Monday, July 28, 2014

Never A Dull Moment

Good Monday morning!  Surprise, surprise, I have another layout to share!  I am trying really hard to get back into the swing of things.  The Powers That Be might have helped a little.  Much of last week was spent dealing with weather-related headaches.  The most comfortable room in the house (the cool basement) also happens to be where I craft. Awesome coincidence!  Anyway, on with the share, yes?



The photo is from Mother's Day this year.  I've held off from scrapping it because I couldn't decide on design.  I've loved multiple sketches that in the past two months, but none screamed out to be matched with this page.  Colors have been tricky, too.  Also, my printer was bratty and made this far too blue. I still might not have gotten the color choice right, but it was high time I got this photo taken care of.  THAT was enough struggle for me.

Confession of a Challenge Junkie:  I've relied on inspiration from other people for so long -- give me a sketch to follow; tell me what colors to use; tell me what elements to use -- that I stopped trusting myself.  I learned a BIG problem with that in the past few weeks.  While I LOVE participating in challenges, and likely will continue to do so, I will actually STRESS about fulfilling them; all of them.  I will stress over esthetics, time management, and rules to the point that my blood pressure spikes even more than some stupid chemo drug can manage and then I'm physically worse off than I would have been otherwise.  Then nothing is fun, nor relaxing.  Screw that, right?  Agreed.  So, while I am looking forward to seeing what fresh challenges await in August, I am going to practice chilling out and seeing what I can make all on my own.  On that  note, how about some close ups?





First off, this is how it all started.  I wasn't sure if I really liked it (or if anyone else would, either), so I posted this in the Facebook group, NicoleJones911.  I then got loads of great ideas from others.  Thank you so much, ladies, if you happen to stop by!





One of the big changes I made was to create a lot of torn layers.  It's such an easy thing to do -- tear paper -- but I have hesitated to do so for... over a year.  I know! So, I did it.  I also happened to pull out this little airplane while I was grabbing tiny bottle of sequins.  Yep!  Aint no party like a sequin party!



Initially, I was just going to use the layers of torn paper below the photo.  Unfortunately, that headache I mentioned earlier also meant that all of the patterns and colors were too much for my eyes. It was fun to create but painful and distracting; so I layered some vellum overthe top.  Instantly, I was able to concentrate on the photo again. As for the journaling, I kinda wanted to add some interest and attention to the area, so I used up roughly half a sheet of alpha stickers.  I really like the alphas from MME, but I can see how it will be wise, going forward, to buy two packages of the ones I like.  They played it well by NOT supplying enough vowels.  OR I can play it my way and stop giving them money because I kinda think that's a shady thing to do.

Back to the page, I had originally intended to put the title on top of the vellum, but the shiny gold Thickers just weren't working for me.  Also, I discovered a card that had my desired title, "Never A Dull Moment" that won the day.  Instead, I snagged a coordinating photo frame, attached left-over strips from the cream cardstock and worked on adding journaling.



Basically, "See the vellum hearts that I cut out by hand?"  This was the awe-inspiring moment in the FaceBook conversation that started a complete overhaul.  One member of the group suggested I trade out the stars in the circle for hearts; to match the bockeh in the photo.  Then it became vellum hearts.  It's possible that the was also thinking that I should ditch the circles and stars altogether, but I just couldn't do it.



More vellum hearts and a stray, clear, sequin.  It amused me so it got it's own photo.

I still feel like I want to add more to the page, but I'm making myself stop.  It's supposed to have a light feel with the vellum. It could be counter productive to add more, right?  Also, in this moment, I've getting 104 comments in the background about Minecraft.  I'm a distracted human being.  As always, I will work on posting this page to my galleries at A Cherry On Top and Scrapbook(dot)com in the next day or so.  There, you can find links to all the of the products I've used.... or at least as many as I can find on those sites.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Let the Rhythm Move You!

Hello!  Long time no see, huh?  For those "in the know," I'm okay.  Mostly.  As is the way with this current chemo cocktail, I got one issue sorted out just to have another rear a very nasty head.  Now, this current issue is almost sorted out and I'm able to get back to my scrappy ways..... Only, that month-ish break really hit my creativity hard.  After watching a metric ton of YouTube videos, and signing up for a class at Shimelle.com, I finally have something to share. Today's share is from the class, Return to the Collection.






Earlier in the Summer, DS had a chance to attend a family barbecue and local parade.  My MIL sent me these pictures, to show how much fun he was having.

Since the goal of the class is to use *a* collection *and* a richer tapestry of embellishment, I can easily say that most of this page is somehow brought to you by Fancy Pants Designs.  In this case, it's the Everyday Circus collection.  The red alphas are MME; and other details are listed below.



  • The three monkeys on the bike are actually cut from the 6x6 version of the larger cut-apart page.  
  • The red foil stars were cut from a sheet of FP foil paper, months ago.  I also saved the negative space from all of that die-cutting for  background strips on other pages.  
  • The wood veneer smiley is from Freckled Fawn; the sequins are from Doodlebug.
  • The red stitched arrow started off as a simple stamped image, using an arrow set from Sassafras Lass (as is the image of multiple arrows below it).  Something in me insisted that the space needed to be filled AND that I needed something soft.  Red floss to the rescue!....And followed by a "thinker's" headache that lasted the rest of the day.  
  • The same arrangement was repeated in the lower left corner.
  • I decided to use the rays of the background paper as my journaling lines
  • Also, I used a recent birthday purchase -- one of those mini inky dauber doohickies to edge the photos, paper and many of the elements.  According to that link, it's a blending tool.  Of course, "doohicky" seems to work well with me right now.

And "doohicky" is probably also a really good clue that I should wrap things up for now.  If you actually stopped by and had a look, I thank you.  Within the next 24 hours, I should have this page also posted in my galleries at scrapbook(dot)com AND A Cherry On Top; with products noted.  I'm going to try to come back and share at least one more page I have recently made; hopefully getting back into a groove.  I'm not even worried about participating in challenges this month and I'll take next month a day at a time.  Stressing about crafting achievements isn't exactly on my to-do list right now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

First Day of Vacay

Good Morning!

It's been a few days, but I have another page to share.  This time, it's my submission to Scrap Around the World.  They are new to me, and I fell in love at first sight.  Their June mood board was SO unlike my usual colors and preferences that I wanted to try it out.  It's really quite lovely:



And here is my take:




Yep, I really departed from my comfort zone, huh?  The inspiration deatils are as follows:

  • Okay, I give myself credit for at least breaking out the yellow, black and gray.  I have been holding onto that yellow patterned paper for a year, now.  It finally has a home.
  • The striped paper straws helped me choose the chevron paper base.  I had meant to show only enough that it looked like just a stripe, but I guess I was my own special "helper" when trimming the paper.
  • Those same straws inpired my choice of stitching with bakers twine.  I may not do that one again.  PITA is not just a tasty bread!

Beyond that, I was also inspired by this sketch, which is part of a Page Maps June challenge at scrapbook.com:



THAT's what's up with all of the stars.  Okay, that and I've been in a star-heavy mood lately.  They're on everything.  Also, I've been in a splatter and sequin mood.  This was extra-awesome today because it gave me a chance to use some highly unloved mists.



The light bulb!   I love that light bulb.  I bought it with dreams of using it all over The Boy's latest album.  This is the first time it made it out of the package  Even then, it was almost a no-go.  This was a final attempt to make it work, but even then, the mist ran under the mask and it was just a dark yellow, water-color kind of mess.  After it dried, the paper looked kinda cool, so I just traced the stencil bits onto the mess and fussy-cut it into something I kinda like.  I now have three more in my stash to figure out.  Somehow!  Some way!



The vellum!  I love my vellum.  That actually does get used; but I have a hard time letting any of it go un-seen.  The stamped quote above and below the photos was stamped on the cut-out center of the matting. 



That little bit of stamping in the background was basically a test run.  I started to assemble this page one week before school ended.  I knew I was going to use this sketch and those colors, so I figured I would start playing in advance  At that moment, I knew I was going with the vellum, but I wanted something black behind it.  That poor stamp has waited about as long as the yellow paper.  Why not?



Thank you for taking the time to look.  Thank you, more, if you took the time to read.  If you're interested in the list of things I used, here's a link to my gallery at scrapbook.com:

Since I'm writing the post early, I'll be interested to know if I can find the name of that yellow paper, too.  I know it's a Studio Calico print and I've still got the branding strip, just in case.

Creative Blog Hop

Good Monday Morning!

Last week, I was tagged by the lovely, Emma Clark, of Scrapbooking is my life  to participate in an ongoing blog hop.  Each Monday, those who have been tagged the week before are to answer a few questions about themselves.  Then, they tag three more crafters to answer questions the following Monday.  I am honestly honored to have been tagged by Emma.  I've been admiring her crafty work for a couple/few months, now.  She has some excellent ideas and I highly recommend you check out her work.  Go ahead, you can go do it now and come back here when you're done.  It's okay.

..... I know, right?!

Okay, back to the task at hand.  Questions and their answers.....

1. What am I working on?

In the exact moment that I'm typing, I'm working on laundry.  Truly, I've given  my creativity permission to take a break.  Since June started I have completed five pages.  It's the 9th of the month.  Because of how my life rolls, that's actually a pretty big deal.  I often have months where I'll create 1 page over 28 days.  If we use math; that's going from 1:28 to 1:2; kinda like I've been in warp speed, Scotty!

IF I make another page, it will likely be about:
  •  The Boy's field trip last month, or
  •  I'll finally do something with a selfie; or
  • Maybe we'll get to a local carnival and I'll want to scrap that memory.
  • Finally establish a dedicated Easter album.
Basically, the Challenge Junkie needs a breather before she gets back in the game.  All of my Must-Do's are done, so I'm good for now.


2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I only know how to answer this with self-deprecating humor.  What makes me different?  I allow myself some wild abandon as I play with paper, glue, glitter, ink, paint, sparklies, textured items, whatever strikes my fancy....and then this is what makes me different.  I pray to the High Heavens that it doesn't look like a toddler did it.  At the end of it all, I make sure I like what I've made.  When I like it, I share it; but then I quietly hope other people like it, too.


3.  Why do I write/create what I do?

Ooh!  A multi-part answer!

  • I scrapbook so The Boy will know what he was like as a child.  He won't just have the pictures, but the story -- my take, anyhow -- as well.
  • Actually, if I weren't so into scrapbooking, he probably wouldn't have the photos, either.  I didn't start taking photos until I started all of this.
  • I scrapbook as an excuse to play with really cool art supplies.
  • I scrapbook as my proof of life.  See, there's something that's actually a pretty big part of my daily life; but I'm trying to not make it part of everything I do.  For the last three years, I've been fighting cancer.  For the most part, I'm doing well in that fight, but one of the ways you can tell that my spirits are up (even if my body is down) is if I play with my supplies and create something; large or small.  It's the act of creating that keeps me going sometimes.  It provides an escape, something "pretty,"  from the everyday yuck.


4.  How does your writing/creating process work?

Actually, I've learned that writing daily in a journal helps me stay creative.  Even if I just list what needs to get done that day, it starts my brain.(my beautifully squirrel-like brain!), which will then jump topics for the day.  Once I'm started, I'll eventually ponder all things crafty at least ten times before closing my eyes at day's end.

I also list a bajillion and four challenges each month -- sketches, colors, mood boards, stash use, techniques, page recipes, etc -- at the beginning of the month.  After hours of random thoughts, notes in my journal, etc, I'll pick which ones I want to combine with the photos that are begging to be scrapped and have a good time.

If none of that clicks on any given day, I'll probably just watch YouTube videos until I'm ready. 



I'm going to add a bonus section, because I can:

  • I love (just about) all thing cephalopod.  Early in my chemotherapy treatment, I began referring to it as "releasing the Kracken."  Blame Johnny Depp and Captain Jack Sparrow.  I like the image of the chemo being the kracken, moving everywhere to destroy the Good Ship Cancer-Pop.  Since then, I've begun collecting schtuff that has an octopus on it -- socks, scarves, hair accessories, crocheted items, stamps, etc.  
  • I'm weird; and I'm okay with that.
  • Teal = mine!
  • I scrapbook everywhere in my house.  The dedicated space is in my basement, but I like to wander while I ponder (and rhyme in the time!).  Unfortunately, once I make a decision, I tend to bring the supplies to my project, instead of the more logical other way around.  
  • I am always open to subscribing to more blogs and YouTube channels; especially those with a focus on paper crafting.  Reason being, I have periodic difficulty sleeping.  If there's no chance of going back to sleep, I'll read blogs.  If there's some hope....Well, I accidentally trained myself to drift off to specific YouTubers.  Their voices are just so soothing that I can't be helped.  Still, I'm grateful for the sleep -- and the inspiration! -- so feel free to post a link to your sites and channels down below.  Help an insomniac out!
And now the part that I am looking forward to, the tagging!.... Okay, this is a slight bummer.  Due to an unfortunate result of one of my chemo drugs, I have failed to acquire three more bloggers for this hop. I feel terrible about this, but I can still recommend three active bloggers that inspire me quite often.


1. Dawn of Dawn's Craft Place and More 
 Dawn has returned to blogging with... well, I can't liken someone so calming and creating such lovely things as blogging with a vengeance, but she shares something beautiful, heartwarming and all-out amazing and inspirational at least once each week.  I followed her for quite some time before my own blogging break, and I was so happy to see her back on the scene as well when I returned.  She's so sweet and engaging, too!



2.Shawn of Poetry In A Pot of Tea
Shawn is another favorite from a long time ago.  Aside from providing valuable information about all things tea -- including the most beautiful tea cups and saucers! -- she's also brilliant with ink and stamps.  Most of my skills with ink are attributed to her.


3.Mumma Magoo
Mumma Magoo is so new on my radar that I could not tell you anything resembling a given name to save my life.  Still, she's got an awesome style that inspires me to try something funky and/or fun every day.

Now, remember, these three bloggers aren't officially tagged, because my life and plans for the last week went awry.  Still I encourage you to check them out and enjoy.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Just Hanging Out!

Good Morning!  I have another page to share; inspired by Stuck?! Sketches.  I have seen this sketch on several blogs that I follow.  I liked the design and saved it for added inspiration:



And here is my take:



I guess the first thing I want to talk about is the cardstock.  Of all things, right?  Apparently, I have a love/hate relationship with this shade of green. I love singing like Kermit The Frog about how it's not easy being green. I love the shade.  I hate working with it; but I'm stubborn.  Each year, I give myself permission to invest in a new "boy" collection and coordinating cardstock.  This shade is actually spot on with a few of the papers in the "Be Different" collection from Fancy Pants, so it was a natural choice.

  • Problem:  Every time I pull it out to make a page, my eyes get mad at me, taking my brain along for the ride.
  • Solution:  Every time this happens, I put it back and choose a different color.
  • Problem:  I've run out of two of the other colors I prefer (light blue and vanilla).
  • Solution:  I've ordered more.
  • Problem:  I REALLY wanted to make a page -- apparently this page -- yesterday and Oh! Em! Geeeeeeeeeee!  How was I going to make this work?!
  • Solution:  Throw as much navy (everything) as I could around the photos to help me chill out.  That started with two different blue mists, blue ink with stencils, and any blue embellishments I could find.  I began to settle into some comfort with my page, but then there was a very blank, massive corner of green along the right.  Gah! More mist, still bugged me.  Then I just decided to listen to the little voice inside my head.  I tested my idea first; by painting hearts with plain water,  I would at least get to see if I liked the shape and knew it would dry clear.  Once that was a go, I dipped my brush into a bottle of glimmer mist to paint heart shapes...then I felt compelled to fill them in.  Almost there; I used a bottle of Mister Huey's and traced the outside with that tiny tube/ spray pump/whirlygig..... In the moment I'm typing this, I'm mostly happy, but I still think they might need something more; maybe a little yellow triangle in each.  Maybe time will tell.



Check!  So now I can talk about everything else:

  • My literal brain would have popped if I didn't choose the gaming paper for this page.  It is, afterall, about The Boy and one of my dearest friends playing Skylanders together.  He got her hooked on a previous visit so this was pretty special for them both.




  • Again, I played with Pics Art photo editing to choose two colors in the photos, making the rest B/W.  I think I do that more for my benefit, so I can better focus on what I feel is important -- not the messy sofa and coffee table.
  •  I went back to my early days and traced a saucer for the corrugated circle; then folded that circle in half to cut out the inside.  I then cut that ring in half and wove it between my paper layers.



  •  Instead of using another paper for a large banner underneath it all, I opted to use a stencil and ink.  Then, I was compelled to pull out my trusty brick stencil as well.  Mainly, I was just trying to fight all of the green with more blue around the photo.  I hated it.



  • Since I hated the bricks, I started layering over them -- stickers, journal spot.  Initially, I wasn't going to use a journal spot; but I didn't leave space at the bottom for journaling.  Plus, it was more navy to combat the green.



  • And the sequin party!  Whee!  Followed by more decluttering of my desk -- the enamel pieces.  Also, I found a roller-date stamp just hanging out, wishing for some love. 



If I owned a stamp that was shaped like a video game controller, I would have thrown a couple of those images onto my page as well.  Trust me, I'm looking!  Until that magical day arrives, this page is "done."    If you're interested in learning about the products I used, here is the link to my gallery at scrapbook.com.

 http://www.scrapbook.com/myplace/index.php?mod=galleries&u=376301&m=view&id=4239263&type=-1&size=0

Thank you for looking!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pitch Perfect?

Good Monday Morning!

I have another page to share with you.  This is my submission to the White With 1 challenge; pomegranate.  This is what I came up with:



This was a fun (read: slightly crazy) page to put together.  When the prompt was first posted, I had no specific photos in mind.  While I really wanted to work with a nice dark red (again), I had to make myself wait until it all clicked for me. Finally, there was a moment of fun in the back yard....followed by some fun with my favorite photo editing app, PicsArt.  After messing with the Color Splash option, picking out the red in their shirts, I knew I was ready to begin this challenge.  Then came the....

Confession of a Challenge Junkie:  At the same time, I really wanted to use one of the prompts in the June Page Maps challenge at scrapbook.com.  Problem:  You can't combine other challenges with White With 1 prompts.  I had to make a choice.  Obviously, we can tell which I chose, but this is why I've got the woodgrain in the background:



It's actually a combination of stencil + modeling paste + mist (added to the paste for color) + a layer of ink on top to darken the red further.



Originally, the photos were supposed to print out smaller, to follow the sketch more closely, but they were cut off and just bad.  In order to see people, I had to print larger.  Grr!  Still, I like it, because I can actually see what's happening.

Aside from the buttons, all of the other elements were pretty much "findings" on my crafting table.  They've been lurking between several months to a year.  I've tried adding them to countless pages, but they never worked.  This was their day!

I believe that's everything I wanted to say.  The product list is so short and/or hard to find, I might as well share here:

  • woodgrain stencil:  Prima Marketing
  • mist (mixed with modeling paste):  Tattered Angels, Red Velvet
  • ink (dabbed on top of dried modeling paste for more color):  Prima fluid chalk edger, Lady Bug
  • red text embellishments:  Theresa Collins (I'm pretty sure on that one; they really came from a Scraptastic kit), Family (something.... I'm horrid here)
  • other red text/arrow:  Basic Grey; (pretty sure) Bow Ties
  • red label:  Studio Calico printable
  • Title alphas:  Jenny Bowlin and October Afternoon
  • Pinked circles:  Jenny Bowlin
  • airplane strip:  Echo Park, That's My Boy
Thanks for looking.  Have a great day!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hello Handsome Part 3 of 3

Good Morning!  As promised, I'm going to show the two pages in my previous posts together.

 While it was not my intention, during the creative process, to create a 2-page layout, it certainly looks like one.  The left, is just my opportunity to show The Boy wearing a tie AND smiling!  That had to be recorded for posterity.  The right was my opportunity to share the funny faces.  While working on both of them, I wound up using the same colors, same papers, and then just trying to make them compliment each other, since they would be side-by-side in the album.  It became a matter of looking at one, and trying to make sure it balanced out with the other.  Then, they just started to look, quite by accident, as if they were two parts of the same project.  I prefer looking at the left with the right, and here they are together:




And that's the end of that.  Thank you for looking!