatever reason, I don't tell them in my albums.  That must change.  I feel as if my scrapbooks tell a story about our family and as of now, the story is not 100% accurate.  I am sure that I don't have more than 1 or 2 photos of my grandparents.  Not sure why as we spent a lot of time with them.  Both sets.  My fathers parents lived on a farm and we were there most weekends and my mothers parents babysat me, my sister and my brother until I was about 10 years old maybe. 

Even after they stopped sitting for us, they would always get us for road trips, crafting, fishing and visiting (as my grandmother called it).  She loved to take us to visit her friends because she said that we were always well behaved.  I can remember many afternoons spent in her friends parlor sitting and having a tea.  Not touching anything or talking much bc kids in those days did not speak unless spoken to and they certainly did not touch.  All of her friends seemed to have hundreds of delicate little things! 

Anywho, I am making really good progress on getting my boxed photos sorted and should be done tomorrow.  Next phase is weeding out the duplicates and putting them in a rough order by time period and place.  I hope to be done with that by the end of May.  My duplicates will be farmed out to the kids so that they can start their own family albums.  Wish me luck!

I do have a layout to share.  It is of my oldest and my best friends oldest.  They were born 4 days apart and were as thick as thieves the first part of their lives.  Like twins.  They loved each other and could calm one another down just by being close together.  This is one of my favorite photos of the two of them. 


Well that's all for me today.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great Tuesday!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Creating With A Kit

does not seem to be in my lane.  I love the kit that I put together but I am not enjoying the process of creating with it.  I think I need to relax and just go with the flow and not impose so many rules on myself.  If I'm being honest, I had the same problem when I was part of a kit club.  I would get them and feel as if I had to use the stuff in the box and nothing but the box in order to be doing it right.  I'll give it another go, without the limitations, and see if it makes me any happier.  

I was able to start 3 new layouts, but none have more than just the general laying out of the pieces done.  Hopefully since they are mostly done, I will be able to finish them today. 

This layout I created about a road trip me, my husband and the little guy took to Baltimore, MD a couple of years ago.  Probably my favorite picture of the entire trip was the one of my son making the fish face at the sculpture.  It really shows the lighter side of his personality.  As he gets older, he gets more and more serious so it is nice to see him having fun and being silly.  Of course, he is much to old for stuff like that now that he is a semi adult:).

Alrighty then.  Off to see if I can create something decent with my fantastic kit.  Wish me luck and thanks for stopping by!  If you created a kit, I would love to hear how you are getting through it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Putting Together a Stash Kit

is exciting!  It really made me look at the stuff that I have with fresh new perspective and I can't wait to dig in to this.  Here is a look at my kit.

 My papers are all from the We R Memory Keepers Farmhouse line with the exception of one.  That is a green iridescent vellum that I have had for so very long.  The photo makes it look gold, but it is a really pretty yellow-green.  Not sure how I am going to use it but happy to have it in the mix.




The flair is going to be a serious challenge to use with the other stuff that I picked out.  Just Keeping it interesting y'all.

Sorry that some of the pictures are so dark.  Don't quite know why my camera was being difficult.  Not a bad kit if I say so myself.  Since we are not planning anything this weekend, I'm hoping to get all 6 of my layouts done. 

The layout that I chose for inspiration is pinned here and here is my sketch.  Thinking that maybe I should have chosen a less challenging design but I love this lo from Leslie Ashe.

My plan is to set my thickers aside and to use only my cameo to create the letters that I need.  When I need thick letters, I will just cut multiples of each letter and stick them together.  This is really going to work out well for me.  No wasted letters that I have to figure out something to do with and no missing vowels that force me to change the perfect alphas for something else.  That kinda turned into a mini rant but I won't be breaking up with thickers any time soon.  Love them too much. 

Of course, I will still probably have to pull in more cardstock for matting and maybe some washi and splatter inks but that's okay bc I group those supplies in the same category as adhesive.  My intention is to hold myself 100% accountable to the challenge I made me:)  No cheating.  At least not a lot of cheating:)

I do have a completed layout share.  Two to be exact.  Numero Uno is a page featuring my oldest son and my feelings about him leaving home.  Specifically how much I want to see him happy in his life.

Numero Dos is my October calendar page.  I just skipped right over September lol.  I will get back to that in the next couple of weeks or so.  This is a crucial time for the calendar project, 3 months to go.  Can she do it?  I hope she can bc it would suck to have a whole year except for 3 months!

 I am so excited to get photos for this page! 

 Anywho, that's all for me today and thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Love A Challenge.

Don't you?  I really miss some of the challenge blogs that have gone away.  They stretched me and helped me use my ever increasing stash.  Since I don't have anything better to do ;), I decided to create a scrappy challenge for myself.  If you want to play along, I'd be happy to scrap along with you.  I am going to be very ambitious here and give myself to the end of the month to finish.  So here's the challenge:

1. Create your own kit using:
  • 12 - 3X4 Journaling or Embellishment Cards
  • 1 Stamp Set
  • Electronic Die-Cut Machine for Alphas
  • 2 Flair Badges
  • 20 Assorted Brads and Eyelets
  • 1 Pack of Flat Stickers (The newest you can find in your stash)
  • 1 Pack of Layered Stickers (The oldest you can find in your stash)
  • 1 Pack of Chipboard Stickers (Crafters choice:))
  • 6 Sheets of Patterned Paper
  • 6 Sheets of Cardstock
  • 1 - 6X6 Paper Pad
  • 1 Roll of Ribbon or Twine
2.  Find a layout that you really love and make a sketch based off of it. 

3.  Use the sketch in 6 different ways to create 6 different layouts. 

The challenge is to use only the kit to produce the 6 layouts based on your sketch.  I am so excited to get started.  I will come back tomorrow with my kit.  Yay. 

This weekend I spent some time going through my photo albums and completed layouts.  I am putting aside the pages that don't have journaling or ones that still need photos and making it a priority to get that done this month.  I don't know if I mentioned this or not but I spent a few years dealing with a serious creative slump.  We have had so much going on and our life (& home) has just been a chaotic mess.  Nothing bad or tragic, just the way life is sometimes.  But I was left too exhausted to do anything outside of the absolute necessary.  Thankfully I seem to be through the slump and am back to creating everyday. 

This weekend, we went to check out a campsite and fell absolutely in love with it.  There will be no real roughing it, but we will get to enjoy sitting around a fire talking, roasted marshmallows and time spent together under the stars. 

We also took a trip to the Tidal Basin to get a look at the cherry trees in full bloom.  They were stunning!  They never cease to stop me in my tracks with their beauty.  But man oh man were there a lot of people there.  You could not even take 2 steps without running into someone. 

I do have a couple of layouts to share.  The first one is of my niece when she was itty bitty.  She is a complete character all of the time but this time she was outrageous.  Don't ask me what she was thinking, I could not tell you.  She had sand everywhere!  My sister is one of those super patient moms that does not get upset about little things so all was good at the end of the day.  I probably would have freaked out just a little because there was So. Much. Sand. lol

This layout was actually created for Studio Calico's Sunday Sketch but I never got around to submitting.  Love the page though. 
Thanks so much for stopping by!  If you decide to do the challenge with me, I would love to see what you come up with. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Not Feeling Very Creative

We are still in geometry hell, it's raining out and we have a weekend full of plans.  So even though I have some time, today anyway, to scrap, I have zero interest.  I sat and stared at the page I was working on for about 20 minutes before I just gave up the goal last night.  Sigh.  Today is not shaping up to be much better.

So since I have no creative motivation, I am going to do manual labor instead:).  Stuff like prepping paper for some ideas that I have, stenciling some book pages to use as backgrounds and embellishments, sorting my cardstock, cutting leaves with my cameo.  All of the stuff that needs to get done but takes me away from creating pages to do it.  I figure that once I start touching all of the pretty paper and messy paints, I will be inspired to make some actual projects.  Who knows, I may even break out my long neglected cross stitch project.  I started it in 2012 and only seem to work on it when we take road trips:).

I really can't make up stuff like what I'm about to tell you.  I purchased some really pretty, plasticky alphabet paper a few months ago.  It was on clearance for some crazy price like 20 cents.  It's so nice that I really should have gotten 50 sheets of this stuff but that is a comment for another day.  Last month PageMaps had this sketch

Very soon after that I found my nieces very first school portrait and the idea for this page just fell together.  It practically made itself.  It only took me about 20 minutes to put it together too.  That NEVER happens to me.  Ever.  And I just love this layout.  The colors, the simplicity, everything is just on point for me. 

 Her chubby cheeks are just so kissable!  I did a journaling card to slip in a pocket behind the photo but forgot about it and glued the mats all the way down.  Crap.  But I was able to fix it by trimming off the top (the heart love tab) and taping the rest of the card to the back of the layout.  I think I will go back and add a few more things to this before it goes into the album but not a whole lot.  The first photo of the lo was taken with the flash so you can get an idea of how the paper is made.  It really reminds me of jelly shoes.  Love it.  Hate that I only had one piece. 
Alright, back to geometry.  I hear a big brain cramping.  i.e. grunting, sighing, erasing....
Thanks for stopping by and have a happy, happy Friday and a fantastic weekend!  It is supposed to be just beautiful in the DC area and we are going to get out of the house.  Cherry blossoms are in full bloom so we're going to brave the crowd and my allergies to go check them out.  We also plan to scout some camping sites while we're at it.  Fun times, folks, fun times. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Memories Long Past

Lately, my pages have been made using memories long past.  It makes me wonder how much of the story has been forgotten.  Of course, it's too late to do anything about it now but the thought of losing our families history has motivated me to start playing caught up instead of catch up. 

I won't worry so much about the order that I make my layouts or trying to work from oldest to newest.  I must print the important photos from today and get those stories down before they are forgotten.  Looking at the photos of my Granny holding my youngest (something that I had totally forgotten about) kinda woke me up to the fact that my mind is not a vault and I can't remember everything.  So starting right now, today, I will put more effort into printing my photos on a regular basis and not relying on the photos that are already in my hands just because it is easier to use what is already printed than to print more. 

That being said, here are a couple of layouts that I completed using the old photos.  I finished some more pages this week that I will be printing photos for and posting later.  I have a pile of them that need some photos. 

First up, our family map reader.....

This was a great trip and I am so happy that I was able to record how much Quentin loves to be our tour guide when we travel. 
Next up is this lo about my MIL and niece. 
I have had that piece of Basic Grey die-cut paper forever!  Even though I have purged my stash a few times, I have never been able to let it go but let me tell you, it was super hard to use!!  I should have just framed it for my wall.  I have a few more sheets of the BG die-cut paper from other collections and hopefully they will be much easier to use.  How do you use challenging papers and embellishments that you love, but that might not fit into how you scrap? 
Thanks for stopping by and have a great Thursday! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Near & Dear to My Heart

I don't know why but sometimes it seems as if some stories and the layouts that I create with them are closer to my heart than others.  Do you ever feel that way, do you know what I mean?  This layout

falls in the close to my heart category.  I had forgotten that I had this photo.  This little guy is the only one of my children that my Grandmother met as a baby and was able to hold.  She passed away several years ago so it was truly emotional for me to hold and see this photo.  I love how intent they are on one another and I wonder what it is that she is saying to him.  The moment was really brief.  In fact I didn't even remember the day.  Yeah.  That's why I scrapbook and it's why my husband takes photos. 
I actually used this sketch from Studio Calico to create this page.  I have had it in my to do pile since 2013 so was glad to finally get to use it.  As usual, my page looks nothing like the sketch:)
The next one is another photo that brought back a lost memory for me.  My two oldest when they were little.  We loved to do weekend adventures and my husband took this one of them at this park that overlooked the sea.  The picture is awful.  Truly just awful and no amount of doctoring improved it enough to make it lo worthy but, and this is a big but, it is not the photo that makes this photo special.  It is the little glimpse that it gives at the relationship these 2 kiddos had when they were little.
My daughter was so thrilled to have a "baby" and she adored him.  I love how he is leaning in to her and the smiles that they both have on their faces. 
The design on this lo was actually inspired by this digital page that I pinned.  Sigh, again looks nothing like it and I just loved that page.  About the only thing that is similar is the linear design and strips of paper beneath the photo. 
My thought on this is that inspiration can sometimes = 100% copy but it is so important to keep you in your projects.  And that's what I try to do.  I want to branch out and try new things so that everything I create does not look the same.  Same colors, same basic design, same techniques.  That's not for me.  But if I let myself be inspired by the things I see, things stay interesting.  Okay, enough of my babble. 
Thanks so much for stopping by and guess what?  It's humpday!!!!!
Have a happy one!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Trading Pages

How often do you see pages made by other people and you realize that they used supplies that you just ordered or things that are already in your stash?  I see that often and I always wonder about what I would do differently or how I would treat the different elements on the page.  So I decided to give the idea a try.  I recently purchased this sticker sheet that I just love and decided that I would do a project,  than get online and get nosy about what other crafties created with the same thing. 

I used to love the scrapbook magazine articles that gave 3 scrappers the exact same products to create with.  It always amazed me how they came up with totally different ideas and how the products looked so much different depending on how they treated them.  I guess that this type of things is still done a lot, especially with kits and such, but I wanted to do it on a smaller level.  Just one sticker sheet and one page.  I should have it finished by Friday or Monday at the latest and will do a post about my results. 

I am still busy in my craft room and I must have babies on the brain because 50% of my layouts are about babies.  My babies this time.  I can't get enough of doing pictures about my daughter when she was a baby.  I guess cause she was my first and such an incredible child.  I was so very, very lucky that she was my first! 


This layout about my youngest was an idea gone wrong.  Of course it will go into my album but man on man did I have a hard time with it.  The picture didn't come out right and the present idea just fell flat in the end.  The layout is okay but I think that I will try again on another page to get it right.  To get it to come out the way it looks in my head....
Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you had a fantastic day!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Face

My son makes this weird face whenever the camera turns in his direction.  It made its first appearance in the first grade.  Pretty mild, we had no idea what was coming with this thing.  Over the years it has gotten more and more "facey" and less and less picture sharing friendly.  Our family is pretty outspoken about quirks so we hear "why is he making that face" a lot.  He's in the 10th grade now and still does it.  Sigh. Let's just hope that by the time he gets married, the face has been replaced.  


I absolutely love watching scrapping videos and have probably seen about 2 bazillion.  Two peas were my favorites but I am also a fan of Nichol Magouirk, Studio Calico, Jen Gallacher, Jen McGuire, Elena Morgun, Victoria Marie, Banning Lane, and about 40 or 50 other scrappers lol.  Anywho, this weekend, I decided to try to follow one using my own supplies.  It was soooo fun.  I loved it.  And it was easy.  I did Jen Gallacher's latest Make it Meaningful video. Here is a link to hers.  Here is mine......
To title or not to title?  The decision is much harder than it should be.  The page is so bright & colorful that it really doesn't need one.  Hmmmm, I guess I'll just have to wait for the photos to decide.  Is it weird that I made this without photos? 
I changed the elements up some, of course, for several reasons.  To make it more mine, to accommodate the supplies that I had on hand and to use my favorite techniques but you can still very much see her influence.  I love that she is willing to share her creativity and so appreciate her talent.  How about you?  Do you ever scrap along to videos or do you just watch them and keep it moving? 
I plan to add the photos later on today.  I'm thinking I will put 3 on this page.  One in the frame, one on the star envelope and one to the left of the frame above the star envelope.  I have no idea which photos I am going to use but am sure that I can find the perfect ones on Facebook. 
Wow!  Seriously, it's Monday.  Again.  Just kinda speechless about how fast time is flying by but I hope that you have a fantastic Monday anyway!!!  Thanks for stopping by:)