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29 June 2015

What makes a scrapbook kit work?

After my recent kit post, it occurred to me that what I find relatively easy – pulling together a kit of coordinated supplies – might be difficult for those with less practice or even newcomers to the hobby (more on that below).  Let me admit this to you, dear blog readers, it was not so easy for me at first either.

So let me share a few quick thoughts about this scrap-busting kit.  A refresher on kit making 101, if you will.



A few design concepts come into play here.  Yikes, did I spook you with the very thought.  “Design” is mostly common sense reasons why certain combinations result in a pleasant visual experience, or not.

Continuity – the basis for most of my kits is color continuity.  The easiest way to get it – choose a multi-colored element – paper or an embellishment – and make that the visual starting point.  Simply chose papers that would coordinate with those colors In this kit. I started with the world map paper.

Theme can also provide a continuity to the kit.  I have several travel items included here (papers, banners, journal cards).  I have not overdone it; my kit should work for a variety of subjects.

Contrast -  Some papers were lighter, some darker, some more neutral, some more colorful.  Just add a paper at a time to your main inspiration piece.  You want each addition to look good with the others – but not too similar.  Also vary the patterns with large, medium and small repeats.

For real polish, include some sparkle and shine in among all that flat printed paper – like gold foil on  paper, glitter on the banners, epoxy/metal stickers, transparency cards, glossy flair and enamel dots.

Also, as much as I love color, I ALWAYS make sure I include some good neutrals for grounding.  
That is easy enough to remember for papers, but it applies to embellishments as well.  For example, I included the black alphabet, washi tape and stickers.  Neutrals help the more colorful elements play together nicely.

Cloning - (actually, it is select repetition with variety) – Did I not just say that you did not want it to all look alike.  Well, that is true – but it is also nice to repeat certain things, in different ways. 
  • Example one – maps are repeated on 2 papers, and in the banners.
  • Example two – circles/dots (filled circles, if you will) are repeated in the papers (and the swiss- dot cardstock), with flair and adhesive dots, on the ribbons and even on some of the wood veneer.
  • Example three – gold is used in two specialty pieces of paper and one ribbon.
  • Example four – sweet little flowers appear on a paper and on a flair.
  • Example five – the idea of sunburst is found on the gold embellished paper and the Hello Sunshine flair.
  • Example six – there is wood grain paper as well as wood veneer elements.
"C" how easy it is.  (That S, always with the alliteration!)
By including these complementary supplies in my kit, the designs of individual pages or cards should require much less thought.  That is why kit clubs are so popular; they make it so you almost cannot go wrong.  But the truth is, you too can pull together a kit works.  Your turn . . .

go see do 

PS  This post was also prompted in part by my daughter, who saw my upcoming counterfeit kit for July and commented "well, this is all very color-coordinated".  What is it?

So I was reminded that reviewing the basics is always helpful to those new to the scrapbook fold. Hopefully in the process, I have converted a few of you to my kit making clique!

24 June 2015

Up For A Scrapbusting Challenge, She Asked

Of course, I answered the call.

I learned of Jill Sprott’s challenge in the Get It Scrapped forum.  She also posted it on her blog.  Reviving an idea of Doris Sanders’, Jill’s challenge is to make a kit from your stash following her directions. Easy enough for a kitmaking scrapper like me.  A summary of her directions follow – along with the items I included in my kit:

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First, go through your stash and create a kit that contains the following contents: 

stashbusting challenge kit
1. Eight pieces of patterned paper scraps and four specialty paper/"other" paper scraps -- no complete sheets allowed.  Direct from my scrap bin,  hexagons, world map, plaid, circles, street map, flowers, wood grain and triangles. From other spots in my studio, gold dot on handmade white, mulberry paper, gold bursts, die-cut strip.

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2.  No more than one yard of trim, with no individual piece measuring more than 11" in length.  I chose four ribbon remnants in different colors and textures.  I confess to not measuring or cutting; they are remnants, after all.
3. One sticker sheet, with a catch: at least one sticker must be missing from the sheet.  A half-used sheet by Hello Forever.
4. A pre-2013 alphabet – Websters Pages Storyteller from 2012 – two sizes, 4 colors!
5. One opened package/container of scrappy product - Dear Lizzy adhesive badges.
6.  One unopened package/container of scrappy product – Teresa Collins wood veneers.
scrapbusting challenge kit
7. One roll of tape – Black and white stripe by Kamoi; they were in the game early on.
8.  One item or package of product from a company that no longer makes scrappy  product – All My Memories metal word art, they are no longer in the game.  At least their website is defunct. 
9.  Six journaling and/or Project Life cards – From In A Creative Bubble.
10. Unlimited cardstock, adhesive, and "technique-type product" (e.g. stamps, stamping ink, paint, mist, stencils, embossing powder, etc.).     I matched 7 sheets of cardstock in 3 different textures.  I reserve the right to add the other tools later.
11. A wild card item. Include anything you've been wanting to use. I started to reach for some buttons from my ample supply, but opted for enamel dots that I use less often.
12. A nearby item. Grab something from your desk or craft area that is within arm's reach.  Directly behind me when I scrap is a basket of stickers and borders.  I grabbed some Heidi Swapp banners that have been languishing too long.

After compiling the kit, create a minimum of three projects by July 20.  The original rules called for one layout and two cards, but three projects of any kind will work. 
 
stashbusting challenge kit-003

A lot of the fun for me is derived while compiling the kit.  Pulling together a kit from a recipe like this was quite fun and quicker than pulling together my monthly Counterfeit kit.  The toughest part was choosing from an under populated scrap bin.  Stay tuned for quick some upcoming projects.


22 June 2015

Me On Monday after Father’s Day

We had a lovely Father’s Day – church, our favorite nearby Chinese buffet for lunch and then 4 hours fighting world-wide Pandemic.

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This is the new game they are into – having played a little on Saturday.  By Sunday afternoon, when I joined in, they were determined to play until they won a game. That was no easy task, and in fact, we aren’t counting it as a real victory as a little rewinding took place near the end.  We could not believe how quickly the whole afternoon passed by.  Duke was less concerned with global health and safety than his own; he napped next to me.

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In the midst of worldwide struggle, I attempted to get a picture of my children and their father.  I received much less cooperation than on Mother’s Day.  And so the picture is not as good.  I warned them I had immediate plans for a scrapbook page; it did not coax them into better behavior.

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This is the best of the bunch.  I will spare you (really I am sparing them) the very, very unflattering outtakes.  Hubby, who is taking is first online photography class (a gift from the kids @ Christmas), was quick to point out my focus would be off because I was shooting at an angle.  Of course, he was right, and this is the least out-of-focus shot.  I am not exactly certain what thought lies behind his expression here.  I fear they have created a monster who will be more ready with advice than cooperation.  What’s a scrapbooker to do!  Keep shooting, I guess.

Once the afternoon flew by, we opted for carry-out for dinner too.  Then son headed home to do some work and daughter and her Dad to another of the free Sunday concert series by the local Philharmonic band.  Fighting epidemics can wear you out, so I opted out of the concert and snuggled in for some TV in bed, as it started to rain.  The concert-goers bailed out at intermission, as they were barely able to stay awake either.

On today’s agenda, while son and daughter work, hubby and I will be dealing with cardboard boxes.  His:

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He is restringing some fishing reels in anticipation of his annual father/son trip to Canada.  Tackle bags surround the kitchen table – part of the reason we were playing in the family room.

Mine:

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You can barely spot it under the pile of stuff I’ve let accumulate last week in the office.  Since changing my computer wallpaper, I’ve been spending less time in the office.  I found this free printable online, sorry, I don’t recall where.  (ETA:  I do recall - it was on Simple Scrapper.)   It's a subtle yet effective time management tool.

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So much stuff has been dumped on the desk without follow-up.  With that tray hanging precariously atop the in-basket, I thought it was time to catch up on some stuff.  You will find among this squalor a variety of stuff – bills, craft supplies, 20 year old business cards, and even a doll made from wooded thread spools.

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That lovely 12 x 12 cardboard box (bottom left) is actually out-going, not incoming.  Although there is a little package of incoming supplies for an upcoming online class of mine sitting on top of it.  Aren’t we the lifelong learners in this house. (Maybe a course on keeping a tidy desk is in order.)

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So here’s me before I even turned on the computer.  Snuggled in a cozy blanket, hair in a pony tail, reading classes on, waving at Sian and friends this Monday.  I hope you make the most of it, so as to not disappoint Benjamin.

19 June 2015

Night owl–this morning

Woke up at 12:01 a.m. this Friday and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Can I get a “poor S”? All in unison, now.

Is any one else up on this side of the globe?  And what are they up to on that side.  Well, I’ve been catching up on blog reading, so I can tell you.  Okay, it was really skimming – a bit of a headache bothering me.  (yes, time for another, “poor S”.)

But I have enjoyed catching up with friends. And while I can’t mention them all if I am to get back to bed before daylight, you might like to check in on:

Lisa – who posted her 15 loves for June – she always has something colorful that makes me want to run to the cosmetic counter or the shoe department

Alexa – who put together 2 digital pages on a fairy tale wedding, of which I would love to see more

Sian – who posted a lovely page about a lovely bear in her signature light background, little photo style.  Not to be confused with a little background, light photo style. {What are you talking about S?  Well, it made sense in my slightly aching head?} ("poor, poor S!")

Julie – a prolific scrapper who can work with color like a pro – whether it is bold Bella Blvd. or the slightly more tame Fancy Pants – she always impresses.

Connie – with her vintage crafty flair and her love of junking!

Melissa – who you can always count on for a pop of yellow happy FUN!

Tracy – who is currently enthralled with pocket letters, something I want to try soon.

Gemma – who will keep me on my scrappy toes as a fellow Challenge YOUrself team member

Barbara – who must be a good cook, her mentions of cheesy biscuits and salisbury steak make my mouth water

Nathalie – who has a nearly flawless sense of card-making and scrapbooking style

and then a last stop at Mary’s where heavenly blessings abound with some down to earth implications.

There were lots more stops, of course.  But you can see how nicely my system is working for blog reading, can’t you.

Well, I’m feeling a bit better, visiting with friends always helps, right. Now I’d better scoot back to bed.  A little more sleep and everything should feel like it’s coming up roses tomorrow today.

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Have a great weekend everybody!

17 June 2015

Cheers!

Today is all about the celebrating—first here’s a layout from my Counterfeit Kit for June – Through a Peachy Paper Prism.

Cheers! – A counterfeit kit layout

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Start: Last week, or was it the week before, I was to the point of having that background sheet of hash marks still uncut in my kit.  It was my least favorite paper in the kit – and left me puzzled about how to incorporate it on a page.  I decided to analyze it.  What did the paper say to me – besides “meh”.  It insisted that it was very active and cheerful. Okay, I will grant it that.  So why not use it on a page about my young son - that is, about my son when he was younger.

Style: And then by serendipity I spotted a single sheet of Crate Paper Craft Market paper with the wood design, and decided to use it to cover up complement the busy paper.  I also used a large scrap of yellow paper to cover up a bit more provide transition between the two.  I modified the familiar three-up sketch to include the title at the top and subtitle in the middle.  The slant of the woodgrain subtly reinforces the flow, don’t you agree? Subtle provides a nice balance.

I also had not opened the ribbon pack for this paper, so I ripped into two of the three colors and started a banner down the side.  Wanting to add to the ribbon, I went to my basket of gold goodies.  I found the round tag and a clothing tag with the perfect sentiment.  Then I finished up a visual triangle of gold and circular items by the title and by the journal block (still to be written on).

Stash: Patterned papers - Stampin Up Best Year Ever, Crate Paper
Camera die-cut sticker – Crate Paper
Circle glitter tags - American Crafts
Alphabets -  Bella Blvd & October Afternoon
Journal cards - Heidi Swapp and Basic Grey
Arrows - Basic Grey and Freckled Fawn

Postscript
Story:
Now that I’m done, I think I’ll go celebrate with a cold beverage as well.  Did you notice that my son is the one with the electrolyte sport drink and not the sugary can of soda.  Who’s the good mom!

And then there’s this exciting news:

challenge yourself design team announcement

I just recently discovered this challenge blog – and I really liked the idea of being challenged to scrap pictures of myself.  Honestly, I’m not at all photogenic.  Truly, my family will tell you that I don’t photograph well.  I needed the nudge to scrap more photos of myself.

And, as long time readers of my blog know, when I think an idea is truly terrific – I jump in with both feet.  So I was really pleased when they chose me to serve on the design team with all these other talented ladies.

Scrap on, shall we?