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 Kickstarter 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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Back from vacation

Our family just spent a week at Minnesota's oldest state Park, Itasca, the home of the Mississippi Headwaters. It was loads of fun, and we had for the most part lovely weather. Both boys loved crossing the Headwaters:

If you compare these photos to the iconic photo on the cover of our tourbook, you'll see the water was pretty high.

We had near record breaking rains this June--we missed the record by about .3 inch! That of course means record mosquitoes too. Gah. Still, we managed to survive the bugs with the help of a can of bug spray a day. Poor Lola was popular with the bugs, but she grew to appreciate the screen tent.

Speaking of screen tent, here's something we found the last day:

The caterpillars we saw all week had started spinning cocoons. This one we found and removed from the screen tent before we left (we found two more on the rain fly when we got home). Don't you think this cocoon looks like Munch's The Scream?

As always, I am looking forward to scrapping the photos I took. I'll share my process for scrapping vacations later this week.

*I want to share one piece of sad news related to our vacation. We picked our cat up from the cat hotel when we got back, and she didn't look well (not the hotel's fault--she'd been slowing down for a while). As the day progressed, it became clear she was not going to make it--she couldn't walk, she wasn't drinking anything or sleeping, she was twitching. After spending the day cuddling her, we decided it was time to put her down. My sweet Agatha, whom we've owned since we were married, is gone. Though I'm sad, I'm glad she's not suffering.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Scrapbooking faith milestones

I have not scrapped many of my boys' faith milestones. This one I did, though, because they shared it: First Communion.

Dominic is one year younger than Rowan, but he is in the same Sunday School class, so when the class started studying communion, he did too. Eventually, he asked, "Can I commune too?" I wasn't sure if he could, but I asked, and our church said he could, so he did. In addition to communing for the first time, both boys played music on Maundy Thursday--Rowan the piano and Dominic the violin--and at the end of the service, as the kids cleared the altar to prepare for Good Friday, Rowan removed the everlasting candle. It was a powerful service.

Here's the page I made to celebrate the occasion:

I used a sketch from Simple Scrapper. Not many embellishments, which I love to do, but the focus is on the story instead, which is OK.In case you're curious, the photo on the lower right is a reenactment of the DaVinci painting The Last Supper, which our church did throughout the Lenten service. My husband played Thaddeus (We called him Daddeus), and the final reenactment was on Maundy Thursday, the same day as my boys' first communion.

Thank you for sharing in this special moment for our family and the page I made to document our faith milestone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Appreciating the everyday

Sometimes I get stuck scrapping big events, particularly trips we go on or big events like concerts or recitals. Still, most of my life is made up of the mundane, so I try to take the opportunity periodically to scrap the everyday. Here's a recent page:

I used a July story starter and sketch from Simple Scrapper to scrapbook my commute, which is blessedly short. It' a positive page, so I used happy colors on a white background to make the colors sing.  Most of these products came from my June Studio Calico kit, though I dug into stash to fill in the blanks.

And here are some details:

I decided to curl the edges of the papers to add some texture and extra color. I stamped and stitched to add some more texture and color as well.

See the blue smudge on the 1? That's an accident from when I stamped the word LOVE. When I saw it, I cursed silently then did the same to each number, pretending I did it on purpose. Heh.

I love the word bubble stamp--I cut it out and adhered it with dimensional stickers. *Note* I wrote the wrong time on the journaling--I actually end of leaving at 6:40 because my boys are slow. I'm going to write the correct time on another piece of paper and glue it over the wrong time, which I time I always shoot for.

Thank you for checking out my page! How often do you scrapbook the everyday? Do you like to scrap the everyday? Share!