Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Scrapbooking

When I first started scrapbooking, it was to find a creative outlet. Throughout my life I've always enjoyed crafting, but I have very little artistic talent (you couldn't even identify a stick figure if I drew it). Then, after moving to a new town three hours away from all of my friends and family, I needed a way to connect within my community, so I began working at my local scrapbooking store (LSS) and many friendships blossomed from people I met while working there. Although I no longer work there, one of my best friends in Iowa is a fromer LSS coworker.

One thing I love about this hobby is that not only is it an icebreaker (a quick common thread, an activity to combat the ackwardness of being around new people), it facilitates learning about other people. As fellow scrappers work on their pages and projects, they share the stories of their lives with you too. Often times blessing you with a glimpse into their lives that you wouldn't normally get through an e-mail or over a cup of coffee -or even from their facebook pages and blogs.

Last year, several of us met once-a-month to spend a day scrapbooking. This year schedules have been busy and we've fallen out of the rhythm of it. Now, my husband has found this to be a good thing because I'm not constantly packing and unpacking my supplies which leaves me in a constant state of disorganization (which vexes me greatly) or the house a mess of supplies (which greatly vexes him).

One notable difference pre- to -post LSS employment is that my "stash" of supplies has grown exponentially -much to the chagrin of my husband. Now, as a scrapbooker I am delighted to have what I need when I need it (i.e. in the wee hours of the morning when I tend to scrap). But this also creates a conflict, because when I do want to leave my house to scrapbook it has become increasingly difficult in time to pack and I inevitably forget atleast a few key items for my project. I've often heard from other scrappers the same delimna. We feel pressured to be productive when we spend a day on creativity, but leaving our homes often leaves us in less-than-ideal working conditions.

So, what's a scrappy girl to do?

In my case, I've learned to be honest with myself. I'll never create as much as I would like when I'm away from my scrapspace, so I pack lighter. But, isn't the point to scrapbooking to preserve memories? If I never leave my scrapspace to foster friendships and create memories, then I'll be starving my own hobby. So, next time I have a choice between being productive or building friendships, I'll choose scrapping with friends and building friendships.   :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cards on Wednesdays: Unity WCMD Challenge - Soar

Sometimes I need a little creative break during the week, but I don't always have time for a layout or a big project so I like to sneak in a little card making. Here's a super simple, and super quick, card using a Unity Itty Bitty stamp and some scrap patterned paper (October Afternoon of course!).

Bazzil: Kraft Cardstock, Vanila Cardstock; QuicKutz Embossing Folder; Unity Stamp Co. Butterfly Stamp; October Afternoon Patterned Paper; Queen & Co. Pearls.

How to Create this Card
  1. Cut an 8.5x11" piece of cardstock in half to 5.5W x 8.5H. Score at 4.25H.
  2. Place card front in embossing folder and emboss.
  3. Cut a strip of vanilla cardstock a little wider than the card (approximately 4.5" wide) and about 1.5-2"H. Emboss this piece as well.
  4. Align circles of the vanilla piece to those on the card front, adhere and trim excess off of the sides.
  5. Stamp butterfly image twice onto patterned paper. Cut out both shapes along the outer black line.
  6. Stack the two butterfly pieces on top of each other and staple in the center where the body would be. (I like to use the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher for this.)
  7. Adhere bottom layer butterfly to the card front. Fold the wings up and crease along the staple.
  8. Add pearls over the top of the staple to conceal.
  9. Add sentiment inside if desired.
  10. Enjoy your completed card.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's my lucky day... no, really, it is!

So I've been a little blah lately 'cause things at the real job haven't been going too well and have involved LONG hours that cut into my scrappy time...hrmph! But today, I came home to find I had a message from Two Peas... I had entered their Maya Road Challenge (totally <3 them and their products!) and guess what?! I was one of the top 3 so a MR "runner up" prize pack is on it's way to me, YAY! Check out the winning entries here.

Then, I remembered that the Unity World Card Making Day (WCMD) Challenge winners were being announced today so I hopped on over to their blog to see the winning entries and start firing up the creative juices for my scrappy outing tomorrow night. The individual Unity/Ippity DT members were posting their chosen winners on their individual blogs. So I followed the first link and it said... "PLAYSWITHGLUE" -hey! That's me ;) So a new Unity Stamp will be coming my way too. Super fab!
There were lots of great cards posted for the Challenge. Check out the Unity WCMD blogpost to find links to the winners and the other entries.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cards on Wednesdays: Unity WCMD Challenges

I've recently started to do more stamping. I'm still not very good at it and lack a sophisticated repertoire of stamping techniques to do anything too cool so at the moment I'm mostly a "keyline," one color on something kinda girl. Unity Stamp Co. posted a series of card making challenges on their blog for World Card Making Day (WCMD) that was hosted over on Splitcoast Stampers. So, always being one who's up for a challenge, I decided that I would try to participate. Well, needless to say I did not get all of their challenges completed due in part to a crazy work schedule, trying to finish a mini album for a Maya Road Challenge over on Two Peas, and then to top things off my creative mojo went on hiatus. So I did get a few cards together to help replenish Lance's card stash and I'll share them with you over the next few Wednesdays.

To kick things off here's one of my favorites. It's a hand stitched card. I created the stitching template by sizing circles in my design software so I could get my stitches in just the right place on the card.

Kraft cardstock, October Afternoon Paper, Unity Cosmo Cricket "Material Girl" Stamps

And here's the template if you want to make your own. Just punch holes in between the dashes.
(Click to bigify).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tools on Tuesdays: Cutting Grungepaper with your Cricut

A little tip for my Cricut using friends...

If you're like me and always trying to come up with ways to use your Cricut to cut more than just plain paper and wondered if you could cut Tim Holtz's Grungepaper I'm here to tell you... Yes! Yes you can!

Here are the settings:
regular blade=6
pressure = max
speed = max
with multicut on (I think it multicut twice, sorry... I don't really know how to run my Expression without Design Studio. Adding that to my list of things I need to learn....)
Plus I also recommend taping the edges of the grungepaper to the mat or it will take off on you. Painters tape is better if you have a newer mat, otherwise use scotch tape with an old mat.
Other than that, it cuts beautifully!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yay for Creating Keepsakes!

Now that I don't work at my LSS anymore and I don't teach anymore, I've been trying to find ways to motivate myself to use my supplies. As many many know (and a few may be shocked to learn), I'm a procrastinator. Yep, that's right, I need deadlines in order to accomplish anything. I've tried to train this "talent" of mine right out of me, but well... it just hasn't happened. So lately I've taken to participating in online challenges. Specifically I've been trying to do those sponsored by my favorite scrapbooking companies (interpretation: those that I have tons of product from and therefore needs to use most).

Recently I participated in a Creating Keepsakes Blog Challenge for "Blue Ribbon pages" based on their  September 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes. Because, hey, I've got a few of those, right? :) I submitted my last two (well, truth be told, only two) State Fair themed pages, one a Blue Ribbon winner and the other only a White Ribbon winner. I was pretty stoked when a CK Editor, Brittany Beattie commented on my page (delight in the little things right?) but I was even more stoked when an e-mail from Kim Jackson (Sept 2010 CK Magazine article on page 87 with "Show us Your Blue Ribbon Pages" contest call out) appeared in my inbox to tell me I had won! Woot! Woot! :)

So this past week my prize box came...

And inside were some lovely goodies (mostly October Afternoon, my favorite!)...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kukoyo users rejoice!

If you're like me, you mourned the loss of a most beloved adhesive, the Kukoyo Dot n Roller permanent, when it was discontinued last year. Well have I got NEWS for you today! I recently discovered the Elmers DotLiner is basically the same thing and much to my surprise, when I turned it over I discovered that the dispenser was marked Kukoyo! I do have to say the Elmer's version seems to be a little thicker and a little more sticky too. So, if you happen to come by some of these, don't hesitate to snap them up (and while you're at it... grab a couple for me too please!).