Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paper Thrills Challenge #23

Challenge #23 - a sketch challenge - is up at Paper Thrills!
Here is my interpretation of the sketch:

The photos are from the same day as one of my earlier Paper Thrills layouts. Out on a mountain walk with the family I saw this flower blooming right where so much destruction had occurred. It was inspirational to me and since we had the whole family along - including two grandparents to help wrangle the children - I took a couple of minutes to try to capture what I was seeing. I'm still pretty new at this photography thing, but when I see beautiful (and still) things like this it makes me want to learn more!

Head on over to Paper Thrills to see the sketch as well as the work of the other design team members. While you're there, why not play along? I dare you!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August News

August is a bittersweet time in our house, as it may be in some of
yours. We are still in the midst of the summer schedule, but at the same
time, we are preparing for September and the new school year. (I'll
leave it to you to decide which is the bitter and which is the sweet.)

This August is extra sweet because it marks the release of Close to My
Heart's Autumn/Winter idea book. Let me tell you it looks great! Some of
the big news in this idea book - cardstock weight B&T papers, lower
prices on stamps and paper packs and a Cricut cartridge that coordinates
with many new stamp sets! In addition, there are two fabulous specials
going on that you will jump to take advantage of. For the month of
August, CTMH is running the Extra, Extra campaign! 
And starting August 15 you can also take advantage of the National
Stamping month special:
Now that I've whetted your appetites, get out your calendars to make
plans to see some of these great products.

AUTUMN OPEN HOUSE - Wednesday, August 31 at 7:30 PM
Come browse the new idea book, share some snacks and make a fun
Halloween card using the August stamp of the month (now just $5 with an
order of $50 or more.) No RSVP required.
DREAMIN' WORKSHOP - Monday, September 19, Tuesday, September 20 or
Wednesday, September 21 at 7:30 PM
Come create this gorgeous two page layout using some of the wonderful
new papers, a workshop exclusive stamp set, shimmer designer brads and
the new bronze glitter gel.

There are two ways you can participate in this workshop. One option is
to purchase the workshop kit that CTMH offers for $29.99 (plus shipping
and handling) and at the end of the workshop take the entire kit home
with you. If you're not sure about this, why not try the $10 option?
(shipping and handling included) Come to the workshop, complete the
layout and take home your finished product and your scraps. Less
commitment, less mess.

Interested in attending the workshop? Just let me know which date works
better for you and if you would like the full kit or the $10 option.

I hope to see each of you soon. Please let me know if you have any
questions about these events or Close to My Heart products.

Happy creating!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It all started with one Little House

Sketchy Thursday's September Guest Design Team Challenge was this sketch:
The added challenge was to make the layout somehow about reading.

I happened to have a story and some postcards that I wanted to scrap that fit this challenge perfectly. Here is my layout:

Did you recognize Laura Ingalls Wilder? My parents visited one of her homes this summer and sent these two postcards to my kids. The cards started a conversation with my four and a half year old. She is already asking when she will be able to read these books - or have them read to her. My own journey with Laura and her stories began when I was not much older than my daughter is now. The hidden journaling on this layout talks about both of our experiences with Laura.

Thanks, Sketchy Thursdays for the inspiration to create this layout and save this memory!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another way of looking at ice cream

Do you have a favorite ice cream store? We do. In fact, in our family's lexicon, Gannon's is known simply as The Ice Cream Store. When I came across these photos from last summer I decided they would look great with CTMH's Mayberry paper.

Just as with the carousel photos from my last layout, I decided that the story I wanted to tell went beyond these particular photos.  I chose to have these two photos of The Ice Cream Store (the only ones I have from last summer) represent all that Gannon's is to us. I like the way this makes my journaling more meaningful. I can talk about the trip in the photos as well as all of the other trips that we made to Gannon's last summer. I can talk about what the kids are eating here, as well as what the parents' favorites are. Another way of looking at ice cream. A great way to remember a summer!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

another word for Hero

I've found a lot of inspiration online recently. Here's a layout based on a challenge.
Sketchy Thursday's latest sketch:

I decided to stretch the sketch to two pages since my photos were kind of large.

The photos are of a carousel ride last summer and that is the story I started to tell, but the look on my husband's face kept drawing me in. I don't create many pages that tell stories specifically about him, and I'm trying to change that. So I told the story of that look - the way he looks at the kids and more importantly, the way the look at him. Besides, everyone can tell that the photos are of a carousel ride!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

20 Buttons!

The challenge over at Paper Thrills this week is to create a layout using 20 buttons. Here's my take:

And a close up on the flower:
I found inspiration for my layout in Close to My Heart's new autumn winter idea book. The Happy Clusters stamp set (page 93) caught my attention. It features a star and a tree shape that are formed by various sized circles. The artwork on the page shows projects where each circle has been covered with a button. The shapes in the stamp set didn't work with my layout, but I loved the idea so I changed it up a bit. I fussy cut the flower embellishment on my page from a sheet of B&T paper from the Sophia kit and then added the buttons. With the border and corner embellishment 20 was no problem at all!

Head over to Paper Thrills to see what the other designers have done with 20 buttons. And why not take on the challenge yourself?

Monday, August 1, 2011

A reminder to myself

Home, inspired and unpacked, I sat down Saturday night to create. Some quality time alone on the beach reminded me that I need quiet time to myself. This layout captures that need and will serve as a reminder for me.

The design is based on the current sketch at Frosted Designs. I loved it when I saw it and knew it would work well for this page.

I used the small items behind the main photo as hidden journaling cards so that I could keep my thoughts a bit more private. In addition to the hidden journaling, I love the die cut paper as the central element. I didn't have any in my stash that went with my project, so I created my own! I simply inserted one corner of the paper into my circle punch and viola! I used the paper that was removed on the first corner as a stencil to line up my punch for the next three corners and thus keep my corners the same size.

Scrapping on vacation - the results

Well, I had grand intentions, but I didn't do as much actual scrapping as I had hoped while we were away. I played around in Studio J. I read scrappy blogs and books. I took photographs of the family, the beach, the pool - you name it - using my new DROID. I even tried out some of the fun settings.

All of my reading, photographing and planning had me itching to create when we arrived home. The urge (and some fun challenges) motivated my unpacking. I'll share more later today!

In the end what I produced at the beach was a list of layouts to create and  a new plan for scrapping those beach photos (this is our fourth year making this trip). I plan to create layouts about: things to do on a beach vacation, things we eat on vacation, new things about our trip this year and how to relax at the beach. I hope this will keep my beach album fresh since many of the photos are very similar year to year. How do you approach those same old vacation photos? Do you have a method that keeps your crafting and your layouts from seeming routine?