Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I've had some creative time...

One of the things I love about my day job is that I have vacations every so often. Last week was one such vacation. We didn't take any major trips, didn't plan any big events. This time we simply stayed around town and enjoyed a more flexible schedule. For me, that meant a good deal of creative time. I think I have completed 14 pages this month.

Here are a couple of pages from the last week or two. I've found some summer photos from a last year. It is a nice change from the weather we are having here right now.

Although these photos aren't obviously from July 4th, I decided to take my cue for the color scheme and journaling from the holiday I know we were celebrating. (Our most patriotic tradition is watching fireworks, and I haven't yet tried photographing them.)

 I used mostly cardstock on this page. (Only the base page is patterned paper.) I did stamp a background on the red (Ruby) paper and some details on the kraft.

When I was almost done with the layout, there was an unplanned change. Can you see where I dropped my ink pad directly on the kraft cardstock? I ended up distressing more than I had intended, but I'm okay with it.

The journaling I did doesn't focus specifically on this day or on our July 4th traditions. I've already created that layout. Instead, I wrote a bit about my feelings for my country and my hopes for my kiddos in that regard. I don't think I've ever journaled about that before.

The next page was totally photo driven. One day last summer I decided to get artsy with the camera at dinner time. I have been sorting out some old supplies recently. All three of these papers came from my "old supply" stash. Two of them are older than my three-year-old!

Flexible time, fun summer photos and supplies I forgot I had. For me last week, this was the recipe for creativity!

What has been inspiring your creativity lately?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Showering You...

Nothing gets me going like someone issuing a challenge. I love them! I especially love sketch challenges. I am excited that I had time to play along with two different sketch challenge blogs this month. I created two one-page layouts that will go side-by-side in my album as a larger spread about an event. I've been doing this frequently this year - creating two one-page layouts that work together to tell one story. 

The first sketch I used was from Stuck?! Sketches. Isn't it fun?

 I usually scrap 12X12, so I modified the sketch a bit. Here is my take:

I used some very old paper from CTMH (Precious Paisley). I thought it was perfect for a baby shower! I liked the circle included in the sketch behind the photos, but it didn't work with my photos. Instead I used three small circle stickers and some sparkles to add interest to the linear design of the layout.

The second page I created based on a sketch at Sketches in Thyme:

The page I created is a companion to the page above and uses many of the same products.

I didn't feel the need to include a title on this page since the journaling, photos and products link it closely to the page above. The photos I used were too large to be lined up across the layout. I am pleased with the way this cluster of photos contrasts with the more linear page above.

I'm finding this idea of creating companion one-page layouts is really working for me. I get the benefits of both types of designing - the smaller canvas of the 12X12 but the simplified product choice of the 12X24. The variety of sketches available in 12X12 but the ability to tell a story of 12X24.

What about you? Do you know any good challenge blogs? Have you discovered any tricks that are really working for you right now? I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cousin Layouts

In addition to the layouts I posted last week, I created a few about my darling nieces in January.
My brother's darling Abby meeting her Great Grandma:

This uses CTMH's La Belle Vie paper packet - now sadly retired. (The tag with the heart and the frame with the flower were a make and take at the January Crop N Time event.)

I used some retired stamps, a bit of black tulle ribbon and washi tape to embellish. This tulle gives a lot of bang for the buck. The pieces on this layout are 1/4 of the full width!

Another layout using La Belle Vie. This time I used the negative space from the hearts I cut for the make and take to create the background of a layout documenting my niece Olivia's baptism:

The negative space was fun to play with. I tried many colors behind it, and settled on the pink pattern and Colonial White.

I added some stamped and fussy-cut flowers from Hooray Bouquet with clear sparkles to embellish.

I also pulled out some more retired stamps to create the borders and the title.

And finally, a layout that actually includes cousins! Near the end of the day at the January crop I wanted to continue creating, but my table was a mess. I decided to try to use the things on my table to create another page. I found two photos of my little guy with his cousin and this was the result:

I loved the bright colors of the play mat with the papers and embellishments. The supplies are a mish-mash of manufacturers. Almost all of the CTMH materials are long retired.

I'm glad to get these girls into my scrapbooks! What have you been creating about your family lately?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Project #12 Hand crafted Valentines with the kids

My children love making their own Valentines and that desire does this crafty Mama's heart good! I love the whole process - finding the design, choosing the supplies, creating the Valentines, even signing their names.

This year we used a very cute printable from Skip To My Lou - found by my friend Karen - to create these adorable butterflies.

I let each of my children shop my cardstock stash to choose favorite colors. (Purple was popular for both!) We printed enough butterflies for each child, and then we took turns cutting them out. (My little guy needed some help, but he tried valiantly!) The kids chose to write the to and from on the back so that the front stayed prettier. My daughter wrote all of her own, but again, the little guy needed some help. Finally, we made two cuts (along the marked lines) and inserted the lollipops!

I love that Happy Valentine's Day was already printed around the butterfly's wings. I can't quite imagine either of my kids writing that! This was a simple, fun and inexpensive project!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Odds and Ends from January

Last month, it seems, I created many more layouts than I blogged. I'm here today to catch up on a couple of those layouts.

This first one was the one hour challenge at the January Crop N Time crop. The challenge was inspired by January in our neck of the woods:
  • one photo - for the first month of the year
  • the word “new” - for the year and the resolutions some of us make
  • white - for the snow we often see
  • something fuzzy - for the mittens and sweaters we wear

Here is my creation:

I have to confess. Since I write the challenges, I don't always time myself. This page was definitely a quick one, however. 

This next layout started with the title block. I had a piece with tag shapes cut out leftover from one of my workshops. I was inspired by the many ways I've seen people using negative space recently to create this: 

The four letter title worked perfectly for the page. 

Yellow is not one of my go-to colors, but I liked the way it balanced the blue hues on the page. I have lots of photos of my kids reading. (They like to do it, and I find it adorable that they do!) Rather than rehashing how I feel about them reading, again, I decided to use a quote about reading as the journaling:
      "Anyone who says they only have one life to live must not know how to read a book!"

There you have it. A bit of what I created in January. What have you created so far this year? Stop back next week for some more new creations!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Project #11 - A food project

Someone reminded me recently that I have completed a few more projects than I have counted, so I'm attempting to get caught up (although I'm still not sure I'll get to 36 in a timely fashion.)

Early last summer strawberries when strawberries were in season here, my hubby bought me a few (two flats!) and I made some jam. He joked that we had enough jam to survive an extended disaster, but I had a plan. In December, I got creative on the jars:

I used pinking shears on the fabric to add a festive touch. I stamped a label on CTMH's Bamboo cardstock, personalized the labels with my handwriting and then ran them through the Xyron to make them easy to adhere.

I've give jam as a gift before, but it has never looked so cute. The only bad part about this project is I ended up giving away every jar of strawberry jam. Maybe we'll have to get three flats this year!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Megan at 5 - A Rainbow Challenge for Crop N Time

I write a challenge column for my friends Karen and Rene at Crop N Time. Sometimes the biggest challenge for me is coming up with the challenges! This month, however, I am full of ideas. All of the new products that have come out - both from CTMH and at CHA - have inspired lots of people to create - thus inspiring me!

The February challenge is to use a rainbow in your page elements. Here is the layout I created:

I used washi tape and strips of paper to create the rainbow behind my darling daughter. Here is a detail of the stamped title:

Would you believe that it was a coincidence that the "5" on the washi tape ended up so close to the title? Since it did, I decided to capitalize on it!

I like this rainbow trend - especially when there is so much white outside right now. Thanks for the challenge to create a challenge, Karen and Rene.

If you're local, come check out the next Crop N Time event on  Saturday, April 27! Not in the area? Busy that day? I'd still love to see what you created!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Classic For Always

Have you seen the new For Always paper from CTMH? I am loving the black and white B&T paper. It makes it easy to create a classic layout.

On this one, I used two of the patterns of B&T paper, a zip strip border and cardstock. Check out the new embellishments - Slate Polka-dot Washi Tape and clear acrylic flowers.

Would you like a chance to win this layout? Stop by my new catalog open house on Tuesday, 2/5! If you would like more details, email me at: clmk523 (at) gmail (dot) com.
For those of you who aren't local, leave a comment here. I'll draw for a winner Thursday night!

If you like the For Always paper, make sure you check out the Paper Trail blog hop. Click here to start the hop! I hope to see you Tuesday!