Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pretty Little Studio - Sketch Play

I had my Saturday all planned out earlier in the week, complete with which crafty project I wanted to work on.  But when I was browsing through Facebook, chatting with my friends, on Friday afternoon I saw a fantastic sketch on the PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO Page that had me quickly revising my scrapbook plans and frantically hunting through my supply closet for some PLS goodies so I could play along.  Want to see the sketch that had me so happy?  Okay!  Just click HERE
Before I show you what I did, I want to tell you why I like PLS.  Yes, they have all sorts of C-U-T-E ephemera - and we all know how much I luurrrrve pretty paper bits and pieces.  But, most importantly (to me), they are located in my home state of South Carolina - just a hop, skip, and a jump away from my hometown, SUMTER, where I spent the first 19 years of my life (not to be confused with FORT SUMTER, which is actually located off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina and which is famously known as the fort upon which the initial shots that began the Civil War were fired.)  Bet you didn't know you were going to get a geography and history lesson in addition to a few pictures of my layout, did you?  Anyway, how can I NOT like a company that makes me think about my hometown and my roots every time I see its logo?  So - you clicked on the link to see the sketch (you DID click on it, didn't you?) and now, here is my layout...ta-da!
 I didn't have any of the suh-weet little tags featured on the PLS sketch, so I had to cheat and create my own using my Silhouette Cameo (Repeat after me:  I. Love. My. Cameo!). 
My papers are all by OCTOBER AFTERNOON (including the slightly crumpled background paper) because they have a similar vintage kind of feel to them as PLS.  Can you tell which OA collection most of these papers come from?  If you guessed the 9-5 Collection, give yourself a gold star.  Yep - proof that you can make just about anything Christmas-y if you set your mind to it!
My banner was made from some PLS pennant flags that I am almost certain I have had for about two years.  I remember I loved them when I first saw them and so I hoarded bought several packages.  I alternated sewing around the edges of each pennant with straight and zig zag stitches.  Then I added chipboard letters for my title and glued a coordinating button to the tip of each pennant.
I also had a LOT of small PLS Bingo Cards (again, that hoarding planning-ahead thing) in my crafty closet.  Remember when Bingo Cards were being used on EVERYTHING a year or so ago?  Yeah, that's when I stocked up.  Then I discovered - I'm not really a Bingo Card kinda gal.  But that's okay, because I AM the kind of gal who likes to use her Star punch.  And these Bingo Cards?  They make some wonderfully bright, festive, FUN stars! 
See?  They stand out and create a terrific top layer, especially with pop dots behind a few of them for added dimension.
And they, along with a couple of OA brads, compliment my cluster at the bottom corner of my photo perfectly!  Don't you think?
So there you have it.  The project that I HAD to drop everything for and complete RIGHT NOW.  And now I have a few more plans for those Bingo Cards that I can't wait to get started on.  Be sure to stay tuned...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Day the Instagram Way

Hello everyone!I hope you had a joyful Christmas, full of good memories-in-the-making.  We had a very hectic-busy-crazy-actionpacked pre-Christmas weekend - with children coming home to roost for the Christmas holiday.  Lou and her guy came breezing through our front door first, all tanned and relaxed from their honeymoon cruise.  Then all the other his, mine, and ours slowly trickled in until we had children and pets and noise and activity filling every single nook and cranny of Casa de Chaos.  That picture at the top of this blog?  It's missing two working sons, some crazy yapping doggies, a couple psycho cats - and a partridge in a pear tree.  I baked, and last minute shopped, and wrapped gifts, and sang Christmas carols, and even sang in the church choir on Christmas Eve. 
Why am I telling you all this?  Because I want you to see how someone who LIVES for scrapbooking and photographing those special moments could have been so sleep deprived (and maybe a teeny-tiny bit high on sugar from all the "test bites" I had to take) that I forgot to check my camera battery - on the main camera, on the good point-and-shoot camera, and on the back-up point-and-shoot.  And guess which camera had a completely dead battery Christmas morning?  If you guessed not just one but all three, you would be correct!

But, hey, it was Christmas morning - and I was happy and all of my family was happy.  So rather than stress about it - or attempt to make everyone hold off on opening gifts until a battery charged ('cuz you know that wasn't going to happen) - I whipped out my phone and Instagrammed all the highlights. And that was okay. 

I got the new son-in-law happily modeling his new boots...
...while wearing the "very manly" pajama pants (with images of doggies wearing antlers) that just happened to match his father-in-law's and brother-in-law's pajama pants (courtesy of the BEST mom in the world a/k/a ME!)
Don't worry, the hubster wasn't upset in the least about wearing matching pajama pants (because, hey, they were "manly" pajama pants, after all).  But I think he was a very teeny little bit put out that now he has two people in the family who are taller than he is.  See?  Look at his feet.  He is standing on his tippy-toes because he wants so badly to be the tallest!!!

Then there was Jesse - who has the best sense of humor.  And, apparently, a thing for my Kalliebeth's sparkly, glittery hat.

He r-e-a-l-l-y likes to include himself in pictures.  Not a shy bone in that boy's body.  Can you tell?
This was the first year that the Childe got more clothes than toys for Christmas.  Considering the fact that she was trying to wear everything all at once, I don't think she minded too much.  What do you think?
Like her big sister, she likes sparkly things, too.  Fortunately, Jesse drew the line at trying on her sparkly skirt - but I suspect it was only because the skirt was too small to fit him properly!
Even my big girls let me get a pic of them in their matching pajamas without grumbling One.Single.Time.  It was truly a day of Christmas miracles - ha!
After a few hours of festivities and feasting Christmas morning, many of the adult kids had to start heading back to their homes or off to see other relatives.  Of course, I made sure that I snapped "just one more pic" before each of them left.
Until finally, finally, only the youngest two birdies who haven't yet flown the nest were left.  They were in their rooms, quietly playing with their new loot.  I turned around and the hubster was clearly "resting his eyes" for a minute. (Notice the little ball of fur squinched down next to him - apparently one of our doggies needed to rest her eyes, too!)
...and with that, I finally sat down, took a deep breath for the first time in days, and closed my own eyes for a minute or two.
I will be back with new projects in a few days, so stay tuned!  Until then, hoping your Christmas was all that you dreamed and wishing you a Happy New Year - full of peace, love, and crafting! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bringing Back the Sketch with Practical Scrappers

Happy TGIF this morning, everyone!  Over at PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS, we have decided to bring back sketches - can I get a big HOO RAH?!?!  That's right, over the next two weeks we have a fun card sketch and not one, but TWO, scrapbook page sketches for you!  My layout was creating using this wonderful SKETCH by Liz Chidester. 

My family and I had a fun photo shoot this past weekend so I had lots and lots of pictures to choose from.  My papers are from LILY BEE 's Christmas Cheer Collection (Lily Bee! - LOVE these papers and don't know how I could have missed out seeing their last few collections!)  - except for the background paper, which is a leftover piece from an older Lily Bee collection.  I chose two close-up headshots of the Bebe for this layout and decided to journal about her smiles - which aren't always so frequent these days.  Her getting-to-be-a-teeneger-OMG-crazy-hormone-surging-fueled mood swings have had us both running to our respective bedrooms and slamming the door shut a few times!  So when she is happy and cheerful - I want to scrap about it! 

I liked the very muted pale background for these close-ups of my child, but I felt they kind of made the pictures get a little lost in the midst of all the busy patterns in the papers.  To help draw the eye to the photos, I simply outline them in black marker.  Yes, it IS okay to write and draw on the front of your photos - I promise!

The banners and simple Chevron-style arrows were cut out with my Silhouette Cameo (best scrapbooking invention EVER - hands down)  I decided to play with the negative space trend a little and alternated using banner outlines in place of "complete" banners.  And to add a little dimension and continue to draw the eye to the pictures, I added my Chevron arrows in contrasting patterns on top of one of the banners, both under and on top of my pics.

My bits and pieces are just that - random things from random packaging, which were hanging out on my work table just begging to be used. The Christmas Cheer title is actually from the bottom part of my Lily Bee paper - you know, the strip you cut off and throw away. My "waste not, want not" Grandmother would be so proud of me! 

And that's it for me today.  Be sure to head over to PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS to see what other fabulous takes on the sketch our wonderful DT has come up with!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fixing Mistakes - Sketchabilities

I actually had enough free time this weekend to work on an extra project.  And after going through my new loot from the Two Peas website, I decided to use some of my BASIC GREY papers from the Aspen Frost and Paper Cottage Collections.  I wanted a layout that could be a little Christmas-y without being all in your face about it.  I also REALLY liked this sketch from SKETCHABILITIES (because it had banners, of course!) and decided to use it to create my layout.
I picked out my papers, knew which picture I wanted to use, knew exactly what I wanted to say - had my layout 90% complete (or so I thought) and then...all I had to do was add a little journaling - that's right, the very same journaling I had already figured out - I juuuuust needed a place to write it down.  I tried writing it off to the side of the picture, where I have it now, but directly onto the paper.  Did I bother writing it in pencil so I could make sure I liked it?  Nooooooooo.  I wrote it out in permanent marker, not just a little bit, but all of it.  Aaaannnd - I decided I hated it.  Absolutely hated it and couldn't stand to have it there!  So, while I was trying to figure out exactly what I could do to cover up my boo-boo, I decided to write the journaling in a different spot - this time under my picture.

Now, you would think that I learned my lesson from not even five minutes earlier and would write in pencil the second time, right?  Right???  WRONG!  I wrote my journaling out, in permanent marker again, directly on the paper under my picture.  And I decided - once again - that I absolutely hated it!
So, flash forward an hour or so later and several ideas that I will not elaborate on except to say they didn't work, and I have two extra tags on my layout that would not have necessarily been added except that I needed to cover up my mistakes.  And, you know what, I have decided that I like them there quite a bit, thank you very much!  LOL!  There is certainly something to be said for desparation inspiring creativity!

Here are a few close-ups:

I used a "grunge-star" frame that I cut with my Silhouette Cameo.  The flags are by Basic Grey; I simply tied a piece of string around one and glued a small painted heart onto the second one to dress them up a little.
If one banner is good, then two is better, right?  I was a little too lazy to get up and take my layout over to the sewing machine, so I faux-sewed instead (otherwise known as doodling).

I like how the top banner looks with a chain of stars interspersed along it.

That's it for me tonight, but I would like to know:  Have you ever made a mistake or fixed a mistake on a project and decided you liked it better than what you started out with?  Tell me about it, I would love to hear your story!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Practical Scrappers - Last Minute Gift Idea

I'm up at PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS today with a fun little last minute gift idea that will keep you out of the crazy parking lots and in your craft room - for a completely legitimate goodwill-to-your-fellow-man reason. 

I love sending out small personal gifts to my family and friends - and if you can't be with someone in person to share the holiday, the next best thing is a cd full of family photos, favorite recipes, video clips from your favorite moments this past year, or simply recording an "I love you" from each family member.  But rather than send a boring, ordinary cd case, why not dress it up a little?  Go ahead - add a little bling!  And pretty paper!

The very simple details for making this are on the PS Blog.  My tree, snowflake and envelope on the inside cover were all cut out with my Silhouette Cameo, using cutting files designed by my favorite, LORI WHITLOCK.  My papers were from the Holly Jolly line by MY MIND'S EYE- an oldie but a goody that I found sitting (still packaged) lonely and forgotten on a shelf in my craft supplies closet. The MME site says it's been discontinued and is no longer available, but they obviously have never looked inside my craft closet!

Here are a couple more pics:

...and the inside cover, which I kept simple with a tag containing a personal note.

That's it for me.  But be sure to check back Thursday, when I will be back with a fun holiday-themed layout using a sketch from one of my favorite sketch sites.  Until then...

Happy Christmas Crafting! [Only 21 days left - yikes!]

Monday, November 26, 2012

Just Because

Whew!  I am finally home after spending 3 weeks -  much longer than I would have ever imagined -  in the cold North!  And now that the crazy last minute grocery shopping and Thanksgiving Feast meal preparation activities have died down, I let out my belt a few notches and...scrapbooked.  Yep, I've got it bad.

With my brain just one calorie shy of going into food coma, I decided I would create a simple homage to my geekdom - no in-depth, insightful journaling needed.  To quote a wise (sailor) man, "I yam what I yam."  And that's all there is to it!

How did I make this layout, you ask?  Well...I started with this SKETCH by Fancy Pants. What can I say - it had a banner and I couldn't resist!  Due to my food-induced brain shutdown - I kept my layout simple and stayed very true to the sketch.  And, hey, that goofy smile on my face in the picture pretty much says it all...don't need much more embellishment than that, right?

Of course, I used my Fancy Pants papers from The Good Life Collection - it's one of my favorites, right now.  I made a few small circles with a circle punch and layered them with pop dots.  My stencil words were made with my Silhouette Cameo.

The tags for my banner were also made with my Silhouette Cameo (gosh, I LOVE my Cameo!).  I placed contrasting paper behind the arrow cutouts to make them stand out.
A little handwritten short-n-sweet journaling mixed with a few words in different font letter stickers = a nice long-ish title, don't you think?  Some paint splatter and a few machine-stitched accents, and my "just because" layout was completed!
And that's it for me.  What have you created - just because - lately?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Envelope Mini Album

I cannot believe my daughter (the original middle child) got married last weekend!  It seems like yesterday she was playing Barbies with her sister or I was driving her to a soccer game.  I took so many pictures on her wedding day and the day before that I am overwhelmed with choosing which ones to use first for a layout - they ALL seem to be jumping up and down, yelling, "pick me first!"  So, for now, I will settle with posting this mini album I created several months back using my Sweet Lou's engagement photos.  If I ever make it back home from Michigan (where I am working for the next few weeks and trying NOT to freeze my very Southern heinie off) I plan to do a video stay tuned.

This mini was made entirely with standard business envelopes that I simply glued together and covered with scrapbook papers.  The cover was made by hand by cutting up a Priority Mail box.

You KNOW how much I love pockets where I can tuck extra pictures and tiny treasures, so of course, envelopes were a perfect choice as the foundation to my mini.  I created flaps, which I added to the end, for visual interest.

I love that the design for this album allows for both small pockets to tuck tags into (on the left)... well as large pockets in between each page. That's a LOT of pockets!!!
In addition to tags, I made a couple of little inserts to tuck into some of the larger envelope pockets between the pages.
An extra large flap closure is a great place to hide journaling or include a "surprise" picture.
When the flap to this page is opened, this is what is revealed...
And the last page...
That's it for today.  But, before I go - I HAVE to (have to have to have to) share one last pic taken by our wedding photographer REBECCA MCCOY - this one of the happy couple (who were married at the fantastic SERENGETI RESORT outside of San Antonio, Texas - it's billed as  African Wine Country - and was as unique and fantastic as my wonderful daughter and son-in-law)
Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Thompson - I love you both with all my heart!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A New Challenge for Me (Play Date Cafe)

By Krissy Clark McKee
Well you know how much I love sketch challenges, but today I decided to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my gray matter a little and try something different.  What did I try?  I found a new site (through my newest obsession Twitter) called THE PLAY DATE CAFE, and they post a new color challenge every Thursday.  When I saw this week's colors, I couldn't resist and had to play along - see...

Bubblegum, Tangerine, and Pear - who could resist???  Not me!  So I pulled out my (ever-growing stash) of my AMERICAN CRAFT papers (along with one teeny tiny piece of Jillibean Soup because it was just the right pear-ish color), and I spent the next few hours happily cutting, gluing, and inking.
I did add some darker shades of green and orange as accents, which I think is okay as far as the challenge because the bubblegum, tangerine, and pear colors still retain the focus.  And - even if I failed the challenge - I LOVE my layout!
I had waaaaay too much fun playing with the different layers I created on this layout.  I inked my pages with similar colors of ink, but then I sewed (and doodled) on them using contrasting colors of thread.  That's right, I partied hard with my sewing machine and things got a little out of control - oh yeah. Here are a few close-ups.

I took a "chicken wire" mask and quickly (and messily) inked over it in several colors.  I like the way it connected the main grouping of papers to the small cluster of flowers at the top of the page. 
Another small cluster by my title just to add balance and, of course, dooding on everything that wasn't already stitched. 
That's it for me tonight - I've got a hot date with Pinterest before beddy-bye time.  Hope you liked my layout and hope it has inspired you to try a color challenge yourself. 
Unti next time, happy scrapping!