Back in November I blogged about Amy Tan
coming to Hawaii to teach classes at my
Ben Franklin. (It's the closest thing I have to a LSS in Oahu.) I signed up for the Project Life class because I have this plan to start this style of scrapbooking in 2014 and I wanted some tips from an expert and "scrapbooker for the stars" whose personal PL album is somehow fit in between $300,000 Bar Mitzvah party scrapbooks for her clients (true story -she told us all about it.)Tip Number One
: One of the first things I learned in class was that I better stop procrastinating, and just get started. After I arrived ten minutes late, had to ooh and aaah over my bag of goodies, nosey my way around the room talking to Amy's Mom, and checking out what everyone was working on, Amy suggested in her self proclaimed now-that-I-am-a-Mom-I-can-remove-the-filter-across-my-mouth way that I should just do it
, like starting right now, with the layouts she provided. I mean, it is no secret that I have unmedicated ADHD. But look at the distractions here and you tell me to sit down and get busy.
Okay, so you probably want to see the layouts we were working on, and since I didn't bring photos to use in layouts I took pics of the "samples" for future reference. Amy's design included a few techniques.
Tip Number Two: Stamping on a journaling card, using watercolor paints, and stitching with one of Amy's embroidery templates allow your layout to go from "cookie cutter" to creative and you can (after some practice) get even a 'complicated' PL layout done in an hour or so. The goal of PL is to get it done so to speak- get your photos documenting everyday life into albums. But that doesn't mean it has to be boring.
Here are two "exclusives" included in the class kit- that little acrylic camera was the icon from her signature line made new again as this embellishment, and the little 3 x 4 faux polaroid was a pic she took and had printed by Persnickety Prints in that format. Tip Number Three
: Persnickety Prints
has options for prints you will want to use for PL and scrapbooking in general. I haven't completely explored all of them, but it's on my list.
I was like- Hey, I have that watercolor set! Oh yeah- because I bought it at Ben Franklin! We shared those and also passed around the embroidery templates.
Then this happened:
Amy had a drawing for one of her to-die-for designer bags. The kind-hearted person who won it decided to draw another name and let someone else have it because she already had one! Don't you love that Aloha spirit?
And now back to the class.
Tip Number Four: Choose your photos first. Then you can decide which page designs to use and how many filler cards you will need to make. As a photo centered scrapper anyway, I loved this answer to my question about how to approach the composition of a PL layout compared to a traditional one. Then the basic design principles apply- both to the whole 2 page spread and to each little card as a mini masterpiece in and of itself!
Tip Number Five: What about the stuff I hear from PL style scrappers about "needing" so many vertical and horizontal pics etc? Amy's advice was to choose one or two main pocket protector styles and get used to using them. (Again with the getting started right now before January arrives.) You can always go back and change the orientation of photos later if you absolutely must, and you can always use a 4 x 6 space for a 4 x 4 or 3 x 3 Instagram type photo (with a matte.) I can already tell in my head I was making it much more complicated than I needed to, as a beginner.
So there you have it! I learned a lot and had a blast! Honestly, if you haven't ever had the chance to take a class with Amy Tangerine and you ever do get the chance, don't pass it up. I love how she integrates techniques in to her projects so you don't just feel like you made something awesome, you feel like you learned something awesome. She is generous with her knowledge, and is warm and kind. You would never know she has rubbed elbows with celebrities and Beverly Hills residents like the one whose entry into manhood cost as much as a house.
My friends and I will be doing an Amy Tangerine Blog Share February 21, 2014 and I can't wait to do some projects with Amy's latest collection Cut and Paste
. It's always exciting to find out that one of your favorite designers is revealing a new collection soon! This will be her fifth I think with American Crafts- there was her signature Amy Tangerine;
then Ready, Set, Go; Yes, Please;
and Cut & Paste.
I am so excited to see it soon with the CHA Winter sneak peeks and reveals! See you soon!
You might know her by her alias Ormolu
. She started designing embellishments for her LSS in Colorado, a project so successful it grew into an Etsy store (Ormolu) and finally a website and the Project Life style branch of Scraptastic Kits.
This past fall she launched two collections designing for the premiere paper company Carta Bella
. This January, my friends and I will be doing a Blog Share using her second amazing line Wildflower
, which was a Fall 2013 Mid release. I cannot wait to see what these ladies create with these incredible paper patterns. Anyway, as a foreshadowing of what is to come this January, I thought I would share a layout I did with Kaitlin Sheaffer's first collection for Carta Bella called Hello Again
*I used some structure medium to make that journaling circle and it is very easy to do. I love how it adds some texture and contrast.
*If you are going to use a mid century typewriter, you might as well use a bunch of them- I figure.
*If your daughter's name is Caitlyn with a C and the paper designer's name is Kaitlin with a K then it is good luck. Nope I just made that up.
*Pink Eiffel towers go with everything-I figure.
As you can see this December Daily business is going really well for me. I posted December 1st, and it is now December 10th. I have 14 shopping days left before Christmas, no pictures of kids with Santa, no cookies baked, a Christmas show at the mall tomorrow night(child singing in chorus) and one next week(other child singing) --my only day off this week other than the weekend-- not going to be getting caught up on much these next two Wednesdays.) I do have some pictures of our Dwarf in the Drawer(long story- we have no elf) and was thinking of taking the kids indoor ice skating. I did buy outfits for the family Christmas card photo which at this rate may be an Easter Bunny photo. We were waiting for my daughter to knit the pet turtle a Santa hat as she insisted that the turtle be in the photo. So many things to coordinate- our calendars need calendars. I have two things I am really looking forward to- my son Justin- the law school student- is visiting for the holidays. And we have tickets for the touring Broadway show The Lion King in January. I can't wait to see it!
So what's on your calendar?
December (Sort of) Daily Sneak Peeks and Catching Up!
This weekend was busy going straight from Thanksgiving to decking the halls. But we managed to take a few pictures that will make it to week one of my December Daily clipboard album which I will hopefully get to start showing you this week- maybe even tomorrow. I am not putting pressure on myself to actually do a daily anything. I know I will be lucky if I do a weekly summary. So it will end up being some sort of December mini book. It will be a clipboard book, and it will have December pictures in it, and if I am lucky, it may even somehow be completed by Christmas. Of 2014. I'm not gonna lie.
I bought the first present of the season in a local shop here in Kailua on Small Business Saturday- they even wrapped it for me-the kind of service you of course do not get in places like Wal Mart, where you might actually get trampled or killed instead. Seriously.
We went to the annual Waikiki Christmas season kick off parade (where Santa wears board shorts and the highlight is the Pearl Harbor survivor cars) and my daughter was marching in it this year. The Hawaii All State Marching Band, which she is in, will be playing this year in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl parade. I am not looking forward to her having to leave on Christmas night!
My girls couldn't wait to kick off some baking and our Christmas tree theme this year is Rockets and Robots in Outer Space! My youngest two helped me craft some robots, paint some silver and gold stars, and best of all, we made all nine planets, because we still count Pluto as a planet even though it has allegedly lost its planetary status. We have had some very imaginative themes in years past- like Sock Monkeys for example. Another year we did postcards-from everywhere we have ever been. And some places we just pretended we had been. Theme trees make it fun for the kids and while I try to save one or two samples of what the kids make each year, we don't need to store boxes and boxes of stuff from year to year. I have one red plastic tote for Christmas stuff and it all has to fit in there on January first. It's the nomadic life we lead. We like to travel light. Well- some of us do. The ones whose personal spaces do not belong on the show Hoarders- they know who they are.
This is the kit I am going to be using for my December Daily. I designed it myself, something I love to do (design kits I mean.)You can probably tell I like Crate Paper a little bit. This year the collections I have loved the most for Christmas have been this one (Bundled Up) and Hello December by Glitz Designs. What about you? What have your top Christmas picks been this year?
Switching topics on you…I have like 16 more Caitlyn layouts I did at the Seattle retreat to show you.
Take a look at this layout and see if you notice something strange about it. I mean strange even for me. If you guessed that there is hardly any paper on this layout, you would be right! I used white watercolor paper as a background and a few snips of Studio Calico Atlantic and MME Chalk Studio. Then I added some paint, stamping, and embellishments. Doing this layout made me realize a few things.
I could have done it with only 6 x 6 paper, or even 4 x 6 elements like those for pocket page type layouts.
I could have done it with scraps of paper, or with the card sets that have become so popular these days such as Simple Stories Snap sets, We R Memory Keepers sets, Project Life, Basic Grey (Captured), and many others. I am scrapping much more with neutral backgrounds in general. And having a less is more mentality about my paper and supplies.
Here is another example. I promise this is the last prom layout. Well, until her Senior Prom happens- but that won't be until next spring. This one was her junior prom. Again the layout has lots of white space. I used more paper in this one- because I had scraps that size. If I had paper or cards that were smaller, I think I could have worked with them.
I am so excited to share a BIG announcement with you very soon. It was going to be today, but we are still working out some details and legal mumbo jumbo. One way to "read between the lines," however, is to take our survey, which will also be a HUGE help to us in learning about YOUR level of interest in what we have planned. As a thank you gift, we are giving away some Simple Stories Snap Set samples to all participants by Wednesday, December 4, 2013. Thanks so much for stopping by!
If you have not seen it on Facebook, please take our survey:
Happy Turkey Day everyone! I will keep this short as I know you are all enjoying the day with your family and loved ones. I thought it would be a good time to announce the winner from last week's Heidi Swapp Mixed Company Blog Share. As promised, I am using the random number generator to select the winning number and will be sending this really cute and practical holiday tag kit.
Without further ado, the winner is... comment #11, PAM FUNK. Thanks so much for joining us on the blog share Pam, and enjoy your little thank you blog candy prize. There is much more fun to come with holiday stuff all month long in December and lots of giveaways. Then In January there will be two blog shares with prizes you won't want to miss! See you soon!
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
so much depends upon
a red wheel barrow
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens.
I can't believe today is the 24th of November already. Veterans Day Weekend I was in and around Seattle, Washington visiting friends and family and attending a three day scrapbooking retreat. I wanted to share a few highlights! First, I brought my son Jack,14 along because he is crazy about Seattle. He isn't so crazy about scrapbooking though-he's more of a musician type- so fortunately he got to stay with his Uncle Joe and Aunt Mary and cousins Joey and Julia in Vashon Island when I went up to Port Townsend. My brother and his family love their music and they are teaching Jack to get in to "vinyl"-you know, as in records. I know what I am going to be scoping out for Jack for Christmas on my thrift store hauls this year...a record player. (Shhhh...)
Row 1: We arrived at 0600 am and met a friend and her Dad for a breakfast of coffee and crumpets in Pikes Place Market. We had to window shop my favorite map store where I love to dream about places to go, and then...
Rows 2-3: onward to Vashon Island by ferry. My SIL Mary had snacks waiting and gave us a tour of their new digs. (My brother, computer dude, took a job for Amazon this past summer) I made my brother and Jack take a picture with foliage because we don't get to see that in Hawaii.
Row 4, Pic 1: The "red bicycle" in Vashon is a landmark. Apparently years and years ago a boy leaned his bike against a tree and never came back. The tree grew, and well....
Row 4-6: Fort Worden is a no longer used military base in Port Townsend, WA. At the retreat, we slept in an old army barracks. Port Townsend is a quaint Victorian seafaring town and you can catch a ferry to Canada from there. I wish I had allowed more time to look around there- but there would have been no way to pack all the antiques I would have bought in my suitcases! Although I have only one lonely photo of my friend Cassandra in the meal room of all places, I really did have a blast with friends old and new.(We were just so busy working we forgot to take pictures.)
Last pic: Although it is orange and not red, I loved this wheelbarrow because it reminded me so much of childhood on the East Coast and raking leaves with my Dad every fall. If we helped bag the leaves he would give us rides in the wheelbarrow. Whenever I read The Red Wheelbarrow, by William Carlos Williams in its minimalist perfection it still brings a tear to my eye!
So, Happy Sunday! Go make some memories and document them!
I am not gonna lie. The fact that she is adorable and has an adorable 2 month old baby is as exciting if not slightly more exciting than the fact that her classes are AWESOME! I should know- I got to be an 'assistant' for one of them (read: stood in doorway and passed out supplies.) Seriously, I have waited for the day I would actually get to TAKE a class with Amy Tan and now is my chance. Registration starts today and I had better haul my butt down there to sign up!
writes one of my favorite creative blogs. I love that she is so true to herself and is warm and open in sharing her life and her adorable family. I think I admire her the most when she gets down to earth and gets real! You should read this post
! Anyway, today I am sharing something not quite as important as the "Don't be awesomer" post but is a technique I pinned from the Cosmo Cricket blog and actually tried!
This is Caitlyn and her BFF's posing for Freshman prom photos
When it comes to scrapbooking supplies, I am as fickle and trend-chasing as they come. I saw that Cosmo Cricket's newer lines were trying out something kind of logical for today's trends which are using more white and neutral backgrounds with layering of patterned paper and embellishments in groupings (requiring these items in smaller quantities.) Okay... as Simon Cowell would say (I've been watching The X Factor
lately)... that was absolutely brilliant!! So released in 2013, the 12 x 12 Simple Surfaces
pad caught my eye. When I actually got my hands on it- it soon became my favorite purchase of the year! I kid you not! I have been telling all of my scrappy friends about it. This pad has the most usable surfaces to layer with. Words cannot even describe what I mean. It has card stock with some subtle patterns and it also has vellum with patterns and glitter. There is both silver and gold glitter. The quality of this paper is outstanding. That is from someone who prefers to use 140 lb cold press watercolor paper as a background because it is literally twice as thick and absorbent as "scrapbooking" card stock.
Okay, so this is what I pinned:
Photo courtesy of Cosmo Cricket Blog and linked to the original post!
Watercolors can be painted over the glitter stars without dislodging any glitter AND the glitter acts as a wonderful resist to the paint so the stars shine on through! The photo of my layout shows a little of the variegated effect of the purple watercolor on the star background but it really does not do justice to how it looks in person! So thank you so much Julie Comstock for sharing this and all of the ideas on your blog. I do think you are one of the Awesomest.
The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.
Welcome to the second of hopefully many
future monthly blog shares among friends who have so much in common. Just to mention a few; love and gratitude for our families near and far, scrapbooking, inspiring others, and learning new ways to make pretty stuff. Nothing could be more apropos for this group than the collections we shared from the original Queen of Making Pretty Stuff herself: Heidi Swapp
!! This line also made it easy to meet this month's challenge to use something round
Here is some of what we shared:
Since I have the major undertaking of completing my daughters Senior album by graduation this year I have been focusing on getting her layouts done. These pics were from Caitlyn's sophomore prom.
I used Heidi Swapp's Color Shine in the traditional way as a mist with the Color Magic papers. I also used it to spray through the heart stencil. But did you know you can use color shine as a medium you can paint with? I painted a pretty blue ombre on my cut out heart wood veneer (American Crafts, Amy Tangerine) I also poured some Color Shine on a piece of natural wool felt using it as an ink pad and inked a Glitz Designs roller stamp. I used this tribal pattern on the other wood veneer. I love the wood veneers in their natural state too but sometimes it is fun to do something different.
Here are some close ups.
When I put this kit together I added in some extras that coordinated well with the eclectic and fun style of the Mixed Company line. There were some cute little pink bicycles from Webster's Pages, the Wood Veneer cards from Amy Tangerine, resin flat back stars, star shaped paper clips and filigree flower cabochons from Freckled Fawn, and some bling sentiments from Kaiser crafts to name a few. I have to confess- I had a blast designing this kit. The day the girls posted their happy mail on Instagram I was simply overjoyed!! I am about to burst I am so excited about what we have in store for 2014!
Here is my final project made from 2 different sized file folders cut in half. I made a mini journal called Five Wishes: Live With Purpose
and it is a rather heartfelt and personal little thing so I hope you don't mind that I am sharing it with you! I guess I have been doing some soul searching recently with some changes that have been happening around me and everywhere I suppose and I wanted to write down some things that really matter to me. Those adorable fabric paper clips are handmade by Laceybug Creations
. They are special to me so I wanted to use them in a project I would be keeping for myself. I usually make mini albums to give away. But this one's a keeper!
And now for announcements! Of course there is a giveaway! I put together a little holiday tag making kit and all you have to do to enter to win it is leave a comment on each blog. I will choose a winner using random.org so please check your setting to ensure I can find you!.
Holiday Tag Making Kit For Your Happy Mail Prize!!
The BIG REVEAL of something very special DECEMBER 1, 2013....save the date (and please follow by Bloglovin+ or email subscription )
Upcoming Blog Share Schedule
January 9, 2014-Close to My Heart Laughing Lola, sponsored by Lynn Darda, CTMH independent consultant
Joining us: Erica Thompson, Lynn Darda, Jody Spiegelhoff, and newcomer Cassandra Henson/CTMH consultant and future Kiwi Lane Designs demonstrator
January 23,2013-Carta Bella Wildflower
Joining us: Erica Thompson, Jody Spiegelhoff, Jenn Bidwell Edwardson, Cathie Hollins, and Lacey Igo Gasper
February date TBD: Hazel and Ruby ( a brand new scrapbooking company)Gone Typo and Chalk It Up
Joining Us: Jody, Erica, Lacey, Cathie, Jenn, Lacey, and Janey, and you??
Thank you so much for stopping by! Join me here all month in December for a December Daily album and holiday crafts.
Open a Window!!
Okay...First have a teeny tiny nervous breakdown. And then just get by with a little help from your friends. That's what I did. I should say, that's what WE did (minus the nervous breakdown part- that was all me I think.)
In case you haven't been in the loop I am talking about the closing of Memory Works the end of the year. Memory Works is the direct sales company I have been with for seven years that had meant so much to me and many of my scrappy bloggy friends. So going through the many stages of grief partly explains why I have had some difficulty getting on here lately to blog --sadness definitely set in :(
But also, many layouts I have been working on are set aside in case I have to apply for any design teams as I will soon be at the end of my Team Works term. But...fortunately, the long anticipated Heidi Swapp Mixed Company and Color Magic Blog Share is finally here TOMORROW!!! I am sooooo excited. I can finally show you some sneaks and especially the prize you can win for commenting on the hop. Please join us tomorrow! Start here and then hop along with Jody Spiegelhoff
, Erica Thompson
, and Jenn Bidwell-Edwardson.
I am giving away a Holiday tag kit including 4 white tags, 4 paper bag tags, 3 wood tags, wood veneer embellishments, a roll of washi tape, a spool of twine, some confetti, and a wood mounted chevron christmas tree rubber stamp. Design your own original holiday gift tags! This kit comes in a cotton muslin gift bag so you can keep it or gift it. For your chance to win this scrumptious blog candy, join us tomorrow for our Heidi Swapp Mixed Company Blog Share!! See you tomorrow!!
I really appreciate you stopping by for the Thankful for those who have Served Blog Hop
today. Veteran's Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedom. This is an activity that means a lot to me because I have served in the military as a reservist for six years and work for them as a civilian contractor. I am amazed day after day by the incredible dedication of our current all volunteer military who have been fighting wars and dealing with hardships every day for the past ten years while the rest of us are simply taking our lifestyle for granted. Not only am I so grateful for the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War Vets I have gotten to know in my career, but for our men and women wearing the uniform right now.
So, let me tell you a little about my project for this post. I started by making a mixed media background for some cards that will be sent to active duty military overseas to thank them for their service this Veteran's Day/Thanksgiving. I used gesso, ink, paper, modeling paste, stencils, and pens to create my version of an American Flag design. I then hand wrote the names of every Veteran who died serving in Afghanistan in 2013 on the stripes. You can find more about the fallen heroes here
I used my handmade background paper to create different cards which all say Grateful for you
on the inside. I used a feather stencil to outline some feathers which were cut out and embellished for my card fronts. I also used my Silhouette Cameo to die cut some different feathers and sentiments for my cards. Without further ado, here they are. Even though the names may not be legible in my artwork, it was the process of writing them that imbued my expression of gratitude in the soul of these simple cards.
And here are the rest of the participants! Please hop on through the list!
Have a restful, peaceful, thankful Veterans Day!