Wednesday, October 1, 2014

new studio calico classes

'Tis the time of year I start wanting to craft ALL THE THINGS. I don't know what it is--the change in weather, being inside all cozy, the upcoming holidays--but whatever reason, my itch to create goes in to overdrive. This comes at a great time because Studio Calico just announced two *awesome* new classes!

paint.plan.play. with Ashley Goldberg looks like about the most fun class ever. She is the master of patterns that aren't too pattern-y. Her designs are the perfect blend of creative mess and can be found on a variety of products (hello, urban outfitters.). I'm jumping at the chance to learn some tips and design tricks from her, get messy, and create some unique, funky paper stuff.
If you sign up THIS week (get on it) you will receive 3 free gifts, including a rad stamp set which go right along with the creative mess you're about to throw down in class. You can read all about it here.
send joy. So I don't want to get you all stressed, but christmas is 84 days away. Deep breath. You know what would help? Getting a jump start on some Christmas JOY. Lisa Spangler is a card making extraordinaire and has a class to get you feeling the holiday spirit and ahead of the game with holiday card making. The class comes with an exclusive stamp (ships free) and there is a great bundling offer for some awesome new holiday stamp sets in the shop. Check that all out here.
Both classes start on Nov.1 and sometimes the freebies that come with them run out. Don't get left without a freebie. That would be so sad. And with a class that has "joy" in the title it just wouldn't be right ;)











Tuesday, September 30, 2014

spray ink & celery background

So you know that random half used chunk of celery in the back of the crisper of your fridge? Yeah, you're going to need it for this project. You can feel good about using your veggies (even if you aren't eating them) AND making a unique background for your next scrapbook project. Win/win!
I have seen how the bottom of celery has been used with paint as a stamp to almost create a flower like pattern. I thought...what would it look like if I tried pairing this veggie with spray ink? This is the part of the celery I always throw away anyway so if I could make something cool with it, well, I was willing to try. I really like the look of shibori so I chose to use a deep indigo color of ink. Any ink color would work depending on the mood/look you are going for with your project. You can use the ink just straight up, but I chose to add two sprays of ink to a bowl and then water it down a bit.
I put the cut end of the celery in the ink and then stamped on white cardstock. You can see it is pretty wet so you will want to wait for it to dry completely. The look will be perfectly imperfect.
Once the cardstock is dry, the color is more muted in some places and deeper in others. I rotated how I held the celery so that the image wasn't consistent. I wasn't sure how I would use this paper, but after it was dry it reminded me of water and the celery pattern turned out a bit like a funky starfish. Pairing this background with some of the softer pieces from Studio Calico's The Underground kit and a beach photo just seemed to tie it all together.
The "on the beach" page was from an old book I found at the thrift store. I just love it when thrift store finds, old veggies and scrapbooking collide ;)
I love how this simple technique took some almost discarded produce and a plain piece of cardstock and created a unique background. So see...celery isn't just for peanut butter anymore. What other veggies should we try?


Monday, September 29, 2014

studio calico October reveal

The Underground, Studio Calico's October kit, reveal was saturday.  I was out of town and just now catching up. In case you missed it, you can see all the creative team projects here!
Here are my projects for the month. These first two are main kit only.
This one...it has a photo that is just precious to me. It was about this time last fall at my in laws house. We had no idea we only had a few more moths with my sweet mother in law. Every time I look at it I think.. if I had known then what I know now...what would I do different about that weekend? What would I say? I've wanted to scrap to for awhile, but just kept holding on to it. There is so much to what this photo is that I just couldn't get it down in journaling. Maybe someday.
This main only layout was capturing that first PSL of the season and just getting funky with that cool paper. That is my biggest tip when you have a patterned paper with a big design...shrink it. I usually do this by cutting it up and in this case, punch it. A lot. Makes for fun layers when pieced back together haphazardly.
These next two are mixes of all the kits. This layout was yet another pic of my sleepy boy. I feel kinda creepster with the amount of sleeping Paxton pics I have. I started by sewing a million "z"'s. It added some interest and texture to an otherwise plain background. I liked playing with the space on the photo with the title and journaling words snippets. Those wood veneer triangles were super cool and kinda tell you right where to look.
We had recently, like just a few weekends ago, wen tot the Laura Ingall's house for their annual celebration. The boys and I had so much fun and I wanted to document it right away. (So unlike me!) I decide the best way to scrap these photos was to make a paper quilt background. I can't sew fabric, much less an actual quilt, to save my soul. But a paper quilt? That I can do. I choose patterned papers that went along with the photos and cut & sewed the day away. It's super easy to replicate. I'll have a tutorial next week :)
Don't forget to check out the new goods added to the SC shop this month, like these super cool stamp sets, perfect for this time of year!





Friday, September 26, 2014

96 hanger challenge

Last January I started a "96 hanger challenge". Which I totally just made up. It came about because I wanted to simplify my closet and I wanted wooden hangers. I ordered several sets of these hangers from Ikea and decided 96 was a good number so I just went with it. I'll keep 96 things. I edited my closet like a madwoman and only used about half the hangers. That didn't include pants because I guess I was too lazy to hang up pants. The whole purge came to a stand still, as did life in general, when my mother in law got ill. Needless to say, it is several months later and I still have two massive boxes of clothes to donate/sell. I trip over them every time I go in my closet. Time to change that.

I guess with the changing of the season, it has me thinking it is about time to switch it up in the wardrobe department. Ripped shorts for ripped jeans. Black short sleeved t-shirts for long black sleeved t-shirts. You know, really branch out. I'm coming back to that place of simplifying and I like it. I have recently heard about a capsule wardrobe. Do you know about this? Like, you choose a few items, 35-40 seems to be the magic number, and that is your wardrobe, but it is seasonal. So every three months you switch it up--keep what you like/can easily transition to the next season, but edit in other seasonal pieces, keeping that magical number of items. I really like this idea. I know I am more creative with scrapbooking when I have limited supplies so surely that would hold true in the wardrobe department. And how nice would it be to have pieces that mesh well so you could easily swap pieces around and find an outfit to wear without hangers flying? (Or maybe that is just me?) Anyway, I'm thinking I might be up for the challenge. I mean, I homeschool so p.j.'s/sweats would have to count in my rotation...that sounds sad or awesome. I'm not sure which yet.
One thing that WILL NOT be in rotation...culottes. How are these even making a comeback? Search this on Pinterest. I kid you not, these are becoming popular. I can't even. I stretched it with Birks, but culottes?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

studio calico october sneaks

Welcome to The Underground, kids. Here are my sneaks for Studio Calico's October kits!
Main kit only:
These next two use a combo of the main and all three add ons:
From fall to the first of the year is my favorite time to play with paper. There is something about fall/winter scrapping that brings out the layers in me...as evidence in these sneaks. Thread was flying!
You can see more sneaks here and here on the message board. Reveal is coming THIS saturday! Don't miss it. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

first day of fall

Today begins a favorite season of mine. Yay for fall! Found this bag of tags in the $1 section of Target (it sucks me in every.single.time) and although I'm not a huge owl person anymore, I thought they would be fun to type on and give with a fall treat to some friends. A few fall things I'm hoping to do this season via my fall pinterest board:
make this super cute garland.
eat this. really just eat ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS.
drink this.
paint some leaves.
and for the boys, this. anything that involves things flying and candy is good in their book.
Autumn, stick around awhile. Looks like I have lots to do :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

paper bag alpha

 I'm all about getting the most mileage out of products. That is why a lot of times I will use the same tag as a mask & an embellishment on two different layouts (see this post), deconstruct an embellishment to get more out of it, or take apart an envelope to use as a photo mat. When it comes to getting my monthly scrapbooking kit from Studio Calico, I decided to challenge myself to use the one thing I get every month and usually throw away: the brown paper bag.
If you've been getting a kit for awhile now, you have several (or had--you'll want to keep them now!) brown paper bags. And if you are like me, they usually end up in the trash. Sometimes the alphabet that comes with your kit just won't go with the layout you have in mind. You can totally hand cut a title out of patterned paper, but if you want to save that pretty patterned paper for your project, try this!
The color of these bags remind me of kraft paper. So it's very versatile. (Of course, if you don't have a brown paper bag you could use kraft paper for the same look.) I had a farm-y type layout in mind and thought this would go perfect. I left the bag as is, which gave me two sets of each letter I cut.
I freehand cut the letters on the bag with my precision pen. The gingham paper below is the width of my layout. Having it under my letters gave me an idea of how big to make them. You can see I did some letters more than once. That way, I had options when putting the layout together. I think a mix of upper and lowercase makes it look more interesting.
It's like alphabet confetti! I went through and picked which letters I liked the best. Because I used the bag as it was, I got two layers. That allowed me to used the letters that were cut on the second layer, without any of the black outline showing.
Once I had my alpha where I wanted it, I sewed it all down. I alway love the look of stitching on a layout and especially here, with the "homegrown" freehand title, the kraft and gingham.. it gives the layout a fun, homespun feel. For this layout, I used pieces from September's Poet Society kits, as well as South of Market and a few random pieces from my stash.

So simple and cost effective. You could do several things different here--like outline each letter or even sew around each individual letter. These bags would also be great for punching out shapes, cut into tags, even folded in to a paper bag mini album. The possibilities are kinda endless (and cheap)! Thanks for checking out this paper bag idea. I'm already thinking of ways I can use next month's brown bag. Hmmm.....