March 28, 2014

Sketch Solutions

Registration for my very first workshop at Big Picture Classes is officially open!!

Sketch Solutions essentially takes everything I have learned from using sketches over the past 7 years and puts it all into one 4-week workshop. I'll share my favorite tips and tricks that allow me to scrapbook faster and in a way that allows me to focus on the fun creative aspects of scrapbooking - telling my stories and playing with paper - without having to reinvent the wheel each time. Joining me for the workshop are the four best contributors a girl could ask for: Elizabeth Dillow, Aly Dosdall, Susan Weinroth and Laura Kurz. That's an amazing list, right!?

Register for Sketch Solutions through April 30th and save $8 with the code SKETCHBOOK.

I hope to see you in class!!

March 20, 2014

two times two

It was my turn to host the blog at Simple Stories recently, and two of the projects I shared were created using variations of sketches from my eBook, Stretch Your Sketches 2. Both featured grids but in slightly different ways.

In the first layout above, I replaced most of the photos in the original sketch with the new Insta-Squares that were released with Homespun:

Each pack includes cards sized at 2x2, 3x3, and 4x4 inches. They were designed to be used with the new Insta-Pocket Pages which were released this past CHA, but the design team has had a lot of fun using them on traditional layouts too. These little pre-cut squares make it so easy and fun to create your own customized patterned paper grid that this is a technique I will likely use again.

Switching gears just a bit, grids are also a great way to fit a lot of otherwise mixed-up photos onto a page. Up until a couple of weeks ago I still hadn't scrapbooked any of our past Christmas photos and really wanted to make something before too much time passed. I used the Simple Basics Kit from  December Documented as the foundation for my page.

I feel silly saying this over and over again, but I love the Simple Basics packs. They are always the first of any collection kit to get used up. I think the chalkboard background worked really well here since it is fairly neutral. With all the busyness in the photos I wanted to keep the rest of the layout rather simple.

I took a few highlight photos from the season and created a photo grid on an 8x10 canvas, added my title and finished with some very simple embellishments. It didn't take me very long at all to put this layout together and now we have at least one layout documenting our Christmas.

I happen to really like using grids, but don't use them as often as I should. Because honestly, whenever I do use them I can't help but think how darn easy they make the whole process! How about you, do you like using grids? Do they make things easier for you or more difficult? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Speaking of, I really appreciate those of you who read and comment and send me emails, especially considering I am quite the irregular blogger! Thank you for stopping by and spending your time with me.

March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

First, a happy greeting. My new favorite shape might just be this little clover.

We'll be celebrating this feast day by reading this:

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

and completing a few of the activities in this St. Patrick Activity Kit.

I'll be attempting this recipe for brown bread. Only because it's the closest thing I've seen to what I used to eat when I lived in Ireland. For dinner we're having bangers, roasted turnips and carrot batons for dinner. No mash because I have the only children in America who do not like mashed potatoes. Seriously. And the carrot batons? Well, I had many a carrot baton in the time I lived in Ireland. Never once did I have corned beef and cabbage. Also, mommy and daddy may or may not enjoy a glass of Carolans. You know, maybe.

If you'd like to learn more about this great saint and why we have a feast day to celebrate his witness of Christ visit Catholic Culture's page on St. Patrick.

March 4, 2014

What are you reading this Lent?

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and I'll go ahead and confess that I have spent the last week, eating all the chocolate. Yeah.

I don't generally make big Lenten goals or plans. I really do try to keep it simple, and this year is no exception. I plan on re-reading two books that I first read many years ago; both are by one of my favorite Catholic authors, Frank Sheed.

Theology for Beginners

A Map of Life

I don't currently have the words to express how much I love Sheed's writing. I'm looking forward to getting back to the basics, in a beautiful and meaningful way.

I also have a copy of this year's Magnificat Lenten companion:

I like to read this first thing in the morning and meditate on the reading throughout the day. The meditations are short and while it is something I can do quickly, it helps to put me in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. The paper edition is sold out, but you can buy an electronic version too. And the Kindle version is only $0.99.

Before I go, here is a great post by Leila with her suggestions for Lent.

That's all I have the energy for tonight. It is bedtime and we have a full day tomorrow. Do you have any reading plans for this Lenten season?


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