Sunday, May 27, 2012

Man Page!

Cutie on Duty!
Last post I wrote about getting outside of my natural color scheme (which I'm pretty sure is is Rainbow) and this is another example.  I took what I like (Rainbow) and manned it up a little with jewel tones and far less glitter and bling than I would normally approve of.  Also, my typical butterfly embellishment has been replaced with some sort of more manly bug.  I didn't realize that when I was making the page -- only now that I'm sitting down to type about it.  I guess you can take the butterfly off the page but you can't take the butterfly out of the girl.
Anyway, Andy Mister Wonderful sent me this picture from his phone on Valentines Day (I had asked for a photo an hour as my gift -- which was so much fun!) and I thought it really captured his essence.  So I had it printed at 5x7 and got busy.  Not a lot of journaling, just a little on the tag that I crunched up and inked up, since I really can't speak much about engineering.  I did use some cute brads that looked like screw heads, though.  That's engineery, right?  Haha, sad.  Art Rules!  Art School Forever!

This little plastic tag was our quickie crop lesson last week at Micheal's crop night.  Acrylic tag + Glossy Accents + Patterned Paper = pretty cute little doo-dad that I tied onto the page.  I need to think of a way to use this technique a little more meaningfully.  I mean, I'm happy to glue a piece of chevron paper to a plastic bit just for pretty's sake on someone else's dime, but I'm not sure if I would pay cash money to do that with my own materials.  However, I think it is fun, and if I can think of a way to make it more than just a pretty tchotchke I'll totally be into it.  Any ideas out there in the blogosphere?  Are little plastic bits so cheap that gluing them myself is a cost effective embellishment after all?  I guess I should research that before I judge.  If you start seeing lots of little plastic bits on my page, please assume that I was wrong and that it is a good, cheap way to decorate.  (Yes, I am a sophisticated lady and judge all embellishments on affordability and impact.  And glittery-ness.)  Okay -- that is all.  Also, the call for suggestions on my next Two Peas order is still out -- so tell me what you can't live without right now or something you think I would totally dig.  Woot-woot!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Being Different (Than Myself)

Gummy candy in open bins?  YES PLEASE!
Didn't I just post on Halva?  I guess I've been inspired by food a lot lately.  That is because, um, of lady hormones, I think.  We'll be back to posts that don't feature food next week.  This week, lets chow down on some scrapbooking that was actually pretty hard for me because it deviated out of my normal colorways that I enjoy and feel comfortable in.  I took these pretty serious colors but wanted to make them true to my style (which I would describe as Rainbow Bright meets Clarissa Darling of Clarissa Explains it All and they have a disco party and you're invited!).  So how do I take my natural desire for neon and wild patterns and hand drawing and tone it down without completely losing interest?  I made myself a little checklist:

  1. Pick a tamer version of a color you absolutely love (I picked this moss green variant of lime green)
  2. Keep some bold pattern, just use it judiciously.  
  3. Use the things you love, just make choices that fit within the color scheme.  (Thank you Tim Holtz washi tape!  And cute little "Sweet" doo-dad.  And not-quite matching but whatever, close enough glitter butterfly!) 
  4. Keep the calm feeling with ample amounts of negative space
  5. Add a little bit more interest with a graphic edge punch instead of adding more color
I think it worked out.  It was a struggle at times, but its fun to flip through my book and see a page that both doesn't look like my other pages, but still looks like I made it.  Don't you hate it when you're totally inspired by someones awesome page but then when you use their style it just doesn't feel like you anymore?   I feel like that all the time!  I think I struck a good balance this time, and doing something different makes me feel like I'm capable of designing on a larger scope than just what comes naturally to me.

How do you get out of your comfort zone?  Do you embrace the foreignness of creating something that doesn't look like you or do you add a little bit of yourself and your style into all of your layouts?  I would love to know!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Can I have-a Halva?

Its a dessert, not cheese. Also, did you notice my cute pink visual triangle - ink, gem, and tape?
Do you know what halva is?  If you do, you know why I had to make a scrapbook page about it.  Such a delicious dessert made with Sesame and other yummy things -- Oh, it is so so so so so so sososososososGOOD.  (Not an exaggeration).  I tend to have a hard time using paper with drawings and stuff already on it, but I decided that I would fight through the hardness with this awesome Amy Tangerine paper.  It was an interesting challenge because the layout of the paper really dictated where the photos had to go (unless I wanted to cover up the fun drawing bits and who whats to do that?) so it was a challenge of working within the bounds of placement. 

The awesome part was getting the look of the splattered ink without having to do any splattering myself.  I have some perfect pearls mist that I'm trying to get into (and failing) but haven't got any super inky mists yet.  Not that I don't want to, but its just sorta low on my priority list right now.  I tend to like super busy papers that just don't need ink sprays.  That and inks are a little hard to find here in small town South Carolina -- and I haven't gotten an order that is above the free shipping threshold for an online shop yet.  I am eying those sequined arrows and hearts by Heidi Swapp -- maybe I'll order in June.  My budget for this month is spent on Ikea and organization.  (Which, update, I AM LOVING) -- the extra workspace is HUGE.  Life is so much easier with the added table space.  Love it love it love it). 

Hope all is well for you out there in the internets!  While I'm deciding about inks and sequin embellishments -- is there anything else you out there think I would love?  Link me up since shopping is in my future!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Michaels Crop Night

No, that is not my husband.

Perfection is  overrated.
 I wrote awhile back about Micheal's Crop Night, and I went back last Friday for my second crop night and it was much more crowded but still pretty fun.  I got 5 layouts done in 6 hours and that is pretty darn productive.  I'm not much of a chatter and I happened to sit next to a chatty seventh grader who wanted to show me lots of photos of her dogs, so, in self preservation mode, I delved deep into that dark and creative place that tunes things out (while still being polite, of course) and got to work.  There is only so much of "This is my dog with hair, and here she is without hair and look, here she is wet!" (while, I would like to add, arguing with her sister across the table) that I can take.  And that amount is very little.  So I did answer all her questions (Favorite Movie: The Big Lebowski.  I don't have cable so I don't really watch much TV.  I have a cat.  My husband is an engineer and yes he likes to work a lot.  I don't use glue sticks, I prefer a tape runner) and told her a little about Israel since I had my photos from my last trip with me but after the initial questioning got busy with my SERIOUS CONCENTRATION FACE and my scissors and got down to business.  SERIOUS BUSINESS.
And, as anyone familiar with SERIOUS BUSINESS knows, the first stop on the SERIOUS TRAIN is a page about smootching a camel.  This SERIOUS PAGE included:
  1. Glitter
  2. Twine
  3. Heart Paper
  4. Gemstones
  5. A paperclip
  6. A View-Master Reel
As you can tell,  the chatty seventh grader must have thought I was the height of maturity and sophistication with my sensible and mature design choices.  Look at those repeated circles creating a visual triangle!  Enjoy the texture telling a visual story with a feel of ephemera without actually including a lock of the camel's hair.  (I mean, what could you possibly include from kissing a camel?  I have no idea.) Also, GLITTER AND TAPE AND BAUBLES WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*!

*I did not say that out loud as I made this page, but I am certain I thought it and maybe even fist pumped once or twice when I got the placement just right.  Moral of this story:  Never go to a crop that I am at.  I am crazy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ikea Organization

A lot of hex keys went into this project
And here it is, a thing of great beauty!  There are two new Expedit units in this new, updated, better than ever version of my crafting space.  The 4x2 on the left with all the baskets is brand new as well as the 2x2 that has my blue photo box on top of it.  The chair is fresh as well.  Before I was working at just the desk and the tall bookshelf on a rickety old second hand dining room chair.  It was not awesome.  There were also two rainbow rolly carts that were, while somewhat effective, mostly not effective and pretty darn ugly.  So, 4 hours in a car, 350 dollars (ugh), and a few blisters later -- here we are!  Lots of green boxes, 8 baskets (over $100 in baskets.  That almost makes me sick -- but I guess they'll last forever.  When I was getting my new iPhone a few days ago (I AM SPEWING MONEY RIGHT NOW SOMEONE PLUG ME UP) the lady I was dealing with told me that her grandfather told her "I'm too poor to be cheap".  I know that as someone who just bought a ton of stuff from Ikea I should probably not be quoting that, but it struck a chord with me.  Just spend the money and get something that will last.  So that is the justification on the nice baskets.  They will last, or something), and a rail, some hooks and other rail stuff later, I am good with a place for everything and everything in its place.  Which I love, even if I am only good about that sort of thing 85% of the time.  And there is room to grow, which I should probably not do but probably will anyways.

I also would like to tell you about my sewing machine that you can see in one of the cubbies someday (because it is awesome and runs by using a GAME BOY!) but that day is not today.  But just you wait.  It is so. freaking. awesome.  A Game Boy, no joke!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Inspired by Shimelle: The First Layouts

So this is how I started.  I'm finding that knowing I have a limited amount of materials is keeping me on edge.  I'm completing things when they still feel a little incomplete -- which is lending a clean and slightly retro look to my pages.  I'm not sure if I love it this page about the cookies, but it was an interesting exercise in using things.  I also feel like it was stretching before a big game -- just warming up a little, seeing what you can do without playing to win.  I have no idea what is going on with those doily stamps. As I write this I am pretty much making a face just like that cut out pumpkin cookie.  But that mess did give me a fun idea for later, so it wasn't all losing.

This is layout number two from the kit I put together and I'm feeling better, but not OMG YES A MASTERWORK! about it.  I cut the tag out of the card stock that is the mat for the first layout (yes, I cut the middle out of the mat.  I am so horrified to run out of materials.  I think it may be psychosis!)  I love that background paper, though; I love it with a fiery passion, so that makes everything gravy. 

I hope all of you playing along are having fun.  I know I am, and the challenge is teaching me a lot about the way I work that I didn't really realize before. So hooray for self discovery!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BPC: Design Challenge 7

When I was your age I used film cameras and I liked it!  Just kidding, sorta.
I like things to look like what they are.  Let a chair look like a chair, don't disguise it as a high heeled shoe.  Dress children like children, not tiny adults.  And scrapbook pages that harken back to the original days of gluing photos to paper -- I like those a lot.  And so I was inspired to put away my paper trimmer (not that it cuts right angles, but that is a story for a different day) and pick up my handy dandy scissors and go to town with some brightly colored paper and some photos that I took on some vintage and toy cameras a few summers ago.

Luckily (?) I had my bike tire exploded by Andy's (who has asked to be referred to as Mr. Wonderful) uncle, so I had an interesting story to tell on my page.  Now you see, Uncle Wonderful (which is to say, Andy's Uncle) is a bike dude.  He has spandex pants and a shirt with pockets all over its back and shoes with clips and all that fancy stuff and a bike with like 107 speeds*.  I, on the other hand, have an awesome vintage 3 speed that I got at a garage sale.  So Uncle Wonderful does not approve of my tire inflation levels and comes over with his pump and proceeds to add so much air that my tire cannot take it and literally explodes.  The sound of a bicycle tire exploding is horrifying, by the way. 

So here we are, on a small island with one general store and an exploded bike tire.  We rent houses on the island, so we don't really know where any tools are to fix the bike and even if we had tools we don't have a replacement tire.  But the men of the Wonderful Family are true heros and hop on their bikes (the irony is not lost on me) to go to the island general store and see what can be done to repair my tire.

And they fix it.  There was a lot of digging in the rental house's garage and a good deal of sweating (its hot in July in Georgia) but my tire was repaired.  And, of course, by then I was cranky and tired and pretty over riding my bike around the island.  The cool morning had faded into the blistering afternoon and no one wants to ride around in that.  I mean, maybe you do if you have on spandex pants and a shirt with pockets on its back.  I can't say. 

Wow, that was rambly.

But the photos look vintage and I thought it was a good fit for a more traditional looking page.  And man do I love that paper.  Love love love!

*107 may be a touch high. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Shimelle Challenge Commences!

 Hooray!  I love a good challenge, so I'm playing along with Jennifer Smith Sloane's Inspired by Shimelle Challenge, where, much like the master herself, we take a limited number of supplies and then work and work and work until we can work no more with what we started with.  Which is pretty much how I roll to begin with (no beautiful scrap shall die without being glued SOMEWHERE!) I'm not used to such an insular process.  I think it'll be fun, and might encourage me to bring something like this along with me on vacation since we vacation in no-mans land with not a lot of entertainment options besides reading books and riding bicycles and family dinners. (Which are all great, but sometimes after 4 days of that it gets a little old, you know). 

So here were the rules of the challenge:

The challenge is to create a kit using supplies you have on hand that includes:

-10 patterned papers
-5 sheets of cardstock
-1 spray ink (Mister Huey/Glimmer Mist/etc.)
-1 stamp set
-1 Alpha Sticker large (Thickers, etc.)
-1 Alpha Sticker small (mini alphas)
-1 sheet of bling/embellishments
-1 pre-made/cut die cut accent
-1 set of border strips

*Any of the embellishing items above can be traded out for one other type of embellishment with that noted. Tools do not count as do stamping inks.

The challenge comes from using this kit to create as many projects as you can.

I just got a huge box of goodies from the Charity Box Sale (which, by the way, was TOTALLY AWESOME!) so I pulled 10 Sassafras papers from the box as well as a package of flowers and border strips.  The Thickers, Stamps, Cardstock and Cosmo Cricket page (partially used, I love those little cut apart tags) came from my bins.  I haven't yet got on the mist bandwagon, so I substituted the ever elusive Target Yellow Washi Tape Set instead.  The stamps are Amy Tangerine and the Letter stickers are Thickers and from Michaels.  The Cosmo Cricket page is substituting for my die-cut accent.  So there you have it.  Challenge accepted and ... may the odds be ever in your favor?

I hope its not that kind of challenge!


Friday, May 11, 2012

BPC: Design Challenge #6

Let's not tell my mother in law I posted that photo of her on the internet, shall we?
Still loving Design Challenges over at Big Picture Classes.  My craft-space is all organized and ready to go (I'll post details soon), so I worked on this today.  This started as a two page layout, but it was looking SO. BAD. that now it is a one page that actually looks decent.  I'm going to play around with the base of the other page and see what I can do to salvage it. 

As you can see from the picture, I am hereby claiming the correct way to spell that 8-day holiday with the candles is H-A-N-U-K-K-A-H.  I'm not really one for spelling it with a "C", but I guess my only real hard and fast rule is that any spelling of Hanukkah must have 8 letters.  Why?  Because 8 is important in Hanukkah and it is the only way I can tell if I have actually spelled it (any version) correctly.  It is true -- I am not such a good speller.  (Want proof?  On the post a couple down I have, in my page's journaling, spelled "pose" (like a group of people) as "posee" which I'm pretty sure isn't even a word. I should probably fix that.) 

Don't judge!

Okay -- you can judge a little. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


This is a photo of my lunch at Ikea.  Meatballin'!
Okay, so here is what I'm up to:

1.  Not a lot of creating going on right now because I am in the middle of a big craftin' space reorganization

2.  I have aquired, in addition to my previous Ikea 2x4 Expedit and desk set, another 2x4 Expedit and a 2x2 Expedit as well.  And so many baskets it literally pains me to think of how much money I spent on baskets

3.  That literal pain may actually have been caused by dropping the big Expedit on my finger while trying to drag it up the stairs

4.  In the future I may re-think purchasing large furniture that you have to assemble yourself while the husband is out of town.

5.  That being said, I did put everything together all by myself and I kinda feel like a beast

6.  I will fo'sho post some photos when everything is not a hot mess like it is right now

7.  Also, I am sore.

Monday, May 7, 2012

National Scrapbook Day -- Late But Not Forgotten

So I made it home from vacation and had a chance to do a few challenges that were floating around online for National Scrapbook Day.  This is one for Big Picture Classes -- the challenge was to make a layout with an envolope included.  I used the picture as a pocket and tucked a little card of hidden journaling behind it.  I just love the wood paper.  I only got three sheets of it when it was on sale at Hobby Lobby and already I can tell that I'll be needing more.  I'm going to use that stuff until it comes out of my nose, I can feel it!  Also, I got another sheet of those scrabble letter tile stickers when I was in Pigeon Forge (Hello giant Scrapbook Superstore, yes I will visit you!) because those are another laurie staple. 

I need to have my photos printed for this vacation, so if you know of any good printing specials going on, send them my way. 

I am inspired, though, to do some pages with paper piecing based on quilt patterns.  So that is on my to-do list. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Flower Girls (and Boy)

Here is another one of the pages I did at the Michael's Crop Night I went to a few weeks ago.  I packed myself up a little envelope full of things I thought I might want to use and went at it.  I think it came out pretty cute.  The giant chipboard letters were in a free-for-all-grab-what-you-need box and the only "i" available was a pink one -- but I think it came out pretty cute despite (because of?) the pink "i".  Bob Ross would call that a happy problem.  They are giant letters, though.  I'm not sure I would ever buy any that big, but they were fun for this page.

Also, aren't my nieces and nephew totally awesome?

Anyways, I'm still off on vacation right now (Yes, I admit, I am typing this before vacation and delaying the post  -- don't you worry, I am not wasting my time away from home blogging).  As I'm typing this I am really just doing laundry, which is not nearly as exciting as saying that I am on vacation.  I am doing laundry using Mrs. Meyers Lavender Laundry Detergent, though, and that is as about as exciting as my laundry gets.   I'm a sucker for really good smelling laundry. 

And on that note... back to vacation!  :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy NSD!

Hi!  I'm celebrating National Scrapbooking Day tomorrow by having a scrap-worthy mini vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  I'm a little bummed that I won't be around to crop with all the fun real-time-online-goodness, but I might be rolling down a giant hill in a ZORB instead, so I'm not that bummed.  :)

4x6 Photo Love, For Real.

So, since I'm off having an adventure, here is a page from my last mini vacation.  Andy and I went to Myrtle Beach, SC to celebrate my 29th Birthday (I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M ALMOST 30!) and we stopped at this seedy fireworks stand/gas station (how is that even legal?) to fill up the tank and stretch our legs on the way home.  The inside was this crazy ramshackle mess of knick knacks and explosives, and the bathroom was filled with graffiti.  I'm not really one to deface property, but it was my birthday and it was already covered with graffiti, so I added a little to it myself.  

I will do my best not to deface anything at Dollywood!

Happy Creating Everyone!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

BPC: Design Challenge 3

I develop turtle neck when I take self portraits :(
I am cruising right along with this class and loving every minute!  I really thrive with a deadline and a set of rules -- something having everything available is just too overwhelming to be productive.  Or maybe it just puts me back into art school mode where it's do-or-die this is the assignment better not mess it up go! go! go!  This went together super fast because I am leaving for vacation today (YAY!) and didn't have a lot of time to putz around with frilly details.  Orange isn't a frilly color anyways.  It's bold, it's here and now it says hello and doesn't need you to dilly dally.

Also, the photos of me jumping in the bounce house crack me up.  I don't know if you've been in a bounce house lately, but it is REALLY tiring.  And they turn your legs into rubber.  I highly recommend them.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shower Curtain-Curtains

Where the magic happens?
Why are curtains so expensive?  I drove all over town looking for pretty curtains that weren't shiny (ugh, too formal!) and found nothing.  Even the sweet sales lady in the JC Penny's Curtain Department told me that I shouldn't get my hopes up for modern, non-shiny, affordable curtains.

Well, I had to go by Target to pick up some shoelaces and decided to check out their curtain section.  Nothing.  I meandered around the store (I really should stop dawdling) and found myself on one of the bathroom aisles.  And there they were -- my beautiful, perfect, not shiny but a little funky (shower) curtains.  A few cutain clips and volia -- my problem is solved.  No longer will the neighbors and their 5 back porch lights that they keep on ALL NIGHT LONG (no joke -- 5 lights!) keep me from getting the beauty sleep that I so desperately need.  And my house doesn't look like I'm the grand dame of formal draperies.  So really, that is just great.

But, as I wrote to my friends on my facebook page, "if you come to my house and have the sudden urge to take off your clothes, its probably the shower curtain-curtains causing that."