Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why I SUCK as a Scrapbooker


To be a good scrapbooker you need to make time for the hobby. I can't seem to start a project like a scrapbook page and then come back to it later and it takes a good 45 minutes to an hour for me to put together a page (this number comes from research done at crops). I take my time and agonize over decisions, after all these are for posterity, my grandchildren's grandchildren may be looking at these things.

Instead I spend my time making cards and playing with my dog, hanging out with my kid, dinking around with Pinterest, reading crafty blogs, and if I am honest (head hung in shame) spending too much time playing King games like Candy Crush.


I am not a great photographer. I don't take a lot of pictures. I don't document each day. When there is an event I may take a photograph or two but I am often too busy enjoying the event to document it. I even got through two of my son's birthday parties without taking even one picture. The scrapper's shame.

I didn't grow up with a camera in my face. My ancestors didn't grow up with cameras in their faces either. The images of my dad and his family are precious because they are rare.

What is worth documenting

Three years ago today my father died. Today is his Angel Day. For the past three years life has not been something I generally wanted to document. My son and I have both had our battles with depression and loneliness. Grief takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.  I get up every morning and walk the dog and get outside and have some time to pray and be grateful for today. I encourage gratitude in my son but a grieving 12 year old often has trouble with the concept.

The period between May 28th, my father's birthday, and June 23rd his death date are always hard. Father's Day is particularly difficult on my son as his father is not in the picture. PawPaw was his male role model, his everything.

Scrapbooking, like journalism, is the first draft of history. It is also incredibly biased as it is a history generally told from one perspective. It is not neutral, it is often not just factual like journalism, there is a lot of emotion on the page. Most scrapbook pages I see in magazines and on blogs show happy, smiling people who clearly care for one another.

Scrapping a moody, grieving tween is not easy. Even though the sun is shining and the world is whirling around us sometimes we only see the gray gloominess of our own thoughts. We see what is missing and not what is here. How do you scrapbook that?

The blog plan

When I rebooted the blog the last time I was overly ambitious. I didn't take into account the needs of a dog that shadows me everywhere. I didn't anticipate side work that would help pay the bills. I didn't write far enough ahead to make this the blog I wanted for you (and me).

I will try to put down the candy crush and pick up the camera more. I have a lot of cards I could share with you but they end up on instagram more often then this blog. To see cute cardness you can follow me there.

Tips, tricks and ideas will return here, it due time. But for today it's time to grieve with my boy.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Paper Crafts are like Fashion only better

What the heck you say? Paper crafts are like fashion? We don't wear paper!

I am not into fashion, I don't know one designer from the next. My wardrobe comes mostly from Kohl's, Walmart and Amazon Prime and consists of a lot of cotton and denim. But I do know that fashion cycles around, fads come and go, and classics stick around for a long time. The same can be said for paper crafting products.

Paper Crafting Tools
I have been making cards for about 15 years and I have seen things evolve in the industry and in my craft room. I have jumped on many bandwagons I had no business being on and amassed a lot of instruments to play on that wagon. Here is how I see the evolution of a few of our favorite things.
  • eyelets — brads — mini staples — shaped paper clips
  • buttons — dew drops —  enamel dots —  resin embellishments
  • self adhesive bling — sequins
  • glitter  — chunky glitter  —  fine glitter — glitter paper  — glitter pens
  • ribbon —  hemp thread —  embroidery floss —  baker's twine  — washi tape
  • stickers — rub-ons — chipboard
  • rosettes  — doilies  — wood veneers
  • circle punches  — precut dies and wavy scissors  —  shaped punches  — manual dies cutting machines  — electric cutting machines
  • water-based markers  — colored chalks  — water color pencils — Prismacolor pencils  and Gamsol  — Copic Markers
  • wood mounted stamps  — acrylic stamps  — cling mounted stamps  — digital stamps
  • dye inks  — pigment inks — Distress Inks  — chalk inks  — spray inks  —  hybrid inks
I still have a bit of everything listed above and then some. A lot of the tools I have are sorely neglected. They have fallen out of favor because I want what's in fashion and they are no longer the go to items in our collective creative arsenal. 

Image Fads
The fashion in images seems to move at varying paces. A fashion or fad occurs when 3 or more companies carry a similar image. We have (or have had):

  • aquatic life and all things nautical
  • banners and pennants
  • bicycles and tricycles
  • birds of every description and their homes
  • butterflies and flowers
  • cameras of every shape
  • cassette tapes, guitars and stars
  • chevrons, hexagons and sparkly gems
  • coffee, and tea and kitchen tools
  • elephants
  • eyeglasses and mustaches
  • farms and their critters
  • fruits of every kind
  • globes
  • gnomes and their mushroom homes
  • light bulbs and lamps
  • loving people to the moon and beyond
  • mason jars and all they can hold
  • potted plants
  • robots, astronauts, rocket ships and all of outer space
  • super heroes and skylines
  • typewriters
  • umbrellas, clouds and raindrops
  • woodland creatures like owls, foxes and deer
  • zoo animals and their babies

I do love the elephants though, so much so that I order 3 sets from different manufacturers: WPlus9, Avery Elle, and Mama Elephant. You can also find elephants by Lawn Fawn, Wild Rose Studio, My Favorite Things.

Here is a look at cards featuring these cuties.

Unforgettable Floating Elephant

Celebrate with an Elephant

Blowing Bubbles with an Elephant

Better than Fashion
If I use a 15 years old eyelet, no one will know. I can still make something beautiful. If I use a long retired stamp set no one but a paper crafter familiar with the manufacturer will know. The card recipient will still be happy.  Paper crafting supplies don't becomes threadbare with use. They don't shrink, ride up or lose their usefulness. With proper care they will last until with put them in a scrapbook or envelop. See better.

I follow crafty trends from a distance these days. I know what is going on in the paper crafty world (and am excited to see the new Silhouette Mint and Silhouette Curio) but I can't buy everything that is popular. First of all I have a limited budget. Second, I have limited space. And finally, I have little interest in following every trend. If I bought every stamp I liked I wouldn't be able to eat or move in my craft room.

I need to start paring down my collection and using what I have
. I'll be selling or donating items I had no business purchasing in the first place, like wavy scissors, ribbon, and copious amounts of brads.

Some people do wear paper, and become famous doing it too.

Check out Fashion by Mayhem. This 4 year old is designing fashion using paper and tape and got a gig designing kids clothes for J Crew because of her blog and Instagram feed. She has better taste in clothes than I can ever hope to have.

Happy Crafting,

Monday, May 11, 2015

Marker Monday

It is official. I've known all along that I was certifiable but now the world knows too. I took the Copic Standard Certification in Chicago a couple of months ago and I am now certified. Lori Craig said so. I understand the Copic numbering system, blending families, and how to use blender solution, I even got a taste of airbrushing. I wield my markers with more confidence now. 

I plan to share a Copic tip on Marker Mondays and if I can't be a good example I will be a warning of what not to do.

In the class Lori showed us how to use blending solution on a bit of towel or denim to get a texture on our projects. She had blending solution in a spritzer because you don't need a lot to get results. So I ran home and filled a spritzer with blending solution. I was not ready to cut up my clothes for texture so I thought I'd try using a stippling brush. I spritzed solution in a little container, got out the brush and gave it a go. Well I can tell you that it just makes a mess of your project - don't try it. Like I said, a warning.

The other day I was working with Distress Ink and reached for my water spritzer and a light bulb went out, or did a bell ring, what if I used my blending solution spritzer the same way I use my water spritzer with other inks. So I experimented.

Big Birthday Balloon

Because I am a novice with the airbrush my color is often uneven with light and dark spots that look, well, terrible. Spritzing the image with blending solution gives it a cool mottled effect and helps even out those light and dark spots. 

Have you ever used blending solution this way? Will you try and share your creations?

Happy Crafting,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Makeover Week - Day 4 Hold it part 2

Tuesday I showed you 2 versions of the "Making the Grade" stamp set from My Favorite Things. Today I have more stamps from My Favorite Things where someone is holding something but like yesterday the sets are retired.

Beakers to Vases

The first card features the set, Scientist. This card was fun to put together but took a lot longer than I anticipated. This beaker holding, smock wearing little girl got a bit of a makeover.  Her beaker has been turned into a vase to hold a sweet bouquet of flowers from the retired Inkadinkado "Lots of Pots" set. Her five button lab coat looks more like a pediatric dental hygienist's smock.


Dig all that dimension. 
I stamped the new My Favorite Things Small Brick Background Stamp onto a tan card stock, then used the Copic Airbrush to color them red.  I love this stamp, the bricks are perfectly proportioned for the rest of the My Favorite Things stamps. I cut out a window then had to make a window frame - more cutting. The wood grain on the window and the window box is from the Heidi Swapp Woodgrain background. I used washi tape to mask off the corners to give it a mitered look. I really like how that part turned out. I put the whole panel on 3M foam tape for some depth.

The valance in the window is a bit of lacy ribbon glued on the back of the brick panel. The window box is popped out with dimensional tape as well. The pots are from the Inkadinkado set I mentioned before. The plants growing in them are the waste side of the grass punch from Martha Stewart.

---------- FAILURE WAS INEVITABLE ----------

Last week when I wrote about rebooting the blog I told you I was going to fail to deliver from time to time. I had posts planned out. I had a editorial calendar in place and life still got in the way in the first week.

Sciatica, severe back pain and tingling fingers and toes, dog sitting and doctor's appointments were not all scheduled for this week when I wrote that post but they happened anyway. So Day 4 of makeover week is happening on Day 5 and you are going to miss some pretty awesome cards this week. I will post them next week. No biggie. That's the great thing about being the boss. You can change the rules midstream. Ask any parent -- it happens all the time.


You Rock Loveasaurus 

The last card features one of my favorite images by Claire Keay. The little Loveasaurus stamp used to be sold by My Favorite Stamps but they no longer carry Keay images. You can still get a digital version at the Jellypark page at PayHip.com as well as a lot of other Keay images.

The Copics got a work out on this card. This image is so fun to color and I love adding the added bits of interest like the stripes on the tail and the dots on the spine plates. The curtain and stage were freehanded but the guitar and sentiment are from the Stampendous set "Rock Out". The guitar was colored with Copics then coated in Versamark ink and embossed so the whole guitar is shiny.
I cut the arm of the Loveasaurus tucked the guitar under it. Masking to make this happen may be possible but I wasn't up for trying to do it that way.

Research on where to get Stampendous "Rock Out set turned up nothing, nil, nada. So again probably retired.

I matted the image on some kraft paper so it would pop more then decided to do a bit of decorating with my Signo Uni-ball white gel pen. I may have gone overboard but I like it. I even dotted his guitar strap so it stands out a bit more. The background is from a DCWV Matstack called Old World.

About the links

I am not part of any affiliate program - yet. I don't make any money if you follow a link and buy something - yet. So all the links here are either from the manufacturer because they are the only one selling the product or are from the site with the lowest price today. There is a 30% off sale on papercrafting supplies at JoAnn Fabrics right now so several of the links go to that site. 

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Makeover Week Day 3 - Boy Howdy

Unless they are wearing hats the Pure Innocence boys from My Favorite Things are all bald. Have you ever noticed that? Bald. My son has a head full of curly hair so like his mother, the Pure Innocence kid doesn't look anything like him. This wasn't going to work for Scout Thank You cards.

Because he is bald I didn't need to tape off hair I just needed to add it. This Boy Scout stamp set's sentiments had to do with scouting. There was no "thank you" available so I had to go to other Pure Innocence sets. The "thank you" is from Firefighter Girl and the "so much" is from Soldier Girl - both retired.

Pure Innocence boy grows hair

The second card features a bit more hair and a lot more scenery. The clouds, tents and trees are from an old Inkadinkado set called On the Road Again. And the Sentiment, which echoes through the valley, is from a retired Studio Calico set. 

Pure Innocence boy grows hair and goes camping

Unfortunately the Boy Scout set has been retired. I'm seeing a trend of unavailable stamp sets.

Happy Crafting,