Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Getting organized: Pulling together Project Life supplies

I decided to scrap 2013 primarily with Project Life, and this opened up a whole new collection of organizational challenges. Unfortunately, I am one of those people that needs to be organized in order to be productive. I have some divided bins that I keep things in when I am home, but they don't travel we'll and I am trying to be better about being ready to scrap away from home.

I started doing some Internet searches to find storage solutions and was coming up short until I came across a collection of storage containers from Close To My Heart. They are perfect!

For 3x4 cards, dollar stamps, small embellishments, and stamp pads, the Medium Organizer ($16.95, item #Z4139) is just the right size!

When I was packing for a retreat this past weekend I only needed to take one PL kit with me, so you'll see that those fit in about one-and-a-half of the divided sections. When I scrap at home I keep the cards divided by type in little mini file holders so I just grabbed the whole thing and put them in the case. (The mini vertical file holders are cut from chipboard using a cut file from the Silhouette store.)

Here's another view of the 3x4 PL cards in the storage case.

The ink pads shown here are from CTMH and Tsukineko (Momento), along with a several from Ranger.

Here's a little close up of some embellishments and small stamp sets. I tend to use stamps to alter my journaling cards.

While you could fit the 4x6 cards in the Medium organizer by removing one of the dividers, I didn't want to waste that much space, so I also purchased the Large Organizer ($22.95, item #Z1834).

I put the 4x6 card stock and journaling cards, pictures, four of the Studio Calico Project Life kits in their boxes, the 4x6 cards from my Midnight Project Life kit, and a few packs of Tim Holtz embellishments.
I was also working on some mixed media stuff, so I even managed to fit in a small paint palette in with the PL 4x6 cards. (It's also just right for 6x6 pads too.)

Plenty of room for 4x6 journaling cards. I put the blank ones in the front and then put the Midnight 4x6 cards in a Cropper Hopper photo storage case in one of the other divided areas.

Across from the PL 4x6 cards I put the pictures that I have printed out for my niece's albums. (I lost count, but I'm pretty sure there's nearly 400 photos in there.)
I also fit in four of my Studio Calico kits and had room to put a set of Me and My Big Ideas cards and a pair of scissors on top.
I also added a few packages of Tim Holtz embellishments and some journaling pens too. I'm telling you... these hold EVERYTHING!
Once you load these up they get pretty darn heavy and I wasn't sure how much to trust the little buckle to hold the lid shut, so I put both of them in an oversized reusable bag from Sam's Club. It's pretty darn heavy!
I also read somewhere that the Small Organizer ($12.95, item #Z4138) will hold around 100 rolls of washi tape, so I think I am going to order one of those to hold my washi tape, and then my set will be complete!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mark your calendars, the first issue of Papercrafts and Scrapbooking magazine is coming soon!

Happy to share that I'll have a layout in the inaugural issue of the new Papercrafts and Scrapbooking Magazine using some of my favorite products from Crate Paper, Inc. and Studio Calico.

Learn more about the new edition here and then download the first issue on December 1!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Keep it Simple: Toothless Wonder

I love super heavy, technique-laden projects but sometimes there just isn't a lot of time to create masterpieces when the pictures are stacking up. Know what I mean? When my picture pile needs to be tamed, I do my best to put my perfectionist tendencies aside, stop meticulously measuring my cuts, and look for easy to use, already assembled embellishments.
For this layout, I dressed up the background by adding droplets of two different colors of October Afternoon mists. You can speed up the dry time by placing a paper towel over the top and directly blotting (never swiping) the ink droplets. I also use a paper edge distresser to rough up the edges of the cardstock in order to add some texture.
Next I used my photo to guestimate a photo mat size. THe original cardstock was actually green, but I didn't want to take time to find some navy cardstock, so I colored the edges with a navy stamp marker to get a color that tied the photo to the glittery Thickers letter stickers.
After that I approximated the heart and feather patterned papers and cut those create a background.
To group and ground the collection, I used a border stripped trimmed from the background paper.

"Toothless Wonder" by Mollie Deem
Supplies: Bazzill; Crate Paper - The Pier, DIY collections; American Crafts; May Arts; Freckled Fawn; Jillibean Soup; October Afternoon; Kokuyo; Tim Holtz (Distress Marker); Studio Calico

Once the main elements were figured out, I added a pre-made pinwheel from Crate Paper along with a playing card and wood veneer.

A few little stickers and sequins, plus a tag with a camera complete the layout.
Then, to add some more movement to the page, I looped a piece of jute twine across the page and added glittered star stickers to cover up where I stapled the twine to the layout.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tools n' Techniques on Thursdays: Die-namic layout!

Okay, so when I started out on this layout, I hadn't really intended to go all out on the die cuts, but as I got into it...well, they kind of just started piling up. And I kinda decided to indulge and just keep adding more and more of them.

Previously I had die cut some words with my Cameo for another layout and had the negative left over. I've been on a kick to use up every little last scrap of paper lately and I wanted this layout to coordinate with some with other pictures from the day, so I figured that adding the leftover piece would be a good way to do that.

In the top corner of the "Sunday Funday" negative die cut, a chunk of the paper was missing where I had test but to make sure the blade depth was set correctly. There wasn't room to trim away the area, so I added a little banner and star embellishment to cover up the missing paper. You'd never know that I was solving a problem would you?!

Right now cork letters are popping up everywhere. I love them, but they're a wee bit pricey, so I pulled out my favorite QuicKutz font, Studio, and some adhesive-backed cork from Lifestyle Crafts to cut my own letters.
Tip: Handle the letters carefully as the cork is a little delicate.

The page felt like it need a little "oomph." You know, that thing that draws the eye in and gives it a little movement, a little excitement. So I pulled out my Lifestyle Crafts banner die to create that element, but a plain ol' chunk of cardstock seemed a little boring for a page with so much going on. In order to dress up the die cut and give it some personality of it's own, I stamped on it using a roller stamp that I colored with Tim Holtz Distress Markers. One of the great things about the Distress Markers is that you can get second and third generation impression simply by huffing on the stamp in between impressions. I also added some two-tone ink splatters just for good measure.

Tip: The banner itself wasn't fitting on the page quite right, 
so I cut it where I could hide the seam under the photo and made it work with the layout.

Pretty amazing what you can accomplish just by die cutting something as simple as a sheet of paper, huh?

"Love This" by Mollie Deem
Supplies: Cardstock - Bazzill; Patterned Paper - Crate Paper (the Pier), American Crafts (Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm), Studio Calico; Wood veneer banner - Basic Grey; Wood Veneer Letters - Studio Calico; Wood Veneer Arrow - Freckled Fawn; Stickers - Crate Paper (DIY Shop), October Afternoon; Cork, Cutting Dies - Lifestyle Crafts; Pens - Ranger, Uniball; Mist - October Afternoon; Adhesives: EK Success, 3L Adhesives; Kokuyo.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Project Life, My Way - Week 3

This week there wasn't a lot going on. I mean, there's not a lot to do in the middle of January in the midwest. Mostly just getting fully back into work mode after the holidays. We installed some lighting (scored both sconces for a total of $6.50 for the pair on an awesome clearance deal) and my supplies for guest designing for October Afternoon came. Okay, so it's a pretty good week when you get that kind of scrappy mail!
Week 3 - left
I decided that I wasn't going to follow the 2-page spread per week format. If a week takes one page or four, then I'm just gonna roll with it. ...And this week it only took one, so that's all there is. 

I added an outline with a yellow pen to tie this otherwise, just black and white card into the other page elements.

I used an EK Success paint pen to color in part of the woodgrain.
They have a chalky texture that's kind of fun.

Don't forget, you can see detailed images of all of my Project Life spreads over on my Facebook page in my Project Life album.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Project Life, My Way - Week 2

This week was a little bit of a whirlwind, with most of my pictures coming from a trip to visit my sister for a girls (scrapbooking weekend) at her place.

My sister and I live almost exactly 180 miles in opposite directions from my parents' home. So I drove from Des Moines were I live, to the Quad Cities (Iowa/Illinois border) to join up with my mom and my aunt, and then we drove on to Chicago to spend the weekend at my sister's place.

Iowa and Illinois die cuts using shapes from the Silhouette Online Store 
and hearts backed with yellow washi tape.

During the "layover" in the Quad Cities I got to see my newest little niece and bring the baby gift that I'd forgotten to give her when I was home over Christmas. For whatever reason, when I made the journaling card for this photo I was thinking that was the first time I met her... and that's what I wrote out on the journaling card... except I had actually met her over Christmas. Oopsie!

[Image blurred to protect personal information.]

So in an effort to salvage the journaling card and not have to replace it (No project life card shall be wasted, right?), I added a little label sticker over the first few words. The label had a "No." printed on it that didn't work with the rest of the journaling, so I added a little red chipboard star to cover that part up. Then to balance the additions and tie it into the color scheme of the color next to it, I also added a little gray star sticker to the upper corner. The best part? I worked in the Iowa State University school colors without even realizing it. I love when happy accidents come together like that!

Tip: I tried several different white pens before finally finding one that worked well on the black journaling card. I started with my white sharpie paint pen, but it soaked right into the card and virtually disappeared. After trying a couple of others, I found the one that worked best was the tried and true Uniball Signo white pen.

...And I just so happen to have an extra Uniball Signo Pen to giveaway to one lucky reader. Leave a comment below by July 7 for a chance to win one of your very own!

I love this kit, but I'm not quite sure there are so may "perfection" themed cards in it. I mean, seriously, how many times do you need to declare something as "perfection" in your scrapbooks? Anyway... when I was looking at which kit to buy, I didn't really think I would have much use for the yellow cards, but I'm totally digging the yellow/gray/teal color combo right now so I wanted to find a way to make one of the "perfection" yellow cards work. To conceal the letters, I covered them with a couple of strips of washi tape and then started adding a variety of stickers and a punched doily to give the card lots of visual interest, without a lot of bulk.

And here are the spreads for week 2:
[Image blurred to protect personal information.]
Week 2 - left
Later I found a gift card and spoon from Pacuigo that I forgot to include,
so I swapped out the blue heart for those items.

Week 2 - right

Don't forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win a Uniball Signo pen!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Project Life, My Way - Week 1

I have finally begun working on scrapbooking 2013 Project Life-style.

As I sat down to begin (5 months into 2013 and already feeling super far behind), I realized I was going to be a wee bit challenged. In order to scrapbook this way I was going to have to scrap in chronological order. Yes, the dreaded method that requires organization up front. (Which, coincidentally, is not one of my strong suits when it comes to photos and memorabelia.)

So today, we're going to talk about that dreaded word: O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N.

Instead of diving into my collection of goodies, I found myself sitting down to organize photos. One of my biggest barriers to getting my scrapbooking done, is the prep work. I often get photos from my mom, and my sister, and my brother that go along with the photos from my camera, my cell phone camera, and my husband's cell phone. And of course, we all have Nikon cameras and Samsung cell phones which means that all of our collective photos are using the same file naming structure. And that's a problem, because IMG_001 from my camera is not the same as IMG_001 from my mom's camera, and I if I don't give the files unique names, and I'm not super duper careful, I could end up writing over a precious photo. No pressure, right?

So here's my workflow:

First, I collect photos from all sources. Then I put them in their own folder named after the image owner.

Next, I go through those photo files, and rename them to add a 3 character extension to the file name that indicates who the original the image owner is. (For example, if the photo owner is Jane A. Smith, then the photo would be renamed as IMG_001_JAS.)
Finally, once all of the photos are renamed, I put a copy of them into an annual file folder where I compile all of the photos for the year. Then I sort them into file folders by date. Here's what it looks like:
...and from there I am ready to start scrapbooking. Well, I am assuming that I know where I put the memorabelia.
Several hours later, I finally had the first month's worth of photos gathered, renamed, and all in the same folder where I could then sort by date order to start working with them. Whew. Glad that's over!
Finally. Time to start scrapbooking!
Week 1 - Left side

Week 1 - Right Side

We don't have children and live fairly mundane lives, so I don't have a lot of very interesting activities to scrapbook on a daily, or even weekly, basis. Taking that into consideration, I've decided that in addition to photos, I will include things like what I was thinking or feeling on a particular day, maybe a quote that resonated with me that day, or my Facebook status update. Fortunately I have a handy little iPad app called Momento that collects information from my Facebook, Instagram, and FourSquare feeds onto a calendar. This way, I can just grab my iPad to help jog my memory and provide content for my album.
I've added a photo gallery over on my Facebook page with close-ups of some of the page elements. Head on over there to see more images for these two pages. 
Want your own personal shopper to help you re-create these pages for yourself? I've collected the materials I used all in one place for you. Buy them here.
Other supplies used that are not available through Amazon:
  • Freckled Fawn Washi Tape
  • October Afternoon Midway Chip Shapes
  • Me and My Big Ideas Icons (Dollar Sign)
  • Martha Stewart Anywhere Punch (Doily)
  • Basic Grey Mono Stickers (Black)
Happy Scrapping!