January 27, 2014

pocket cards

My latest card obsession, pockets. I made a series of this type of card several months ago with my favorite of the group shown above (you can see the other two variations in my gallery, here & here). I wanted to play with this idea a bit more and a few weeks ago I did. The first two I made using Daily Grind.

Then I made another one using some papers from Pebbles,

and layered my favorite butterfly shape as an accent. I'll admit to feeling a bit self-conscious about using these butterflies over and over again. But, I just really like how they look layered with different papers. And they make me happy. So I will keep using them.

The card bases were cut from a library pocket file which I re-sized to fit 4x6 photos. You have to chop a bit off the top but that is easy enough using the knife tool in the silhouette software. I made them with the idea of sending photos to grandparents and other relatives along with a handwritten note or hand drawn picture. Grandmas and grandpas love handwritten notes. Or so I am told.


We're having a slow start to our Monday; which is nothing particularly new. We are all sick with a cold and I didn't get as much done this weekend as I'd have liked. It puts us a bit behind before the week has even started. Fortunately, daddy has Friday off this week and we have something special planned. Gives me a little something to look forward to.

Here's hoping your week is off to a better start than mine. Until next time...

January 15, 2014

mini CHA recap

Saturday I was lucky enough to take in a day at CHA. I spent the day with fellow Simple Stories design team member Rebecca Keppel, and we had a lot of fun looking at all the new products, giggling through a bout of low-blood sugar (we waited a little too long to have lunch), and meeting friends both new and old along the way.

The show can be quite overwhelming; there is just so much ground to cover and so much to see. It can be hard to take it all in. Personally, with all that visual stimulation one day is sort of just enough for me! I'm not going to do a huge review of trends or all the new products since there are lots of those types of posts out there if that is what you are looking for. Vivian Masket has done a great Armchair Attendee series and Aly Dosdall has a great round-up of the show on her blog as well.

As I have done in past years though, I have started a Pinterest board to keep track of my favorite products. The board is filled with some, but not all, of the things that have caught my eye. And today I'm going to give you my favorite picks of the show so I'll warn you now, this post is long!

But first a bit of a tangent...

Over the last year to year-and-a-half I've been feeling like I have way too much stuff. We've made a concerted effort to get rid of the things in our home that we are not using, and that has been extended to my scrapbooking supplies as well. So over the past 8-12 months I have been trying to considerably reduce my stash. I sort of don't even like that word... What that basically means in this situation is, I'm not going to undo all my hard work by piling on a ton of new stuff every release. I've got to be selective! I might really love a product, but if I don't honestly see myself using it, I won't buy it.

I did want to give you a list of my Top 5 picks, and I'm just going to be honest here, I get quite a lot of new shiny product through my work with Simple Stories. Their style and my style happen to mesh very well, so that works out well for me! So aside from one item in the list below I'm going to try to give you my picks that don't include the new Simple Stories' releases.

Alright, let's do this! In no particular order:

1. Simple Stories: DIY - Design it Yourself

_diy ad_do contact info  

This collection includes basic 3x4 & 4x6 cards, envelopes, tags and pocket foundations, kraft and office layers, and a wide assortment of stickers, stamps and embellishments so you can create your own Life Documented cards. What is so great about this line is that it is so basic it really can be used for anything, scrapbooking, cardmaking or even general crafting. I love the kraft and office line touches and I am looking forward to playing with it all in the upcoming months!

2. Crate Paper's Boys Rule:


It has been some time since Crate Paper released a boy themed collection. Their last one, Toy Box, was an all-time favorite for me and I used it to pieces. There are lots of fun elements in this collection like patterned vellum, vellum and chipboard shapes, paper clips and on and on. This is probably one of the few collections that I will buy in its entirety.

3. Jillibean Soup Beanboard Alphas:

Beanboard Alphas Teal

I tend to be a flat scrapper, but I do like a bit of dimension on my pages and that usually comes in the form of chipboard titles. I got to see these at the show and can report that they are not too thick and lend just the right amount of oomph to a page. They also come in all the classic Jillibean colors. I'll definitely be picking up a few packs of these... who am I kidding? I'll probably get them all, except the pink. =)

4. My Mind's Eye Wood and Shaped Dots

Enamel Dots continue to be a huge trend and this show there were lots of companies introducing shaped enamel dots. In addition, the set above caught my eye as they are made of wood! Kind of a mix of trends since woodgrain and wood veneer are still quite popular. They were really pretty in person and didn't look too thick or bulky. My Mind's Eye also released a set of glitter enamel dots that looked very pretty too; you can see those by clicking on the link above.

5. Bella Blvd Lucky Starz Collection:


This is a fun twist on the basics that a lot of companies have been releasing over the years done this time around with tone-on-tone stars. The b-sides of these papers have lots of fun patterns too including this one with the days of the week in a very light grey:


Little boys and stars just go so very well together and I will definitely be picking up more than a few of these. I actually loved a lot from Bella Blvd this release. Their new Family Forever collection has lots of the colors that I love to use, red, navy, yellow with a touch of teal. And they released a new boy themed collection called Max. I'll probably pick up a few items from that collection too.


Studio Calico's Essentials Collection

Studio Calico has released a collection of basics that included chipboard shapes, wood veneer, enamel dots, sequins, cork shapes, stickers and even cardstock. While I don't need every item in every color from this collection there are several items that I will most likely purchase. Those stars pictured above being high on the list! The woodgrain enamel dots and the colored chipboard cameras follow pretty close behind. =)

Doodlebugs' new release of sequins, enamel shapes, and vellum. These come in all the popular Doodlebug colors and will make great staples.

We R Memory Keepers Sheer Metallic - This is a collection of patterned vellum, washi tapes, Albums Made Easy cards (made of vellum - so pretty!) and wooden tags made in gold, silver and copper finishes. The patterned vellum is what caught my eye at the show and will be a fun addition to pages and cards.

So there it is! It looks like a lot, and it is. There is even more on my Pinterest board that I didn't mention here so if you have similar tastes to me, but haven't been able to keep up with all the releases it might be worth a peek.

What about you? Anything in particular that has caught your eye? What new items have you itching to get into your craft space? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!

January 13, 2014

it's a colorful life...

I'm not quite ready to start the week, if I'm being perfectly honest. Maybe I'm still missing our Christmas break? It was so very peaceful. But yesterday was the last day of the Christmas season and I suppose it cannot last forever. I will miss the greenery and twinkle lights in our church. Our church always does look so nice at Christmastime...


I hosted the Simple Stories blog last week, just before all the reveals of new products started. If you haven't seen the new collections you should stop by the blog and take a look. I'll be sharing some projects made with two of the new lines later this week. And I have a little CHA recap planned too. This release includes quite a lot of new product and I have a feeling those of you who do Life Documented (or um, Project Life) will be especially excited.

Now, about this layout, I'll start with a disclaimer. I don't really like this photo. It doesn't look all that bad here, but it was taken in late afternoon as the sun was going down. The overhead light in our dining area was on and I didn't get the lighting or the camera settings just right. I did some editing, but sometimes you can only fix things so much (and my skills are limited). Yet, I love this image.

This is Sam, and he is, something else, as they say. He is full of energy and he keeps me and his daddy on our toes to be sure. He is also super sweet and he has the best laugh and smile. The photo may not be perfect, and yes I could have converted it to black and white, but I chose to embrace the imperfection here, and the color. I was assigned to use Daily Grind for this blog post, and really it was the perfect collection for this layout because it allowed me to use lots of color, but without being overwhelming. I find that if you have a photo that has lots of color and chaos sometimes it is better to go with that instead of trying to subdue it or fight with it.

About that photo, see all the clutter in the background? Well, that's real life! I did use some stickers from the Everyday Sn@p! set to fill in some of that empty space in the photo.

Really, I was just happy to capture this moment. He is making the sign for "all done" and I happened to catch it on film (right, you know what I mean). Sam is not the kind to make repeat performances! You either get the shot or you don't. Like the card above says, this is good stuff!

Before we move on, here is a small tip for adding something special to a title, particularly when using Silhouette titles,

try replacing the dot in your i's with an embellishment like brads, buttons or enamel dots. It is a simple switch, but it can make a big difference. Titles made from paper can be flat... yes, they are flat, but they can come across as flat in the design if you don't do something to them. You can see that I also backed the empty space in the heart with a different colored paper; that adds another sense of dimension to the title.

Next up is this layout of Sam and Nathan playing together.

Again, I was so happy to capture these moments. Nathan love, love, loves his baby brother. And Sam is finally old enough to hold his own and play with his brothers too, so moments like these are happily becoming more common. I used patterned papers from Daily Grind, but started with a ledger background from Sn@p! Life. My love of ledger paper lives on. It is one of my favorite backgrounds and you can see it in the layout above too.

Here is a close-up of the title.

The cut file for this title actually says "the good stuff," and you'll notice that all of the letters are connected in the original. Creating this title was rather simple. To start, I size my title and then copy and paste it. After that I use the knife tool in the Silhouette software to cut away the parts of the title I don't want. So one copy for the word "stuff" and one for "good." Then I can cut the words in different colors and create a title with a little more dimension.

You can find complete supply lists for these layouts in my gallery at Scrapbook.com:  good stuff and love this smile.

Thanks for stopping by!

January 2, 2014

happy news to start the year...

Today Simple Stories announced their design team for 2014, and I am so very happy to share that I will be designing for them another year!

It is a privilege to work for such a great company. They are innovative (just wait till you see the new products to be released this CHA!) while staying true to their original vision as a company. They are also kind and generous to us as a design team. Just very grateful all-around for the opportunity to work for them again this year.


I hope you have been enjoying this Christmas season. We certainly have been. Lots of quiet days here at the house, which is really how my husband and I prefer it. There was still plenty of fun, and adventures too, so it has been a good mix.

2013 was a good year for our family, but it also came with its share of challenges. I haven't talked about those much and it is the reason I have been so very quiet here on the blog. I don't make resolutions, but I really do want to start blogging more... I kept saying that last year, but then things would get away from me. So I make no promises, just know that I miss this space and feel the tug to get back to sharing and chatting with you.

Prayers to you and yours for a happy, healthy and blessed new year!


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