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08 February 2016

Memorandum Monday–New Challenge Team

It’s Monday, what’s the memo?  That is what Sian @FromHighInTheSky and her friends are asking.
My answer is:

As I hinted before, I joined a new Challenge team -- The Studio Challenges.  Why?  Because, as documented in my layout yesterday, I am into trying out NEW things in 2016.

I have been lucky enough to enjoy every team I work on presently or have worked on in the past.  It occurs to me that some of you may be considering joining a challenge design team for the first time.  If so, would it be helpful if I told you my thought process for choosing ones that fit me to a tee.

Yes, S.  How does one know a good fit?

I consider these factors:
  • Is there a mix of types of challenges to enjoy - sketches and other options?
  • How many assignments are required each month?
  • How much advance notice is given on the assignments?
  • How are the communication and the logistics of the team set-up?
  • Does the timing fit in well with current commitments?
  • Do the assignments give flexibility to tailor them to my own content?
  • Does the challenge site facilitate clicks through to the designers’ blogs, so scrappers introduced to them at the challenge site can get to know them better at their own blogs?

Once I have served for a while, these additional questions pop up:
  • Am I inspired by the team experience on the whole, learning as I go?
  • Is the effort required sufficiently rewarded in one way or another?
  • Has it begun to feel repetitive or could it simply be time for a change?

Each team has its own pace, pressures and pleasures.  It is fun to be brave and try new ones out.

Some factors you may be able to judge beforehand, and others you can only assess after joining and participating.  I enjoy the challenge of trying something new, especially when it means a good chance to meet other scrapbookers. Most design team terms that are not product-compensated are shorter in length, 6 months rather than 1 year. It gives both sides a chance to see if it is a good fit.

Sometimes it is happenstance that affords new opportunities to pop-up and offer a change right when you are open to one.  Bingo – that’s what has just happened to me. It is not the first time that I have found a new site that I really liked and jumped in with both scrappy hands!

Life is like that. (Hmmm . . . that would be a good topic challenge for a layout!)


Postscript:  Speaking of brave and as a throwback to Me On Monday, here’s an early morning shot of me in the studio.  Before hubby is awake, before I have taken a shower, changed out of my jammies and the world’s lightest weight coziest sweater, un-wadded my hair and run a brush through it and before I’ve put my contacts in or makeup on!  Breakfast and brushing my teeth are all that had been accomplished before I started to play with paper.  When I think about it, this is the condition in which I most often scrapbook.  I guess it is a good thing I don’t add this photo to design team applications, huh?

07 February 2016

New for 2016

New for 2016 – a Scrap YOUrself challenge #26 layout

new for 2016-001 

Start: This month’s challenge is to scrap using one little word.


I am not into the OLW internet meme/scrapbook thing:  been there, never finish that.  So when presented with the challenge, I mentally ran through a series of possibilities.  With no intention to embrace those words going forward,  my thinking was mostly about telling old stories brought to mind by single words. (S – do hold that thought for possble use on other layouts.)

I do not think that was intended – by either Ali or by Sharon in presenting the challenge. (No, S, that is not the gist of the thing.)  Inquiring minds wonder what one word will move me forward in 2106.  Being a sometimes sneaky, and I would like to think, always creative Scorpio, I decided to embrace NEW because it could encompass anything – indeed, everything!  This layout outlines just a few new possibilities for 2016.  My NEW twist on an idea I may have picked up on Mondays. (Sly, yes?)

Style: I took the NEW-est picture of me, and used three versions – ranging from an older looking black and white to a new full color photo, and one photo edited to fall in between.

A center orientation to the page seemed appropriate.  To personalize it, I used the Susanne Nouveau font. (Oh, S, is that what you mean by creative?  Almost clever - that!)

I am enjoying using pastel cardstock as my base and typing up my journaling.  It works well with black and white photos as well as color. 
Could be that's my NEW Scrappy thing for 2016.

Stash: These supplies come primarily from my January counterfeit stash kit called Sweetbriar Rose, including several of the Project Life cards selected from Becky Higgins Project Life Floral mini kit.  Also, in playing off the gold dots on the ribbon, I added Studio Calico and Kamoi washi tapes, Pebbles glitter gold circles and gold clips from Levenger.

I plan to tuck the other PL cards, another piece of the Stampin Up sky blue cardstock and the paper scraps into the page protector behind this layout, so that I can do another page at the end of the year enumerating some of what was new!!

Speaking of NEW, have you joined in with Sian @FromHighInTheSky for Memorandum Mondays, where we share something new.  Tomorrow is a new Monday, after all.  Go ahead, why not try something Nouveau, as this wanna-be-french scrapper might say?

01 February 2016

Memorandum Monday–Give Me A Sign

It’s a new Monday – here’s the memo:


This past week hubby and I started sign language classes. Our son is dating a lovely deaf girl.  Naturally we want to be able to communicate with her and vice versa.  Our son has picked up sign from her pretty quickly; we old folks need more formal training.

We were just barely introduced to the subject on our first night of class, but we did learn that the signs for hello include a small salute from the temple or, as you would expect, a side-to-side wave.  So hello to Sian @FromHighInTheSky and friends this Monday.  (A wave will also start the countdown timer for the camera on my tablet, another new thing I am learning.)


According to our instructor American Sign language has its roots in French grammatical structure. If you know French that would help you. I do not know French, although hubby had studied it back in his high school days. She explains the origin of the signs she shares with us, so we better remember them. It is a way of connecting a little story with a mental picture.  As a scrapbooker, I liked that.

I asked the instructor if ASL is like shorthand, an obsolete skill I excelled at in high school and college.  I hoped it might help my brain process it more logically.  She explained both American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English (SE) are used when communicating with the hearing impaired. The basic signs for words are the same; however, with Signed English (SE) a sign is executed for every word in a sentence whereas American Sign Language (ASL) seeks to convey a concept. So SE is closer to shorthand -- all the words are included, but are shortened to symbols.
Here is a good example I found online.  If I were to sign “I have two sisters” in SE, I would make a sign for each word. In ASL, I might make the signs for “two” and “sister” and then point to myself, conveying the thought “two sisters, me.”  Based on videos I have seen online, the who, what, where parts of a question come at the end in ASL.

Initialized signs are another tool for teaching as they help students differentiate between words that can be represented by one single sign. For instance, one sign can mean car, bus, or truck. But by using a “C” when car is made, a “B” when bus is made, and a “T” when truck is made, the signer can increase the expanse of vocabulary introduced.  The example given in class was that the inclusion sign for a group of people is often the same, but using a “C” for class and an “F” for family adapts it to the situation. Signs, therefore, are most usually taught in groups of words.

Signed English is used most often in a classroom setting where sentence structure is being emphasized (for example, lessons in reading or grammar). ASL is used in settings where the focus is on the thought or message (like history or psychology).  Our instructor, who is personally acquainted with our son’s girlfriend, knows that she mostly uses Signed English. 

The book pictured above was given to hubby by his mom.  Our instructor thought it was an excellent one from which to learn.  At home, we began using it as a reference for learning to form  letters of the alphabet.  The instructor did not want us to practice finger-spelling until she could go through it with us. Indeed, she promised to “properly clean up” the alphabets of those who have  been using it!

Well now, there is a hint that our instructor is quirky in a fun, entertaining way.  She definitely knows her stuff, including several languages other than sign.  She shared stories of being called upon by the police and other public agencies to help out in situations with the hearing impaired.  I think our learning experience will be enjoyable.  Our reward of getting to know our son’s girlfriend will be extra special.

Do any of you know sign language?  Why did you learn?

February 2016 Counterfeit Kit Blog Hop

Hello, and welcome to February and the Counterfeit Kit Challenge reveal blog hop.  February is a short month. Time’s a wastin’ – let’s get to it.

Start: Our inspiration kit is from Mind The Scrap, their February kit – Snuggle. Pretty!


Lots of pink, teal and some navy were included in my January kit.  To mix it up I keyed in on these inspiration elements::

Gradations of color (I used the full spectrum and not just pinks)
Strong horizontal lines – rows of pattern
Black for contrast
Bold funky type
Hearts (it’s February, after all - but I did stop short of the cupid's arrows)

Last month, I USED A LOT OF MY JANUARY STASH KIT.  (Yes, I am shouting it from the rooftops.)  Then I spent time tidying the studio, organizing paper lines, looking through older stash, and purging fewer things than in recent years.  Being reacquainted with older stock meant that I could pull odds and ends and still produce a cohesive look.  It is very satisfying to use up the last of a paper line, embellishment pack and odds and ends.

My February kit is smaller than January’s.  I hope to speed through some layouts and make some cards from the scraps, adding in cardstock and card bases as I go.

Set: Introducing Scrap In A Snap

Stash: Patterned papers:
Fancy Pants The Good Life Enjoy (reverse)
Crate Paper Trendsetter Style Sheet (reverse)
Studio Calico Bright Pier Banana Stand
Authentique Fresh Collection Free (reverse)
Jillibean Soup Blossom Soup Fresh Cilantro
Tim & Beck for Studio Calico Clean Slate
The Girls’ Paperie Jubilee
The Girls’ Paperie Paper Girl

Pink Paislee Fashion Scrip alphabet stickers
Fancy Pants My Valentine Transpariences
Basic Grey Knee Highs and Bowties alphabets
American Crafts pearl brads
Creative Imaginations label die-cuts
Colorbok journal and heart die-cuts
Stampin Up silver thread
Unknown maker blue twine
Love My Tapes washi tape
My Mind’s Eye Lost and Found Lovely buttons
EK Success Art Blanche scalloped chipboard
Unknown silver charm
Momenta vinyl words
Heidi Swapp acrylic die-cut words

Feb card add-on

Oh, and let’s not forgot the pocket cards that I said I would include each month – this adds some important design aspects this month - like the tiny triangles and the funky brush type (and even a couple of small arrows, after all).  The cards are trimmed down from two 6 x 8 double-sided cards from a Studio Calico kit. The stamps sets are by Studio Calico and Pebbles, the set of labels from Twine & Ink (for Studio Calico).

Stops: Now it is time to make the rounds to see more great counterfeit kits:

So go make yourself a kit for some quick scrapping this month.  Go, go, go – even with the extra leap year day - time’s a wastin’.

29 January 2016

Duke Is Part of the Family

Duke is Part of the Family – a Scrapbook Challenges Flashback Friday sketch layout

duke family 

Start: sbcffsketch201

Here is the sketch we were given.

Style: This layout has fairly recent patterned paper and an odd lot of old embellishments.  It was done when I needed to get my mojo flowing again.  My approach was to make  it fun without being complicated – mixing playful patterns and layering was the game plan.  I will admit it took me twice as long as usual to complete because I was not working from a kit.  I spent too much time deliberating the choice of ribbons and buttons – umm. . . make that button!  I never did find the doggie themed flair I know I have, and even now, I am tempted to move those enamel dots around.

I like the design’s straight lines, circles and scallops.  I had the self-control to only look at pictures in my to-be-scrapped box.  I don’t have a 4 inch punch, and using my Cricut or even my Creative Memories cutting system was going to slow me down – not ideal when your mojo is not strong.  So given that I have a 2 1/2 inch punch, I used smaller circles and then tucked the transparency behind the two most important circles for emphasis. 

Admittedly, there is not much story here.  He’s cute and he’s spoiled – enough said.  Naturally I let my title tell a big part of the story, because you know how I feel about titles (wink)!

Stash: Bazzill cardstock
Echo Park Bark, Jillibean Soup Fur Fusion Soup and Bella Blvd Rover patterned papers
SEI Homestead alphabet and border
Basic Grey small alphabet
My Mind’s Eye tranparency
Little Yellow Bicycle printed chipboard
EK Success Carte Blanche scalloped chipboard
Leaky Shed Studio dachsund shaped chipboard
Bella Blvd heart button
Teresa Collins essentials enamel dots
Queen & Co. Candy Shoppe dots
Jillibean Soup journal sprouts and die-cut vellum hearts
Stampin Up ribbons and punches
Versamagic chalk inks

This is my final challenge for the Scrapbook Challenges blog, I am rotating off at the end of this term. It has gone by fast and has been a fun and productive experience - I recommend it!  In fact, if you had not seen, there is now a Design Team call open over there.  In February they are doing something different while retooling the blog a bit before the new Design Team begins.  Go check it out - it's a cool challenge site!!

Stay tuned to see where this scrapper pops up next with her scissors in hand.