January 19, 2018

Intentional Shopping - My Experiment

It's always very tempting to do a little shopping for scrapbook product, isn't it?  I have a hard time resisting certain items (I'm looking at you puffy stickers...and stamps...and patterned paper...I could go on and on), especially when manufacturers release new lines.  I seem to want almost everything in the most-recent collections.

However, I have a very decent supply of products already.  And when I say "decent", I really mean that I could probably scrap for a couple years with what I currently own.  So how can I reconcile my love for shopping with the desire to use what I have?  I'd like to be able to indulge in just a small purchase that would satisfy my wish for something new but would also be budget-friendly.

Back in August, I got the idea to do a little "intentional" shopping.  I spent some time on scrapbook.com, and added products to my cart without regard to quantity or price.  Then, I examined every item in my cart, deciding whether it was something I just liked or was something that I'd actually use.  I'm sometimes lured by all the shiny, pretty things and then when I actually own them, I realize that they aren't my style and so they languish in a box or closet.  I was really honest with myself and removed anything that fell into the pretty-but-I-won't-use-it category.

So what was left? Christmas puffy sticker circles from My Mind's Eye, a few sheets of black & white striped paper, and five assorted sheets of patterned paper.  Not too bad, considering what I'd originally had in my cart. 

Before I clicked the "complete purchase" button, I took one more look at the patterned paper and tried to visualize how I would use each piece.  I wrote notes and made a couple of sketches of my ideas and then made my purchase.

I didn't save my notes but I would like to share the items I bought and how I used them.  

First up is this paper from Shimelle's "Glitter Girl" Collection:

"Keep Your Cool - B side" via Scrapbook.com
I was intrigued by the ombre pattern, though a little unsure about that busy pattern.  I thought that I could cover it with a cut-file to tone down the busy-ness and that's exactly what I did with this layout:

Next is a paper from Maggie Holmes' "Carousel" collection:

"Radiant" via scrapbook.com
I was interested in the "b side" which isn't completely visible here but it consists of large squares with letters that spell "love this day".  My plan for this paper was to cut apart the squares and reassemble them on a page.  Here is the layout I made:

I'd originally planned to use "love this" but ultimate chose "this day", which leaves me with a much more usable leftover in the word "love".

I also purchased this paper from the same Maggie Holmes "Carousel" collection:

"Festival" via scrapbook.com
In all honesty, I really didn't have to think too hard about this purchase.  I love labels so I knew I could make good use out of this one.  In fact, I actually started cutting out the labels but stopped to leave two rows intact to use as a border on this page:

I also purchased two more papers from Shimelle's "Glitter Girl" line.  I loved this paper with its rainbows, hearts, and clouds:

"Level Up" via scrapbook.com
My plan for this one was to use a circle punch and then stitch the circles into wavy lines covering the bottom two-thirds of the page.  Here's the result:

And the last paper was this one:
"Embrace Chaos" via scrapbook.com
This was such a cute and fun pattern and my initial plan involved punching out the circles and then using them to border a layout.  I used a variation of the plan and ended up stitching the punched circles in vertical rows to cover the background of this page:

As far as the two other items I bought are concerned, I've used a few of the puffy stickers and have stored the rest of the sheet with my December Daily supplies.  I'm pretty certain I'll use them up next year.  The b&w stripes are one of my favorite patterns to use for matting layouts so I'm confident I will make good use of them as well.  All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the results of my experiment.  I spent less than $20 including shipping, made five layouts and have plans for using the remaining items I bought.  

With all the new lines set to release and ship soon, I think I'll try this experiment again and I'll share the results in an upcoming post.

So how about you?  Are scrapping supplies hard for you to resist?  Do you have any tips to share about how you balance what you buy with what you already own?

January 10, 2018

Elle's Studio January Reveal

I am a little extra excited today - it's my first reveal as a member of the Elle's Studio Design Team!  Let's get right to the fun, shall we?

Here's a look at the January Kit and the fun extras available in the shop:

I love the rich colors! Elle's heart shapes are my favorite and there are plenty of them in this release.  And do you spy some puffy stickers, too??!

I saw a "My #1" piece in the Love You Die Cuts and that inspired me to make this "2017 year in review" spread for the ending page of my Project Life.  

I added photos and journaling to various cards in the January Kit, and then gave titles to each card using the black cardstock letter stickers and the white cardstock letter stickers

My introduction fit nicely on a ticket piece from the Love You Die Cuts.

I added some of the Hugs and Kisses Puffy Stickers,  a January label, a stamped heart from the XOXO Stamp Set, and a few star chipboard stickers.  

My second project for this release is a layout documenting some of my current favorites.  I like making these type of pages - things change and it will be fun to look back at what I liked in early 2018.

This month Elle has a new XOXO 6x6 Paper Stack and I chose three of the papers for the center of my page; the top one made a great place to write a list of the favorite items shown in my photos.  

I tucked more of the cards and die cuts from the January Kit around the trio of 6x6 papers, and included three of the Hand Drawn Acrylic Hearts.

I just had to include some of the Hugs and Kisses Puffy Stickers, too!

Thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to head over to the shop to check out all the new products!


January 7, 2018

December Daily - The Completed Album

I've shown parts of my album here and on Instagram but those posts just showed a page or two at a time and they were generally out of order as well.  I had a few people ask if I could share a flip-through of the entire album.  Now I have absolutely no experience with video but I managed to film a short and very amateur clip and am sharing it here.  A few words before you watch...

I've been making December Daily albums since 2008 and over the years have changed my approach to make this project easier for me.  I want the albums to show an overview of Christmas, and when I look back at my older albums, I definitely get the "feel" of each particular year.  I love Ali's concept but I just can't do it on a daily basis without being completely stressed.  

I've written several posts on my approach.  This one is about what works for me.  This one is about using past albums to get ideas and this one is about using memorabilia and ephemera.

And here is the video:

If you have any questions about what I used, please leave a comment below.  Thanks for watching!

January 6, 2018

CKC January Mini Kit Reveal and Project

It is mini-kit reveal day on the CKC blog!  I am now on permanent mini-kit duty (yay!) and I'm excited to be using the monthly inspiration to assemble a smaller kit and then making a project with it.  I really love the mini-kits - I get a nice sense of satisfaction using most or all of it on a project or two during the month.

So as you know by now, our inspiration this month is the November 2017 "Fair Isle" kit from Cocoa Daisy.  The main kit is lovely:

Cocoa Daisy "Fair Isle" Memory Keeping 12x12 Kit
I was very inspired by the Pocket Kit:

Cocoa Daisy "Fair Isle" Memory Keeping Pocket Kit

I assembled my kit with the idea that I would be using it for Project Life pages from December 2016.  I also knew that I would be forging some of the cards and so I started with the ingredients I would need to do that and then built the rest of the mini-kit around those choices.  Here is my mini-kit:

I included a 6x6 paper from Crate Paper's "Snow and Cocoa" collection that has plenty of little details to cut apart, a scrap of Heidi Swapp paper in a birch tree pattern (not sure of the collection since it's from a few years ago), and a 6x6 pink paper from the Maggie Holmes "Gather" collection. I discovered a Studio Calico 4x6 paper pad out on my table and pulled out a ledger pattern to add to the kit.

For embellishments, I selected a Christmas phrase stamp set (Citrus Twist), a tiny trees stamp set (The Stamp Market), yellow star puffy stickers (Bella Blvd.), enamel cross stickers (1Canoe2), green felt bows (Bella Blvd.), a sheet of partially used phrase stickers (Pretty Little Studio), a sheet of labels (Pretty Little Studio) and a set of alpha stickers in mint (Kelly Purkey).

So now that I had my kit, it was time to make the pocket cards.  You can read about how I made my forgeries in this post.  I also made a few additional cards not based on the ones in the Cocoa Daisy kit:

I used the packaging from the word/phrase stickers to make the small card on the bottom right - it had such lovely lines for journaling that I couldn't resist!

And finally, here is how I used my kit to make two Project Life spreads:

I didn't have enough 4x6 cards so I added another sheet from the same Studio Calico paper pad for the pocket on the bottom left.  And I ended up removing the green felt bow from the card on the bottom right - it was just a little too big and the color didn't really fit in with the rest of the page.  I'll save it to use on another project.

I added some phrases stickers to the photos on this spread.  Here is a closer look at some of the details:

And there it is...the first mini-kit and project of 2018.  If you play along with us this month, please add a link to your project on the CKC blog here.  You can also share on Instagram - we're @counterfeitkitchallenge and you can use #counterfeitkitchallenge and #ckcjanuary2018 to tag your posts.  We have a Facebook community too and we'd love to see you sharing there as well - we're the Counterfeit Kit Community.

January 4, 2018

January CKC Kit / Forgeries on the Fourth

I knew that I wanted to replicate some of the cards from the Cocoa Daisy "Fair Isle" pocket kit as soon as I got my first look at the inspiration.  Here are the Cocoa Daisy pocket cards:

Cocoa Daisy "Fair Isle" Pocket Kit
I decided I'd start with this one:

Although I have a few puffy sticker coffee cups nearly identical to the image above and could have used one of them along with some stamps, I thought I'd try my hand at making a digital version instead - I used my iPhone, the Letterglow app, the Print to Size app, a digital stamp from Studio Calico and Dropbox.  Here are the details:
  1. I uploaded the coffee cup image from the digital stamp to Dropbox.
  2. I opened the Letterglow app on my phone, selected "new project" and then "canvas", choosing the 4:3 option.
  3. Once the blank canvas appeared on my screen, I selected the graphics option, then the photo/logo option and then dropbox.  I found the digital stamp in my files and clicked on it which added it to my canvas.  I increased the size of the stamp and then positioned it toward the lower left portion of the canvas.
  4. I clicked on the arrow key at the bottom of my screen and then selected the text option to add the words to the card. I typed the phrase and played around with the font choice and size until I liked the look of the words.  I also added returns to divide up the words to match the original card.  The final Letterglow step was to save the card to my camera roll.
  5. I then opened the Print to Size app and, making sure the page size was 4x6, I added the card and sized it at 3x4.  I selected "export as PDF" and then the files option, saving it in the pages folder.
  6. I then opened the Dropbox app on my phone, selected "+" and then "create or upload file", "upload file", "browse" and then selected the card I'd made.  Still with me??? There's just one more step.
  7. After the card was uploaded to Dropbox, I opened Dropbox on my computer, saved that card to my computer and then printed it out on white cardstock using my regular printer.
Editing on the Letterglow app
Now there's probably an easier way to do this but it isn't as complicated to make as it might seem, I promise! I was really pleased with the result, especially after I colored in the cup and added some small dots using a few Sharpie markers.

My next forgery was the tree card in the second row from the inspiration kit.  I have a stamp set from The Stamp Market that includes a very similar tree image so this one was easy to put together:

And the final card (right next to the tree card in the inspiration kit) was the easiest of the three.  I used a snowflake punch on white cardstock and then added the punched shape to a striped card from a Kelly Purkey kit.  To finish it off, I placed a phrase strip from Pretty Little Studio in the center of the snowflake. I don't think that exact product is still available since it was from 2016 but any holiday or winter phrase would be fine to use.
I hope these gave you some ideas on how to replicate some of the cards in the inspiration kit.  I'll be revealing my mini-kit and project for the month both here and on the CKC blog on the 6th - please check back then!