Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Have you taken inventory lately?

I know it may be strange, but I noticed one day (probably after tripping over some of them) that the shoes in our house tell a lot about who's home and who's not. My boys have always gone barefoot in the house and as soon as they walk in the back door, they take their shoes off. So if they're home their shoes are in the kitchen; if their shoes aren't there, they're not home. This summer there tend to be a lot of shoes by our back door because Nathan and Zack are home for the summer - Yeah!!
So when I was assigned a layout with the subject of "Inventory" for Get It Scrapped, I knew this would be perfect. As I started to put it together, I decided that since I had several photos I would keep things simple and let the shoes speak for themselves - by using speech bubbles, of course! I had a bunch of speech bubbles from Studio Calico and I used some of those. But I also needed more that were, perhaps, a different color or needed to be pointing in a different direction; so I also cut some of them freehand - really very simple! I also outlined all of them to give a little more definition and punch and also to make them all a bit more cohesive. Here's the result:

My favorite one is the "shoe graveyard" on our back porch. It does get out of hand at times, and sometimes I'm annoyed by the mess. But then I remember that like most kid messes, it won't always be there...and then I'll be sad (sort of :P). In a few short weeks the pathway into the house will again be clear---not necessarily a good thing, since it will mean that summer is over and the boys have gone back to Minneapolis for college. But I know that, at least for a little while longer, it will return again at Christmas time :D

Check out how other designers at Get It Scrapped have interpreted this assignment in this article: Ideas for Scrapbooking Inventory Photos that Record Your Everyday Life. There are some very clever ways to take inventory.

Then leave me a comment - what do your things say about YOUR life?

Friday, August 9, 2013

I was charged with scraplifting...

No, really - my assignment for Get It Scrapped was to scraplift myself, that is to take a layout I had previously done and use that as my inspiration for a new scrapbook page.  I could use the design layout, an element of the page, color inspiration, whatever. The hard part was choosing a layout; I had several scrapbook pages that were candidates as ones I particularly liked. But I finally decided on this layout about Aaron:

Original layout
This was a fun layout I did right after he bought this HUGE Lego set - it was his graduation gift to himself when he earned his Master's degree. I was with him when he purchased it, and the whole experience was a lot of fun as he was the envy of every guy (young and old!) in the store.

Besides the story and the basic design, one of my favorite things about this layout was the Simple Stories patterned paper I used. I loved the arrows and banners printed along the edge, and I knew that I could get a similar look by using strips of various washi (decorative) tapes. So when the same son asked his girlfriend of 5-1/2 years to marry him, I decided to scraplift this design to create a layout documenting this special event. 
Scraplifted layout

Fortunately Aaron had planned ahead and had his brother and sister-in-law nearby to take pictures of the proposal. (In fact, they were e-mailing pictures to me as it happened!) With the second layout I wanted a soft, romantic feel. This was a little tricky since the colors in the photos were quite bright, so to balance the contrast between the soft background and the bright photos I used a mix of muted and dark washi tapes. Since I knew that the darker and brighter tapes would be the first to draw the viewer's eye, I concentrated those in the vertical center of the page, pointing towards the photos. I also highlighted a few of the photos by framing them with subtle vellum frames.

It's easy to see from this that the same basic design can yield two very different looks. The basic framework is the same on both pages, but by changing the colors, photos, and story, and making some adjustments for more photos and less journaling, I could create two pages that are unique.
For more information about these layouts and to see how other designers approach their scraplifting process, check out this article at Get It Scrapped: "14 Scrapbookers Lift Their Own Scrapbook Designs and Show You How"

Just a note about the final layout: I love the new vellum-type photo frames (these are from Basic Grey), but I didn't have one large enough for my focal photo, so I cut my own from patterned vellum and darkened it slightly with Distress Ink so that it would coordinate better with the others. I also altered the purchase ones just a bit to cover some colors that didn't coordinate, and I flipped them over to the "wrong" side so that they were matte instead of shiny. Finally, for the smallest frame I used a stamp from Studio Calico on vellum to frame Kylie's beautiful engagement ring.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Time to Get a "Real Job"

Cityscapes are one of the newest trends in scrapbooking. One of my first assignments for the Get It Scrapped Creative Team was to make a layout using the cityscape trend in an interesting way (something other than a photo of a city skyline). Check out this article, Scrapbooking Ideas for Using the Trendy Cityscape Motif, showing my take on the assignment along with other Creative Team members' interpretations. It's fun to see how different designers with different styles interpret the assignment so differently.
For my assignment I knew that I wanted to do a layout about my oldest son, Aaron, entering the "real world" workforce on a full-time basis for the first time. I'm so proud of his accomplishments and wanted to brag on him just a bit :) So many college graduates have difficulty finding a full-time job in their field, either because the market is bad or because they still really don't know what they want to do. So I think it's pretty awesome that he was able to get a couple of good job offers and was able to choose one that he feels suits him well in a company that has done well at weathering the ups and downs of the economy. Aaron will be working as a structural engineer - that is, designing buildings and other structures - and he will be working in the Twin Cities (MN), so I felt that a cityscape background was very appropriate. I know that there are several patterned papers that show cityscapes, but I decided to make my own background paper. My background would show the impression of a city without being very specific to any one city. I've used this technique in the past with other shapes and knew it would work well here. So here is what I did:
As you can see, I did experiment a bit first on plain cardstock and I loved how it turned out, but I decided I wanted to use a subtle print as my base. I have some grid papers from Studio Calico that I just love (I love graph paper and shapes in general); I chose one that had straight and diagonal lines that reminded me of the connectors that Aaron was designing during his internship. The pattern is dark enough to add interest, but also subtle enough to work with my stenciling. I left off the triangles at the top - it was supposed to be another bridge but I felt it looked more like pyramids.

 Once I completed my layout I added windows on some of the buildings. I felt that it needed something because it seemed to me that the cityscape was a little lost (I wish that I'd made the buildings just a bit taller) and the windows were just the thing. I only put them on some of the buildings, partly because I was lazy! but more because I wanted to keep the attention centered on the photos and journaling, and really only a few were needed to create the impression of the cityscape. Here is my final layout:

Just a note: When I did the experimenting I used a Colorbox cat's eye shaped chalk ink pad (since that's what I had handy). Although I kind of liked the subtle streaks that it produced, it was harder to hang onto so a couple of times it was pulled out of my fingers - that's what created the dark splotches - and before too long the pad pulled apart from the base. So for my final layout I used Distress Inks (I blended Black Soot and Iced Spruce) on an ink blending tool (from Ranger) and that was much easier to handle. I really think it could be done with pretty much any ink pad as long as you're sure to start on the template. Different pads would probably produce different amounts of streaking (which could be cool) but for the smoothest result I think the ink blending tool works best.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Inspired by Art Deco - my first layout for Get It Scrapped!

I'm so excited to be able to share my first Creative Team assignment published at Get It Scrapped! The assignment was to create a layout inspired by some aspect of art deco design. I love the art deco style, especially the architecture, so I knew that it would be easy to find inspiration there. I immediately knew that I wanted to do a layout about Cleveland's West Side Market. My son Aaron and I had recently visited there when he was home for a couple of weeks, and I had some really great pictures that I wanted to showcase.

Pinterest was a great source for art deco images, and as I browsed the images several trends became apparent: a lot of metals mixed with black and/or bright colors; symmetrical designs with clean, geometric lines; unique typefaces. I wanted to include a lot of small photos, but also needed to keep it very clean and streamlined to reflect the art deco style.

I chose to use this piece as my primary source of inspiration: http://how-do-it.inf...o_texture_idea/. By using a design such as this, keeping the layout symmetrical and the elements in strict vertical lines, I knew I could use many photos without it looking chaotic. I used solid cardstock in colors that kept popping up in the Pinterest galleries - blue, accents of red, and silver outlined in black - to keep the focus on the photos and the story I wanted to tell. Here is what I came up with:

For more information about my layout and art deco design and to see how other designers used their art deco inspiration, check out the article, Scrapbook Page Design Inspired by the Art Deco Style at Get It Scrapped.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Attending Office Hours

     I've been very busy lately with creating layouts for Get It Scrapped, but I can't show those yet. You'll have to check back in a few weeks to see what I've come up with, but I will say, I love the layouts! Between Get It Scrapped's weekly articles, the design classes (there and at Masterful Scrapbook Design), the galleries, and their Pinterest boards, there is SO much inspiration to be found! Although I was a bit stressed out (there are some incredibly talented ladies on this creative team!), I have one month under my belt and feel a bit better now.
     Anyhow, despite the fact that I can't share my assignment layouts yet, I have also been attending most of the webinars and "office hours" that are included in Masterful Scrapbook Design's bimonthly seminars. This month's seminar was "Make It Mean" and focused on really adding meaning to a scrapbook page through journaling, of course, but also with the other elements on the page such as photos, embellishments, title, etc. -- making all aspects of the page support and enhance the overall message of the page to give it more meaning. (Click here to view more details) THESE. ARE. AWESOME! Besides getting to "hang out" with talented and knowledgeable ladies, it's so interesting to listen to the contributing designers and find out why they designed a layout in the way they did. And during Office Hours, anyone who wants to can share a layout to get helpful critiques, suggestions for improvement, help when they're stuck for ideas, or just to show what they've done. It's a no-stress, supportive environment, but if you want it to, it goes beyond just the "nice layout" comments; Debbie Hodge, the guest instructor(s), and the other attendees discuss not only what they like but why they like it (and knowing the 'why' helps to apply the same principles in the future!), and if you want (but only if you want) they'll also give suggestions for improvement. And the awesome thing is, they do it without forcing their particular style on anyone else; instead they give suggestions that work with any style.
     Can you tell that I'm hooked??? My favorite Office Hours so far took place yesterday. It featured the awesome Emily Pitts and Paula Gilarde - okay I'm partial to them since they taught the Guided Design Critique Workshops of which I was a part, but they are so good at explaining the what's and why's of what makes a great layout, and I've learned a ton from them. Despite some rare technical difficulties and an outburst from me (I was actually talking to my son about a deer in our backyard but didn't realize that my microphone had been turned on at just that second!) which hopefully was edited from the recording (insert embarrassed face!), it was an awesome session. They always have such helpful ideas for tweaking a good layout and making it great, and this session was no exception! I was able to share a layout of mine, which incidentally was inspired by an inspiration challenge on Paula's blog - a design and layout I've had in mind to do for several weeks and finally put together. Here's the original layout I shared, which I think was pretty good:

It went together very quickly and certainly told my story, but I knew it could use a few adjustments. Based on the critiques I received, here is the final layout - not much different, but definitely better. For instance, I love these Thickers from American Crafts that I used for the title, but they were a bit difficult to read; so I cut little slits in the e's, f, and g and now they are much more readable. (Just goes to show that you don't have to settle for exactly what you get in letters - they can be colored, cut, combined, and altered in lots of ways to make them fit your purpose.)

It often helps to have someone else look at it with fresh eyes. They'll point out things to change that I'll think, "Duh, why didn't I see that? - now it's so obvious!"

Click here to check out Get It can even get a free e-book to get started and get a feel for what they have to offer! Also check out Masterful Scrapbook Design for the "Make It Mean" and other seminars - monthly, 6-month, and 12-month subscriptions, as well as back issues, are available.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Get It Scrapped CT Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Get It Scrapped Creative Team Blog Hop!

 I am SOOO excited to announce that I will be joining the Get It Scrapped Creative Team beginning today, June 1st. This is my first creative team position, so I must admit that I'm a little nervous about the whole thing, but I'm also super excited! And I think that this is a great place to start. I love the Get It Scrapped/Masterful Scrapbook Design community because it feeds my desire to learn and grow. There is so much incredibly meaty information at these two websites and so many opportunities to receive feedback and constructive help.

For instance, do you struggle with how to include journaling on your scrapbook page? When it comes down to it, one of my main reasons for scrapbooking is to record stories and memories, so that requires journalling. I could just put it onto the page anywhere there's room, but I like it much better when it fits in with the overall design of the page. This article from Get It Scrapped, 5 Ways to Make Scrapbook Page Journaling A Dynamic Part of Your Visual Design, discusses making journaling a part of the page design, and it gives some awesome ideas and examples. I've tried to incorporate these ideas in all of my pages lately, and here's just one example:

(Yup, that's me when I was about 6 years old.) I also took inspiration from one of the Get It Scrapped Pinterest inspiration boards (Inspo: Covers Book & Magazines) and used this book cover as my starting point. Although the  book cover doesn't look much like the final layout, you can see hints of it in the vertical column of the poem and photo.

I'm also excited that I get to offer you a discount on the Typography issue from Masterful Scrapbook Design - how cool is that??

Save 60% off of the Masterful Scrapbook Design Issue – Typography


Join guest teachers Anna Aspnes, Paula Gilarde, Emily PItts, Lisa Dickinson, and Tiffany Tillman as they show how to
use type as focal point, embellishment, title, and backdrop, and give you ideas and how-tos for both paper and digital scrapbook pages. Learn from these designers who rock the typography on their own scrapbook pages.

Use coupon code giscttsmf60p to grab this issue for 60% off thru midnight ET June 3rd
***Just place the Typography issue of Masterful Scrapbook Design in your cart and apply the coupon code above.***

For more ideas and discounts from the Get It Scrapped Creative Team keep on hopping, using the links below!


Enjoy your weekend!!!