Sunday, July 13, 2014

summer challenge -- weeks 8 & 9

I am so close to finishing the summer challenge. You may remember that my friend Diane aka The Crazy Good Diva aka The Last Diva Standing issued a challenge to make a certain number of scrapbooking pages this summer. My goal was to complete 50 pages. And with this one, I'm at 49!!

I used to do one-page layouts all the time. With more photos, I've switched to doing more two-page layouts, but every once in a while I go back to one-pages where I can showcase one picture. I hope you like it.
cardstock: from my stash
paper: Creative Memories and Sakora (Creative Imaginations)
buttons: from my stash
distress ink: Vintage Photo (Tim Holtz)
inspiration: Main Frame-Quilt Blocks (Reflections-Close to My Heart)

This week, I really want to finish two layouts of my son during our apple picking outing last fall. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

my five faves -- summer scrapbooking

I don't know about you but, during the summer months when the sun is shining and I'm having fun doing anything with the kids, I find it hard to get any scrapbooking done.

I'm taking lots of pictures so you know there'll be a lot of scrapbooking this winter. For now, projects are taking a little longer than they would when the weather is cold and blistery.

Here are five ways I'm trying to stay motivated this summer.

1. Set goals

In 2012, my friend Diane issued a challenge to a few of us to complete a number of scrapbooking pages during the summer months. We got to set the number of pages ourselves and decided on a prize if we met the challenge. I chose to complete 50 pages and ended up finishing 54! My prize was the Crop-A-Dile Big Bite. Yay me!

On average, I would complete about 6 pages (aka 3 double layouts) a week. My favourite was this simple layout.
watermelon smile
paper: Beach Babe (Fancy Pants)
cardstock: from my stash
letters: Lemonade (Basic Grey)
ric rac: from my stash
flowers, buttons & butterflies: from my stash
inspirationJuly 2009 PageMap
Right now, I have one layout that's been on my table for two weeks. There is no way I have the time this summer to complete a ton of layouts. My goal this time around is to work on a page when I have time/mojo/energy. If I finish only one layout this summer, I'll be happy!

2. Get together with other scrapbookers

I love my scrappy friends! They keep me motivated and they always inspire me.

3. Scrap when it rains

Not all summer days are filled with sunshine and family and friends and good food and great fun. Most are, but when the weather is down, it's time to recharge and find that zen that only comes with scrapbooking. I can get a lot done on a rainy day. Bonus: the kids are busy doing crafts with me!
My 11-year old son hard at crafting
4. Clean your space
I organized and cleaned my craft room because I had people coming over for a Canada Day/birthday party. It was cool to let my friends see my space the way it's supposed to look but, more importantly, it's encouraged me to do more projects here. My supplies are all close at hand. My vision board and cool projects serve as inspiration. I feel like I've reclaimed something special. Bonus: the dining room table has been spotless for weeks!
A place for everything (except embellishments which are in multiple storage systems)
5. Give yourself a break
This is a note to myself. I've always pretty diligent about doing *something* related to scrapbooking every day whether it was gluing embellishments, cutting paper, journalling, printing photos, reading blogs or buying supplies. This summer, weeks have gone by when there is no scrapbooking in my days. I feel like the number of layouts to complete is growing by leaps and bounds. Sometimes that's overwhelming. After a deep breath, I remember that I'm not in a race to finish anything. I have to take the time to enjoy the memories. And I know that I'll be scrapbooking those memories soon enough!
My beautiful family on Father's Day. I can't wait to scrapbook this photo!
I would love to hear how you stay motivated during the summer.

Stay crafty my friends!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

five art mediums I want to try

I love taking classes where I discover a new scrapbooking tool or when I learn a new technique. I especially love learning about mixed media on scrapbooking.

In the last few years, I've been lucky to take classes with some amazingly talented designers who used mixed media in their projects.

They have inspired me to use new products on my layouts and allow me to treat my scrapbooking as art -- something I never thought me and my two left hands could ever do.

I have to say that when I'm in a class, I am a master of technique (kudos to amazing teachers!). But this mastery does not always travel home with me. Either I discover that I haven't really mastered the technique or I lack the skills/talent/inspiration to apply them to my layouts.

Here are five art mediums that I really really really want, but just haven't. Yet. (There is hope though.)

1. Embossing Powder

This is embarrassing. I've used embossing powders in classes. I own a few jars. I just don't use them on layouts or cards. I *did* try to use them once at home and the results were disastrous.

I may be a little scare of using embossing powder. They do add so much to a layout or card -- texture, glitter, colour. They're relatively easy to use (unless your two left hands get in the way).

I think I just need to bite the bullet and use the powders I have at home. Or ask a few friends to guide me...

2. Gelatos 

Gelatos look and feel like lipstick. The colours are so rich and vibrant that I just had to buy the whole set of 28. They're beyond delicious.
Photo credit: Faber Castell
I've used gelatos for stamping in a class where I learned that they blend well. I've also learned how to use water to tone down the colour.

But I've never cracked open my set. I have never ever used them on a layout. Ever.

My biggest stumbling block when it comes to gelatos is how to seal them on my page so they don't rub off on the page protector. That, and doubt.

3. PanPastel 

PanPastel is a dry medium that behaves like paint. What does this mean? It means there's no drying time; you can use it on paper without any bleeding; and your paper won't warp. The colours are beautifully intense. PanPastel is very soft and buttery when you apply it.

I've used them in a class with Cari Fennell from Prima so I know how to start lightly and layer the colour until you get the shade you want. I also know how to blend them. The results are wonderful! So I bought six colours: a beautiful bright blue, a light pink, a deep violet, a lovely magenta, a yellowish green and light orange. I have the foam applicator and a palette tray. I even purchased a non-toxic pastel fixative to keep it on my pages forever.
Photo credit: PanPastel Colors
I have never used them.

I have absolutely no idea how to use them on a scrapbooking layout. Staring at them now, I'm simply mesmerized by the delicious colours and the possibilities. Maybe I can use them with a stencil? Maybe I can alter a background? Maybe they would work on colouring a stamped image? How would they react with water or another art medium?

Someday I might just dig them out and go nuts. Someday.

4. Gelli Plate

Canada's Karen Ellis is one of my favourite mixed media artists. Her specialty seems to gelli printing, which is a printing plate that looks and feels like gelatin but is more durable and can be reused.
8in x 10in Gelli™ Printing Plate
Photo credit: Gelli Arts
All you need is paper and some paint. When you work with a stencil and/or a tool to make waves (see picture above), you can create nice prints for your paper.

Sounds cool.

I hear kids are natural born gelli printers. Should be easy, right? I want my own gelli plate. I have no clue how I would use it in scrapbooking, but I still want one. :-)

5. Pouring Medium

I saw an amazing canvas by Nathalie Kalbach where she used pouring medium. It seems that you mix paint with the medium and pour it onto a canvas, instead of using a paint brush. This creates puddles and waves and awesomeness.

Something clicked with me and the flowing effect that pouring medium creates. I have absolutely no idea how I would ever use it on a layout, but I still need it.

Maybe I can store it beside my gelatos....

I'd love to hear about your experience with mixed media and scrapbooking.

Have a crafty week!