August 23, 2014

a change in seasons

This morning I woke up at 6:00 AM and had to pull our comforter up over myself. I figured if it was that chilly I could afford to sleep in a bit before getting up for my Saturday morning run. I usually get up at seven, and this morning sleeping in constituted about 15 minutes. But still.

When I finally did make it out the door I noticed a distinct chill in the air. And it made me think, wishfully, that fall might be just around the corner.

The thing is, around here it will stay warm for quite some time. Not really cooling down until mid to late November. Sometimes even later. But we'll get these cool, even chilly days from time to time that trick you into thinking otherwise.

For now, I'm just going to enjoy the mild weather and the beautiful day. And be thankful for it all.

Happy Saturday, friends.

July 8, 2014

Grammar Free Journaling, Sneak Peeks and a Giveaway!

Coming this July, Angie Lucas' popular workshop, Grammar Free Journaling, is back for another run! She asked me to be a contributor this go-round and I happily accepted her invitation.

The class starts on the 24th, just a little over two weeks away, and will run for 4 weeks. The basis of the class are 12 fun, unconventional, yet useful writing strategies that will help you tell awesome stories in completely new ways. There will be several layout examples demonstrating each lesson from multiple contributors, including all-new examples from myself, Natalie Elphinstone, Maggie Massey, and Jennifer Gallacher.

I thought it might be fun to share sneak peeks of my layouts with you today. I don't typically start my layouts with my journaling. I usually begin with photos, then choose a design, and then work on the journaling as I go along. Most of the time it is the last thing I add to a layout. It was fun to switch things up a bit and begin the process with my journaling and then think about how the design could work with the challenges that Angie gave me.

First up, a layout utilizing single-sentence journaling:

This is a technique I use quite often actually. I tend to let photos speak for themselves - at least when what they have to say is obvious! This approach worked well for this layout because we don't make a big deal about Valentine's Day. There just wasn't a lot to say about the photos, and so one sentence was enough.

Next up, Angie asked me to use a Venn Diagram.

I'll admit this challenge was the toughest for me, but I was so pleased with how the finished layout turned out! Can you guess which of my boys I am talking about here?

Finally, a layout using a quiz as the journaling device.

Confession:  I took the questions for the quiz on this page directly from an old (and much loved) copy of a Simple Scrapbooks special issue titled, “Scrapbook Shortcuts with Quizzes & Questions.” Perhaps you remember it?! Gabe, turned eight recently, and just before he did I asked him the questions listed on this layout. I then compiled a few of my favorite photographs from his seventh year and put them into photos strips. It was fun talking to him about his favorite toys, TV shows, and vegetables. I was genuinely surprised by some of his answers, and now we have a page documenting our awesome little guy.

On to the fun stuff! I have a free spot to give away to Grammar Free Journaling! To enter, leave a comment telling me your biggest journaling challenge. Comments will remain open until Monday July 14th at 11:59 pm PST. Please be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win! I will select a winner at random and they will be contacted with instructions on how to register for class.

Just a few more things before I go, Angie previously taught Grammar Free Journaling in February 2013 and August 2013. This class features the same content, in a self-paced version. You can check your Big Picture Classes account to find out if you have already taken this class.

Also, in case you don't win the free spot, but still want to take the class, I have a coupon code to share with you. Save $7 off Grammar Free Journaling now through July 24th using the coupon code, GOGRAMMAR.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

May 21, 2014

Scrapbook Generation's CREATE Magazine 

Are you familiar with Scrapbook Generation's CREATE magazine? It is a free monthly digital magazine which focuses on sketches. Each month they feature a manufacturer's design team and this month's issue featured Simple Stories. I have both a layout and a tag included in this month's issue and thought I'd share them with you today.

If you look at the original sketch, you'll see that I simplified the design quite a bit. I wanted to keep most of the elements the same, but still wanted the finished layout to reflect my own personal style. That can be tricky sometimes when using sketches made by others. And yeah, I'm going to insert a plug for my workshop here, I will be covering this topic in class because I think it is one of the biggest questions that scrapbookers have when using sketches.

Here is the tag I created:

The little watering can on the tag above is from the chipboard stickers from Homespun. I used the title pieces from that set on a layout, but probably would not have ever used this watering can on one. And honestly, isn't that true for a lot of embellishments? You like parts, but not all, of a package of brads or chipboard, or whatever. Tags and cards are a great way to use up those little bits and pieces of embellishments that you might not use on a layout. A simple gift can be made very special with the addition of a handmade tag or card, and in my experience people really do seem to appreciate something handmade.

You can see the original sketches that inspired these projects along with lots of other inspiration from both the Scrapbook Generation team and Simple Stories in this month's issue. Again, it is available for free to view either online or you can download a PDF.

Thanks for stopping by!

May 16, 2014

quite the week

So just the other day I was hoping for gray skies and gloom. This past week brought us quite the opposite in the form of high temperatures along with some of the worst fires San Diego County has seen, at least so early in the year.

If you follow the news at all then you know about the brush fires burning here in the county. We have friends who had to evacuate their homes (and have since been allowed back). We also have friends who are firefighters. They are working nonstop to protect lives, homes, and property.

In the midst of all this, life goes on. It seems like it shouldn't, but it does. It takes an effort, something intentional, to stop and pray. If you can, please take a moment now to say a prayer for all those affected by these events.

Thank you, friends.

May 8, 2014

Sketch Solutions Sneak Peeks and a Giveaway!!

It's just two weeks until the beginning of my workshop, Sketch Solutions, and I thought it might be fun to share a few sneak peeks of some of the layouts I created. 

Just a very few. I created several new layouts for the lessons and am in the process of making more for the class blog. Lots of new layouts! Which I hope will make for a fun and inspiring workshop. 

For the 28 days of the workshop, you'll get a new sketch every other day, accompanied by two layouts and a useful lesson in creative adaptation. With this foundation, you'll learn why and how to harness the power of sketches to truly simplify your scrapbooking process. This interactive online workshop includes 14 main sketches, 14 bonus sketches, and a free copy of my eBook, Stretch Your Sketches.

A sketch provides a solid foundation for a scrapbook page layout, so you can create a well-balanced design in less time—every time. With that piece of the puzzle covered, you can let your creativity soar in the areas of color, photo selection, product combinations, techniques, and journaling.

And now the exciting news, I have two free spots to give away to Sketch Solutions! To enter, leave a comment telling me what you'd like to learn most about using sketches. Comments will remain open until Monday May 19th at 11:59 pm PST. Please be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win! I will select two winners at random and they will be contacted with instructions on how to register for class. 

Good luck!!


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