Monday, March 19, 2012

Thinking outside the box with Creative Katie

I went to a crop at Memories and Beyond in Downers Grove a couple of weeks ago and wanted to show a bit of what I did there. Of course science fair prep kind of got in my way. There is just so much radioactivity around my house these days.  Well today is a day of rest and recovery - my poor boy was sent home sick from school before I even made it to work so I can get a bit of blogging and cleaning done today (note the order).
I didn't have a lot of photos I wanted to scrap at the crop. My goal was to get a lot of school awards and papers into my son's books. Thought it was going to be an easy productive day. Slap an 8.5 x 11 page on to a 12 x 12 page, embellish lightly and go.
I had about 5 pictures for a spread on my son's preference for his thumb over a pacifier and I didn't think that would take too long. WRONG. I looked and looked for a pacifier in the rows and rows of beautiful things at Memories and Beyond. There were oodles of safety pins, which few people use for baby things anymore but not many pacifiers. I found a couple of papers that were too pale or too pink for my project and a nice felt pacifier that was way too small and puffy for my needs. In looking at these pacifiers I identified a few shapes I could work with to make my own.
I headed to the wall of dies and started gathering my shapes. I chose the science collection, a large O and a plain D. I layered them all on a circle I had cut out with my Cuttlebug. To make the NO sign I cut out a larger rose red circle and added a line of cardstock the same width. I knew exactly how wide the edge was because I have labeled all my Spellbinder circles.

Paci by Teri Vlasak
As it happens I wasn't the only one looking for a pacifier that day. Teri Vlasak, another scrapper at the crop, needed a pacifier for a spread about her dog's love of his paci toy. Teri followed my lead in creating the shape then took it to the next level with chalk inks and pop dots. I really like her take on it. That's one of my favorite things about going to a crop, you meet people and share ideas and learn new things.
I talked to Karen, the owner, and she told me they have over 1000 die cuts, and they are all free to use. The folks at Accucut told her that Memories and Beyond has the largest selection of die cuts in the Midwest. Love that.
I apologized to Karen for not spending more money in the store that day and she told me they are more interested in helping people tell their stories than in having them spend oodles of cash. Love that too. Of course Memories and Beyond gets most of my business because they have such a great selection of papers and supplies. I even found a C-plate for my Cuttlebug there. No having to order online and wait and wait.
Memories and Beyond also has great service and they offer advice on layouts that just aren't working for you. They even have a man on staff, Karen's son Jim, who helped me with the male perspective on a page about notebook monsters. My son had drawn these fabulous (I may be biased but hey it's my kid) monsters in a notebook and gave them to me for his book. I didn't want to slap them in and go. They needed something special. Jim suggested I look for a forest and pointed me to the Graphic 45 Garden Isle patterned paper. I was perfect. Karen ran off two photocopies for me so I wouldn't damage the original and I started cutting.

The Olfa art knife got quite a work out that night. With the help of a sharp blade and a self healing mat I was able to get in and follow every uneven line. So happy I was able to include monsters from both sides of the original page. I was even able to include the pogo stick guy and the words "Bonig Bonig" I know what he meant but I love this little bit of second grade spelling.

I used a Copic grey marker to add the shading so the monster on the right looks like it's in front of the monster on the left. The patterned paper was perfect. This is my favorite page from the crop because, even though it doesn't have any pictures on it it shows what my son was into, his talent, a bit of his personality. I feel like we worked on this page together even though he was miles away watching a movie with Nana.

So do you ever scrap without photographs? I'd love to see those pages, send a link and share.

Happy Crafting,

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