Saturday, November 29, 2008


Still in Week 5 for my Design Your Life class... I'm just a tad "behind," but I am not stressing. It will get done when it gets done.
Anyway, the design concept is space. For this layout, a great deal of space is available. I like the simplicity of the layout. It took very little time to put together. I chose not to go crazy with embellishments because I loved the Fine Flocked Paper in Chocolate by artsy.licious, and I wanted that to be the main texture item. Also, the subject matter is very serious, so the photos and the journaling needed to be prominent on the page with no distractions. The layout is 12 x 12 inches, and the base color is Stampin' Up! More Mustard textured cardstock. Cathy gave us the journaling block to work with. Her sample had four 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 pictures, but I chose three, as my middle photo was very difficult to put in a square crop. I also decided to keep a white margin/border around my photos, where she had no margin. She also filled more of her white space than I chose to.
Interestingly enough, about two months prior to her death, Marita and I had a conversation about the song "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" by Elton John. It had come on when she was in the limo for her brother-in-law's funeral, and she found it to be ironic. It was also the first time she had heard the song, which floored me. Perhaps her last time as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Insane Departure

Well, hello. Yes, craft enthusiasts, I have been gone, but not far. I have been... reading. If you are interested in hearing more on that part of my life, click here.

I am getting "behinder and behinder" in my Design Your Life class, but I am still keeping a pace, which is much better than I did before the class. This layout is Cathy's first sketch for the topic of space. I must say, I admire great use of space, and I usually OD on putting stuff where there really can be nothing on a page. For this layout, Cathy suggests the use of wide borders as appealing in design. I think I made mine a little narrower than she intended, but I toyed nonetheless. I used some black Bazill bling... love that stuff. I also distressed some Heidi Swapp chipboard letters for my title. How freaky cool are the red Rain Dots, eh? On a page about a vampire book. EEwww. Neato.

I reclaimed some SEI paper from the Keepsakes line (brooch) from Max, as he seems to attach himself to some of my patterned paper. Bad Mommy. I know. But I love the paper, and I thought it was perfect.

Cathy suggested that we do an "everyday photo essay," using something in our everyday lives. Well, since these stinking Twilight books have been in my EVERYday life, I figured I would go for it. She, too, did a page about the books for last week's sketches, so I had that on the brain. I decided to photograph one of my favorite pages in Eclipse, when Edward "officially" proposes to Bella. I also photographed the type of books that usually occupy my mind, a page from New Moon where the chapter is one word long... November... (trust me, there's good reason for that), and a side shot of Breaking Dawn, all 756 pages, and a clue as to how much I read of it just last night and this afternoon.
I know there's a bit of a glare to my shot... tried to scan, but there were too many words and patterns to try to Photoshop together. Maybe Santa will bring me a 12 x 12 scanner... Anyway, this is an actual photo of my page. Hope it's clear enough. Now, off to read, I mean, bed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ode to a Tree

As I drove up to my house this afternoon, I could not get over the tree in my front yard. I have no idea what type of tree it is... guess I should become more alert to that stuff... all I know is, next to the starkness of the day, this tree was a gorgeous site. Beware, the tree is one of the thorniest trees I have ever encountered. I guess it has to be, as it is protecting its bright red fruit.
So, being the good crafter that I am, I ran up and took a picture with my iPhone. And thus, a color inspiration was born! The picture just does not do this tree any justice.
One of the events I missed this week was my sister's wedding anniversary, so this card is for her... ever so belated. She lives in Southern California, and the changing of seasons is not as dramatic as it was on the "Other Coast" where we grew up. So, I'll send her a little fall and some good wishes.
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: Chocolate, SU! Groovy Guava, SU! Ruby Red
Stamp: Verve Stamps Anniversary Birds
Accessories: SU! Chocolate Chip taffeta ribbon, Spare Parts silk flowers, Making Memories eyelet
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy!

Oh yes, it is nearing the holidays! However, this entry has nothing to do with them... that song just popped into my head. :)

This is my final sketch assignment on the topic of repetition for Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class by Big Picture Scrapbooks. Despite my behindedness, I love this class. Cathy has great, simple designs, and she is hysterical in her slide shows and video messages.

This assignment focused on the idea of a minibook. Repetition in a minibook allows for faster completion. I must say, as I look back, I have done quite a few minibooks over the last few years. Many were for gifts, a few were for me. They do give one a sense of immediate satisfaction.

Anyway, back to THIS minibook. The design is completed on 8 x 8 inch kraft paper. We were to choose four coordinating pieces of patterned paper. Well, the American Crafts Metropolitan line was sitting there saying, "Pick me! Pick me!" So I did.

We were given the basic "Gimme 5" outline. Our task was to make a page for each member of the family. What I thought would be a challenge was that they each were to write on their own pages. I was pleasantly surprised that my family really cooperated with this. I think this class has proven the value of good archiving of memories.

We were to write five things about us right now. Of course, I did Max's. The others are purely from the mouths of the men. I love the way it turned out and how easy it was to do. Take a peek and try it out yourself!

Inspiration on a Gray November Day

All the leaves are brown... and the sky is gray... not winter yet... but might as well be today...

The first of today's cards is inspired by the photo of this adorable little lass from the Boden USA website. Today's challenge sent us to this site for some direction. Since I have two boys, it is rare that I get to look for cute girl stuff. If I had a girl, she would have this sweatshirt. Love the colors and the great big dots.

My card is for my nephew whose birthday, surprise, surprise, I missed. Beginning of the month curse! I don't think he'll mind, but it sure does bug me!

I started with just the chocolate circles on Mellow Moss cardstock, but it looked too plain. So, I ended up using three circle punches (1 3/8", 1 1/2", and 1 3/4"), chocolate cardstock, kraft cardstock, and Holiday Thyme DSP. The felt ribbon is from The Paper Company... and it was on clearance! The jumbo eyelets and Hodgepodge Hardware are both Stampin' Up!
In all, I like it. A good, masculine card... with ribbon!
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip and Color Box Chestnut Roan (to ink edges)
Paper: Kraft and chocolate from The Paper Studio, SU! Holiday Thyme, GP white
Stamp: SU! On Your Birthday
Accessories: SU! Hodgepodge Hardware and jumbo brads; The Paper Studio felt ribbon

Thursday, November 6, 2008


For repetition week #2, Cathy Zielske provided us with the following layout. She gave us several color choices for the journaling panel. I chose orange, since I knew that this would be a Halloween layout. Creative, eh?

Once I knew the photos I wanted to use, the 12 x 12 layout rolled very easily. It's so funny that I have scrapbooked this Halloween this quickly. Good to be doing this class!

I was also excited to use my SEI ally's wonderland alphabet stickers, as they were free from SEI at one of their classes at CKC St. Louis. Sigh. I love SEI. I HAD to include Shaggy's favorite interjection on this page, especially with Ignatius' facial expression on the main photo.
Where is the repetition? First, there's the color repetition. Orange and black are repeated frequently. There's also the repetition of the Cloud Nine Rain Dots (in black, no less!!). The striped patterned paper (My Mind's Eye) has a repetitive pattern all its own as well.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Cathy Zielske uses the acronym OPA to represent old product alert. Yes, I did open up the box of 1300 Colorbok Alpha Stax that was donated to me by Jessie a few years back. She only needed a few letters from it, so she let me have the other 1290 of them. Such a good friend!

At the time, I had no Sizzix machine, or anything that would do die cutting, so I was thrilled! They come in a delightful assortment of colors. My collection is called "Funky Holiday."

For this sketch, Cathy gave us a basic template and a great deal of freedom. We were to focus on repetition, as it is the design theme for the week.

I have to say, I love this layout. Love it, love it, love it. Scott and I piled the boys in the car (only one or two, "Where are we going?" whines from the 11 year old) and went for a Sunday drive. I grabbed the camera and off we went.

For a long time, I had somewhat of a "fall disdain" of Illinois. It was so vastly different from where I grew up. It was so flat that I felt like autumn, one of my favorites seasons of the year, was a total wash. Then, last year, we actually drove around and saw some gorgeous colors. I have grown to appreciate the harvesting, maybe because I finally have the right combo of allergy medications. Truly, I have listened to my husband and all that the people in his company deal with during harvest. These agrarians are always at the whim of Mother Nature. There are some things that are within their control... what to plant, how to treat the soil, etc. But most of their livelihood is based on having just enough rain... not too much, not too little. So, in my layout, you might notice some brown corn stalks. In the work world of my husband, this is a very welcome sight.

So, I guess after almost 20 years, I am slowly opening my eyes to what's around me. Still doesn't beat a mountain that's changing colors, but at least now I know it's out there. And you do, too.
Where's the repetition? Well, I tinkered with adding embellishments, but I really felt that they would take away from the photos. I definitely wanted the photos to take the lead. So, the biggest repetition, I think, are the colors of fall. I even dusted the white letters with chalks that I felt best represented the colors of the photos. I repeated the fill color (brown) in the text boxes as well.
I must give inspiration its credit. While thumbing through the November/December edition of Scrapbooks, Etc., on p. 94 I saw a layout by Brenda Hurd. She took some white letters and outlined them with black on the inside (I guess that's inlining?). I thought this was brilliant, and I totally scraplifted her idea. Thanks, Brenda.

Sympathy Inspiration

I used today's Inspiration Challenge to create a sympathy card. We were using the works of Don Li-Leger as our inspiration (one of his works is shown). I was inspired by two things: the color palette is right up my alley on most of the works and I like the block style of many of the pieces. The combination of symmetry and asymmetry throughout the gallery makes it interesting.
I decided to stay simple, as I believe overdone sympathy cards stray from the purpose of sympathy cards. The purpose is to convey your sorrow, not to "wow" anyone with a card. It's not the time. So, I used a simple, asymmetrical block style with some patterned and some craft paper. I inked edges on the patterned paper and inked/distressed edges of the sentiment panel.
I used two products I just bought today at Hobby Lobby's 50% off sale. The paper is Traditions Floral Paisley from The Paper Studio. I LOVE it... and I have a feeling I should have bought more of it. The brads are antique brads from The Paper Studio. I have to say, I was impressed to see how The Paper Studio was really kicking in as a competitor as far as paper and cardstock is concerned. They have a wide variety of styles out, from single sheets to paper packs. The craft paper was leftover from my last scrapbooking adventure, and it was the perfect size, so I took that as a sign.
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: The Paper Studio Craft and Traditions Floral Paisley
Ink: SU! Always Artichoke, Color Box Chestnut Roan
Brads: The Paper Studio