Friday, April 4, 2014

around here

I finished my 30 Days of Lists mini on Monday. This was a fun project! I loved the prompts. I loved sitting down for a few minutes each day (or every few days when I needed to catch up) to write. And I loved putting another finished mini on my shelf.

I'm dreaming of green grass and opening the windows.

I'm reminding myself daily of the importance of self-care.

I bought my first maxi skirt and I imagine I'll be wearing it all summer long. It's cute and comfy. Two thumbs up. And yeah, I'm a couple years behind.

I'm obsessed with putting a fried egg on everything. My fave lunch lately is a bowl of black beans, shredded cheese, a fried egg, avocado slices and a scoop of fresh salsa. Yum yum.

I'm a year older. Hello 36. Hello cupcakes!

I started a new journal with my Baron Fig notebook. I'm looking forward to filling it up with my thoughts, my to-do's and lots of lists, naturally.

Baseball season is back!

I'm listening to Elise's new podcasts. Really good stuff!

I'm packing up for a week away with my sweetheart. We are closing in on 10 years of marriage and heading back to Jamaica to celebrate. I cannot wait to relax, enjoy the quiet, the sun and heat, to eat and drink, to swim and read a book, and watch sunsets with my favorite man.

I'm sneaking a whiff of Parker's favorite blanket. It's seriously one of my favorite smells in the world.

I'm excited to see Kelly Purkey is coming back to my favorite LSS in May to teach two classes. Any local scrappy friends want to go?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

trying something new : mixed media

About a month ago, while browsing Pinterest, I stumbled upon some gorgeous art journaling pages and ended up started a journaling + mixed media inspiration board. I find I'm drawn to simple pages, or ones with bold lettering and journaling, and I'm intrigued by the idea of keeping a journal that is a little more artsy + private than what I create and share with the world.

When Studio Calico announced in mid-March that they'd be running a Mixed Media class in April with CĂ©line Navarro and Anna-Maria Wolniak, I may have gasped a bit. I was excited, but nervous about learning a new technique. I had no supplies and so many questions.

Last week I decided to start small and ordered some supplies for class. I grabbed a dozen Neocolors in my favorite colors, some palette knives and gel medium. Did you know that the Neocolors in the Studio Calico shop coordinate with the new Color Theory inks? It was so nice to flip through my swatchbook and decide which ones would be good to start with.

Once I opened up my box a few days later, the first thing I went for were these gorgeous crayons.
I grabbed my watercolor paper pad + water brush and started scribbling.

Morgan sat with me while I experimented. We ooh'ed and aah'ed together and she said "Wow Mommy, are those like crayons for adults?" She was pretty intrigued too - my sweet girl. I'll probably make a smaller version as a color chart for myself, but this was a lot of fun to make. You use the Neocolors just like a crayon and then blend with your water brush (or water and brush) until smooth. Very fun stuff but I'm certain I have so much to learn.

If I'm honest, keeping my new supplies organized is one of my favorite parts of this hobby. I snagged an empty bucket and some glass containers to hold my Neocolors and palette knives.

I also added the gel medium, some gesso, plus a small watercolor journal and Mister Huey's watercolor set I already had. When I have an opportunity to play, I can just grab the bucket and my iPad to read the class tutorials and watch the videos and find a spot anywhere in the house. This is the kind of thing I like to do when my kids are sitting at the table coloring, painting, or playing with Play-doh.

Class started on Tuesday and I'm loving it. Still nervous, but very excited to try something new and add some different techniques and ideas to my creative arsenal. I'm looking forward to finding my mixed media style - since I love layers and texture, but tend to be inspired by minimalism as well. You can mix both, right?

Want to join us and bring out your inner artist? You can still register here through the end of April. Even if you don't have an opportunity to play right away, the videos and tutorials will always be available once you enroll. Are you looking for more mixed media inspiration? Check out this group board on Pinterest

See you there!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

creating transparent printable accents

I love adding see-through elements to my Project Life pages and I've really enjoyed the transparent items that have been in the Studio Calico kits the past few months. In the March Office Hours kit, there were two 3x4 thick plastic pieces. I used one for Week 6 by simply adding Thickers and a stitched border :
And the other one I used in a Day in the Life spread. I backed the camera die cut from the same kit with a trimmed down journaling card and adding a little handwriting on the lens :
There was a fun circle and heart cut file that was available with February's Sugar Rush kits. After cutting it with my Silhouette, I punched small circles from a patterned journaling card to back some of the hearts and left the others blank so you can see through to the next page :
And then in January, I used the transparency from the Union Meadow add-on with the star sequins in the Storm King add-on and the 4x6 Copper Mountain paper pad to make a little shaker pocket. I love those layers :
Once I saw the printables that Geralyn designed to go with the April Bluegrass Farm kits, I fell in love with the 3x4 card with the large graphic numbers. I printed it off immediately. Then I thought it would be fun to print a page of just this card in different colors. And not on cardstock, but transparency because clearly I'm pretty hooked on this see-through thing.
Open up Photoshop Elements, or get your free trial version here, and I'll show you how easy it is to make these!
If you'd like to recolor digital printables and create transparent elements for your next project, I've put together a step-by-step tutorial with photos and it's available for download here.
In my Week 10 spread, I had some private journaling to include so I used a 4x6 journaling card in the Bluegrass Farm Project Life kit and created a bi-fold card. The transparency served as a little pocket to slip on the ampersand clip. Again with the simple layers and I love that it serves a purpose too :
I hope you find this tutorial helpful and share what you make!

Supplies : Studio Calico Bluegrass Farm Project Life kit, In a Creative Bubble printable, transparency film

Monday, March 31, 2014

Project Life Week 11 : Bluegrass Farm

Week 11 : March 10 - 16
Another pretty ordinary week around here. Creative time, snuggles, lots of yummy food and snow day number eight. I think, I hope, after this nice weekend we had, that we are done with winter.

The left side is a modified Design C page protector (this design is actually in this variety pack now - which I'm very excited to use). I combined the Bluegrass Farm Project Life kit with the add-on's, Tabasco and Gertrude, for this spread and loved the mix of embellishments.
Instead of adding watercolor to the heart die cut shape below (from Gertrude), I stamped on it with the XO stamp in Tabasco with Well Red ink. I love the pie chart diecuts (also from Tabasco) and cut one in half and stapled it to the same journaling card with my tiny attacher. It turned out to be a pretty cute filler card.
The right side is a Design A page protector. I am thrilled to have several journaling cards in the Gertrude add-on this month and the 'let's go somewhere' 4x6 card was one of them. Mark took Morgan skiing again over the weekend and afterwards Morgan made him the little heart I attached to the left side of the card. On the right side, I asked Mark to write a little about their day, in his own words, and I'm glad he was happy to do it. Once the card was done, I cut it in half to fit inside the 3x4 pockets.
We also got a postcard from my in-laws who are in Florida for the winter and it was a perfect fit in a 4x6 pocket. I used the 4x6 paper pad (which is still available!) to punch a tab and adhered it to the top edge of the postcard.

On the pink 3x4 card, I stamped 'documented' from the Nelly stamp set in Clean Slate over and over to fill the background.
I used another one of the watercolor die cuts over the photo of Morgan during her ski day. I added some green watercolor lightly over the die cut and adhered a circle punch of the brown polka dot paper in the 4x6 paper pad behind it.

Another week of Project Life in the books! I'm planning to work on Week 12 + 13 in the next few days and get myself caught back up.

My 2014 Project Life essentials : Studio Calico Project Life kits / We R Memory Keepers Greige Albums / Design A + C photo page protectors / corner rounder / tiny attacher / journaling pens / Alte Haas Grotesk font 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Project Life Week 10 : Bluegrass Farm

It's reveal day at Studio Calico and I'm sharing my Bluegrass Farm Project Life spread with the main kit only today. This is Week 10 (clicking on the photos will take you to my gallery where you can see the layouts a bit larger than here on the blog) :
Please note : at the time of this posting, links to kits and coordinating items will only work for Studio Calico subscribers. Bluegrass Farm will be available to the general public at 12 midnight EST tonight, the evening of February 27th. 

If you've been following along this year, I've been using a lot of Design C and F page protectors in my album and adding stitching through the 4x6 pockets to make more slots for 3x4 cards. I'm so excited to get my hands on this new variety pack which comes with two designs that I've been making on my own for weeks. Yes!
It was a good week, for the most part. Pretty ordinary but boy was I hoping I could get a mommy time-out by the end of a couple of long, crabby, over-worked days :
It was also the week my baby girl lost her first tooth. I documented it in her childhood album and here because I think it's a pretty big deal. :) That 'eek' badge was totally appropriate because that's what I said the afternoon she jumped off the school bus and declared that her wiggly tooth had finally come out. I adhered it to the outside of my page protector with glossy accents :
I added some bold handwritten titles to my journaling cards this week to pull the spread together, and for an extra pop of black. That xo digital stamp is a blown-up version of the one in the Tabasco add-on and I love the extra detail it added to the photo.
My favorite part of this week's spread was this bi-fold card. Mark and I are counting down the weeks (well, days now) until we go to Jamaica to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I am crazy about this numbers printable Geralyn designed for this set and printed it on transparency to create a pocket on the front of this folded 4x6 card. It was a great way to show off the ampersand clip and the folded card was perfect for adding some hidden journaling to the spread. Watch for a tutorial on how I made this coming soon. :)
What's in my cart this month?

  1. the Bessie add-on (because I loved Tina's today stamp that much - and that skinny washi!)
  2. the attachers craft die (my Handbook and minibooks are going to LOVE this...)
  3. a black 4x4 We R Memory Keepers album and black Handbook for new projects!
  4. a Mister Huey's watercolor set.
  5. I also got a ton of supplies for the Mixed Media class that starts in April. I admittedly got anxious and placed an order a couple days ago, so I'll share all of that next week.

Other faves this month :
The star confetti and symbols dies! I let out a big squeal when I found these in my box a few weeks ago. The confetti die is BIG and goes perfectly with the 4x6 paper pads. I think the negative would be an awesome background as well.
If you are looking for extra embellishments, Studio Calico now has a kit for that. This month's kit is Pip and I'm loving the puffy hearts and the washi. So fun.

Happy shopping and I'll be back next week to share Week 11. In the meantime, you can also see it here in the Studio Calico gallery along with the work of the rest of the Creative Team.

My 2014 Project Life essentials : Studio Calico Project Life kits / We R Memory Keepers Greige Albums / Design C + F photo page protectors / corner rounder / tiny attacher / journaling pens / Alte Haas Grotesk font