Thursday, November 14, 2013

Master Forgers Secret Swap Blog Hop

We are playing a game among the Master Forgers over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog, but we thought you'd like to peek in and see what's going on.  It's a secret style game where we were each given a questionnaire to outline our general scrapbooking style.  Then Lisa, our marvelous Design Team coordinator, mixed them all up and gave us one our fellow Master Forgers' answers to follow to create our own interpretation of that style through a layout.   The object of the game?  To possibly stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone and attempt to guess the fellow Master Forger you were assigned.  Let's give this a try.  Here's the criteria I was given to follow:

Starting Point:  Sketch
Background:  Primarily kraft cardstock
Moment/Everyday type story
Single page layout
Layers/Cluster with some angles
Geometric shapes and designs
Main Elements off center
Embellishments following a visual triangle with a clean and simple feel
4x6 Single photo layout
Trendy products
Feminine feel
Wet Techniques
Clean Margins
Handwritten journaling
Title using one alpha which Master Forger could it possibly be?

Well, let's take a look at how I interpreted the criteria.  Here's my layout:

My starting point is usually with the photos, but for this assignment the starting point called for a sketch.  I created a very rudimentary sketch based on the information I was given.

  See, I told you it was rudimentary! I used a basic "L" shape to satisfy the geometric design requirement and placed the one 4x6 photo off-center at the intersection.  So far, none of these design choices were difficult for me to follow.  I think I generally place photos front and center and perhaps on an angle, but I was ok with this deviation from the norm.  I am totally comfortable with a 12x12 page and only one photo.  Speaking of the photo, I took this one especially for this layout.  It was definitely one of those "in the moment" type scenarios as I noticed how beautiful the tree looked as I was walking home from dropping the kids off at the bus stop this morning.  I also remembered that I never documented the story behind the tree.  This is all certainly well within my standard operating procedure.

Kraft cardstock was a MUST as the secret Master Forger said she primarily uses this type of cardstock.   I do like kraft a lot, but I often use patterened paper as my background.  So, this time around I had to be comfortable with a more neutral backdrop.  I grounded it on some rich patterned paper which created a clean margin around the entire layout.

  The gold doily is very on-trend and adds a feminine feel to the otherwise masculine colors on this page.  I added a few layers under the photo including the paper strip with the circles giving a nod to geometric shapes.  Again, all these decisions seem pretty comfortable to me. While I like to have trendy products, I am completely comfortable sneaking in some older products, too.

Embellishments and products came from a variety of sources (which is how I roll).  Love to mix it up!  You can see that they are clustered at the top of the photo, bottom of the photo and then above the title to the right creating a visual triangle.  Glittery maple leaves are so girlie and trendy feathers (in gold, no less) are all the rage!  And, those feathers tucked in at an angle keep the clusters looking natural and not like soldiers lined up on the page.

  Flair-like chipboard finish off these clusters, but keep them simple and clean. Personally, I may be tempted to add a few more things like some word stickers or wood veneers, but we must follow the orders of clean and simple.  And I do think my style slipped in here as technically I think the baker's twine jumble contradicts the clean and simple rule.  Ooops!   

I created my title with one alpha which isn't CRAZY different, but I do often mix my letter stickers and create smaller subtitles with tiny alphas.  For example, I may have included a subtitle that said, "in November" since our October Glory tree is most glorious in November!  A minor difference in my book.

Handwritten journaling is just the way I like it and I even had a misspelled word which I fixed with a little kraft cardstock patch.  Doesn't bother me a bit.  Keeps it all REAL!

As for wet techniques, they are not my "go-to"  but I'm not opposed to them either.  I used my Jenni Bowlin stencil and Tim Holtz Distress Inks to create feathers behind my green title banner as well as a spritz of Heidi Swapp's Gold Color Shine to add a little pizzazz to the kraft cardstock.  A few gold sequins sprinkled in and this layout is good to go.   Nothing says on-trend like sequins these days!

So overall, I didn't feel I had to stretch too far out of my comfort zone.  I do think I learned something about my style through this process.  You know what?   I really, really like trendy products!   Is that wrong?  Do I jump on every bandwagon?  It's not really how I operate in real life as I would consider myself pretty classic, but I do think I can embrace a little bit of everything...owls, feathers, gold...and even MUSTACHES in small doses!  If that's wrong, I DON'T WANT TO BE RIGHT!  I am such a practical person so I think following these trends is my little way of "living on the wild side"!

Here's another layout that I created following all of MY rules because that's the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it (uh huh, uh huh)!  LOL!  This one is ALL Lynnette:

Now, who could my Secret Master Forger be?  
My guess is BETHANY!
 I spied quite a bit of kraft on the background of her pages and titles with single alphas.  Certainly, ANY of the Master Forgers would be wonderful to emulate and I enjoyed studying their blogs and admiring everyone's work to try to solve this mystery.  We shall see if I am correct!                                                       
Here's the order of the blog hop.  Your next stop will be Milissa and all of the mysteries will be solved at Lisa's post at the end, so be sure to keep hopping along!

Counterfeit Kit Challenge: 

Monday, November 4, 2013

CKC Challenge #1: Thankful Mini-Book

First up for my November Kit, "Spread the Love" is this mini-book highlighting Thanksgiving 2011.  I didn't want to get into it too much in the book, but this was just before my Dad unexpectedly passed away.  It was the last happy time we spent together, so I have a soft spot in my heart for this particular holiday.  I have done a 12x12 layout telling that story.  I just highlighted the fun, food and family.


Back Cover

So many reasons to be thankful.  Be sure to count your blessings each day.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Counterfeit Kit Challenge November Kit Reveal Blog Hop

Happy November!  Time is just flying by, but let's slow things down just a bit today to do some counterfeiting.  If you didn't start off at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog, be sure to head over there for the formal introduction and meet our fabulous guest designer, Vikki!  Then work your way through the hop so you don't miss any of the eye candy (I've got candy on my mind since Halloween was yesterday!).  You should have arrived here via the magnificent Leslie.

This month we are using Jenni Bowlin's October Kit as our inspiration.  I just adore Jenni and her products which have a vintage flair and timeless appeal, yet so current and fresh at the same time.  I had the honor of meeting Jenni twice at two different scrapbook conventions and she is just as lovely as her products.  Here's a photo of the two of us:

Here's the inspiration kit that is oh-so Jenni:

While studying the kit for counterfeiting I knew mine would have to include some vintage-type items, lots of kraft, pops of red and orange and a touch of autumnal elements.  Something about this combination just says, "Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches packed in a kraft brown paper bag."

Introducing my November Counterfeit Kit...

Spread the Love

Let's jump right in for a close-up of that classic lunchtime sandwich.

Starting from the left, you can see the wide selection of patterned papers I chose.  From maple leafs by Studio Calico to pears by Basic Grey to red fountain pen ink labels by Jenni B., I have a variety of patterns to liven up my layouts.


Some woodgrain and old vintage paper will work well as more neutral backdrops.  I'm not sure how I'll use that Alpha cut-out, but I knew it HAD to be included.

In true Jenni fashion, I printed off vintage peanut butter and jelly labels for my props!  Could definitely use those on my layouts.

Let's zoom in on my handy dandy printer's tray to see what type of embellishments we will play with this month.

Lots of kraft and woodgrain, some gold washi, copper glitter letters, some vintage Bingo chips and cardboard milk caps...straight from JBS Mercantile! 

Here's a little basket of fall paper scraps!

Looks like lunches are packed and ready to go, as is my kit!

Let's take one more look at the whole spread (LOL!  Pun intended!)

Now it's time to start scrapping and spreading the love all around on my layouts, but first I will need a tall glass of milk to wash down that peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Your next stop will be Milissa.  The entire hop order is listed below.

Guest Designer:  Vikki
Lisa H.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

CKC Challenge #1 - Inspired by Jewelry

Do you have this month's kit assembled yet?  My "Denim and Chambray Soiree" is ready, but I have a confession to make.  I used last month's kit, "Spa Retreat" for October's Challenge #1.  GASP!  You see last month's kit was full of all this great turquoise and since I wanted to feature my extra special gift from my bestie Tara, I just HAD to.  I'm sure you'll forgive me, right?

As soon as Tara handed me the classic turquoise box with the satin white ribbon for my birthday I knew where it came from.  Yes, that's right.  Tiffany & Co.  It wasn't even one of those milestone birthdays.  That was last year and she treated me to a scrap weekend getaway.  I'm not sure why she spoils me so much because our friendship is gift enough.

So, this month's layout is inspired by that classic turquoise jewelry box with the white satin ribbon.  Take a look:

I even used the white satin ribbon from the box on my layout. 

I am blessed.  And not because she bought me a beautiful necklace from a posh jewelry store, but because she is one of the most giving, loving, positive, hardworking, dedicated, and caring people I know.  
Love you, Tara.  You are a classic friend.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Counterfeit Kit Challenge October Kit Reveal Blog Hop

Welcome, once again, to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Reveal Blog Hop.  Our counterfeiting journey begins over at the CKC blog here and if you've been hopping in order you should have arrived here via Leslie's       blog with the Magic Blue Box.  A warm welcome to Stacy, our talented guest designer this month.

This month's inspiration is brought you by Cocoa Daisy.  "5th and Main" is a beautiful kit with shades of blue, pops of pink and turquoise, and a luscious floral.  Take a look here:

September 2013 kit "5th & Main"

I was immediately drawn in to the various shades of blue that made me think of well-worn denim and soft chambray.

Allow me to present to you my very comfortable October Counterfeit Kit...

Is there not anything better than a great fitting pair of jeans coupled with a feminine floral shirt?  Or a soft, over-sized chambray shirt with a pair of black leggings?  And don't even get me started on the denim ruffles on that skirt!  Now, let me just make a fabric note here.  I know chambray is technically not denim, but it does have the same look when shown in a light blue.  The reality is that "Floral and Denim Soiree" doesn't roll off the tongue like "Floral and Chambray Soiree" does!  So CHAMBRAY wins :)

Let's head over to the clothesline to see what's hanging out today!

My all-time favorite denim paper by Basic Grey had to make the cut, as well as those light blue Scrabble tile Thickers.  Some floral paper by Maggie Holmes adds that feminine touch needed to make our soiree complete.  While not multi-color like in the inspiration, the solid wood-tone ruler paper steps in as a close second.  And, I adore that multi-patterned/mulit-colored alpha sheet by October Afternoon.  Such a feminine feel!

What's that?  You'd like a closer look in the basket?  Sure thing!  I just cut some fresh wildflowers before hanging out the laundry.  There may be a few scrap goodies in there, as well.

I can not tell a lie.  The Lucky Charm 6x6 Paper Pad was purchased with this kit in mind.  I don't usually do that as we are supposed to be using up stash, but it was calling my name!   I was shopping at TJ Maxx (a discount store where you can often find scrappy supplies at rock bottom prices) and when I saw the colors and patterns of that paper pad, I just HAD to buy it.  Good news, was only $2.99!  More of the tiny type letters are a MUST for my kits these days.  Pink adds the perfect pop against the blue.

Next let's zero in on the printer's tray full of yummy embellishments.

 I really enjoy using this tray to keep all of my kit pieces sorted each month.  This was also another TJ Maxx find on clearance.  My chipboard bicycle mimics the metal paper clip style ones in the kit.  I briefly thought about bending some paper clips to try and make a bike, but thought, "ummm...NO!  I not THAT much of a Master Forger!"  This Basic Grey chippie works for me!
Film strip pieces and those cobalt blue gems also work well as copies of those in the kit.

Here we are at the other end of the clothesline...

I followed the color palette for the solid cardstock exactly and then added some denim textured papers by Authentique.  The B sides are just as gorgeous as the A's so I can't say for sure what you will see in my layouts to come.  Attached to the bottom are 2 of the Lucky Charm papers that just really matched the inspiration nicely.

Let's stand back in the sunshine and take one more look...

Well, now that my laundry is dry and smelling fresh from the outdoor breezes, it is time to bring it in...along with my scrap supplies.  Let's get scrapping (and folding...UGH!).

Be sure to hop along to Millisa next who will share her take on this month's Cocoa Daisy kit.  The complete list for the hop is listed below.

Guest Designer: Stacy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

LOAD in Vogue Blog Hop!

Welcome to the LOAD in Vogue blog hop!  I hate to be all exclusive, but if you're not part of the ScrapHappy community, this one's not for you.  Sorry!  Membership does have its privileges, but we would love for you to be part of the fun, too.  Check out Lain's site here on how you can join this wonderful community. We are gearing up for our October Layout A Day Challenge, Load in Vogue, a scrapbooking journey through the decades.  Here we will explore trends, fads and fashion as sources of inspiration.  Many of your fellow ScrapHappy sisters have volunteered to offer you some advice and encouragement through this blog hop.  I'm the first stop on the list and then be sure to stop by and visit with the others.  Leave us some love, too!  It's good practice for commenting during LOAD.  So, sit back and relax and enjoy this LOAD pep rally of sorts.  It is sure to get you ready for a fun-filled month of scrapping.

When a Prompt Stumps You

So, many of us have been around the pre-LOAD blog hop block before.  We know about getting lots of adhesive, putting a kit or 2 together, printing off photos, getting some crock pot meals lined up.  So, I thought I would go ahead and take a different approach this time around.  Today I'm going to walk you through some actual experiences I've had during previous LOADs where I read a prompt and said, "HUH?!" and how I handled it.

This will probably happen to possibly all of us sometime during the month.  Before you freak out, take a deep breath and try to relax.  Here are some strategies to help you get the juices flowing.

1.  Use the photo in the prompt as inspiration.  I know that seems like stating the obvious, but even just jotting down a few words or phrases that come to mind when you look at the photo may help you find your angle.  Is there a way you can connect a personal experience to the subject?

2.  Google the subject or search on Pinterest.  Maybe a different photo or reading about it on a wikipedia page may help.  If it is a technique based prompt, you may find some layout samples to help inspire you.  I'm not saying you have to do hours of research.  Just a few minutes.  Here's how a quick search on Pinterest helped me with the hidden element prompt from LOAD213:

Taken from my flickr description:  When I saw this inspiration
on pinterest for hidden elements, I also immediately knew the story I would tell. I'm not one for doing my son's schoolwork, but he is an excellent speller and he despises these word searches. He makes EVERYONE miserable, so I sort of help him along to put everyone out of misery. Thought this was a fun and unlikely story to tell...all from that silly prompt!
3.  Talk to someone about the prompt.  It doesn't matter if they are scrappy or not.  During LOAD513, Lain prompted us to be inspired by a "red herring".  I honestly didn't even know that term.  My husband explained to me what it meant, but that still didn't make the light bulb go on.  Then he mentioned that the hosts of our favorite radio show, "Car Talk" often mention the term "red herring" during the puzzler portion of the show.   I hadn't remembered that.  Oh yeah!  Now the wheels were turning.  My page in the end had nothing directly to do with "red herring" and it didn't even mention it on my page, but I did make a meaningful page about our favorite talk radio show...a story that would probably have never been told had it not been for this prompt.
Taken from flickr description: At first it may seem that I went off prompt, but this is completely inspired by red herring. I wasn't sure how I was going to approach the prompt, so I started talking to my hubby. He then reminded me of this radio show that we like to listen to and how they often talk about a red herring in their "Puzzler" portion of the show. We (as a whole family) enjoy listening, even though my husband is the only one who is into cars. These guys are so doesn't even matter. It is a great and very unlikely topic to scrapbook, but really part of our Saturday mornings. 
4.  Stretch and twist the prompt to work for you.  Also during LOAD513, Lain stumped me again.  We were to scrap a page about lust  (in the sense of something you reeeeaaallly want).  I read it and had nothing.  I could not, for the life of me, think of something I wanted so badly that I would make a scrapbook page about it.  I just wasn't feeling it.  I thought all day and was nearing the time I had to make a decision and scrap.  Finally, I decided to change lust to luster.  I had been wanting to scrap a page about the story of my wedding ring and luster is a word that is used to describe diamonds.  BINGO!  Is this anything close to the original prompt? Not at all, but it doesn't matter!  My page.  My stories.  My scrapbook.

Taken from my flickr description:  I used the actual word lust as a starting point and changed it to luster, as in shininess. My Dad passed when I was 6 and my Mother re-married, so before I got engaged she gave me the ring my father gave to her to have the diamonds re-set. So the title doesn't mean that I REALLY wanted my mother's ring, but I am sure glad that I have it.
5.  Cut your losses and move on.  Sometimes you don't have time to google, pin, talk and stretch.  Sometimes you just need to crank out a page and be done.  And you know what?  That's okay!  Really.  No one will be offended.  Scrap something easy and light and move on.

Taken from my flickr description:  Off prompt and working late tonight after helping my DS with a heritage day project all day long. Used a technique Monica shared in the washi tape webinar. This one is clean and simple.
  And, I have to tell you, there have been multiple times where I let go of the idea to follow the prompt and ended up somehow serendipitously following it anyway.  I think when I took the pressure off, the creative connection just sneaked in.  Here's an example:

Taken from my flickr description: I had given up on the LOAD prompt as I didn't think I had anything, and moved on to the prompt over at Whimsical Musings. Pam challenged us to scrap about being late. After finishing this page...I think I did satisfy both prompts. The question of why would be to my mother: "Why is being on time being late?" She was definitely an early bird! 
We strongly encourage you to follow the prompt when you can, but understand when you can't.  Some days you will read it and know exactly how to approach it and others will take a bit more work.  Please don't curse at us if some of them stump you! :)  It is when you stretch those creative muscles that you become a stronger and more confident scrapper.  Sometimes, it is that extra effort that yields the most inspiring and meaningful pages.

For the record:  During this round of LOAD, I do have a little bit of an advantage since Leslie and I wrote the prompts. Honestly, though, we are so wrapped up in getting everything organized that I don't really even think about how I am going to approach them until that day.  Last year during October LOAD, I remember reading one of the prompts and thought, "Now whose bright idea was THIS?" and then sheepishly remembered it was ME :)

Now be sure to stop by to find out what your fellow scrapsisters have to say.  Your next stop is Christy  It's always nice to know you've stopped by so leave a hello in the comment section :)


Monday, September 23, 2013

Counterfeit Kit Challenge Members Blog Hop - September

Oh, hello there!  I didn't see you at the door.  Come on in and stay a while!  Did you just come from Sherrie's blog?  I'm sure she had a wonderfully creative project to share with you.  Can I offer you a cup of tea?  (well, actually, you may have to get that for yourself!)

Anyway...welcome!  I have a quick post to share with you today.  I've been busy, busy, busy with scrappy deadlines, but wanted to take part in this hop to show you a creation from my September Kit, "Spa Retreat".  If you don't remember, this kit is all about peace and serenity and what could be more serene than BUTTERFLIES?

Take a look...

As it states in the journaling, the butterflies just about posed for the camera during this photo shoot.

I used this sketch from "Page Maps" that I found on the Scrapbook & Cards Today's facebook page.  I've been finding this to be a great resource for inspiration.  I followed the foundation pretty closely and then spread my wings and made it my own in the end.

Photo: Have you seen the bonus PageMaps sketches in the fall issue?

I thought a little bit of tulle was a good nod to a butterfly net.  I wanted to include a pop of yellow to tie in to the butterfly's wings.  The only yellow letter stickers I had were pretty used up.  I determined my title based on the letters I had on hand.  Perfect way to use up those rag-tag letter stickers.

Not much to say here, but this little tag (thanks Leslie) fits the bill.

A little bit of ripping, distressing and tying up makes this photo complete.

And that is all for today!  I'd love to sit and chat for a while, but Julie is waiting for you.  I'm sure she has something fabulous to share!  Thanks for stopping by!  Do come back soon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

All Air-Cooled Gathering

What's this?  A non-scrapbook related blog post?  I didn't even know there was such a thing!

My scrapbestie, Leslie does a fantastic job writing scrap-related posts on her blog, but she also presents a wonderfully creative and interesting photo essay of her "Date Days" with her hubby.  This post is for you, Leslie!  Here's our day at the Volkswagen All Air-Cooled Gathering in Flanders, NJ.  I didn't take as many photos as some years, but tried to focus on some interesting shots.  I mean how many photos of VWs can one possibly have?  Well, don't ask Rob that, but anyway...

Zoot, Rob's '69 Autostick VW Bug, had the opportunity to get out of the garage and hang with some of his other Volkswagen friends.  Rob came along for the ride, too.

Check out the brake light on this '50 Bug!  In case you don't know the red light means STOP!

Rob used to worry that his car wasn't "good enough" to bring to a show.  The reality is that enthusiasts just love to see these old cars and busses (in this case) out there at shows.  Here's an example of "it doesn't have to be perfect to be good" on a VW Bus.  The rust sort of give it charm, I think.

This sticker made me chuckle!

After attending these shows with Rob after so many years, a girl can only look at so many spark plugs and rusty deck lids.  These Skotch Coolers seem to be a popular prop to have in your VW and I just fell in love with that retro looking plaid.  We've picked up several over the years and I really admire the collection here.  Cool camper bus, too!

This one was actually a GRILL!  I've never seen THAT before!

How about this adorable picnic table?  It is hinged and the legs unscrew.  It folds up like a briefcase!  With my scrapbook expo coming up next week, I couldn't justify spending $50 on it, but boy, do I like it.

Now THIS just takes the whole chalkboard art trend to a new level!  The owner had out a box of chalk for you to add your artwork to the bus.  Gracie and I had fun with that.

Even a shout out to our Savior!

These old VWs sure do get around!

I especially enjoy looking at all the VW Camper Vans.  It's like looking into a little dollhouse as they are furnished with curtains and cool upholstery.  

Some even have little sinks and stoves and booth-like table seating.  Someday, we are going to fly to California and rent one of these.  I'm not saying we will camp for our whole trip, but a few nights would be a cool experience.

We are so fortunate to have such an awesome show right in our own backyard.  I may not understand all the in's and out's of a VW engine or which Bug is a '69 or a '72, but I love supporting Rob in his passion.