Friday, August 15, 2014

Simple Scrapping (and I'm good with that!)

Although it's hard for me to accept the fact that my kids are back in school, we are starting to settle in to the routine. It's been a busy couple of weeks with school, soccer, and life.

Today I finally set aside the time to just relax and do some simple scrapping. Both of these layouts were inspired by the gorgeous patterned paper. I love the paper so much that I decided simple would be best and I really love the result. To me, this is proof that you don't need to spend hours on a layout - just let the photo and paper shine, and it's all good.

Today's scrap therapy was just what I needed. The gorgeous patterned papers are from Studio Calico, another benefit of subbing to their kits! ♥

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Finishing the Challenges

This is the first time I have ever completed all of the challenges from a Cocoa Daisy crop! Yay, me! It did help that they reduced the number of challenges, but I'm still proud of my accomplishment. The first one is a scraplift challenge - I scraplifted a gorgeous layout by Martha and here is my take. Nothing like a little Christmas in July project.

The next was a challenge by Anna to create a project about home, without making a photo of your house the focal point. I decided to take a different approach and show our humble abode throughout the seasons. It represents not only the actual seasons, but also seasons of life. It's a reminder to myself that although things change, it's important to embrace the change and enjoy the moment. After all, there is beauty in every season.

I started with a 12x12 mixed media paper and taped off the 4 squares with washi tape. I used PanPastel to create the background. To create the tree, I stamped directly on the backside of my template and used a brayer to make sure the image came through. The leaves were created with a fun, little stamp from CD.

I truly love challenges, they help me think outside my comfort zone and push me to be more creative. Thanks, Cocoa Daisy for another fabulous and fun crop! ♥

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Crop + Empty House = Productivity

Sometimes the scrappy stars align and make for the perfect time to create. This past weekend was one of those... I had an empty house and Cocoa Daisy was hosting an online crop. Seriously, how lucky can one girl be? :) The challenges the design team put forth were fabulous and (luckily), my mojo showed up for the party. The weekend was full of chats, fun, inspiration, and general craziness and I loved every second of it! There were 7 challenges offered and so far I've completed 4.

There's nothing like a crafty weekend to feed your creative soul! There is still time to participate in the challenges, so head over here and check them out!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Challenging Myself

This week at Cocoa Daisy, we've been discussing stamps that we would love to own. I love laurel wreaths and found a chalkboard image on Pinterest with several styles and shared it on the forum. Would you believe a couple of days later, Wilna posted a YouTube video creating a layout with a chalkboard laurel wreath?! After watching the video, I decided that I would make my own laurel wreath cut file. I could have used Wilna's file, but I thought it would be fun to have my own.

The number one thing I learned with this personal challenge: If you're using a photo of your own drawing, draw really crisp, tight illustrations, otherwise you'll spend HOURS trying to clean up the image and closing gaps to make a clean cut file. You can thank me later for that little gem. :) The July Cocoa Daisy sketch was the perfect design to give my laurel wreath vision a try.

I started with a simple drawing and converted it to a Silhouette cut file. A sketch pen was used to created the background image. I then used gelatos to softly color the background image. I scaled down the cut file to make it a little bit smaller than the background image and cut it out on the Silhouette. I then painted the cut wreath. I used 3-D Foam Squares to raise the cut wreath, to give dimension to the layout. To get my journaling even around the circle, I lightly traced around my photo and added the journaling.

Wow, sometimes I even amaze myself! lol I love learning new things and pushing myself creatively. Getting involved in an on-line scrap community is such a great way to learn, share, and be inspired. Thanks to everyone that inspires me on a daily basis!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm Not Defeated, I'm Determined!

This week has been wild and woolly in the scrap community. Two Peas In A Bucket announced they were closing and sent scrappers across the globe into a panic. How would we survive without our beloved Message Board (yes, even the NSBR!), and all the wonderful inspiration we find there? I will admit that it put me in a little bit of a funk because 2P's has been a daily stop for me, for at least 10 years. I have now accepted the fact that they are closing. Peas are gathering in different locations on the Internet, reconnecting, so all is well in my scrappy world. Rather than putting my head in the sand to accept this scrappy apocalypse, I am digging my heels in, and finding my passion for this hobby all over again. Disclaimer: During my panic phase, I may or may not have overspent on scrappy supplies this month. Thank goodness, the panic only lasted a couple of days! :)

This week I've had some forced downtime, so I decided to attempt to use my own handwriting to create a cut file on my Silhouette. I watched this video on You Tube and gave it a shot. If you haven't give it a try, you should. I just love that it's my own handwriting, it's so personal and unique! The challenge at Cocoa Daisy this month from Nicole, was to use strips of paper on a layout. I took strips of paper and made fun stars to start my layout. I took my "love" cut file and painted it with a Jenni Bowlin paint dauber to make it pop off the page. Since the handwritten cut files are pretty delicate, I just machine-stitched it to one of the stars. I added a few stamped stars and a few more extra strips/pieces of paper and my layout was complete.

My tip of the day is, focus on why we love this hobby and the reason we started it in the first place. Scrappy sites will come and go, but my love of documenting life moments will never fade. Thanks, Two Peas, for a fun and fabulous 10+ years. I learned so much, and grew as a scrapper because of the community you created. ♥♥♥

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scraplifting Elements of Design

Scraplifting is such a fun and easy way to get your mojo running. Scraplifting (to me) doesn't mean an exact replica of a layout. I prefer to use it as a jumping point for creativity. Yesterday I scraplifted Just G (Gillian) at Studio Calico. I searched her gallery and found a few layouts that spoke to me. I noticed a few repeating elements in these layouts: photo shapes, repeating elements, 8 1/2 x 11 layouts, and gray backgrounds. Here is my scraplift of Gillian's style.

Since I mainly scrap 12x12, I used a gray background and layered an 8 1/2x11 piece on top to be the main focal point. In her gallery, I noticed lots of photo shapes and I knew I had to give this a try. (One great benefit of scraplifting is trying new things, right?!) To create the heart-shaped photo, I used PicMonkey's new shapes editing tool (it's in the frames section of editing), I LOVE how this turned out. **The first time I tried it, too much sky was showing, and I wanted the focus to be on the gorgeous, turquoise water, so I just cropped my photo first, and then added it to the frame.** I then saved the heart-shaped photo on my computer and printed one large photo. To get the little photos, I just used the contact sheet option on my printer and trimmed around the hearts. I think I just discovered a new favorite technique! One final tip: I printed my main photo on luster photo paper and the small hearts on matte. I wanted the small hearts to feel like embellishments.

If you're in a creative rut, go find someone to scraplift! You may just surprise yourself like I did with this layout! Thanks for the inspiration, Gillian! To see Gillian's gallery, click here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Silhouette Sunday

A couple of weeks ago, I helped a friend learn the basics of cutting on the Silhouette. I will admit, I'm a little lazy when it comes to using it, but after helping her, I realized how much I love this machine and it's a shame not to use it more. The Sunday Sketch from Studio Calico's blog today, was all the inspiration I needed to fire up my machine. I started with the large star and decided to back it with a couple of circle cuts. The title is from Kerri Bradford's July Fourth collection. Since the title is so delicate, I machine-stitched it to the star. It's amazing how quickly a layout can come together with the Silhouette!

I'm going to challenge myself to use my Silhouette more often, starting with the rest of these photos from July, 2012! ;)