Thursday, September 21, 2017

Summer Reading

This has been a great month for reading!  Sitting in waiting rooms and traveling gives you a lot of time to read books!  I also found a new series obsession:)   Game of Thrones.  I'm on the 3rd of the 5 books in this series.  

Over the summer my husband and I devoured the entire 7 of the HBO episodes.  Seriously.  I was on the edge of the couch by the end!  I did not want it to be over!!!  I am enjoying the books just as much if not more than I did the tv shows.  The details are more clear to me in the books for sure.  And I LOVE details:)  It's hard to believe that these books were written in the 1970's!  

I've read a couple of other books besides these 3 but they were not memorable and I tend to leave them in waiting rooms or airports for someone else to enjoy if I don't save them for my sisters.  They have very specific tastes so I don't save every book for them lol.  

On the creative front, here's 4 more pages to share.  I used my July 2017 Hip Kit for all of the pages that I'm sharing today.  Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is on Broadway now and my daughter sent me this photo.  We haven't gone to see it yet but we will.  It was a favorite show of mine when I was growing up and a favorite show of my kids when they were growing up......



These 2 cuties hug it out and act as if they haven't seen each other in months whenever they meet.  It's so, so cute:)......


Since I live so far away I don't get to hang out with my ladies but I do get to hear about their adventures.  They had a night out at a concert and said it was a blast.  Hate to have missed out:( but glad that they get to spend so much quality time together......


This summer was full of getaways, pools, beaches and car rides......


Thanks for stopping by and happy Thursday!




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What A Month

August flew by in the blink of an eye.  It was so quick that I don't remember most of what happened during it!  Thank goodness for journalling and scrapbooking eh.  I can't count how many times myself or one of the kids has gone back and looked at one of my albums and found a great memory that had been completely forgotten.  

September did not start well for my family.  My brother was injured very badly and to this day has us all on edge with his health.  Any prayers you have to add to ours are much appreciated.  His story is not mine to tell without his permission and now is not the time for me to ask it from him but a prayer for a family in need of strength is always okay to request.  

As always my solace and my strength is my family.  My reflection is my hobby though.  Since i've been home and able to spend a little time creating, the knots in my stomach have loosened a bit and i've been able to relax some.  Especially as the memories of better times have reminded me that better times are sure to come again and that he will get better.  He will be okay.  

So to share a few pages of some better times, most from several years ago, i'll start here with this one using my June 2017 Hip Kit and a photo from a trip my husband I took to Vegas in 2013......



The rest of the pages are stashbusters using really old papers with a lot of newer embellishments.  I recently started an Elle's Studio membership so there is a lot of her product on this page......


My last 2 pages are a mixed bag of old and new.  Lots of Elle's Studio along with some classic Basic Grey loveliness:).  The inspiration from this page came from Ginny Hugh's "From A to Z" Class at Big Picture Classes.  Of course I didn't follow it to the letter but was very happy with the inspiration and instruction that she provided in her classroom.....





Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you all had a fantastic humpday!



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Out Of The Box Inspiration

Our family spent a lot of time traveling this summer.  So many smiles and hugs and so much love expressed.  While our bodies are exhausted from all of the movement, our hearts are filled to bursting with all of the feelings.  It's almost overwhelming how HAPPY seeing the people you truly love can make you feel.  

But I digress.  This is a scrapbooking post and I am supposed to be talking about inspiration.  In my clan, get togethers begin, middle and end with food.  We are big time grazers.  So we spend a huge majority of our time together snacking or tasting.  We stopped by Publix to pick up a few things for a Sunday get-together -  

Can I just stop here and say that Publix is one of the greatest grocery stores of all time?  Seriously!

We stopped by Publix and as we were walking in I noticed their posters.  They were amazingly designed!  I realized that I could recreate page after page using some of these brilliant models.  The graphic designers who created them used basic design cornerstones that apply whether the design is for a poster or for a scrapbook layout.  

I used this ad.......



as inspiration for this page (I used supplies from my April 2017 Hip Kit)......



You can see how the strong lines in the ads translated easily into the different elements on the page.  I flipped the blushing beauties wording over and replaced the words with a photo.  The circle was duplicated and I just improvised on the rest.  The ad had details that I used but I didn't copy the look.  Absolutely inspiring:)

If you are drawn to an ad or poster, odds are that it is because the designer used tried & true design principles to create it.  You can follow that design on your own scrapbook pages or cards or art journal or whatever:) by identifying basic shapes, lines and paths than swap those elements out on your project with embellishments, papers and photos. Easy peasy right?

In other news I have 5 other layouts to share.  This bee has been busy!  Not only do I have have a ton of stuff to use in my stash, I just received a large order from scrapbook.com that I've been putting to good use as well.  On top of my Hip Kits.  I finished the last page from my June kit but it doesn't have a photo yet.  It probably won't have one until late September either lol.  Anywho.  Layout share.  I love, love, love how this page came out!  I never use this many photos and I rarely use a collage but this page was perfect for both situations.  These little guys are the best.....


June 2017 Hip Kit Club + Jen Gallacher Product Playground Class = a fun page about my great-nephews first Christmas Eve sleepover at my sisters house:).  The long, skinny picture was super cute....


Also crazy about this first layout for my family events album.  My son moved in to his college dorm!  So, so bittersweet!....


Another page with the April 2017 Hip Kit. We did a little road trip in our own city and it was fun.  There is so much to do here!......



And a random photo of my husband and I at a Christmas party.....



Thanks for stopping by and Happy Hump Day!!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bring It All Together

I am planning for some perfect crafting time in the near future.  That happens for me when there are no distractions like super long to-do lists, preparations to get a kid off to college, a long neglected home due to traveling and/or visits or lots of catch up work from things left undone.  Those things are behind me now and I have a little room to breathe.  

So now I have time.  My inspiration is ready.  My supplies are prepped and neat.  I am rested and full of ideas.  Go Time.  

This week I want to work with black and/or khaki cardstock backgrounds.  Another supply that is sparking ideas is Thickers.  There are about 100 packs of these little babies sitting in my stash and no matter how hard I try to stop buying them, I can't:)  Throwing them away is not an option so lately i've been trying to come up with ways to use them in ways other than titles.  There are only so many words you can spell without vowels!

If you have any advice or creative ways that you've come up with to use your Thickers, I would love to hear or see it.  Just leave me a link in the comments and I'll come check you out.  I plan to share my Thickers project sometime next week.  

One of the ways I have come up with to help get more of my non-Thickers letter stickers used, especially if I have a font in more than one color, is to use paint or ink to recolor the letters so that they all match.  

This letter sheet (available here) by Simple Stories is perfect for altering with paint.....


But the letter sheet that I've altered most often is this one by Lily Bee Design....



Over the years i've used this method quite a bit and it works well, even if the fonts don't match, but it works especially well for those large sheets of tiny letter stickers that have like 300 alpha's on them.  I love them!  And they are perfect for subtitles like the one I did on this page (I shared it on a post from a few days ago)



Funnily enough, most of the pages that I'm sharing today don't have letter stickers of any type on them:).  I used embellishment chipboard or stickers here for my title and supporting statements.....



Puffy stickers, stamps and a die-cut here.....


Finally we have some letter stickers but the printed paper provides all of the impact and support for the photo on this page....



And last but not least an invitation, stickers and die-cuts (again) to create the words that need to be said to support the story that I want to tell....



All but 2 of the projects were made with my Hip Kits.  Still enjoying them so much and hope to continue to use them for a long time to come.  

Titles have always been one of those things that a page must have to be complete in my book but lately, they have been becoming less important and more loosely defined on some of my pages.  We'll see where this title habit ends up at the end of my Thickers experiment right?  

That's it for me today.  Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you are having a fantastic start to your week!!



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Can This Paper Be Saved

Family Circle Magazine has a series called can this marriage be saved that I go to first whenever I pick up an issue to read.  Even though I don't read this mag regularly anymore, this series sticks with me and I find myself applying the question of saving to just about everything.  

For the longest time Basic Grey was a favorite manufacturer and I would by everything that they put out.  Their papers are out there!  Bright.  Bold.  Colorful.  Sometimes that is just too much and looking at the paper know, I often find myself not able to use it.  Even though I love the style, colors and boldness.  Looking at them and using them are two completely different animals.  




That's a whole lotta color up there!  The old Shere just looked at her papers and then either donated or slipped them back into the stash.  The non-hoarding Shere decided to do something about these beautiful patterns and get them on a page!  How?  By toning them down.  There are so many ways to do this that I played for awhile.  

with vellum, with gesso, with acrylic paint and with watered down versions of both gesso and acrylic paint......

  
In the end, I decided that I loved how the both the watered down acrylic paint and the vellum looked.  Together they created just the look I wanted but couldn't achieve with them on their own.  This lo was the colorful end result and not soft at all with the exception of the vellum topped papers:)......



But if I hadn't want to tone the paper down I could have also cut a big shape, backed it with a complementary cardstock and let it take over the page!  A nice big, black and white photo would have been stunning on this type of background.  Most times I find that a black & white photo is better suited to bold and bright pages like this.  Oh and using minimal embellishments in tight clusters works here too.  

Some other examples of pages on which I used bright, multi-colored patterned papers include this one of my youngest daughter.  I love the way she was smiling:).  The colors in the photo were so neutral and toned down that they would work with any color pallette....




Same with this photo of my nephew.  Although his trunks have a bright pop of red, everything else is neutral.  The paper pieced border running around the entire page has enough red in it to balance out the red in the photo and the embellishments are very minimal.....


I didn't show much restraint here except to use night photos:) My papers are super bright and busy but I limited the bright mostly to the outer edges of the page and the busy has just 2 colors and a simple pattern.  The design inspiration for the page came from Nicole Nowosads' scrapbook.com class "5 Products, 5 Ways".......


I toned down the colors here with a dose of cool white cardstock.  Keeping the colors framed and in small chunks help to control it and prevent it from taking over.  Love how this came out.....


Whew, I seem to have talked myself out.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you had a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Somewhere In Between Dislike and Hate

That's where I was with this page.....


I mean pink?!  What was going on in my head to think that the color scheme was a good one lol.  Sometimes you just have to let go of an idea or concept that starts off as a brilliant aha moment in your head but ends up as a pink fishing layout in reality:).  Honestly I have no problems tossing a page, photo or started project that isn't working for me.  But before I let it go I do everything I can to make sure that it can't be transformed into something that will end up working.  

This page was not awful enough for me to just chuck but I also knew that I would never be happy with it in my albums.  

What was ok -
  • the photos
  • the story
  • the basic arrangement
What was not ok - 
  • everything else!
Here is the made over page.....



I immediately got rid of the worst color scheme in the history of scrapbooking!  Seriously bad!  Then the themey embellishments (though really pretty) were ditched and I came up with a better title.  Since it was a page about my husbands love of fishing, I added masculine touches like wood dots, cork, inked edges, metal and black splatters.  The original journalling was typed on vellum and will be stapled to the page later on (I'm lazy that way lol).

I'm so much happier with the made over page and I think I will love it for years to come.  If I could give any advice on the subject of making over projects, it would be that it's just paper!  If a layout that you made is  not making you happy get rid of it!!  You can always start over!

Making over is something that I won't be doing with these next few pages because they make me happy and I think that they will make my family happy too when they see them. 

Nowadays my family sees my pages here on my blog or on pinterest well before they see them in any album.  Hi guys, I hope you love your pages:)  Here they are.....

This page about my guys at my oldest sons USAF grad has my heart.  Aaannndddd I just love how fun it is.....


This is from my MAY Hip Kit.  MAY!  But this photo of my 2 baby sisters is one of my favorite ever and it was perfect for this page.  The inspiration for the design came from a piece of art I pinned on pinterest ....


And my final page features another of the 300+ photos that my husband took at Q's senior photo shoot.  I'm also doing a few more pages this week from that shoot.  What can I say, the photo's turned out amazing!  The products are from my May Hip Kit.  Share Slacker here tee hee:).....




Thanks for stopping by:)  Have a fantastic evening!!


Monday, August 21, 2017

I've Got The Time. Now What?

Yesterday was one of those rare days that left me with a lot of time on my hands to do whatever I wanted to do with it.  Of course I headed straight to my studio:)  But when I got there I found myself just sitting and staring at the wall.  We've had a busy summer and I'm tired but don't want to nap.  My son is leaving soon so I'm sad but wanting to create about him leaving for college. 

My perfect solutions to excess time were not working.  

My studio is clean, I have 3 Hip Kits waiting, and pinterest is overflowing with fantastic ideas to scraplift.  Nothing was getting me going.  Nothing!  I'm so out of practice that everything that I normally do is just too much.  

At this point, my "lot" of time had dwindled down to "enough time to start a project" and I was starting to panic a little because my hands and heart were itching to create.  

So I started putting together papers, embellishments and inspiration ideas.  Just knowing that by the time I walked out of my creating space I would have at least completed one project.  

Nope.  Didn't happen.  I was not feeling it so I just called it a day and went and took a nap.    

Not what you were expecting right?  Me either but the nap was lovely and just what I needed even though I thought that I needed to create:)

Hope you had a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Soft Colors And Black Backgrounds

Aaaahhhhh soft colors.  They are so calming and pretty.  Perfect for baby pages, romantic pages and dreamy pages.  Also perfect for bold and daring subjects too, right?  Maybe it's not the first color palette that you reach for when you are creating an amusement park or brightly colored birthday party page but soft colors can create just the right setting for pages that need to make a bold statement without losing any of the drama that you would have gotten from using bolder hues.  

I'll be playing with soft colors in a few different ways and really exploring how this girl who loves bold color can tone it down without losing any of the drama that the more intense color palettes bring.  

Part of my motive for playing with softer tones is a change in the colors that designers are using.  I've noticed more navy instead of black, pale orange instead of red and light chartreuses in the place of bright yellows.  There are still plenty of brightly colored palettes out there however with so many of these beautiful, albeit less intense products begging to be tried out, who am I to say no?

Today's layouts are a mix or dark moody backgrounds and light cheerful ones.

Dark background that I just love!  When that paper arrived from scrapbook.com I didn't know what the heck I was going to do with it or why I had bought it.  Gaaaa!!!  But it was so perfect for these photos from Q's grad photo shoot.....
  

Still in Love with Paige's Pages over at Big Picture Classes.  This is from class 2.  Man is she a fantastic instructor!  I would love to take a class from her in person one day.  And seriously.  This guy washing dishes in his Halloween costume 😍...


And the soft and pretty.  The first is made with my June 2017 Hip Kit which I am plugging away at.  They specialize in soft and pretty.  I stole this photo of my nephew from my sisters facebook page.  I just love it!  It will be framed for my wall.  Love to see his elusive smile:)


And lastly another facebook find:)  My sister and her bestie recently took a girls trip and this is one photo of many that I will be scrapping.  These 2 women have an incredible friendship and I just love them both so, so much.....


Hey it's Thursday!  One more day until the weekend and we plan to have a no do nothing one here.  It's Game of Thrones, Yoga, Snacks for dinner and repeat all. weekend. long.  Thanks for stopping by and see you real soon:)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

World Events Scrapbook Album

There is so much going on in the world today!  A couple of post ago I talked about my decision to dedicate albums to big family events and world events that I want to record. Forgetting what is happening around me seems an impossible feat but it is truly not.  The news media's frantic jumps from one subject to the next makes it almost impossible to keep up with what is happening in a week much less some time in the future.

I still haven't chosen if I will have a format/criteria for the events I choose but I do know that the stories are going to go hand in hand with the content of our family stories.  Like the story about the eclipse coming this weekend.  Our baby bird is going to take his first big trip by himself to go see it.  This is a huge event as another eclipse like this won't occur for many years and a complimentary event for our family because of this dude going to see it all by himself.  Fear and all.  He is nervous about traveling by car for 8 hours on his own.  My husband and I are nervous about letting him.    

Guess what my second story will be for my family album, lol:)  Not him making it back safely from his trip but dropping him off at college at the end of the month and my husband and I not being full time parents for the first time in almost 30 years!  What a change it is going to be!!  We adore our children and have never felt that having kids around has changed how we lived in a negative or restrictive way.  It is going to be interesting to see how we feel this time next year.  Besides missing him that is.

My space is so clean right now!  When I came down this morning it was a disaster area from the last project I was working on.  That is so not my norm!  I usually clean up after every project and before closing up shop at the end of the night.   I just did a major clean/move/organize and find myself spending time tweaking my space every day.  But not the last time I was here.  I left this mess.....



Thankfully I got this place together enough to create a little something to share today....









Thanks for stopping by and Happy Hump Day😊





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mixed Media Backgrounds and Such

Nothing is better to perfectly accent a page than a beautiful mixed media background!  A bold statement I know but IF the background is done right, it almost acts as a map for your embellishments and photos.  A great background makes your work easier when it comes to accessorizing a page too.  Accents definitely don't have to be paper or embellishment to be effective at showcasing the photos and not much is more fun than splashing and splattering paint....  



Mixed media doesn't have to be messy, spattered randomness either.  The background above was created with watercolors from a tube, colored pencil, gamsol and a stencil that I cut with my silhouette.  Only the watercolor part was messy.  VERY messy:)

In my last post, I talked about starting a separate album for my family events.  It occurred to me that some decisions needed to be made about that.  1 - Did I want to pull all of my event pages from past albums to put into the new system?  2 - Am I going to do a monthly page that recaps all of the little things that add up to a big picture of what is going on in our family?  3 - What constitutes a big event? and finally 4 - Will this album be stored with the rest or left out for everyone to see?

The answer is that I'm going to start where i'm at (with a blank album and no restrictions) and live with the album for a little bit before I start tearing up my albums or forcing myself to create a strict list of events and happenings.  Obviously weddings, graduations and babies will be included but the rest I will play by ear. 

Thankfully I have been creating during my blog hiatus so I have a ton of pages to share as the travel quiets down and our schedules return to normal.  Most of the photos that we took this year were taken with our cell phones so the quality is not so good.  Especially mine:)  My husband and daughter are geniuses with anything camera you put in their hands!  Me not so much.  

My girls came to visit and we did a ton of stuff! Like going to the butterfly conservatory. They so wanted a butterfly to land on them and I so didn't so guess who got the creepy little critter to land?  This is us right before we headed inside......



Hello June Hip Kit.  I am only halfway through it and July + August are here and waiting:( But I do love this page of my little lovely in the sculpture garden.....


Stashbuster:)  Us at King's Dominion.  And it looks like we have a new reader and our old reader isn't too happy about it lol.  Backstory.  Since he was little my son would always read the maps wherever we went (that's him making the face) and now it looks like Gabby has the job (she's holding the map smiling).....


That's it for me today.  I know.  Another super long post.  But I haven't been blogging for what feels like forever and have really missed it.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great Tuesday everyone!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Capturing The JOY of Color

There are a couple of things that have been on my mind lately when I'm thinking about my scrapbooking.  The first thing is not mind boggling or some deep abstract idea about the who, what, when or why of creating but simply how big an impact color makes in all of my design choices.  From the color albums that I use to the embellishments accenting my pages, color is the first and last thing that I think about.  

Color.  Beautiful color.  It sets the stage for how my story is going to be told and in my opinion white cardstock is the perfect partner to a bright, bold and colorful page like this one about one of my sweet girl.....



The other thing I've been thinking about is how I tell my stories.  Or rather how I arrange the stories that I've told in my albums and which stories I have failed to tell at all.  Our family has had some big things happen to us over the years.  Some good, some not so good.  But if I wanted to find the stories I would have to dig through 20 albums and hundreds of pages to take a look at how I documented them.  Yikes!!  

Some really big things have also been happening in the world that I have completely left out of my albums.  To be fair I've only ever made one or two pages to document any world event.  That has to change because the things that are happening in the world around me shape and define who I am and who my loved ones are.  Recently my nieces were visiting and they wanted to know where I was when 911 happened.  It struck me that while I remember that day very clearly right now, I won't always.  What to do?  

It's so easy to answer the question of what to do.  Two albums.  One for family events and one for world events.  

Every month I'm going to look for specific stories to tell and make a page to go into each of the albums.  When there is not story to tell, I won't make a page.  This isn't going to be a mandate but an improvement.  My biggest goal with scrapbooking is to make sure that my kids have answers about who they were, who we are as a family and how we feel about/see each other.  

Because I want the albums to stand out I picked gold ones:)




My dad and I often have conversations about what things were like when he was growing up and what our family was like when I was young.  Some things I remember but others I have no clue about.  We have photos but my parents moved a lot and many of their pictures didn't make it!  I'm lucky that they kept up with my birth certificate:)  That knowledge gap is going to end for us at least for as long as I scrapbook!  

A long post I know but I'm going to end with a layout share:)  




My baby sister and her family bought their first home!  So happy for them:)



Thanks for stopping by and have a great Monday!