Thursday, April 24, 2014

back to reality + some Camelot sneaks

Confession : I'm having a hard time getting back into my daily routine after a fabulous week in Jamaica.
This trip turned a bit introspective and when we got home, I had this desire to dissect my life in a sense and evaluate what was working, what wasn't working, what is important to me and what is just bs.

It sounds more intense than it was, but I've been trying to let go of that feeling of being "caught up" with everything and just work on my own stuff. Finding my flow, my routine and my contentment. A week "off" did an amazing amount of good for me - now I'm working on bringing bits of that feeling back home. I smirked to myself a bit when I read this Zen Habits post yesterday because I am guilty of fantasizing about how to 'get it together' but not taking action on it for whatever reason and/or excuse. Always such good intentions...

It felt good to come home and make stuff though. I was greeted with a pile of mail and two boxes of paper love. The Bluegrass Farm scrapbook kit subscription (+ subsequent orders, lol) and the May Camelot Project Life kits.

I had a few weeks of Project Life to work on, including my birthday week and our week in paradise. I loved this quote that Tina shared on her blog a few weeks ago and had to use it for my own birthday. That green card - amazing. And the white alpha rub-on's are some of my favorite. I adore the font too.
This month, my main only spread is a mix of PL and a traditional scrapbook page. I am obsessed with this cut file Paige Evans designed and had to use it on a full layout.
I documented our trip simply because I have plans to get all of the details down in a mini book soon. That meant photo enlargements and lots of memorabilia. The colors and slight travel theme of the add-on's this month seem like they were meant for me.
Reveal of the May kits happens on April 27th at noon EDT for subscribers and midnight EDT for the general public. Until then, you can see more sneaks of all of the kits here.

Hmm, I guess this is all a bit deeper than what I usually write about in this space. If it makes any sense at all. If nothing else, it feels good to type it out. And start taking some action. Baby steps.

On a related note, I found this post really interesting too. I immediately pinned it and wrote this question in my journal : What do I want more of right now?

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