Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1| As I mentioned in a previous Ten on Tuesday, I'm going to start pen paling with my niece and nephew who live a bit further away. When I got a coupon from Shutterfly, I went looking for something to purchase. I found these cute notepads. I thought it would be fun to have new paper to write to them on, so I created one with a picture of the three of us and the other I chose because I really liked the banners. They are really great in person. I mailed off the first letters and can't wait to get something in return!

2| D and I had our 3rd annual Day of Fun outing this weekend. We had an awesome time! We went to Barnes, had lunch, went to Grand Slam, and Starbucks. Grand Slam has mini-golf, bumper cars, lasertag, and arcade games. The place was crawling with people. We rode the bumper cars a bunch of times. To be quite honest, I got pretty nauseous after the first couple of times, but it was really fun to see D laughing it up. We played a game of mini-golf with a little boy hot on our heels. We played one game of laser tag.  I was by far the oldest one in there. We didn't play again, because I felt pretty strange trying to take out a bunch of little kids! We ended the day at Starbucks, enjoying a tasty drink, fun conversation and a couple rounds of Hangman. I love these days to bits.

3| I picked up a few new books at Barnes. I want to see the movie, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but I wanted to read the book first, so I got that one. I also got Let the Great World Spin. Has anyone read these? I can't wait to get started.

4| I had an excellent Sunday. I woke up and made a hot cup of tea and watched the Two Peas Winter CHA product videos. I scrapped a bunch. I read some magazines. I watched a couple episodes of West Wing. I cleaned up and got ready for the week. It was relaxing and lovely. I wish I had more days like this!

5| I'm itching to pick up some of the new labels from the Martha Stewart line at Staples. I've been seeing them everywhere and they look irresistible.

6| I'm headed to D.C. for work in a couple of weeks, and I'm eyeing a few new things. This and this and this.

7| I finished a custom baby announcement job for a friend. I am so pleased she asked me.

8| Starting a new job has totally helped with my sleeping. No problems sleeping through the night anymore!

9| I made up my mind to purchase an iPhone and then I saw this on CBS Sunday Morning. Really? I mean really?

10| I'm glad this week isn't as busy as the last few. I am looking forward to happy hour with friends and hopefully, some reading and scrapping time in the evenings.

Winter in MN

Welcome back to Stamping & Misting Week. I hope you enjoyed Day 1. If you're here for the first time, you can see Day 1 here.

Today, I'm sharing how I made a background pattern using stamps.

1. I knew I wanted to make a page about how we've had an unusually warm winter this year. I've been pretty happy about this fact, so I decided to stamp "happy winter," over the entire page. I didn't worry about lining it up perfectly. I was ok with it being a bit messy. I knew a bunch of it would be covered up with other product too.

2. Next, I added my photo and a few handmade embellishments. Tammy inspired me to make these. I took out three different circle punches and layered them on top of each other. I added a button to the center of each.

3. I made another embellishment and decided I wanted them all closer to the photo. I wanted to draw people's eyes inward to the photo. I added a title, which bumped the tag down. I enjoy using different fonts in my titles.

4. I needed a place to journal. I went back and forth about writing directly on the background, using a typewriter or a tag of some kind. I decided to go with the tag, because I'm a sucker for tags.

5. I added the journaling and called it done. When I journal, I typically just start writing and stop when I run out of room. I think that comes from a lot of practice and knowing how much space my handwriting takes up.

I will definitely be using this technique again. I like having this unique background and it was fun to try something new.

When I scrap, I typically get started and work on it for awhile and then I'll step away from it, enjoy a cup of tea or fold some laundry, and then I'll come back. I don't often finish a page in one sitting. But once I decide it's good, I don't mess with it again. I just move onto the next...

What about you? What is your process?

Be sure to stop back tomorrow. I'll be sharing another misting project.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Times

Since the start of the new year, I've been thinking a lot about my blog and how I spend my creative time. For the last year, I've been really focused on getting noticed. I've been applying for design teams, participating in challenges, staying active on sites like Two Peas and Studio Calico and it's been, well, tiring. I've had a few successes that I'm very thankful for, but they've been few and far between. I see so many others finding success and it's hard. It's hard to get passed over again and again. Each time, I redoubled my efforts and somewhere along the way, I lost myself and the joy I once had for scrapbooking. I got all caught up in what others wanted, in trying to fit into a mold, etc. I wasn't producing work solely based on me and what I wanted. I wasn't having fun.

So, I'm taking a step back. I'm going to start scrapping for me again, and not for anyone else and then maybe I'll start shining through on my pages again. Maybe that will be what makes the difference, but if I still don't get on a design team, I will at least know I'm being more true to myself.

I'll definitely still participate in challenges and apply for teams and engage with the scrapbooking community on different sites. I've found a lot of support and inspiration from so many, so I'm not going anywhere, just shifting my focus.

This weekend, I was thinking about how to restart. I decided to challenge myself to stamp and mist on a bunch of pages because those are two things I don't do a lot of on my pages. That brings me to Stamping & Misting Week here on my blog. This week, I'm going to show you pages I've created that include either stamping or misting or sometimes both. I had a great time with this challenge and created some of my favorite pages in a long time. I'm already finding enjoyment in it all again and that puts a big smile on my face.

First up: Create a page using a mask. 

I had these chipboard ampersands that I've been wanting to use for awhile and a bunch of pictures from a bowling outing with my nieces. I decided that I wanted to use the ampersand to bring it all together.

I arranged the pictures (with paper too) and the ampersands on the page, so I knew where to mist. Then, I removed the pictures. I used Mr. Huey to mist the chipboard ampersands and waited for them to dry. I added the title, tag and twine, journaling and date tag and called it done. This is hard to see, but I also crumpled up all the paper backing the photos and then folded it back out to give it some fun depth. Mr. Huey's have great coverage and the color is very rich.

I love, love how this turned out.

Stop back tomorrow and you'll see how I made a background pattern using stamps. I'll also be showing you a peek into my page creation process too.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Finally Done | December Daily

I finally finished up my December Daily! I love this project, but I'm definitely ready to move on to other things. To avoid a super long post, I'm just going to share several of my favorite pages.

Here it is in all its glory. This year's got really thick!

Day 12 | Merry Monday

I got the idea for the twine letters from Tina. These were really fun to make. Love the look.

Day 18 | Merry
I just noticed I titled this much like Day 12. Ah, well.

I love the ribbon and stars on this one.

Day 21 | Handmade Holiday

I'm glad to have pictures of the ornaments I made for my family in this book. I can't get enough of that striped ribbon.

Day 22 | Green Christmas

I knew I would include a page about how we didn't have snow this Christmas. I enjoyed using washi tape and tags throughout.

Day 24 | 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Just loving all the pieces together on this one; tags and quick list of the day's activities, and fun stickers.

Day 28 | Treats

I've been pretty obsessed with masking titles lately. I cut the stars off of a Trader Joe's grocery bag.

So, there you go. A quick look at my finished mini. Am thinking I will make a larger album next year. I love this size, but it's also limiting when I want to include more journaling and photos, etc.

How did yours turn out or are you still working on it?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Silly | Elle's Studio Sketch

Sketch Thursday is back on the Elle's Studio blog and I'm back today to share my take on the sketch.

Here is the sketch:

Here is my take:

I love this photo of me and my niece and nephew. Makes me smile every time I look at it. I wanted to highlight the photo, so this sketch was perfect.

This page came together fairly quickly. The two strips of paper were cut like that already, so that felt good to use up. Then I took a few Elle's Studio tags and Amy Tangerine cardstock shapes and arranged them all until I was happy. I added a bit of mist splatter to tone down the white space a bit.

When I saw the little people in Amy's collection, I knew I had to use it. I had it right side up and in the corner most of the time, and then a light bulb went off, and I made it mimic the photo instead. I definitely like it better now.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1| This is me. In January. In Minnesota. It's green for goodness sakes. I'm not wearing a coat. Very strange indeed. I hope we don't get payback with snow in May.

2| I'm loving Ali's newsletter, 52 Creative Lifts. Each week, she will reflect on a different aspect of creativity, give us a different way of thinking about it, push us to explore our own processes and make positive changes. I love that it will be in my inbox every week. If you're interested, you can sign up here. It's free!

3| Project Life is everywhere! I think I missed a memo or something. Tons of people are beginning the project this year. Becky Higgins is the brain child behind the project and you can read more about it on her site. Basically, it's documenting your life on a weekly basis, (at least that's how most people do it). I'm not someone who is usually overwhelmed by scrap projects/ideas, but this one definitely is for me. I can't imagine documenting each week. For the last few years and my plan for this year, is to document my months in overview pages. I suppose I can use the Project Life products to do that. We'll see.

4| I saw Mission Impossible during the holiday hustle and bustle. A fun, action packed flick. Tom Cruise looks really nice in a suit too. Really nice.

5| Since starting a new job, I need to build up my vacation days, so I won't be able to see my brother and his family for awhile. I was trying to think of ways to stay connected, and I decided to start pen paling with my niece and nephew. I'm really excited about this idea! I'm starting small and hope to exchange one letter/drawing once a month.

6| Ok, I'll admit it, but don't judge me too harshly. I'm watching The Bachelor. I can't say why, because it's so ridiculous, but I'm watching it.

7|  I love this mini by Liz Kartchner. A snapshot at the beginning of the year. Goals set. Something to refer to throughout the year. A great idea. Check it out! Also, did you see her new collection! Swoon.

8| My work is bringing new challenges and experiences; traveling to conferences, facilitating a panel, presenting to a Board of Directors, teaching a class. Oh my! I'm totally scared, but excited too. It's about time I challenge myself to do more professionally, to stretch myself.

9|  I'm trying this recipe tonight. I just bought quinoa and made one dish so far, and I'm hooked. Yum, yum.

10| I've been finishing up a bunch of projects. I'll be back tomorrow with a page using the Elle's Studio sketch and on Friday, I'll be sharing my (finally) finished December Daily pages. Come on back!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Grandma Love

Ok, folks. I have a good reason for completing falling off the face of the Earth. I got a job and my brain hasn't had room for anything, but the best route to get to and from said work, the long list of responsibilities that come with said work, for all the new names of people I'm meeting, and well, I've been just plain tired.

But, now, I'm back. Hopefully, you've all stuck with me!

Today, I'm sharing my take on the last Sketchy Thursday sketch. I am so bummed that they have decided to close down the site, but I understand how time consuming it must be. I only found them a short time ago, but I've enjoyed their sketches every week (even if I haven't been able to participate right away.)

The page is about my Mom and my niece. My brother snapped these shots when my parents were visiting. He said the light was perfect and they were having so much fun together. He said it reminded him of when he colored with our Grandma. When he told me that, I knew a page was in order. I love making pages like this. This is why I scrap. These amazing stories finding a place out in the world to be shared and enjoyed.

Ten on Tuesday is back tomorrow! Also, this is my 300th post. Not too shabby.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

At the Start of 2012 I'm...

1| Reading, Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. What a wonderful book! A definite must read for 2012.

2| Watching lots of Flashpoint.

3| Remembering a holiday season well celebrated.

4| Choosing an outfit for my first day of work.

5| Detoxing from all the holiday sugar and finding time to exercise again.

6| Making resolutions and thinking of all I want to do this year.

7| Putting new pictures in all of my frames and organizing large piles of paper.

8| Still working on my December Daily. I'm definitely ready to move on to other projects, but I will finish this one.

9| Transferring all the dates to my fresh new planner. One of my favorite things to do!

10| Amazed that I'm celebrating my second blog anniversary. It's been an amazing adventure. One of the best decisions I've made. Thank you so much for reading and for commenting. I appreciate your support and friendship very much.

**I wanted to upload a photo, but Blogger was giving me a lot of trouble. Hopefully, it resolves itself soon!**