Thursday, January 31, 2013

For Always - Paper Trail Blog Hop and Project #10

Welcome to the Paper Trail Blog Hop! If you've arrived here from Betsy's blog, I'm glad you hopped along. If this is your first stop, I hope you'll continue around this circular hop to check out what each of us has created. This month we are sharing the For Always paper from the new Spring/Summer Idea book. This paper pack is unique because the color comes only in the cardstock and My Stickease - the B&T papers are all black and white! When I saw the black and white patterns next to the Lagoon stickers, I knew that I had to create a gift for a friend who is getting married this month. (One of her colors is Lagoon!)

I dug around in my stash and found an old 9X9 My Creations Memory Showcase. (You can't buy this size any more, but the 6X6 size is still available!) This fun project can sit closed like a book or be opened accordion style into a display piece.

I embellished with the For Always paper, My Stickease and the new  Blue Epoxy Bubbles.

I decided on a classic look for the front cover with a mat for a 5X7 photo.

This interior page has just B&T paper and the Stickease border. I save the dimensional embellishments for the covers so that the book will lie flat.

On this page, I stamped using the new In the Background stamp set on the left hand side in Lagoon. The black floral in the middle is B&T paper and the embellishments are all Stickease.
This is one way to display the showcase and see four pages at a time. Notice another new background stamp in black on Lagoon on the left hand side. The journaling strips on the Lagoon paper are the zip strip I cut off of one of the B&T papers!

For the back cover I decided on a more whimsical feel. I framed the photo mat with Stickease and again added a few of the Blue Epoxy Bubbles.
This project came together very quickly. I completed it in just two evenings - likely the same amount of time I would have spent shopping for a gift for the shower! I love checking off an errand and a project at the same time! (To see more about my Thirty-six Projects goal, check out the original post.)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you've enjoyed your visit. Check back on Monday for another project created using For Always paper. Now, hop on along to Amy's blog to see what she has created! I'm sure you'll love it!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crop tomorrow!

I'm excited! I get to crop with my friends Karen and Rene (and quite a few others) at Crop N Time tomorrow! I spent about 2 hours last night gathering supplies, organizing what I might work on. I have discovered stamps and papers that I had forgotten. I had to stop myself from starting a project last night when I was supposed to be packing.

I can't wait for my full day of creative time. I'm sure I'll have much to share next week.

What about you? Will you find some creative time this weekend? I hope so!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

36 Projects

My friend Karen asked recently how I was doing with my goal of 36 projects in my 36th year. I had to admit that I am not doing so well. I even contemplated just quitting and chalking it up to a good idea that doesn't really work for me. That is a bit difficult to do, however, because I shared the goal here. I have decided that I will continue on. I am not convinced I will complete all 36 before my birthday, but I will keep working toward that goal none-the-less.

Here is my original list of projects with some updates:
Here are the projects I've completed that weren't on my original list:
I've posted 9 projects so far. I think I have three or four others already completed but not yet posted. I also have some good ideas I haven't tried yet. Who knows, maybe this check in will be just the motivation I need to get all the way to 36!

My main goal is to be creative outside of scrapbook pages. I would love your ideas for other projects! Do you have any suggestions for fun, useful projects?

Monday, January 14, 2013

First Layout of 2013

Here it is! My first layout completed this year.

My school photo from this year seemed to fit with this paper pack - the long retired Grace from CTMH. The papers and Stickease were perfect, and it was easy to use so many coordinating products.

I've been making layouts like this one for a few years now, but it still surprises me how cathartic the process can be. While creating this one I:
  • reviewed some of what I accomplished last year 
  • got my hands into paper (and cutters and tape runners) for no purpose other than my own pleasure
  • used papers and embellishments that I have loved literally for years but have been saving for some "perfect" project
  • admitted some things about the way I follow through on goals
  • forgave myself for the same things I had just admitted
  • remembered that I have to complete this layout before I feel ready to complete one about goals for 2013
  • recorded most of that so that hopefully I will remember to do it again next year!
For me it was surely time well spent.

I started the layout with the layered base papers and photo. Then I went to the Stickease for help with a title. I loved the look of this frame, but the words inside didn't fit. I had planned my layout around the "in review" theme so I knew I wanted that title. I added the letter stickers over the majority of the title on the frame, but I didn't have enough space for my whole two-word title. To cover the remaining portions of the frame I cut into the patterned backing paper between the Stickease stickers. The background pattern is the same as that of the letters, so once I found sections that were big enough to cover the underlying text, I simply cut them into the appropriate shapes and then added them to the frame and wrote in my text! Notice the small yellow flower next to the word "in" in the title? The scrap of sticker paper had the corner cut out, but the flower was an easy fix! 

After I had the photo and title in place, I added the journaling. I got a bit creative with all of the different portions of my journaling since reflecting left me with so much to say. Finally it was time to embellish. I filled in many of the spaces with stickers from the Stickease sheet.


One of my traditional January layouts done. Keep your eyes open for the other - a layout about goals for the coming months.

What about you? Do you complete any pages at the end of one year or the start of another? How do you record goals or resolutions you set?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Don't be afraid to crop!

I posted this layout earlier this week:

and I confessed that I was nervous to try this pattern from the Make it From Your Heart book because of the five cropped photos. I am not skittish about cropping my photos, but I was nervous about this pattern for two reasons. First, the images looked small. I wasn't sure I would be able to crop my 4X6 photos and still keep enough of the image to tell a story. Second, this pattern doesn't allow for changing the sizes of the photos without some other changes that I didn't want to calculate.

I had many photos of my daughter opening gifts on this birthday so I decided to brave it. If it didn't work, I could always use other photos from the same day.

I am not a person who measures everything to a T. In fact, I often "measure" based on photo and paper sizes and mark mostly with my fingernails. Here is my non-scientific, minimal measuring way to crop photos to this size.

Here is my original 4X6 photo. My daughter opening the gift is the focal point, but there are may extraneous details in the image - especially on the right side.

To make this photo fit in the pattern I need to take off 2 inches from one dimension and 1 1/2 inches from the other.

 When cropping to a specific size, I start with the side with the most "extra" space - in this photo the right hand side. I crop off whatever I think is the extra space without getting too close to my focal image. I can always come back and trim more closely later.

Here is my photo after my first cut. I have preserved the image of my daughter and she is now centered on the photo.

Next, I turned the photo in my trimmer and cropped off as much as I was willing to from the opposite side. Notice, so far there has been no measuring! I have been using the photo image as my guide.

After making these two cuts, I measured my photo and realized that I needed to trim a bit more so that it would fit the pattern. I decided I could take a bit more off of the right side of the photo more easily than the left. I measured the 2 1/2 inches and trimmed.

I followed the same process for the vertical dimensions of the photo. I started by trimming off the bottom with the chair legs and the bag. Then I measured and trimmed the photo to 4 inches.

And here it is. The final cropped photo. The photo now fits in the pattern. Also, because I cropped it to this size, there is nothing to distract from the focal point - my daughter and her gift.
And here is the cropped photo in the layout.

Are you timid about cropping? Try it  - I think you may like the results! Do you have other tricks to make cropping easier? I would love to hear them - especially if they don't involve much measuring.