Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sneak Peek #6: Fancy Pants Captured Memories (FOTM)

"Memories Captured is a super cool line filled with color, graphic patterns and cool memory keeping embellishments." -- Fancy Pants blog

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sneak Peek #5: Crate Paper The Pier (FOTM)

"The Pier is full of adorable summer icons including popsicles, beach and pool must-haves, carousels, ice cream cones and balloons. Not only are the colors yummy, but the collection is full of adorable kraft paper and gold accents to make the summer palette pop." -- Crate Paper blog

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sneak Peek #4: Simple Stories I Heart Summer (FOTM)

"I {Heart} Summer - warm, blissful days, lazy afternoons and fabulous starry nights!  You'll find all of this and more with our colorful, carefree and fun in the sun collection." -- Simple Stories blog

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sneak Peek #3: Fancy Pants What A Wonderful Day (DS)

"Halo Burger" by Theresa Sovacool
"A bright, sunny, cheery line that will make your summer photos POP off the page...it's just as fun as the fun you'll be having this summer!" -- Fancy Pants blog

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sneak Peek #2: October Afternoon Travel Girl (FOTM)

"Pirate Cruise" by Jennifer Moore
"Filled with the vibrant colors and original patterns October Afternoon is renowned for, the Travel Girl collection is your passport to fun and creativity.  No matter what your destination - New York, Paris, London or Rome - you'll be happy to have Travel Girl as your companion as you navigate the globe!" -- October Afternoon blog

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sneak Peek #1: American Crafts Mayberry (DS)

"Wild Flowers" by Theresa Sovacool
"Mayberry highlights the simplicity & sweetness of a neighborhood summer. Floral patterns, strawberries, cherries, bicycles, and pinwheels are brought to life in brilliant shades of cornflower blue, golden yellow, blush, and pistachio green. Pour yourself a glass of chilled lemonade and indulge in Mayberry." -- American Crafts Studio Blog

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Photo-less Scrapping

Sometimes I have events to scrap about but no pictures.  And sometimes I have paper I want to use but nothing matches (yes, I'm one of those matchy-matchy scrappers *wink*).  The Bella Blvd kit in the July Doubleshot was like that for me.  Around here, if I take a picture of anything, it's either orange, safety yellow, brown, or pink... not so much red, white, or blue!  And I did consider taking some of those photos and turning them black & white, but for me, colors are part of the story.  So what to do?  Well... back to the first thought:  scrap an event that doesn't have pictures!

On 10/10/10, one of the topics on the Message Board was to list 10 things that defined your life at the time.  So I did... and I snapped a screen shot of it and saved it for just the right page.

Oh gosh... only 32 posts!  Awwww, I was just a baby MB'er.  LOL

And here's what I did with this and the Bella kit:

So the next time you have paper you want to use but nothing matches... or you want to scrap an event that's important to you but there's no pictures... Grab yourself a ScrapRoom kit and get to work!  Sure, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but I'll argue that any memory will trigger about that many words, too. 

Want to see more examples?  Check out some more of my pages (you can always click on them to see them bigger).  I love looking at these now.  And yes, the words alone trigger enough memories to make me smile!

I'd love to see any photo-less layouts you come up with; share them below!

- Theresa/Savi

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Scrappiin' the "Stash" Challenge: Sketch #8 Breakdown

This is Sketch #8 on my approved Challenge Sketch List. Below are the paper and photo measurements so you can make quick work of it.

(2) 12x12 sheets of cardstock
(2) 3.5"x 11.5" strips of patterned paper A across the top (meets in the middle)
(2) 4" high x 2" wide pieces of patterned paper B (below the left and right edges of patterned paper A)
(2) 3.5"x 11.5" strips of patterned paper C across the bottom (below patterned paper B; meets in the middle)
(2) 10.5" wide x 9" tall pieces of coordinating cardstock (for photo/title mat) (centered vertically/meets in the middle)
Photo options:
(8) 3.5"x 5" horizontal photos OR (4) 3.5"x 6 plus (4) 3.5"x 4" photos

Monday, July 22, 2013

Scrappin' the"Stash" Challenge: Day 8

I have completed Week 1 of my 6-Week Scrappin' Challenge. My goal is to minimize the "overwhelming" and bring back the "fun," so I set up some very limiting parameters for myself in the areas of photos, products, inspiration and time. I am happy to report that after scrappin' within my parameters for one week, I found myself much less overwhelmed, much more organized and having fun! Here's the breakdown and my layout photos scattered below. NOTE: My photos are not good today. I am not sure why, but I am not going to take the time to retake them, upload them, optimize them, etc. The idea here is just to show you that I am, indeed, scrappin'! (I do still need to journal, which will be part of today's "Stash Stint.")

I decided to start working my way through my 1999 photos, which are the oldest set of photos that I have organized chronologically into photo-sleeve protectors. I can easily sift through them and decide which photos to scrapbook, which to put into my category drawers and which to throw away. I generally start most of my scrapbooking layouts with the kits (scrappin' for the website), but for this challenge, I will primarily be starting each layout with the photos, which seems more natural. This week, I started with the first set of photos from 1999, and they just happened to be cruise photos from the only cruise we have ever taken.

After seeing how many photos I had to work with and deciding to tackle these cruise photos as a set, I looked at the two 2-page sketches that are on my approved sketch list for this challenge. It took me about 2.5 seconds to decide on Sketch #8. I grouped my photos into (4) groups of 8 photos and knew I would be creating (4) 2-page layouts. (Tomorrow's blog post breaks down the sketch below with sizes of paper and photos so that if you are using the same (7) sketches that I'm using this month, you won't have to spend your precious 70-minutes figuring out paper and photo sizes!)

I'm a kit-girl, baby, so layout kits are my easy-go-to. I have all of my kits in vertical storage, so it is easy to flip through the kits and see the color/style combos. For 8 pages, I knew I would need a kit with some extra coordinating papers, and it took me about 5 minutes to find the Prima Alla-Prima kit and some extra coordinating cardstock for the bases. I changed up the paper combos on the layouts, but I used the same cardstock for all 8 pages.

I did find that I didn't immediately put everything down and walk away after 70 minutes, as I was generally in the middle of something I wanted to finish. So, I typically spent an extra 10-15 minutes or so after the timer went off. This was alright though, because I was only able to get in (4) stints instead of (5), so the extra minutes at the end of every stint probably made up for the stint I missed.

The most time-consuming part of the process was actually working through the sketch - measuring the papers and photos and cutting everything so it would fit the way I wanted it to. I found that once I had worked out all of the measurements for the first layout, the other three layouts came together much more quickly because I had everything written down and I could refer back. This made me realize just how smart it is to re-use the sketches that I like over and over again because I only have to spend the time to "figure the layout out" once.

I struggled with embellishing the layouts, and I didn't end up doing much. I always struggle with this step, and I'm not sure how to make this easier yet...

I find I also have a hard time telling myself that I am done creating with a particular kit. I want to keep getting more layouts and cards out of it even when I'm totally bored with it or I'm down to paper nubs and the weird stickers. I find I spend way too much time and energy trying to figure out how to use the leftovers elsewhere. I have to figure out how to strike a balance between using it up and letting it go!  Any suggestions??

Okay, there you have it. My layouts are simple, and I'm choosing to be okay with that and feel good about "done!" How did your first week go?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Project Life Sketches

As I put my Project Life pages together, I find that I use some layouts over and over.  And when I discover a new layout that really works for me, I create a sketch that I print out and keep with my supplies.  This helps me to "Get More Pages (or pockets) Done" each month.  Today, I thought I'd share some of those sketches with you.

So, do you have any go to designs for Project Life?  Are they from the Internet, Pinterest, blogs?  Please share.  I can use all the inspiration that I can get.  Happy Scrappin'!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Scrappin' The "Stash" Challenge, Day 2

If you missed yesterday's post, I shared about my own personal challenge to use the last six weeks of summer to "bring the fun back into scrapbooking." As a result of feeling overwhelmed with too many choices every time I get an inkling to create a page, I have decided to pursue an experiment of sorts and limit my choices in products, photos, inspiration and time. I've put parameters on these four resources, and I'm hopeful that my self-imposed limits will create greater satisfaction.

*Use only photos that I already have printed.
Printing photos is the biggest drag. I hate doing it. Getting photos into my hands involves hours and even days of time and effort. It is a HUGE stumbling block for me, and I have failed at Project Life for about four years running now because there is no way that I can stay current with the photos. So, for the next six weeks, I'm abandoning this roadblock completely and mandating for myself that I NOT print any photos. Fortunately, thanks to a Library of Memories class by Stacy Julian that I took years ago, I have a few scattered years worth of printed photos slotted chronologically into photo sleeve protectors, which will make accessing available photos in context a breeze. (Note to self: share this concept in a blog post someday, as it was a photo-organization game-change concept for me. Now, if only I could get caught up...)

*Use only products that I already have in my stash.
This probably doesn't need a lot of explanation. I have an enormous scrapbooking stash, and I truly do LOVE almost everything in my stash. Oh, I go through stages from time to time and buy too much of something (mostly technique-stuff that I'll never take the time to use), but as a general rule, I have a stash of great TSR perfectly-proportioned layout kits. Using kits naturally increases my productivity and satisfaction, so these kits will be the base of my layouts.

Use only (7) different sketches as layout inspiration.
Okay, I know this one might be a little too limiting for some of you, but I am hopeful that it will be exactly what I need to bring back some of the fun. I am continuously inspired by the hundreds of beautifully designed scrapbook pages that I see daily. I have 3-ring binders full of sketches and Recipe Cards and layout ideas cut from magazines. I have multiple scrapbooking Pinterest boards full of layouts pulled from the internet. I am drowning in ideas; it's too much! I absolutely must limit my design options for faster decision-making. During the next 6 weeks, I will be limiting myself to 7 layout sketches (5-one-pagers and 2-two-pagers), along with 3 card sketches to use up leftovers. Instead of taking hours, it will now only take me about 30 seconds to decide which sketch will work best with my photos and papers.

Download my 7 Layout Sketches and 3 Card Sketches HERE.

Note: If I find that I get completely sick of one of my sketches or don't end up loving it, I do reserve the right to throw it out and replace it with another sketch.

Select a specific 70-minute time slot to work on this project 5 days each week. Set a timer.
Time is a valuable commodity, and I have enough life experience to know that I must intentionally carve out time to do some things that make me happy and energize me or that time will be spent doing other, less valuable things (like surfing the web or watching TV). My preferred time slot is 6:00-7:10 am during the week (until school starts), but I am totally reserving the right to adjust that time slot on any given day. I'll be setting a timer for 70 minutes (which should give me 60 minutes of productive scrappin' time), and I'll be walking away as soon as the timer goes off. Part of this experiment for me is to see what I can get done in just five hours each week. By limiting my options for faster decision-making, I am hopeful that just 5 hours each week will still yield a lot of layouts!

And there you have it! If you are joining me, please feel free to set your own parameters to meet your needs. My parameters address my personal challenges and roadblocks. I would really love to hear if anyone else is going to take this "limiting approach" to scrapbooking and if so, how it goes. Please feel free to join the ongoing conversation on our Facebook page. I will be posting my layouts there (via quick-and-easy iphone photos and an easy uploading app.)


Monday, July 15, 2013

6-Week Scrappin' the Stash Summer Challenge!

I've been thinking a lot about scrapbooking lately. I've been thinking about how complicated the whole process has become with all of the choices now available to us, and one word keeps coming to mind - OVERWHELMED! I have become overwhelmed with product choices and layout inspiration and sketches and trends. I am swimming in beautiful papers and innovative embellishments and alphabet stickers and ribbons and buttons and stamps and... and... and... I have hundreds of printed photos from years 1999-2001, 2005-2008, 2010-2011, and I have (literally) thousands of unprinted photos waiting to be tagged, optimized and printed from all of the other years. I have memories scribbled down on multiple calendars and notebooks (both paper and digital formats) and drawers full of ephemera that I'm hanging onto for my boys - the programs and papers and bits that speak of milestones and accomplishments and fun times.

This is all good stuff - there's just too much of it! In fact, when it comes to scrapbooking, the only thing that is not available to me in overwhelming abundance is TIME, which seems to slip through my fingers unless I make an intentional effort to capture it. These realizations have brought me to my own personal 6-week Scrappin' the "Stash" Summer Challenge! (Fun graphic, right?)

I want to scrapbook, but I find myself too overwhelmed with choices and products to find the energy to even begin most days, so I have intentionally decided to set aside some of my choices in an attempt to make it fun again. My goal for the next six weeks is to create 42 layouts. This is a fun experiment of sorts, and I have set my challenge parameters for the next 6 weeks as follows:

  • Use only photos that I already have printed.
  • Use only products that I already have in my stash.
  • Use only (7) different sketches as layout inspiration.
  • Select a specific 70-minute time slot to work on this project 5 days each week. Set a timer.
That's it! So, If you find yourself in the same scrapbooking boat, feeling overwhelmed with too many choices and products, yet missing the hobby that you have loved for years and wondering how to get back into it, then please consider joining me on your own 6-week Scrappin' the "Stash" Challenge. You can follow my parameters or set your own. The goal is to make scrapbooking fun again! I'll be back tomorrow with another post explaining why I chose the parameters that I chose (and I'll have my 7 sketches available for you as a free download). I'll be posting every few days throughout the next six weeks with updates on how things are going - what's working and what's not.

I'm also taking this challenge to TSR's Facebook page. I have discovered how to instantly upload photos from my phone to Facebook, so I'll be taking phone photos of all of my layouts and uploading them to Facebook. I think it would be such fun to see other people's layouts there as well. Since I got my smartphone, I have found that interacting on Facebook is pretty easy with the mobile app. Here is the link to our Facebook page.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Lovin' in the Gallery!

Ahhh...summertime.  Most definitely my favorite time of the year!  Weekday schedules are a little lighter, the days are a little longer, and everything's just a bit more fun. :)

Hopefully, summertime also means more scrappy time.  Looking through our online gallery, I was super inspired by these summertime layouts:

Layout by petunia670:

Layout by allamy:

Layout by Deanna13

Layout by EmilyOTR:
Great job, ladies!!!

The gallery is FULL of summertime pages.  If you haven't visited the gallery in a while, be sure and check it out.  If you are looking for a specific theme, just type it in the search box and hit enter.  So much inspiration! :)

- Jenny

Monday, July 8, 2013

Challenge: Three Ways with Washi

Hi there!  It's Aphra here today to talk washi tape.  Thanks to Tammy, my collection of washi tape is growing each month.  I just LOVE how easy it is to add to my projects, but I find that sometimes I use it the same way over and over.  This month I challenged myself to use it in three different ways on the same layout.  Here's what I came up with.

Project Disney: Daisy Duck

This is another page in my Project Disney album.  My sweet kiddo really enjoyed collecting autographs throughout the parks.  I love how intently he watched each of them sign his book.  The first card that I want to talk about includes a scanned copy of Daisy Duck's autograph.  This is a great way to include memorabilia in your Project Life or traditional scrapbook album.  Ok, so here's the first use of the washi tape -- as a border to separate my two patterned papers.  By placing it on the lighter colored paper, you can really see the tape's pattern.  

The next card includes a sticker that I bought at my local craft store.  So far the Disney stickers that I have collected have mixed well with the ScrapRoom kits.  Awesome!  Can you spot the second way that I used washi tape?  Yep, it's one of the banner strips.  I added a piece of washi to a scrap of white cardstock, trimmed it down, and then notched the end.  SO easy, but it was just the extra bit of pattern that I needed on this card.

This last card is actually my title card.  I used the phrase that Daisy Duck used to sign my son's autograph book.  And because I just loved all the different expressions on my son's face, I cut down another one of my smaller photos to add to this card.  The washi tape was perfect for attaching the photo to the card. 

Ok, so my challenge to you is to use washi tape on a layout in THREE different ways.  When you're finished, add it to Project Life Challenge thread in the message boards by July 30th.  I'll choose a winner to receive a pack of . . . washi tape.  Happy Scrappin'!