Little Things, Big Days

Scrappy Christmas in July

What better time to work on a Christmas project than during the hot and humid month of July, right?  Tracey Fox, known on Instagram as @scrappylikeafox, is spending the month working on Christmas projects and has asked others to join in the fun.  Her invitation was just the jump-start I needed to complete a project I've had on my list for a few years: a mini album to hold the stories of our Christmas ornaments.

A couple of years ago, I posted this photo and caption on my personal Instagram account:

It's not just a Christmas tree - it's a living scrapbook.  Handmade treasures, souvenirs from travels, gifts from family and friends to mark special occasions...each ornament holds a precious memory.

I decided then that I wanted to make an album to record the memories attached to each ornament.  I even took photos of the ornaments when we took down the tree, but unfortunately that was as far as I got.  I thought about the album again last Christmas but the holiday is so busy that there just wasn't time for me to get it done.  When I saw Tracey's Instagram posts I decided that I would finally tackle this project.

I'd done a big portion of the prep work: I had already printed the photos and taken notes about the ornaments.  I pulled out my box of Christmas supplies:

and stamps

and came up with a plan.  I chose a 6x8 album - I think the one I used was left over from an older Ali Edwards' Week in the Life kit.  To keep things simple, I came up with a formula for the pages:  white cardstock background, full 6x8 size (no divided pockets), a photo, the story with whatever details I could remember about the ornament, and simple embellishments.  By chance I had a stamp set from Elle's Studio out on my table and one of the phrases was perfect  - I'd stamp "let me tell you the story" on each page.

The prep work and that formula helped me put this album together in less than a week!

The rest of this post will be pretty photo heavy as I share the contents of the album.  I started with a cover page:

and an introduction (using that initial Instagram photo and caption):

Then it was just a matter of filling the pages with photos and stories...

There were pages with long stories and pages with just a sentence or two...

Some stories had lots of details while others just had whatever basic information I could remember.  There were times when I couldn't recall any specifics but I decided to just record what I remembered and not stress over the things I didn't know.

It was nice to relive the memories as I put the pages together.

I'm the only one who knew these stories but now they're recorded so that my daughters, and someday their families, will know them, too.

This little album ranks right up there as one of my favorites.  I plan to add more pages for the ornaments I forgot to photograph the first time and for the ones I've gotten since then.  I'm very grateful to Tracey for giving me the push I needed to finish this project!

Layouts Lately

Hello! It's been some time since I've posted - summer brings a lot more activity to my life.  I've been busy enjoying the season and making memories but I've also been scrapping too.  This little space has fallen to the bottom of my "to do" list but I thought I'd share a couple pages here today.

I tried out some Gossamer Blue Life Pages kits recently.  While I definitely liked them, I discovered that I wasn't using them fast enough and cancelled my subscription.  Here's a page that I put together using the bright and colorful kit for May:

I made another page about my beloved lilacs.  I've made many layouts about their beauty and scent but until now I'd never captured the details behind the varieties I own. This page is one of my recent favorites:

I've also been working on last year's Project Life, this year's Project Life and two mini albums - one about our June vacation to Canada and another one to tell the stories of our Christmas ornaments.  I'll be back again, hopefully sooner this time, to share some of those projects.  In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying life, making memories and documenting them too!

Layouts Lately

Today I'm sharing a few layouts from some recent Ali Edwards' Story Kits.  

I loved all the circle embellishments that were part of the Lens Story kit and I had no trouble using them on my pages.  The first page features a story generated by a photo I took during my "Week in the Life" project:

Here are more of those circles on another page:

And one more circle on this last "Lens" kit page:

Several months ago, when I saw that "brave" was going to be the May story kit theme, I knew immediately that I wanted to tell a particular story about my mom's uncle.  He never had any children and I think it's important that future generations get to know this courageous man.  This is the page:

I actually haven't been making as many pages with the kits lately - I've had some assignments to do and now that it's spring, there are plenty of things to be done outside.  I still have many ideas for pages though.  Each kit comes with a "story sparks" card so I use them to note the stories I want to tell and eventually I'll get back to them.  I store the cards and any corresponding photos in a little basket.

When the weather turns warm and sunny, I spend more time out in my gardens.  In summer, when the humidity and heat roll in, I'll spend more time scrapbooking in our air conditioned house.  How about you - do you scrap less at certain times of the year?

Counterfeit Kit Challenge - June Mini Kit Reveal

It's mini-kit reveal day on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog.  We are using this lovely "Willow" kit from Felicity Jane as our June inspiration:
Felicity Jane

And here is the mini-kit I put together using four sheets of paper from some 6x6 pads:

The color scheme is slightly different but I added the floral and stripe patterns from the original. And since most Felicity Jane kits include a sampling of labels, I made sure to put some in my mini-kit.

I couldn't resist adding a "real" Felicity Jane stamp set to my kit:

Here's the page I made with my mini-kit:

The pink and white polka dot background wasn't in my original mini-kit - I pulled it out of my scrap box.  I used pieces of the mini-kit papers as layers under my photo and tucked in some labels too.

The photo and journaling were both taken from one of my first post on this blog.

I didn't really use very much of my kit so I might be making another layout with it. 

If you don't have time to pull together a full kit this month, I hope you'll consider making a mini-kit from the Felicity Jane inspiration.  Please add your kit to our monthly link-up, post on Instagram (and tag us using #counterfeitkitchallenge and #ckcjune2017) or share it in our Facebook community.

Out of the Scrap Box / Part Two

In my last post, I talked about making some layouts using pieces from my scrap box.  Today I have one more scrap box page to share.

The idea for the page came from Prompt #254 on the Whimsical Musings blog - be inspired by petals.  I immediately thought of the delicate lilac petals that had fallen from the blooms I picked earlier in the week, so I swept up a few and took a photo. 

I knew that I wanted the page to be airy and delicate, much like those petals.  I also knew that I would start with white cardstock and have very minimal journaling.  This page would be one that would be more about the photo than anything else; my love for lilacs has been well-documented already.  Sometimes I like making a layout just for the creative expression.

Armed with my photo to guide my selections, I turned to my scrap box and pulled out these pieces:

The first group has a small floral print, a tone-on-tone purple print, a white woodgrain cardstock, a vintage text print, and a pale pink paper with a light gray polka dot.

I also pulled a few specialty papers: vellum scraps in light pink, purple, pale white and a white polka dot, and another vellum scrap with gold hearts.

Here is the page I made using most, but not all, of the scraps:

I also included part of a white doily (the remnant went into the scrap box) and a label from an older Felicity Jane kit.

I stamped the title onto a scrap of white cardstock and then cut it out and adhered it to my page.  I wasn't brave enough to stamp right onto the layout - I used an old alpha set from the dollar bin at Michael's and since they are wood-mounted, I was sure that I wouldn't be able to keep them straight and wanted to give myself the opportunity to make multiple versions of each word.

I added some stitching for a finishing touch and then roughed up some of the edges.

I'm very happy with my completed layout and that I was able to get a little more use out of some of my favorite papers.  I'm going to leave my scrap box out on my scrap table as a reminder to take a look in it when I'm making pages.

Out of the Scrap Box / Part One

I'd like to talk about scraps today.  We all have them - those little pieces that remain every time we create a project.  For a number of years I saved almost every one, tossed them in a large box and pretty much left them there to languish, all but forgotten.

Last year, I did a major reorganization of my supplies and one of the first things I tackled was that scrap box.  It was a 12"x12" box that was close to 6" deep and it was completely full.  I was ruthless - I took out every piece (scrap or whole) and kept only those that I absolutely loved and knew I would use again.  By the time I was done, I'd culled that huge amount into a much more manageable pile.  My current scrap box is an iris container and it is only about 1/3 full.  I've carried through that manageability by applying the same "love it and will use it" standards and sometimes when I add the newest scraps, I'll weed out some of the old pieces that no longer meet those standards.

So now my scrap storage is under control but - gasp! - I haven't actually been doing anything with them!  A few weeks ago, as I once again moved that box of scraps out of the way to reach other supplies, I decided that it was time to "use 'em or lose 'em".  I challenged myself to just sit and sift through those pieces of papers and select a few to use on a page.  I've found that sometimes just the act of sorting and holding my supplies sparks my creativity and it worked this time too.  I made several pages; looking back, I wish I had taken photos of the scraps I chose so that you could see where I started but I'll try and do that next time.  Now, onto those pages...

This first page was inspired by a prompt on the Whimsical Musing blog to be inspired by genius.  I used a rather large scrap of a pretty blue paper with gold constellations that I'd punched circles from for a past project.  I trimmed the remaining piece down to 8.5x11 and put together this page:

The gold star vellum sheet was in the scrap box as well.

On my next page, I used an assortment of paper strips from the scrap box - some were branding strips and others were strips I cut from larger pieces.

I layered some additional pieces under the photo and used one more scrap to hold my journaling.

I found another scrap that was the remnant from a banner I'd made and after staring at it for a bit, I realized that it would make the perfect pocket for a photo.  Here's how it looks on the page I made:

I used a few scraps behind the photo and two more as photo corners at the top right of the layout.

My final page today came from my discovery of a thin vertical strip of a rainbow-striped paper and a couple of small punched circles.  I ended up punching more circles to coordinate with that rainbow paper and added everything to this page:

I used a black and white diagonal stripe scrap to mat my photo.

Before I adhered the scraps, I cut a fringed edged on the paper strip just to add that extra something to the design.  I absolutely love the end result!

I hope to make it a habit to make pages from my scrap box on a more regular basis.  Combing through the bits and pieces definitely inspires me in a different way than when I begin with full-size papers.  And I promise to take photos of the scraps before I get them on the page next time.

How about you? How do you store your scraps? Do you even save them?  And do you find that you use them?

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