Friday, July 29, 2011

My First Birds of a Feather Kit

These are my first two layouts from the August Birds of a Feather Kit Company.
I have had some kits in the past that, while they included pretty papers and embellishments, there just didn't seem to be enough of what I wanted to complete 4 projects - which is the standard, I think, for a monthly kit. That's not the case at all with Birds of a Feather - I kept pulling paper after gorgeous paper and cute, cuter and cutest embellies out of my pack!

Want to hear more about how much I LOVE these new kits (and see blogs and layouts from other equally happy scrapbookers)? Check it out HERE!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More 5 & Dime Fun

Good morning! It's my turn over at the LCOM BLOG again. It's my last time working with October Afternoon's 5 & Dime collection, which makes me a little sad because I LOVE everything in it. Next up for me is Tim Holtz, and I am sure he (or at least his products) will make me feel a lot better!!! Anywho, for more details on my last layout, featuring my radiant sister-in-law and my sweet niece, please head over to the LCOM blog. Or even better, head over to the LCOM STORE where the 40% off Christmas in July sale has been extended to midnight tonight!

Want to see what else I did with my 5 & Dime goodies? I made cards - that's right, me, the non-cardmaker. I'm sure my Bestie ALISSA has nothing to worry about, but still - I really like the way they turned out!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas in July

What better way to beat the heat than to stay inside with the A.C. going full blast and go shopping in the air-conditioned comfort of your own home? The Let's Capture Our Memories STORE wants to help you do just that by celebrating Christmas in July! 40% off store discount today? I think someone's been a VERY GOOD girl this year!!!

The LCOM store has so much fun, scrappy goodness! I recently made this MINI-ALBUM using October Afternoon's 5 & Dime Collection and other sweet items purchased there. See?

I made journaling card inserts so I wouldn't have to worry about where to fit my journaling on each page...

This is what this page looks like with the journaling card insert in front of it...
And this is what the back of the journaling card and the page look like look like separately...

Again, with the journaling insert in front of the page...
And separately...

More pages...

Front and back of journaling card:

The back of my mini-album is almost as cute as the front!

Now that you've seen my mini-album, go hit the LCOM Christmas in July Sale and show me what you make with your early Christmas present to yourself!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Come Play with Us

No pics right now, just a quick 411 to let you know we are having a fantastically fun Housewarming Crop over at Birds of a Feather. It started just a few minutes ago and runs all weekend long. It's WAAAYYYY too hot to go outside, so come participate in some fun challenges and games with us this weekend!

It's easy to find us. If you log onto the Birds of a Feather HOMEPAGE, you just click on the Henhouse to take you to the forums. Once you are there, we are all playing under the Housewarming Crop. Hope to see you!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Good News and More Summer Fun!

I have been jumping-up-and-down-excited since yesterday when I found out I was chosen as a Design Team Member for Birds of A Feather - an online store and monthly kit club. This is what the home page says:

We're birds of a feather, you and I! We love all things paper and glue, ribbon and lace, flowers and buttons.... so go ahead, admit it, you actually like the scent of those vinyl Thickers and you have hoards of paper yet always are able to find room for more. We love to create, and that's what Birds of a Feather Kit Co. is all about.

After reading it, I thought: Why yes! I DO love all things paper, glue, ribbon, lace flowers and buttons. And while I may not go around sniffing Thickers, Alissa and I have had several conversations about how much we love the SMELL of paper, which I happen to keep buying even though I have enough to last for the next decade! Then I looked at the products offered in the BOAF kits and realized I was looking at things I would most definitely be purchasing at my local Archiver's or Michael's anyway. So what's a girl to do? Apply for the design team, of course!

I can't wait to get my first kit and start playing with it, and I also can't wait to start playing along in the challenges and joining in on the Wednesday live chats and also the online crops. Hope to see you there!

And speaking of scrapping fun - I want to share this layout I made using a sketch found at Let's Scrap. AND I want send them a big THANK YOU for choosing my All the Way to China layout as their Inspiration of the Week! What a fabulous welcome that was!

This layout is of my bestie's (Alissa) son when they spent the afternoon swimming at my house last month. As soon as I saw the look on his face as he was jumping in the pool, I KNEW I had to feature his pics in a layout!

I used the sweet Echo Park Splash Collection Kit, which included sticker embellishments that I pop-dotted and added stickles to (I think the technical term is "stickle-ized")for emphasis.

I also tilted my title letters at different angles to add a sense of movement.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to give a big HUGE thank you to Practical Scrappers , a fabulously cool blog jam-packed full of creative ideas and challenges,including my favorite - sketches! They linked two of my recent layouts (Surf's Up and You Are My Sunshine) on their blog as examples of different types of layouts they were discussing. I am tremendously appreciative!

Okay, that's all for the day. Go forth and scrapbook. Peace out.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More Fancy Pants Fun

Happy Saturday! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far! I have house cleaning and furniture painting to do, but I thought I would take the brief period of quiet time this morning while hubby takes daughter to acting class to engage in a little scrap therapy. My coffee cup has been filled, my blinds are open to let in the morning sunshine, and I am fully caffienated and full of creative energy!

I have no reason for sharing this layout other than I like it! I have been using Fancy Pants Beach Babe papers and embellies and really having lots of fun with them! The journaling talks about how much my youngest daughter loves to dig holes in the sand when we go to the beach - the deeper the better. I swear she's going to be a scientist one day - she loves the way the sand changes color and texture the deeper she goes, and she also loves the little animals she finds, even the creepy crawly ones! I keep teasing her that she's trying to dig a hole straight through to China, which is how I came up with the title.

Of course, you know I used a sketch to make this. I found yet another very fun sketch site called LET'S SCRAP, which has both single and double page sketches and all sorts of fun challenges. Go check out their site and, if you really like it, they are also holding a Design Team Call through July 15th!

A couple more close-ups (because that's what you're supposed to do when showing off layouts from what I see):

The swirl and starfish were part of an embellie pack in the Beach Babe collection. I simply painted over the whole thing with some Tim Holtz Crackle Paint which not only adds nice texture but tends to make the paper curl up a little at the edges. I think the curling adds a nice 3-D effect. I layered the bottom startfish with another smaller one and added a gem to the center to make it resemble a flower.

To mimic the starfish, I decided to use my star punch instead of traditional pennant shapes for my banner. I outlined each one with dark brown marker and crackle painted them to give more dimension.

And that's it. I'm getting ready to switch gears, so to speak, and work on a mini-album with pics of my family taken when they were younger. But first, I might do just one more beach layout...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Staying Organized

Good morning fellow scrapbookers! I had a little free time yesterday afternoon and was feeling crafty, so I pulled out my Fancy Pants Beach Babe papers and embellishments and made this layout using a wonderful sketch by Heather Landry. A few quick words about Heather. She is an extremely talented scrapbook artist and a fascinating person. Her blog is the perfect juxtaposition of scrapbooking and family life; she candidly talks about her everyday happenings, both the good and the bad and, after reading her blog, I have the utmost respect for her.

Besides using Heather's very cute sketch, found HERE, the reason I was able to create my layout in the short amount of free-time I had available was due to organization. It seems everyone has been talking about organization lately, and I'm not above jumping on that band wagon to share some organization tips that I have found to be useful with you.

The main key is to think like a Nike ad and JUST DO IT! I've seen and you've seen the beautiful craft rooms and studios that are showcased on the internet and in magazines. And you've also seen the shelves and cabinetry specifically made for scrapbooking supplies. They are fantastic and oh so droolworthy, but they are NOT necessary!

The first thing is to find a spot to stash all your crap supplies. I am fortunate enough to have a large walk-in closet upstairs that I have been able to take over. It was basically a tiny mini-room with nothing in it, so I added some cheap shelves and different organizers as needed. The thing that makes it all work for me is that everything is separated and, most importantly (for me) LABELED!

Nothing that I have matches. I have plastic drawers from Target next to an old tin that my mom sent me next to cute decorative boxes from Michaels. But every last surface and container is labeled with a description of what is inside so I know immediately where I can find what I need. Of course, this only works when I actually KNOW what I need!

I do use Cropper Hoppers to store all of my patterned paper since they seem to maximize space. I store according to manufacturer and then divide by collection. For miscellaneous papers, I usually try to put them with a collection that looks similar or, if I have enough of one theme, I will actually make a themed holder, such as Pets or Vintage.

I have made two improvements to my paper storage system lately, which have definitely made a positive difference. First, I have been putting my scraps back with the uncut papers from the same collection rather than in a random scrap box. That way, if I need a smaller piece later on, I am not forced to go digging through an overflowing box (where I may or may not find it) and I don't have to waste a new sheet of paper. Second, I have started including flat rub-ons, stickers or paper embellishments with my paper in the Cropper Hopper so they don't get lost in the jumble of all my other embellishments and forgotten. Because they are flat, they don't take up much extra room and fit in nicely with my papers. These two things have been a huge time-saver for me and are what allowed me to be able to finish my Surf's Up layout in the short amount of time I had. Everything was together, labeled so I could quickly put my hands on it, and I didn't have to spend time looking through piles of random stuff muttering, "I could have SWORN I got ______ (fill in the blank) to go with this!"

Finally, I have implemented an idea given to me by my good friend, Alissa. I found these cute little pots at Hobby Lobby, on major clearance. They sit on my work table and hold small miscellaneous items that I want to keep right in front of my face so I can make sure I use them. I call them my "don't forget" pots.

Want more ideas on how to get organized? Then click on these links:

Home Organizing Ideas
Flying Unicorn Organize It Group
Simplify 101

I am ALWAYS looking for new and improved ways to organize my supplies. If you have a tip that works for YOU, I would love it if you would share with ME!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Day at the Beach

Last week, my Bestie ALISSA, her son, my youngest daughter, and I headed to the beach for the day. We live about an hour and a half away from Galveston, and since we made our trip on a weekday, we didn't have to worry about heavy traffic or overly large crowds.

Alissa and I packed a cooler full of drinks, hot dogs, PB&J sandwiches and lots of fresh fruit; we liberally slathered sun screen on the kiddos; and we were off! Despite the 6 year age difference between her son and my daughter, they play together really well. That worked perfectly for Alissa and me because it gave us the chance to reeelllaaaxxx a bit while the kids dug in the sand and played in the water.

It really was a fantastic day! Of course, I couldn't let the trip go by without taking pictures; however, I was extremely hesitant to take either of my cameras with me to the beach. My solution? I stopped at a convenience store and picked up a $3 disposable film camera. The clarity of the pics left a little - okay, a lot - to be desired, but overall I like the different look I got. Here are my first two layouts from our beach trip:

I found the coolest sketches over at SASSY LIL SKETCHES (that's right, yet ANOTHER great sketch site!), and I dug out some fabulous netting given to me by a friend in a Secret Sister Swap over a year ago. I have been on a mission to use up my scrap paper, so most of what you see on my layouts are scraps - which made me feel proud and a little virtuous (never mind that I had just shopped for new papers earlier the same day)!

Want to see a couple of close-ups?

Recognize the two smaller flowers, by any chance? They are Seven Gypsies flowers (the same as the large one) that I simply turned backwards so that only the plain kraft paper showed.

Don't want to clutter up your layout with journaling spots but you still want to record your memories? No problem! A journaling tag peeking out from behind the picture is the perfect spot. I inked mine with two colors of distress ink and used a piece of netting in place of twine or ribbon so that it would tie in perfectly with the rest of my layout.

That's all I've got for now. But we have some fun family activities planned for this holiday weekend, so I am sure I will have a ton more pictures to scrap real soon!

Happy Canada Day and Happy Fourth of July, my friends! Hope YOUR weekend is full of good weather, good times, and good people!!!