Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful Thanksgiving Album

We have a Thanksgiving tradition at my house that I love.  Every year, right before we start stuffing our faces, everyone around the table tells one thing he or she is thankful for.  But - then the carnage begins which leads to the mandatory coma-like napping.  By the time I wake up, I can't remember what anyone said!  I like to think I'm a problem solver so this year, I decided to make a Thankful Album using my PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO NATURE WALK COLLECTION.  This year, everyone can write down what they are most thankful for.

The base of my album is constructed from my Pretty Little Studio packaging.  I used an old clear plastic container-package-part as a sort of window for my little raccoon.  And the sequins?  They are there because my 4 year old Lula Bug likes sequins.  And she likes to look through my mini-albums with me.  And if they make her happy, then they are pretty much the perfect design element as far as I am concerned!

So, how does my Thankful album work?  Well, each page has a pocket.  And each pocket has a tag:

The photo visually identifies who the tag belongs to.  My son Will will write what he is thankful for on the tag tucked into this pocket.  (Note:  I had this photo sitting on my work desk and used it for Will's page.  I didn't realize until later that his was the only small picture used.  Oops...)

The rest of my album follows this format:

A photo of the family member is on one side and a page with a pocket containing a journaling tag is on the back.  Sometimes, as is the case with this page, I have a second central pocket created by sewing the sides and bottom of my picture to the packaging.  Why?  Well, you never know when you might need an extra tag to write on...

Here's my next page (front and back):

I am especially pleased with my little pocket on this page.  First, that deer is too cute!  Second, the frame for my wax paper pocket is the leftover edge from a design previously cut out with my Silhouette.  Yep, I am crafty and innovative like that. *smile*

I love the Hubster's page, too:

Each of my pockets are slightly different.  I wanted to use as many scraps as possible which meant changing the pocket style to fit the piece of scrap paper.

Child number one has a slightly smaller photo, but I still managed to fit two pockets and tags on it.  One tag is for her to write down what she is thankful for and one is for her guy.  Yes, I know my date is upside down on my journaling card.  You may choose to call that a mistake; I'll just call it whimsical!

Daughter number two also has two tags - again one for the daughter and one for her guy.

My album is bound by simple rings.  That way when I find out at the last minute that additional people will be showing up (it happens every year), I can quickly add more pages and tags!

The back has a few extra "bonus" tags.

I don't know what I'm going to write on these tags yet, but I am sure they will get used.  Maybe I will journal about my day; maybe I will simply record the menu.  Whatever I decide to include, I have plenty of room!

That's it for me this happy Monday.  Do you plan to incorporate crafting into any of your Thanksgiving traditions?  If so, leave a comment.  I would love to hear about it!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Finding Inspiration on a Sticker Sheet

Sometimes, the most random things will inspire a layout.  For me, it was the sticker sheets that came with my Glitz Design papers.  Specifically, it was the word stickers included on the sheets that got me thinking about these two fabulous young adults, who each think the other hung the moon:

I want nothing but the very best for them as they make their way in life.  And so, before I knew it, I came up with this:

A pair of 2x3 journaling cards sewn against the paper made a sweet little journaling pocket, the perfect thing to hold a tag containing more personal thoughts...

Of course, a layout is just no fun unless it has some extra little bits of layering and fussy cutting.  These paper chevrons started off as a simple journaling card, and the triangle arrows were part of a pattern on one of my papers.  I love looking at things in a slightly different way; it makes life more interesting, don't you think?

That's it for me this Saturday.  But I would love for you to tell me what inspires (or has inspired) you?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family of Four - Pretty Little Studio

Happy Thursday - the weekend is almost here!  And because today is Thursday, it means it's time for a new OOTB challenge at Pretty Little Studio.  To see the challenge, head over to the PLS BLOG.

I have been stalking the postman  patiently waiting for my Woodland Christmas papers and goodies to arrive from Pretty Little Studio.  Until then, I have been very diligently using up my leftover scraps.  They are so pretty, I want to use every single last little piece.  So, I challenged myself to use up some of those scraps for this week's OOTB challenge.  Instead of using Christmas-themed papers, I chose to use (mostly) my scraps from the Nature Walk Collection to see what I could create based on the inspiration photo.  And you know what?  I LOVE the end result!  Here it is...

My daughter Lou, who has now been married for one whole year, has just landed herself a terrific new job in a city close to us.  She and her wonderful husband settled into a sweet little house of their own with their doggy (my grandpuppy) Ty, who has been an only puppy for over four years (although he has lots of doggy friends that he plays with).  They decided it was time for Ty to have a brother or sister so off they went to a Pet Smart Adoption Event sponsored by a local rescue society.  I just happened to be spending that weekend with them and got to share the experience of meeting adorable Ruby for the first time.  The picture I took of Lou and her dear (deer) family was perfect for my layout.

All of the papers I used, except for my white cardstock background, were scraps.  I triple-matted my photo so that it would stand out, and I added pop-dots under several of my embellishments to increase the depth and help draw the eye across the page.  There's a lot of layering going on in this layout, just the way I like it...

Here's the other side of my layout.  I mimicked the banner in the inspiration photo by adding bunting flags across the top of my layout.  And I was able to use this sweet scrap of paper from the Nature Walk COLLECTION featuring the cutest deer ever!

Did you know Pretty Little Studio is having a 30% off sale to make room for the new stuff?  To see what goodies you can get on sale, just click HERE.  Better hurry, though, it won't last long!

Have you played along with Pretty Little Studio's OOTB challenges lately?  If so, let me know.  I would love to see what you were inspired to create!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You Are So Loved

Boy does it feel good to be back -  I feel rejuvenated, revitalized, reinvigorated!  Maybe my crafty mojo will decide to stick around for a bit...

I often joke that my youngest is the one who will end up giving me every gray hair on my head.  Lately, those "gray hairs" are caused by worry when I see my daughter struggling.  Being a teenager is hard, much more so today than when I was one way back when.  And being a teenager with severe ADD can make things so much more complicated.  So, this layout was created as a visual reminder - to her, to me, to the world - that no mater what, forever and always, I love her.  (Of course, Bailey-Boo, the Huntress' faithful companion is in the pic, too; because wherever the human one goes, the little furry one follows!)

So, let's talk about this layout.  Mojo gone and left you in a pickle?  Then head over to a good sketch site such as this one by CREATIVE SCRAPPERS.  I used this SKETCH to get started.  This past weekend (after my little scrapbooking hiatus), I literally printed out a couple of photos, grabbed my paper trimmer, scissors and glue, and picked up a bag of scrapbooking goodies I had purchased a month earlier but never even opened before heading over to my BESTIE'S house for a little creative therapy.  Luckily, it contained papers and parts by GLITZ DESIGN, which were pretty much perfect for my layout.  

Wanna see the entire layout?  Here you go...

Yep, this layout has all the ingredients to make it a favorite for me:

Hearts - check.
Stars - check.
Arrows - check.

I found some cool Glitz transparencies (I think from the Color Me Happy Collection).  I really liked a garland of circles included in the pack, but I couldn't get it to "fit" on my layout.  Finally, I just cut several of the circles apart and sewed them individually on my layout.  I outlined the edges of my stars and hearts with a black marker to help keep them from getting lost against the patterned paper.  

I LOVED the You.Are.So.Loved sticker but thought it was too small to use as the title, especially since my layout included rub-on phrases.  So, I sewed it next to my photo instead and then repeated the phrase with my title letters.

And that is it, no extra journaling needed.  "You are so loved" says it all.  No matter what issues we face, no matter the hard times, I love this child fiercely.  And I am humbled that God gave her to me.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cr@zy Happy - PLS Sketch Challenge

This week's sketch challenge at the PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO BLOG really was a challenge for me!  Why?  Because I don't really "do" circles.  Don't get me wrong.  I love circles.  Layouts with circles done by other people look fantastic.  But - 8 times out of 10, my circle layouts best.  So, for this week's challenge, I decided on a compromise.  I added every circle shown in the sketch; I just decided to add an additional, very rectangular, photo instead of trying to cut it into a circle shape, too.  And that worked for me!

I used papers and a couple of journaling cards from the PLS NATURE WALK COLLECTION, which is still one of my favorites.  I simply cut out the small circles using my circle punch and then cut out the larger circles using my Silhouette.

My background hexagons were created by taking one hexagon shaped piece of paper and using a fine tip maker to trace around it repeatedly across my paper (obviously, I did this before I added my circles).

I love my whacky photo of my crazy family mugging for the camera but needed to tone it down so that it would fit in with my papers:

So, I did a black and white conversion and, voila, a photo that doesn't clash with all the cute bits and pieces I wanted to add around it.

That's it for me today.  What have YOU done to challenge yourself lately?