Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Memorializing lost pets with scrapbooking

A month ago we lost our cat due to old age. I have taken a lot of pictures of her this past year, so I put them together on a page to remember the sweetest moments with her. Here it is:

I used a Simple Scrapper sketch for August here. Most of the photos I had taken on my phone, including the bottom one, which was my last photo of her. I used products from my July Studio Calico kit, picking products I thought reflected affection. The days of the week paper I picked because she sat on my shoulders every day, loving to cuddle with me as I scrapped.

It was cathartic scrapbooking this page, remembering my cat as she was when she was healthy. We are not near to getting another cat--I need time to mourn--but I do love looking at her darling face.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scrapbooking the weather

I have been a weather junkie for a while. It might be something about Minnesota, but I love watching the weather and making plans accordingly. This year I scrapped the weather, first with the polar vortex:

And this month with June's (almost) record setting rain:

And the details:

I used an older November sketch and an August story starter from Simple Scrapper for this page, as well as using up an older Studio Calico kit and this month's kit with this page. I also went high on themed products: Months ago I had bought the weather veneer, having no clue when to use them. They sat in my stash for months, so when I made this page, I went to town on the rain and clouds. Lots of fun picking a title too, as there are MANY song titles that fit: It's Raining Again, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, Who'll Stop the Rain, Buckets of Rain...Sigh.

Thank you for checking out my page! I'll share my second August Simple Scrapper page later this week.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Scrapbook Circle August reveal

August is my first month on the design team for Scrapbook Circle. I am thrilled to share (most of) my first pages with you today.

Here they are, with a few words about them:

I went a little crazy with big photos this month. I have done a page about camping lessons before, so I made this page with my new lessons from this year's trip to Itasca. I love the map paper as the backdrop and the bright colors put directly on the photo. This first page uses mostly products from the main kit, plus some embellishments from embellishment add-on #1 Tiki Torch (wood sequins, journaling card, and Choose Happy sticker) and a wee bit from add-on #2 Bungalow (the yellow circle and the tiny strips of patterned paper framing the big photo, which I trimmed from the 6x6 pad). I'll talk more about making this layout later in August on the Scrapbook Circle blog.

Another big photo, a quintessential shot of summer. When I took this photo I knew I wanted to enlarge it. I love the way the blues and the browns in the cork highlighted the photo. And design note: when I was trimming the "Away We Go!" card, I accidentally scraped some color off, so I then distressed the rest of the card. It's not a mistake, it's an unplanned opportunity for additional creativity. 

Almost all of this one comes from the main kit, except the Epic sticker (Bungalow) and the wood sequins (Tiki Torch) both of which I used to add some circle to an otherwise linear page.

I had a lot of fun with this page. I wanted it to be bright and fun, and the main kit was perfect for that. I again added my favorite embellishment from the Tiki Torch add-on, the wood sequins (think of them as parade confetti) and a few journaling cards, and a circle sticker from the Bungalow add-on.

This one was divine to make. Another big photo: I love scrapbooking on white space, whether it's a big or small photo. I hand cut a lot of elements here and again added my favorite wood sequins from add-on #1 Tiki Torch (get Tiki Torch!), and I mainly used the papers from the 6x6 pad in add-on #2 Bungalow. Sometimes I have trouble cutting a little bit from a 12x12 piece of paper, but it's much easier to paper-piece together a swirl from a 6x6 pad of paper.

Thank you for coming to view my pages! Please visit Scrapbook Circle to see the delicious kit when it goes live for sale August 1st.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The bane of a one-photo layout

I know that for many people, the hardest pages to design are multiple photo and/or two-page designs. For me, those are easy. There are only so many ways the photos can fit on the page, so once that is figured out, the page sort of designs itself. The absolute hardest page fr me to design? A one-photo layout. Why? The possibilities are endless. Gah.

Here's one I recently did that I like, and I'll share a few things I did to make it less stressful to create.

1. The photo is an Instagram I took of my son showing off his new height. My local printer National Camera Exchange is expanding their print sizes, and I printed this 5x5 so that it would occupy more space on the page.

2. I then took out a kit and pulled some bright strips to lay under the photo, adding a scallop sticker to boot. This created a bigger home for the photo on the 12x12 page.

3. Next I added the embellishment clusters, which overlap the photo and metaphorically nail the photo down. (I started scrapbooking at the tail end of the sticker sneeze era, so I have drilled into me the important of nailing page elements down, LOL!)

4. I used the word HELLO from the kit as a part of the title. I liked how dramatic it was, and I thought without it, the page was a little blocky. I knew I wanted smaller, more subdued letters to finish out the rest, but the rest of the kit didn't have ones that worked, so I went to my stash to dig out these aqua Thickers. It was out of G's, by the way, so I used a 9 instead.

5. The page was better now, but still a little boring. That's when I thought about my starburst stencil I've used to stitch with before. I lay the template over the page, poked holes, then stitched in yellow.

That was my process for designing a one-photo page. You'll notice that I started by creating a foundation, then embellished. That's my general process for all pages; I struggle with one-photo pages so much because there are so many ways to create a Foundation for that one photo.

How about you--do you find it harder to scrap one or multiple photos?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Holy heck, I used a doily on a page

A couple weeks ago I was scrapbooking with some girlfriends. I wanted to use up most or all of a past kit, and I had gotten down to the bare bones of embellishments, including the gold doily that had come with the kit. Gold is super popular right now, though not with me, and some people can rock a doily (Jennifer Wilson of Simple Scrapper comes to mind), but not me. Still, it was an embellishment, and my girlfriends challenged me to use it, so I did. Here's the page:

I went with the old cover-most-of-it-up technique, one I use with embellishments and papers I'm not fond of or with products that don't quite go. Here's some details:

I had thought about turning the doily upside down, but the gold actually reflected the trophy my son is carrying. Since the color fit with the honor of his graduation from the first song in his violin lesson book, I let it go. I also added some embellishments from my stash, using up some old products, including the small Studio Calico envelope. (By the way, the gold label isn't that long; I cut it in half and arranged it so that it would be visible from both sides.)

I had also been nervous about the bright colors--I worried it might be too ice cream cone-ish for the occasion--so I added the strips of grey along with grey accents and stitching to add some gravitas to the page's kicky colors.

So how to you feel about gold or doilies? Do you like them? Do you use them? What do you do with products you have but no longer like?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Husband scrapbooking

My husband Derick has a birthday approaching. He's pretty hard to buy presents for. Like most guys--maybe most people--he loves getting super expensive technology, but I'm not getting him that. My older boy is getting braces this month. My husband also doesn't drop hints about what he likes. We went camping recently and he actually mentioned he wanted a bigger screen tent and a new camping chair. My ears perked up, and I've been thinking about getting him those for his birthday when his latest purchase came in the mail:

Yes, this is chain mail. A chain mail dish cloth with which to clean cast iron pans.

At that point I just gave up. What seemed to be a great present because he'd dropped a big hint would  pale next to chain mail. Near despair, I wondered what I could do.

And then my husband came home to tell me that he's found the perfect present for him. And it involved scrapbooking:

(Let's take a moment to appreciate that this woman got pictures with herself and Nathan Fillion and both Winchesters. Wow. Just wow.)

This image is from a Kickstarter for a scrapbook specific for people who go to gaming conventions and Comic Cons who want a place to put their memorabilia and photos. Here's the link: Con*Quest Adventure Journal. It's a pretty nice book with a variety of page types--pocket pages, photo pages, journaling/drawing pages--not unlike the pocket scrapbooks that are popular today, only this one is designed for convention geeks, just like my husband. For years he's gone to GenCon in Indianapolis (and before that Milwaukee) with his gaming buddies, and for years I've tried to persuade him to let me put the photos and memorabilia in a small scrapbook for him. He's refused, but it finally looks like I may have turned him to the dark side.

My present to my husband is not backing this journal--he already did that (typical). My present is blogging about this Kickstarter and pinning it to hopefully get the word out so that it will be made.

If you are interested or know a convention geek who might appreciate this as a gift, please back this Kickstarter and spread the word. I'm hoping that this woman will get the backing she needs so that my husband can join me in my hobby--at least once a year.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Scrapbooking vacation photos

An interesting thing happened to me Friday. I was using my laptop, and the screen went blank. Two days later, I found out the hard drive was shot. I had, of course, just downloaded my iphone and downloaded my vacation pictures from my camera, deleting the shots from both. I am using the desktop now and am in the process of recovering files from our online backup. About halfway in after about 3 days, so it's been a   l   o   n   g  process, without being able to edit and print photos at will. Sigh. I'll let you know how that goes when it's done.

Today I'd like to share with you how I go about organizing my thoughts after vacation to prepare to scrapbook the trip.

The first thing I do is on the way back: I ask the family for their 5 vacation faves. I grabbed the only piece of paper available in the car this year and made out this list:

I use this list to make a mini-album, a project I do every year. I will pick one photo of each family member and pair it with that person's list of faves. I've started going through my mini-album supplies and will have to think about how I want to set this project up.

Next, I download my camera and phone and make a list of topics that I will use to organize my planned album of the trip. Here's my preliminary list:
  1. Campsite
  2. Cooking
  3. Hiking
  4. Douglas Lodge and Forest Inn
  5. Old Timers Cabin
  6. Cruise boat
  7. Headwaters
  8. Swimming
  9. Fishing
  10. Pontoon
  11. Canoeing
This list is not in any particular order, though I usually do arrange it chronologically. The list may also change as I print photos. We took a shorter vacation this year, camping in only one spot, so my vacation album will likely not be a full 8.5x11 inch album. I'm playing around with the thought of doing a pocket album. I have one by Pink Paislee and one by October Afternoon I might use.

Finally, I organize my supplies and memorabilia from the trip into a craft keeper of some sort:

Here I collected various brochures and stickers. I usually glue a pocket for the memorabilia in the back of my album and put these in there.

I'm a little behind in my vacation albums. I still have to do Disney (2010), Custer State Park (2011), and Glacier N.P. (2013). I tend to use one design, the same one each year, for the whole album and use one particular line. For Disney I'll be using October Afternoon's Boarding Pass, for Custer I'll be using OA's Sasparilla, and for Glacier I'll be using Fancy Pants Designs' Happy-Go-Lucky. I'm not sure about this year, but I may use October Afternoon's Campfire. I have a lot of that product, since I go camping a lot.