Monday, August 4, 2014

A scrapper's dream...

I say "scrapper" but really I suppose it's any parent's dream :-P - Saturday, my wonderful husband took the kids across base to the beach for the entire day from about 0930 to 1600 I was blissfully kid free & alone in the house!  I love my kids but after being the single parent for essentially two weeks it was nirvana to have time to be "me" rather then "mom/muma".  And the funny thing is that once a child is not demanding every second of your attention & needs "X" now, it's much easier to remember that child's finer points ;-).  So I took advantage & scrapped some recent pictures of them to ensure their 6 & 3 year old selves were preserved in at least one page each.  I tend to scrap chronologically so jumping ahead is a really big deal to me, but I LOVE these pictures so I had to make sure they were preserved just the way I see them today not just reflecting back.  

So I had time and the perfect pictures and then as luck would have it...

I received a package from My Mind's Eye filled with all kinds of goodies from their new Jubilee - Wild Berry Collection!  A little while ago I won one of the drawings on a "new product reveal" blog posts but wasn't sure which collection I'd receive (I thought it might be Tangerine since it was the one I commented on but Wild Berry is what they had available ;-) ).  This was exciting enough but then I found out that these collections are brand new and not even available to the MME design team yet!!!  So yeah wow!  How often do you get a chance to work with product no one else has access to?!  (unless you're part of a design team I suppose)  Even better then all of that is this collection is tailor made to my daughter's personality & style :-D

So then naturally the first page I made with Wild Berry is about her; you may remember these pictures from a few weeks ago when I (finally) blew the dust off my Rebel & took the kids out for a nature walk.  I had in  my head this vague idea of  photos in black & white against a really bold background but given that's not my usual style I didn't have anything to match my mental image - until Wild Berry arrived that is!

I had SO MUCH FUN creating this page, the photos converted to b&w well, the papers coordinate perfectly & it is exactly what I had pictured in my head - love it when that happens!!  The 'paint strip' paper reminds me so much of my daughter's very bold & vibrant personality so it became the background.  Once I had everything else layered on (pre-glue), I thought it looked like an artist canvas which again matches her quite nicely.  So I stitched around the border to reinforce that look & added a heart "randomly" to each side. The flower & heart paper I kept simple just inking the sides but the little title card "Just be You" didn't look quite right because it was a bright white to start.  I mentally played with several ideas - using the original card as a mask, using it as a stencil & fussy cutting the phrase out of different paper, recreating in Silhouette Studio etc - but eventually decided to go this route. It's backed on aqua paper (also from the collection) & then since I wanted the phrase not the whole card to stand out, I inked the border in Salty Ocean & Evergreen Bough Distress Ink so it blended into the paper.  The white phrase still look too stark in comparison so I inked it with Pumice Stone & dusted over the top with Perfect Pearl powder for a shimmery glow.  I wanted the pictures to somewhat speak for themselves so I kept the journaling simple with just a few word tags from the ephemera pack.

Wild Berry collection also has a bunch of 3x4 'project life'-type cards in it which I generally don't use but a member of the MME design team wrote a post about using 3x4 cards as a foundation for a full page.  I really like the look of her page & it inspired me to use some of these cards that I really like but probably wouldn't use otherwise.  I first laid out a 12x12 page of cards with the (cropped) photos as she had done but I didn't like the look of it & felt the pictures got lost in the background.  Take away half the cards & line the pictures up in a row - and I'm much happier engineer :-P.  One of the provided cards had a cute little moped on it with the phrase "Take Time for Adventure" which I really liked but the moped doesn't really go with a page about cycling.  So I designed a card with the same basic idea but better matching theme in Silhouette Studio.  I love this bike sketch file & been waiting for an excuse to use it!  The (relatively) new update to Studio makes it really easy to separate cut files to sketch in different colors (or cut different materials).  I slightly changed the original phrase to make it look nicer on the card & I think it sounds better too; it's cut out of Silhouette's corrugated adhesive paper.  For me it's important not only to take pictures of people but also the surroundings & signs so I lined them up together.  The heart frame I wet down & then stamped with Evergreen bough & Broken China so it would look weathered like the park sign.  Finished off with a few enamel shapes & journaling on one of the cards.

As I said initially I feel like Wild Berry is tailored made for the girl but the above family layout came out so nicely (I think) that I decided to use for a layout about the boy as well.   He has this techno-hipster style & a quirky personality so the papers I use for his pages tend to reflect that - lots of plaids/ herringbone/ zig-zags, robots, circuits etc.  But he also really likes bright bold colors, I told a friend of ours recently "if it reminds you of the disco/ techno era he'd probably love it" ;-), and Wild Berry definitely has lots of those colors going on!  In the collection I found this transparent frame that immediately made me think of him because he is almost always smiling in his adorable reserved-but-mischievous sort of way.  These photos are from that same nature walk trip as the girl's page, the bottom picture printed out darker then it appeared on screen (but not as dark as it looks here).  I love how many of the papers in this collection have intentional splatters already printed on - perfectly imperfect!  

Finally (with Wild Berry) I made a really quick card to send off to my Grandma: using a 3x4 card, some ephemera, a brad & a strip of washi tape from Chalk Studio. I think the base layer is from an old Crate Paper collection but not totally sure.

With the last bit of my "me" time I completed MME's July Sketch Challenge.  I had tried this a few weeks ago to make a display layout w/ Cinderella's Castle but I was so unhappy with it that I cut out the picture & threw the rest away.  But as I was looking over my paper scraps from the afternoon I saw this photo of the boy after our bike ride which unfortunately didn't fit into the family page.  I looked at it & the story of him excitedly  searching for a new rock while the girl whined in the background ran through my head so I *knew* it couldn't be relegated to "extras" folder.   Instead of continuing with Wild Berry I went back to my stand-by collection (for him) that also happens to be one of my all-time favorites, MME's Boy Crazy.  Instead of paper strips I made a sunburst w/ a Tim Holtz stencil & Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Fired Brick, Broken China & Mowed Lawn) .  I took the challenge to mean keeping the layout cleaner & simpler so I didn't ink or distress any edges & kept the embellishments to a bare minimum; overall I think it's one of my favorites :-) (although now I wish I had inked the edges anyways :-P)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

MWM Pansy #5

I've really enjoyed the past month's sketches provided by the talented Brenda Smith, this is her last week as guest designer so she provided two sketches to spark our pages this week.  Both sketches can be found here

In this year's Disney album I'm keeping each park's events together; i.e. all of Magic Kingdom pages together, all Epcot together etc.  So I used sketch 5A as the intro to the Animal Kingdom Pages.  I dug way back into my stash to find the Animal Cracker Collection by DCWV (circa '07, back when that was all I had access to!), it's cliche but I love the colors & "African" motif ;-).  However it was way too shiny & glittery, so I sanded the whole paper - lightly wet all the edges - sanded them - inked them (w/gathered twig Distress Ink) - sanded again - inked again & then heat set to crinkle the papers a bit.  I did this to all the paper except the base orange layer -WHY? - I honestly have no reason, it didn't occur to me until I got everything else glued down :-/.  The title is probably a good example of not knowing when to stop: applied 5 layers of ink & Perfect Pearls to make it looked 'weathered' & 'rugged', the result is darker then I intended but I think it still looks neat with the ink seeped into the canvas :-).

MWM Pansy 5a

Sketch 5B I used on the second half of a 2 page layout about Donald's safari Breakfast @ Tusker House:

Close-up of page 1

With this double layout I made the mistake of focusing on the second half (because I knew sketch 5B would work well with those 2 pictures) but I neglected to plan for the first half.  My first attempt was to use the sketch for the first side as well but that didn't work & neither did the next two attempts.  Finally I ended up with this version, it's definitely not my favorite page ever but it's the best one of the four & tells the story which is what counts (to my mind :-P).

Close-up of page 2 - MWM Pansy 5b

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pansy #4

As usual sketch for Mid Week Mojo is here.  I had a totally different idea (& pictures) for this week's sketch but time & other considerations got in the way so I came up with this instead:

I haven't decided if I like this one or not, I used Echo Park Reflections (by Lori Whitlock) which I love but the side paper came out a little overpowering I think.  I recently realized that in 3 pure Disney albums I haven't said why we love it so much.  This section of the phrases paper summed up our two biggest reasons for going so I wanted to highlight them using Distress Markers as watercolors but I think it overwhelms the actual journaling which reads "Walt Disney credited with saying he built the resorts for families young & old to come & enjoy each other away from the "real" world.  For us this certainly holds true, we love to absorb into the full world focused only on each other".

Have time for a spot of tea?

Blogger Abi Beach over at Creating Paper Dreams  has a lovely tradition of "tea time posts".  The idea is quite simple, imagine your having a friend (or friends) over for afternoon tea & write about what you would discuss & do.  So in my continuing quest to improve my storytelling skills (& thus journaling) I decided I would try my hand at the idea (although since no one over their knows me from Adam & I (believe) ended up with egg on my face from last attempt to socially reach out I'm not going to linked up to her page).  If you have time, I highly recommend you look over at the 'original' post for some entertaining stories - after all credit, where credit is due!


Considering this is Florida and it's currently 93F out, I've made us a big carafe of iced tea to keep us cool as we sit out on the back porch & talk.  What? Yes of course it's unsweetened, you'll find none of that syrupy sweet Southern Iced Tea in this house!  What would be really  lovely is the slow-steeped sun tea that I grew up with but apparently that's now a health risk, so for safety's sake we'll stick to the traditional variety.  Oh & before I forget what afternoon tea would be complete without a sweet treat?  Please have a strawberry scone..or two ;-)  They're a little on the "too sweet" side with the icing but go perfectly with our iced tea.

It's so nice to just sit down & talk for awhile, this summer has gone by in a blur I can't believe it's almost time for school to start again!  If you're one of my "mom" friends we'll swap stories of preparing our kids for the school year & the funny questions they ask.  Memories will probably be swapped with my child -free friends because everyone has those school stories to tell.  No matter who you are, I'll probably talk your ear off about the stupidities of Common Core Curriculum & how politicians have no business sticking their nose in education (look how they mess up everything else!).  Thankfully you're a good friend & let me vent for a few minutes & then I'll return the favor & this to your commiserations.  Getting the prosaic out of the way we'll move on to more interesting topics like the adventures we've had or would have if time & money wasn't an issue.  

As we're talking the jets from Hurlburt & Eglin are flying overhead which leads me to telling you about my "baby" brother joining the Navy.  You laugh because my "baby" brother is 24 years old & 6'4" (as opposed to my diminutive 5'4" with shoes on!) but that's fine because he laughs at me too!  Isn't it funny how our younger siblings always remain the same in our minds as we grow older, to me he'll always be that little boy following me around calling out to "watchel" because he couldn't pronounce my name.  Let me tell you though -I couldn't be prouder of that man if I tried, he has had some tough times but he really seems to have his head on straight & going in a good direction.  I really think the Navy will be good for him, hopefully his follow on training will be in Pensacola so we can visit on the odd liberty weekend, after that I hope he gets the OCS slot he desperately wants.

Another glass?  Oh sure it's no problem at all, after all how often do we get together?  The discussion slowly turns to anticipation of fall & cool(er) weather; I'm thankful tourist season is almost over but not sure I'm quite ready for the school year to begin.  Even though Erin is doing dance this year it's still going to be insane with soccer (football ;-) taking up 3-4 days a week!  How is your fall shaping up?  Any new jobs, promotions or adventures on the horizon?  I can't wait to hear about it all :-)

Well now we've reached the bottom of the carafe, the scones are gone & poor Duncan is ready to escape the heat so I suppose it's time to say goodbye, I hope we can do this again soon!.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Park pictures redux

For the oh so few that would be interested here are the rest of the park pictures from the grand re-entry into dSLR experiment. :-)

And uploader is still randomly rotating pictures, just perfect... oh well this is Erin & I looking over the railing into the water (looking for the turtles who live there of course :-P).  Erin asked why the water was "cloudy" so I explained the basic of reflection & diffusion to her - which then gave me the idea to try & get a picture of the reflection.  Again I know it could be a lot better but I kinda like it.

 Now tell me isn't this one of the cutest little boys you've ever seen?!  That sweet little half smile melts me every time & boy does he know how to turn it on.  We are in t-r-o-u-b-l-e here in about 10 years or so!

My very bad attempt at a self-shot, my scrunched up half- face making it look even worse.  If I could just crop myself out though it's not a terrible shot of the boy though ;-)

Erin insisted that she try to get a picture of us & then Dillon kissed me at the last second :-P

More Erin shots: her brother's bottom half & my top half (making me look like I have a thick neck & no chin yay! - asked her why & she says "well that's what you gave me to work with but I've seen worse!" okkkay no more Mulan for you girl)

After the reflection in the river shot, I decided I wanted more water pictures but in brighter light.  And still feeling trepidation about expensive camera in sand & salt water I opted for one of out many splash pads instead.

& finally I leave you with cherry face ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Refocus...or how I stopped stressing & snap the pictures anyways

Haha...  How do you like that (oh so horrible) play on movie title?  Anyways, as promised here's the story behind me picking up my dSLR again.  But let's start at the beginning, a very good place to start don't you think (yes I'm so bad :-P, I'll stop lol)....

From the time I was quite young I loved to take pictures & print them out to look at.  It wasn't so much the artistic view that I loved, just something satisfying about holding a moment in time forever.  The good moments don't have to end because you always have reminders of them.  This is especially true now with my highly complicated paternal family but not going there.  Of course way back in the early to mid-90's all we had was actual film - my kids still laugh at this concept *sigh* - it was expensive & we were far from rich so pictures had to reserved for special things/ times.  All of this resulted in my thinking that pictures were way too important to be put in some sticky album & just left there.  Scrapbooking was far from what it is today but my Grandma help me make my first one about my beloved childhood dog Sparky; a few choice excerpts (which Blogger has decided to load upside down, lovely!

See?  Far from what it is today but it reinforced the idea that pictures are worth not only protecting but showing off.  Of course that logic naturally flows into the camera is important.  Minor problem being that I was a child short on funds ;-).  My paternal grandparents were the type that loved to spoil (because they could easily), so in high school I asked for an entry level SLR but that was too much even for them :-(.  Instead though they gave me an APS point & shoot, it shoot photos in 3 sizes (ooooooh!) & was the height of point & shoot technology in '98 :-P.  The advantage of this camera is that it took panoramic shoots which made it easy to photograph my favorite subject - landscapes.

This was all well & good until a youth group trip to Niagara Falls a few years later & well lets just say that waterproof cameras have come along way.  My dad said this was proof I shouldn't have a SLR - ya know since I'm a "space cadet" - so he did the sensible thing and bought me my first laptop instead haha.  So I spent my Christmas money that year on a Canon Powershot that didn't take film, both parents said this was nonsense but then they said I'd be screwed in adult life without a landline too so there ya go... The Powershot was again advanced for it's time w/ "creative functions" that gave a bit more control then your standard point & shoot.  Again it satisfied me, for quite a long time in fact it's still around somewhere the kids play with it...

But of course I still really wanted a SLR (well dSLR by this point) but it was always way out of budget & besides since I never printed anything over 4x6 the Powershot worked perfectly fine.  So that brings us up to getting married & then having baby which spurred me to get into more modern scrapbooking.  At this time I belong to a birth group & drooled over the quality of pictures that other moms showed off taken with their dSLRs.  My wonderful husband - tired of hearing me sigh at my pathetic p & s prints - bought me my Canon Rebel xsi (over 6 years ago now).  I excitedly begin snapping pictures of my new favorite subject (baby of course!) & teaching myself how to use true manual functions.  I was quite pleased with my results & got some great feedback from other moms but then trouble started setting in.  I won't going fully into it but in a nutshell a (younger) cousin was take "proper" photography classes & was deemed the family photographer, when I tried to show my photos I was told to keep my day job (yeah).  The second problem is that about 2 years ago my dear Rebel took a bad fall due largely in part to an over excited toddler & wobbly baby.

Luckily the damage was minimal, broken lens cap & jammed kit lens which was easily fixed by my resident engineer.  But in combination with other aforementioned issues it scared me off for awhile, because this was an EXPENSIVE piece of equipment and we really couldn't afford to misuse it.  Plus with an always sick baby I had absolutely no time to scrapbook anyways.  So I licked my wounds & bought a drop-proof/ water-proof/ shock-proof Olympus Tough that had higher resolution then my Rebel & still had some manual functions.  This was great as I could enjoy snapping photos again without worrying about damaging an expensive camera & it is the one that has accompanied us on 2 Disney trips - going down Kali River Rapids, spinning in Mad Tea Cups & occasionally dropped by a small child or cast member all without a care.  This level of freedom was great but again as I got back into scrapbooking I found these prints a little lacking.

Discovering Pretty Paper, Pretty Things was just that final push I needed to push out my worrying & just start playing with photography again.  Then I discovered on A Journal of Curious Things that she largely uses a 50mm 1.8 lens which (again my darling husband) had given me just a few months before I stopped using it.  So I really never got a lot of practice or feel for how to use (again purely self-taught here).  But now I have taken the kids on two outings where I'd normally use the Tough but took the forgotten Rebel w/'new' lens instead.  I was afraid my skills had atrophied and yes they did but still not all bad I think.  Ready for photo overload? :-P

Very first shot with my Rebel in over 2 years (& entirely manual settings).  Not great but not horrible either I don't think.  And of course working juvenile subjects is always interesting, they were supposed to be holding onto the rail & leaning out (kinda like Dillon is) but Erin was more interested in the water pattern!

They both insisted I take a photo of the little whirlpools forming so I tried playing with the lighting & f-stop to try & catch it in motion.

I tried to focus on Dillon but majorly failed & got the fence line instead - LAME!

Better attempt focusing on Erin, except she turned away at the last minute leaving me with a rather uninteresting shot (see I tell you these juvenile subjects yeesh!)

See she was supposed to be looking like this :-P

I know that there are probably a hundred technical things wrong with this photo but sorry as Muma I find it completely awe-worthy.  I may need to get it blown up ;-)

Seeing as landscape/ nature used to be my favorite subjects to shoot, a trip out wouldn't be complete without a few (or several) but I'll spare you lol.  Again I'm sure there's quite a lot wrong with this but I like how you can see the individual leaves& ripples up close and then it fades into a soft effect. Except those leaves poking out of the bottom right is rather annoying!

yeah those last few were supposed to be in a grid, so I share the rest later when hopefully uploader is more friendly!  Anyways....I'm a fervant believer in the idea that hobbies are not just something to do to fill the time or even to have a finished product, they exist to teach us things & keep our minds sharp.  And not just technical "this is how you make a page from a sketch"  skills but also life lessons like; don't worry about what anyone else is doing, in time it won't matter & you won't care; do what makes you happy simply because it does [make you happy]; you can always can back what you lose with a little time & work (metaphorically of course I don't recommend turning the resurrection stone thrice)!  If you have remained with me through this rambling journey I thank you :-D...maybe, just maybe I'll even take the Rebel to Disney this year...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Narrow scope of the world

My dad will tell you that I am a person who lives in their own little world, "space cadet" he calls me, and while this accusation has some merit as I do tend to get lost in my own head - I do contest the idea that I prefer to live in small world.  More and more I feel a little trapped by my narrow view of the world.  Not unhappy with my life - just my view of the world.... as a military/ government brat turned military/ government  wife I have never lived anywhere long enough to develop deep friendships.  I love this life and it's afforded me a lot of opportunities not otherwise likely to occur.  But socially stable it is not, I can't genuinely say I'm from anywhere, I don't have long time friends who I can just call or look forward to catching up with.  And since for the last 6.5 years I have abandoned my career in favor of my kids, I don't have co-workers to connect with or even talk to - unless you count their teachers & coaches, if mothering is my "job" then they're my co-workers right?.  Thus my little world is quite small: <10 family members, a few (<5) childhood classmates (thanks to Facebook), a few "mom friends" & some assorted acquaintances .  Not really anyone in this little world (a) lives nearby -except the husband lol or (b) shares my love & style of crafting- my mom & grandma are amazing with textile crafts but as much as I try I am not :-( - which means I can talk about the kids' happenings or relive memories but not much else... clear as mud I know...

What? Yes, I do have a point point is that for a long time I've had an intense desire need for more things to look at, more people to talk to & an overall new perspective.  Now this isn't an easy thing (for me) to do as I'm severely limited by domestic responsibilities (wonderful though they be) & not an overly extroverted person in the first place.  Really, we lived here in 2 neighboring towns for 8 years & still don't have a "social network" @_@.  But in a roundabout way I have sort of found a new perspective at least. 

 I was browsing the Silhouette store & found this shape which is perfect for a LO I'm planning, so a win right off the bat!  At first I thought it was designed by a single artist as most of them are but then realized it was by American Crafts - which for the non-initiated means it's part of a larger product line.  I loved this shape so much that I Googled "Shimelle American Crafts" looking for the full product line (& it is AMAZING), the top hit was not American Crafts but a site called "Pretty Paper, True Stories" intrigued I clicked on it.  To my surprise "Shimelle" is not just the name of a product line but an actual living person - and an awesomely talented one at that by the looks of it.  The latest posting when I found it (July 14) contained a gorgeous 12 x 12 LO of her new son - my jaw literally dropped, she pulled off the kind of layering I regularly attempt (& also regularly majorly fail) AND it was done with her own collection from American Crafts!!  So like the socially impaired geek that I am, I stalked the archives to admire & write notes on all the interesting details (yes actual written notes and yes I'm that big of a geek).  I found out that she is pretty much living out my dream, born in the US but living & working in England - LONDON to be exact, very rarely do I say OMG.  Yes I'm several generations entrenched in US military, loyal to & love my country and I want to live in England and no that's not a contradiction :-P.  Anyways, her writing and creations have that Anglo influenced flair about them & has participated in activities I can only imagine (Olympic Ambassador for one) which is hugely different from the narrow scope of the world I can access.  My mind began to explode with new layout ideas & I even broke out my SLR again (which deserves it's own post) - just the breath of fresh air I needed.

This accidental discovery probably would've been enough to keep me going for awhile except I discovered that miss Shimelle (seemingly) often works with other extremely talented ladies. Last night, after the kids were put away tucked into bed I was left alone due to John being TDY.  Too tired to scrap but bored & not ready for bed I started clicking through the guest designers/ contributers.  All were very, very, very talented but none really grabbed my interest until I came across Journal of Curious Things written by "Miss Smith".  The little snippet on Pretty Paper, True Stories said she was a maths teacher which piqued my interest because come on maths are awesome!  Then when I clicked through to the blog & saw the title I was even more interested because it sounded like something out of Doctor Who (which is of course also awesome!).  Sure enough I found all kinds of inspiration, her LOs are neatly done with lots of white space & hand drawn elements, her pictures rival those of some professionals I know & being a mathematician her approach is very logical & structured but still "artsy".  BUT the journaling is what really struck me, not just saying what happened or why the photo is important but truly weaving a story - which to my mind is what scrapbooking is supposed to be about.  But I have always had a hard time with story-style journaling, mine tends to be purely factual or it feels contrived & stilted.  In my many years of crafting this has not changed but I hope to take inspiration from these two finds & develop my storytelling skills (of course then I'll have to find more room for journaling lol!).  And if not, if I am just destined to a factual technical writer then so be it, at least I still have a little bit wider world view until I can rediscover the actual world on my own :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Midweek Mojo Pansy #3

This week's sketch was a challenge largely due to an inability to find proper photos to go with it - yes seriously!  No doubt I have a large box of photos waiting to be scrapped but none of them seemed to fit, I finally settled on pictures from the start of our Disney 2013 trip and came up with this:

Originally I had the castle & kids' photo matted separately to highlight the background paper (My Mind's Eye Collectable) but I it was visually busy & looked odd with the full length column on the left side.  Cards on top & bottom of left column are from Project Life Cinnamon Edition - I really don't like working with Project Life as intended but it has some great accent pieces! - I added a Teresa Collins stamp (with Peacock Feather Distress Ink) to the bottom one & a camera die cut (from an American Crafts Amy Tangerine Silhouette file).  To color the camera; I rubbed Rusty Hinge, Gathered Twig & Victorian Velvet Distress Ink on my craft mat then sprayed it with water & gold glimmer spray then pulled the diecut through the mix.  Finished it off with a small piece of washi through the lens & some pop dots for dimension.  

The camera paper (Chalk Studio) blended in with the rest of the brown so I brushed it with blue Gelato to make the title stand out.  The title is a Silhouette file welded together & cut out of (Chalk Studio) cardstock, then I inked it with Rusty Hinge & Gathered Twig Distress Ink.  After that was dry I covered it with Glossy Accents & Victorian Velvet Distress Glitter.  I was never a glitter fan before I found this stuff!  I just love the dimension it gives & adds sparkly interest without the "oh my gosh it so glittery!!"  look.  Disney World is one of my favorite places but the pages don't need to look like Tinkerbell exploded on them!
So now I have 2 pages done from Disney 2013, will they all be finished by Disney 2014? - I hope so!! ;-)

Monday, July 14, 2014

MWM Pansy #2

I haven't had a lot of crafting time this week BUT when I saw this week's sketch I immediately knew which photo & papers should go with it.  It took until today but I finally carved out time to finish it (I mean who needs clean laundry anyway? ;-) )

This isn't a Halloween picture but these papers (from My Mind's Eye) go perfectly with the Monsters Inc scare theme.  The 1st strip is actually from one of the Collectible sets, it was originally a bright turquoise so I inked it with black soot Distress Ink to darken it.  The 3rd & 4th strips were printed kraft paper (All Hallow's Eve I think) that I inked with salty ocean & mowed grass Distress Ink.  I applied a thin layer of adhesive to hold them to the page & then used a wide stitch to attach them.  The title is a phrase by Lori Whitlock from Silhouette, coated with dimensional adhesive & then peacock feather Distress Glitter.  The journaling tag/ arrow did not photograph well, it's much lighter & easier to read in person - the arrow & stars are Echo Park shapes from Silhouette that I colored with alcohol inks.  And of course finally the picture itself, it was a "Magic Shot" done by the park's photographers :-)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The white elephant in my craft room is GONE!!

It's been sitting there for over 6 years...that big box of photos, memorabilia & paper sets from our cruise  ... mocking me... taunting me.  Every time I start a new project or bring home new supplies, I can hear it "what about me?" "Why am I not important" "My memories are important - aren't they?" ... wait am I the only one whose projects talk? I'm not crazy I promise :-P.  The more time that past the more it felt like a chore to finish rather then a creative endeavor.  I'm really not even sure why it was so hard to focus on, it was a great trip & an important one too (my sister-in-law was married on it) but I just couldn't get going.  A few months ago I realize that this "white elephant" was holding me back from other things I wanted to do so I made it a challenge (to myself) to finish the album by summer.    While I didn't make that deadline exactly it is finally finished :-D.  Take a look at the last few pages (can't tell how good that feels to type!)

First off this one is based off of Mid-Week Mojo Pansy #1, sketch is here
The bottom picture was too wide to fit in the horizontal sketch so I flipped it 90 degrees to allow the pictures to be in a vertical row.  I wanted to pull in the orange tones of the shuttle boat & life buoy but the patterned paper was way too bright, competing with the pictures rather then complementing them.  So I mixed a slice of metallic gold gelato with gesso & lightly brushed it over the entire page.  While that was drying I lightly distressed & inked the blue paper & the "splish splash" word strip.  Once the gesso dried, I placed a polka dot stencil done & spread blue tinted gel medium over it to create a neat textural feature.  Finished it off with some pre-cut vellum pieces (by Studio Calico) & a metal sign as my title.

The next pages are a double layout & evidence of an idea in your head not matching the result.  Part of the problem was that by this point in the album I was running out of the paper collections I originally bought (six years ago) & didn't have much to supplement - that wasn't child or christmas 'themed' :-P. I wanted the layout to have a shabby-beach-chic sunbleached look, so I brushed on white distress paint  & lightly sprayed it with water.  Every beach scene needs sand & luckily for me Tim Holtz has an phenomenal technique on his blog ... except well I realized I didn't have UTEE so I dried using clear chunky embossing powder instead & I didn't have the right colors of distress embossing powder or distress glitter either so I used the standard varieties instead.  The result is far more gold then sand colored & not nearly as textural but I think it sort of conveys the idea anyways.

On this half of the page, as my mother would say, I had a major 'brain fart' & cut two of the pictures & the mat strip too small.  I don't have any easy way to replace the prints & like I mentioned running low on paper so I just went with it...but once it was done I realized it left a big hole between the pictures & title.  Ever feel like you just can't win?  I tried to fill it in with the journaling tag (colored with alcohol & spray ink) originally meant for the left page.  So probably not the most successful layout I've ever created but oh well.

Lastly I couldn't complete our cruise album without mentioning the second important element to the trip, it ended on our very first wedding anniversary :-).  Seriously how many couples get to sprend their first anniversary (or wedding for that matter!) cruising around the Caribbean?  After just about everything going wrong with the last layout I kept this one simpler with inked & layered paper. But I wanted to draw attention to the fact that this was our very first anniversary.  Unfortunately both of my Silhouette mats are out of commission so I couldn't use it - instead I hand cut (!) a numeral '1' out of cardstock & covered it with peacock distress glitter. 

So finally the white elephant has been vanquished & I can now go onto to other things without out that nagging voice from the dark corner of my room ;-).

Friday, July 4, 2014

Delightful Daisy Roundup

In order, my interpretation of Mid-week Mojo Daisy Series (@ ScrapbookSteals):