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)

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