Monday, January 27, 2014

Scrap Our Stash - January Sketch Challenge

My layout for the Scrap Our Stash - January Sketch Challenge is up on their blog today.  The challenge is to use the sketch below from the Scrap-Room, as well as a premade/packaged number(s):

Here is my take on the sketch:

About my layout: "For this challenge, I scrapbooked pictures of my youngest son, Max and his cousin, Will. They are only 8 months apart and are quite the pair when they are together! I ended up flipping the sketch for my layout. My premade number is the 2 from Basic Grey's RSVP line. I used a lot of the Studio Calico Printshop line, as well as the Add-on Rome from Studio Calico's October kit. The boys' names were cut from my Silhouette Cameo using the Voluptate font."

Make sure to stop by the Scrap Our Stash blog and try out one of the challenges. If you link up your work, you have the chance to win a prize. This month it is a $20 gift certificate to the Scrap-Room.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Use My Stash - Layout 2

Happy Friday! Today I am sharing my "Use My Stash" layout for this week - which is actually pocket pages that include one page and a spread. I am trying to get these up on Wednesday but it just didn't happen so I am sharing today. For these layouts, I used a lot of Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic as well as some Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party. The papers are from various 6x6 pads.

These layouts are documenting my friend Heidi's little girl's birthday party. Scarlett was born just 3 weeks after Max. We hang out with them a lot and the boys just love Scarlett. Her party was a Doc McStuffins themed party. I used the napkins from the party in my layouts and used those to mainly pick the colors I used. For all the layouts, I used Becky Higgins' Design E page protectors that have 4 6x6 slots - You can find them here: Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages - Design E.

The first page:

The inside layout:

The left side:

The right side:

This came together fairly easy and glad I was able to document the day. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tiddly Inks Cards

Just a quick note - I did not get my "Use My Stash" post up yesterday but I do plan to get it up tomorrow. I used some of Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic so look for that one some time tomorrow afternoon...

Today though I am sharing a few cards I made with Tiddly Inks digital stamps. I colored the images with Copic markers which are addicting! I don't have that many (compared to a lot of people) but I do love them. I plan to share some tips on beginner coloring - mainly the where to purchase, what to buy, etc. on my blog soon. I did quite a bit of research and wanted to share what I found so other "newbies" could find it all in one place...

Anyways, here are my cards for today with supplies below - Also, if you are interested in the exact Copic colors I used, send me a message or write a comment, and I will get back to you on it as I don't have them with me right now.

Ink: Versafine Black

On this one, I embossed the sentiment with white embossing powder and then colored in the "Love You" with a red copic marker for it to stand out.
Digital stamp: Tiddly Inks Ellie (This one is FREE!)
Embossing Powder: American Crafts
Ink: VersaMark
Letter Stickers: American Crafts Thickers (colored with C-5 Copic to get a darker grey)

Sentiment Stamp, Paper & Jewels: Studio Calico Valley High Card Kit
Ink: Prima Chalk Edger in Vintage Pink and Versamagic Pretty Petunia

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cards - Studio Calico Copper Mountain Kit

Today, I am sharing a couple of cards I made with the Studio Calico Copper Mountain kits. I loved the main and the add-on this month. The whale is so cute and love the matching die. Here are my cards:

The following are the supplies I used:
Just a Note Card -
Hero Arts Shadow Ink in Soft Granite & Stone Wash & Red Royal
Versa Magic Aegean Blue
Theresa Collins Now & Then Enamel Dots

Happiest of Birthdays Card-
Hero Arts Shadow Ink in Fresh Peach & Butter Bar & Tide Pool & Charcoal
MME Collectable Notable Cute Enamel Dots

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Use My Stash - Layout 1: Allison Kreft Composition & Color

Last Wednesday, I shared my plan for 2014 to use my stash. Basically, I have quite a few (to say the least!) paper lines and kits that I have used some of put still have a lot left of. This year, I wanted to challenge myself to make at least one layout a week from these "older" lines. (Most of my stash is from the last year and a half so that is why I put older in parenthesis :) ).

I plan to share these layouts on Wednesdays so here is my first one. I used the Composition and Color line by Allison Kreft for Webster's Pages. I bought approximately 8 pieces of the 12 x 12 paper of this line, as well as the 6 x 6 paper pad and the mini folders and card set. On my layout, I used one of the 12 x 12 sheets as the background, a few of the 6 x 6 paper sheets and one of the mini folders.

Since I did not buy any embellishments from this line, I ended up using some from the Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic line - the chipboard and a diecut. I also used some pink Thickers I got at a discount at TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning. These thickers are one of my favorite fonts - Lullaby.

I really wanted a "R" accent so I cut the "R" with my Silhouette Cameo (affiliate link:Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool). I used the Century Font. I also "offset" the shape in the Silhouette software to make it a little "fatter".

Some other products used on my layout:
Doilies from Michael's

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Scrap Our Stash DT January Stash Challenge Layout - Fall Photo

My first design team layout for Scrap Our Stash was on their blog yesterday. The Stash Challenge this month was as follows:

Here's how this challenge works:
Create a layout and you must add….
(5) of one item 
(4) of another item
(3) of one more item
(2) of yet another item
(1) RUB ON!!!

All items used for the countdown must be PREMADE/PACKAGED scrap products.
(Example: (5) Flowers, (4) Patterned papers, (3) Wood Veneer, (2) Chipboard pcs (1) Rub On

You are allowed to add whatever else you want to your layout as long as you meet the requirements to set forth in the countdown.  In your blog or gallery post, you must list the items you chose and how many for each item.

Here is my layout:

A little bit about my layout:

"I don't normally think too much about the number of items I add to a layout, so this challenge made me think differently than I normally do about my layout. I ended up using 
five pre-made die cuts, 
four patterned papers, 
three wood veneer hearts,
two different letter stickers 
...and the one rub-on (in the top left).
The photo I used for this challenge was from a quick photo shoot we had over Thanksgiving weekend with my family. 
Even though the boys were not looking at me, I like how the photo turned out."

I hope you stop by Scrap Our Stash, complete the challenge and link it up. We would love to see your work!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Thank You Card - SC Copper Mountain Kit

Today, I am sharing a card I made with the Studio Calico Copper Mountain Card kit plus the add-on Spaudling Bowl. The stamp set in Spaulding Bowl is quickly becoming one of my favorites. This add-on sold out super fast and I am so glad I grabbed one.

Besides the kit, I used the following supplies:
Hero Arts Shadow Ink in Orange Soda
Pebbles Decorative Tape in Ash
Various MME Enamel Dots
Fiskars Compact Stamp Press (affiliate link)

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Favorites - Photo Processing & Printing

For this Friday, I thought I would share my favorites for photo processing and printing.

Photo Organization and Editing

My "go-to" for photo organization and basic photo edits is Picasa from Google. It is free and works really well. I have tried to use Photoshop Elements as my photo organizer but I truly prefer Picasa. The main reason is if you move a photo or group of photos from one file to another file outside of the program, Picasa automatically updates the folders and it only takes a few seconds. If this happens in Photoshop Elements, it does not automatically update. You can have it "search" for the new folder but this can take a lot of time and the program has frozen on me. I also use Picasa for basic edits - cropping, lighting, etc. It works well for my everyday photos.

Though I do not use Photoshop Elements for organization or my main photo editor, I do like it when I want more control over editing photos. I have used it to "swap heads" and to add "actions" over photos. I have Photoshop Elements 9 but the newest version is Photoshop Elements 12. Here is a photo where I swapped the head of my niece Micah (in pink) who did not like taking a picture without Eli, my oldest:



I used this tutorial from ClickinMoms for the head swap. Also for actions, I have bought a few from Two Peas in a Bucket - you can find them HERE. For installing actions, I used a tutorial from Texas Chicks Blogs & Pics - HERE is a link to the different ones based on your version of Elements.

Photo Printing - At Home

For me, printing at home is key to keeping up with Project Life. I know a lot of people like the Canon Selphy. I have not really ever used one but what mainly held me back from getting one of these is that the prints are not true 4x6, which is not the best for PL since the pockets are 4x6. However, this still appears to be a great option if you want something small and portable.

I personally bought and use an Epson Artisan 730.  I have liked this printer because it has a photo tray with two levels - one for 4x6 or 5x7 photos (it is adjustable) and one for letter size or legal paper. Therefore, I always leave it loaded with 4x6 paper for easy printing. It also has wifi so I can print directly from my Iphone with Epson Iprint.

Photo Paper
For everyday, I use Kirkland's Professional Glossy Photo Paper in 4x6. I typically buy it at Costco but you can also find it on Amazon. Even though it is labeled as glossy, it is more of a semi-gloss. I use this for the prints I use for Project Life.

For prints I use on scrapbook pages or frame, I like to use either Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl paper or Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster. I have only bought the Ilford paper in 4x6 but have been really happy with it. It is pricey but the prints are great. The Epson Luster paper can be a little cheaper (depending on where you buy) and I have really liked the prints from it as well.

Here are affiliate links to these products on Amazon:
Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201)
Kirkland Signature Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper 4"x6" 300 Sheets
Ilford GALERIE Prestige Smooth Pearl 4x6 Inches, 100 Sheet Pack 2001743
Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl 8.5x11" 310gsm 100 Sheet Pack
Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper LUSTER (8.5x11 Inches, 50 Sheets) (S041405) - Packaging May Vary

Photo Printing - Mail

My favorite site for photo printing that is mailed to you is Snapfish. I have tried a lot of them and it has always had the best pictures for me. I prefer matte photos and a lot of those can come off dark but it is never that way from Snapfish.

Photo Printing - Pick Up

Local photo printing can truly vary by location. For example, I know a lot of people love Costco but I have not had the best experience with my local Costco. The one place that I usually get pretty good prints no matter what location I print to is Walgreens. The downside for me is the prints are glossy, but besides that the prints are pretty good.

I hope this helps you as I always like to get recommendations from others. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Scrapbooking Plans in 2014 plus a Baby Layout

With the new year, I think we all think about starting fresh and what little changes we want to make during this year. I have thought about this a lot in different aspects of my life, including scrapbooking. Last year, my goal was to average one layout a week - so 52 layouts. This was not including Project Life or card making. I ended up making around 80 layouts (I don't have the exact number with me but I did track it) and completed all but about 14 weeks of Project Life (which I still plan to finish). I also made quite a few cards. This was A LOT of crafting for me, and I really enjoyed it.

For this year, I definitely want to keep up my crafting but wanted to challenge myself a little differently. I started back to traditional scrapbooking around May of 2012. Since that time, I have purged a lot of my older supplies and "replenished" (to say the least!) my stash. One thing I really started doing was using the items I purchased right away. However, I would usually only make one or two layouts and then move what I decided to do this year is make a list of lines or kits I have purchased but have not completely "used". Then each week, I want to make a layout from one of the lines/kits. I plan to do this for Project Life and card kits as well. Basically, this is my way of "using my stash".

Now as far as buying supplies goes, this is always a hot topic on scrapbooking message boards so the subject is definitely discussed a lot. I have thought a lot about what I have purchased, what I use, how much stash I like to have, etc. and what I have decided for 2014 is to really try and just buy the kits I purchase from Studio Calico and not try to buy much "regular" supplies beyond that. I will probably need an album or two and I would like to purchase a few more copics and maybe some basic manual dies but that is really it. I have to admit I do have a weakness for Thicker deals from TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning or Marshall' I will probably end up purchasing some of those at some point but am trying to minimize it!

The reason I have decided to keep my kits is I really like getting new supplies each month and the challenge of using something I didn't necessarily pick out myself. That part definitely sparks my creativity! It also helps to know you have new supplies coming so you don't need to save a special embellishment, etc...You need to use it as you will be getting more the next month.

I plan to post my layouts that I make from the items in my stash on my blog each week so hopefully you can check it out and maybe get some ideas on using some of your stash. My hope is to do the posts on Wednesdays.

Now for a layout because what is a blog post without some sort of picture/layout??

This one started with the Sundries paper from the Modern Mercantile line by Lisa Dickinson for Jenni Bowlin Studio. I decided to cut the paper on the chevron lines and was planning to mount it on another piece of paper but couldn't find one that I thought worked well until I came across this handwritting paper in yellow from the Baby Edition paper pack from Becky Higgins. I loved how the two looked paired together. I actually then set it aside and didn't use it for awhile. I then saw the paper in my stash and thought, I need to do a baby layout of Eli with this paper so here it is. I used some other papers from my stash and some others from the Baby Edition paper pack as well. For the embellishments, I used some cameo cuts as well as the some die cuts and stick pins from Jillibean Soup. Here are a few close up pictures:

Definitely love and miss those chunky cheeks!

If you made it to the end of this lengthy post, thanks for reading and I hope it maybe sparked some ideas for you to use your stash this year. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Card

Today I am taking the boys to a birthday party for a little girl that goes to their daycare. I made this quick card yesterday for her. It was lifted/inspired by Jenn Picard's card in the Studio Calico Antiquary Card Kit gallery which you can find HERE.

The following are the supplies I used:
Hero Arts Charcoal Shadow Ink - At Ellen Hutson & At Simon Says Stamp
Hero Arts Soft Granite Shadow Ink - At Ellen Hutson & At Simon Says Stamp
Pink Braiding Cord purchased at Walmart

Hope you have a good weekend - Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Plans for 2014 Project Life

With the new year, a lot of those doing Project Life start contemplating how they will "do" Project Life this year. (If you are unfamiliar with PL, you can learn more about Project Life HERE.) I of course am like everyone else and have thought about it too. I have gotten behind this year mainly after both my grandmothers passed away and then Brian took a head coaching job and we were selling our house. I was busy during that time to say the least. I am slowly catching up. I have 14 weeks of PL left for 2013 (mainly in the middle of the year) and I hope to finish it up in January.

(My Volume 2 title page I quickly put together this morning. I used the Midnight Edition.)

Through this, I have come to find what works best for me. I do really like doing PL but I find that I like it the most when I get it finished quickly. To best accomplish this, I plan to use one side of a page protector for each week instead of a whole spread. This of course makes me have to weed out some photos, but I find that I cover enough and most importantly, it gets done. I am sure there will be some times where I have a full spread for a week - such as holiday weeks - but I am going to try and keep it to a minimum. Also, I have decided to change my weeks from Monday to Sunday to Saturday to Friday. I find that I typically like to work on PL on Saturday or Sunday so the week will be finished before I start working on it.

(Week 18 - which I worked on last night and finished this morning. This is using the Studio Calico Antiquary Project Life kit.)

The other issue I have had is the size. I am not a real fan of the size for my kids. They like to look at the pics but the 12x12 can be rather cumbersome for them to attempt to look at. I however do like creating the 12x12 size. So how am I going to solve this dilemma? Well I have decided to just print a few photos each month and put them in a Studio Calico Hanbook or possibly a Becky Higgins mini album. This way the kids can look at them, but I get to keep my 12x12 size that I enjoy doing.

Like I said I enjoy PL, but I also enjoy scrapbooking 12x12 layouts and making cards so I find this plan should help me to have time to fit all 3 in as much as I can. What about you? What are your plans for your 2014 PL? I would love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!