Saturday, January 31, 2015

counterfeit kit club: february's guest

this month i am delighted to be guesting with the counterfeit kit club.  the premise is simple.  look at a kit you find and love and recreate it by shopping in your own stash.  this is just a brilliant way to get yourself using up your product.  i think i have mentioned many times before that i struggle to scrapbook without a kit anymore.  and yet, i have so much stuff!  making my own kits is the perfect solution.

here is a list of other designers who are joining me in the february blog hop:

i'll first share a little about my layout and then give you some insight into how i go about curating my own kits.

photos:  these are from our trip to visit my sister and her family on vacation in north carolina last summer.  they are the first of that set that i've scrapbooked and i can tell you that i'm going to thoroughly enjoy working with them.  all that beautiful nature and cute little girls to boot.  happy, happy.

story:  this was just a few minutes after we arrived.  riley wanted to take g exploring the creek at the rv campground.  g was eager to oblige.

design:  i was going for bilateral symmetry on this one (sorry, science teacher talking), something i rarely do.  it's fun to shake things up a bit from time to time.  you can see the two photos are aligned along the center with a gutter in the exact(ish) middle of the page.  i also mirrored the flair on either side.  that's about as far as i went with that.  you can see that the rest of the embellishments are scattered loose-y goose-y across the page.  this made for a nice structure, but still an organic design.

technique:  i was watching a pretty intense movie while scrapping and really could hardly take my eyes of my computer screen.  i was thus very haphazard with my patterned paper cutting.  luckily, that look seems to work for me.  ;)

my favorite part of the layout is the confetti words.  i always snip off good words from the bar code strips of my patterned papers before i throw them away.  words scattered across a page is simply the best.  i love the way my salvaged scraps made this page.

product:  this is the kit i pulled together (you can see the sample kit at the very bottom of this post).  patterned paper is the most important part for me.  it really helps to set the stage.  i didn't try to match the sample kit piece for piece.  instead, i looked at it and got a general feel for what it contained:  blues, reds, and golds; clouds; transparencies and vellums; and a travel theme.

next i pulled in alphas and embellishments.  another good rule of thumb is to mix "something new" in with your older product to give it all a fresh feel.  i had just gotten the kit for ali edward's "one little word" class and chose to include it, mainly for the alphas and stamp set.

the rest of the embellishments were then chosen by type.  i have little jars and tins of goodies all over my craft room and simply chose a few of these to include based on what i saw in the sample kit: sequins, flair, label stickers, tiny flowers, and wordfetti.

i love how this first layout turned out and am eager to dive into the next one tomorrow.  stay tuned!  i'll have another counterfeit kit post to share on friday!  :)

sample kit

cocoa daisy: february planner pages

aside from running late, getting, lost, and almost missing our basketball game this morning, today has been rather lovely.  i got to watch a movie all by myself (olympus has fallen; i love a good action flick) while scrapbooking.  and that's just for starters, but need i say more?

i got my february planner pages all organized and ready to go.  i'm trying something new this month with the ribbon tabs.  i simply put a bit of tape runner on the inside ends of the ribbon, looped it on the chosen page, and stapled it for good measure.  they make it easier to open up to the different weeks and my calendar in the back for planning.  if you caught my craft room tour last week you know i surely have enough ribbon to spare, lol.

i changed out the front cover with bits from my february kits.  i've saved the january cover and diver page and am contemplating what i might do with them.  something, for sure.

the notepad is again attached to the left side with a bulldog binder clip.  i have some fun stuffs to play with in the pocket.  i still haven't used anything more than a wooden pencil on the daily pages; it's an ingrained habit.  maybe i will work up the nerve to add stickers to the week at a glance pages.

i keep my blog post ideas on this little calendar that i print out each month from  the number stamps and days of the week stamps on my daily pages (below) are from the cocoa daisy february ditl kit.  i've been wanting more days of the week stamps for the planner, so i was glad to get those.

and the start of the daily pages section all ready for a fresh start on monday.  gotta love that, right?

cocoa daisy: february day in the life kit

here's a quickie pl spread i put together right before the cocoa daisy reveal wednesday night.  it came together quickly as i limited myself to just the february ditl kit.  this spread is from february of last year, so it's a good fit i think.  look!  there's that exclusive floral patterned paper again.  :)

Friday, January 30, 2015

good blog reads

i've gotten so much done today!  and the day's not even over!  and i still have the weekend ahead of me!  aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah . . . feels so good to be productive.  last weekend (in gatlinburg) was great, but i've felt behind all week.  paybacks for vacationing i guess.  here is the only photo i took with my dslr that weekend before the battery died.  ooops.  and here is my updated blogroll with all my current favorite blogs to enjoy.  this is a daily read for me.  i really do love blogs.  you're welcome to check them out too if you'd like.  there are all sorts.  something for everyone (and all for me ;)!

my blogroll (aka bloggy favorites)

cocoa daisy: learning to love yourself

i'm back with another layout from cocoa daisy's february kit, journal entry.  i think it's ironic and quite a bit out of the norm that all three layouts that i made with this kit are me-centric.  perhaps there is a lesson about learning to love oneself first in that.

photo:  the (two seasons worn already) flip flop collection that i blew out assassinating the holly bush (layout coming soon).  notice my delicate and feminine pink polished toenails.  i can be girly when i wanna be.

journaling:  the well deserved and real need to go shoe shopping.

design: white on kraft.  love how it pops.

technique:  i'm back (and will keep coming back) with the paper bag again.  this time i was way pleased that i could just use an extra piece to cover up a stamping bad.

product:  and speaking of stamping, how about that super cute "note to self" stamp?  i love it and can't wait to use it in my planner.  this kit is a combination of the main kit, journal entry, with several bits from the february daisy day planner kit (thin dotted washi, tiny paper clip, planner page, stamp, "yes" sticker, enamel heart).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

cocoa daisy: february reveal!

the cocoa daisy gallery is live and there is lots of beautiful inspiration there.  the design team just can't get enough of this month's edition, journal entry.  i am especially enamored with the exclusive floral paper and have used it on all five of my projects so far (it's that large floral you see on the bottom right of the layout above).  i'm sharing a couple of the projects on my blog today, but all five can be viewed over on the cocoa daisy design team gallerycocoa daisy journal entry, day in the life, and daisy day planner kits can be purchased now as subscriptions.  add-ons and exclusive items are available to members only at this time, but will be available to the general public on the first.

design: this one has a lovely quilted feel about it.  my favorite part is the look of the floral patterned paper in the glassine envelope overlayed over another piece of the same paper.  the paper in the envelope holds my journaling on the flip side.

technique: i may never buy kraft cardstock again.  oh my goodness.  i am in love with the brown paper bags (and glassine envelopes) that the kits come in.  i can think of a million uses for them.  this layering a large piece of it over colored cardstock (that i never, ever use) is a win, win.

photos: i went back to the farm a second time in one week to get that picture of the blooming onion.  who knew an onion blossom was so very beautiful.  breath-taking, really.  g took the picture of me in the peas.  please and thank you, i said.

journaling: it's all about my love for flowers and how this was the year that i  loved them more than ever, growing my own, buying a few at the grocery, getting armfuls at homer's farm, and stopping on the side of the road to photograph my favorites, the wildflowers.

product:  cocoa daisy, of course!  main kit only!

an accompanying project life page.  i pulled in a bit from the add-ons for this one.

lots more flower love on this page.  happiness.

cocoa daisy: big reveal tonight at 7:00 CST

greetings!  this is my very first month as a member of the cocoa daisy design team and i'm diving in head first!  i'll be the hostess at tonight's reveal party!  i know from visiting last month that it's a hopping place.  won't you join me?  the party starts at 7:00 p.m. CST (or maybe even a littler earlier for those of us who just can't wait).  the design team gallery will go live, kits will be available for drooling viewing and for purchase if you're a member, plus there'll be lots of chatter.

march is my birthday and the march cocoa daisy day planner is what i'm gifting myself.  the green and teal has me swooning.  the quotes on the monthly divider and notepad are just so me.  and, hello! that stamp! i die!  :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

valentine's day inspiration from the archives

valentine's day is fast approaching!  it is actually one of my favorite holidays.  it's just so nice to do sweet little things for other people.  plus, it's a great excuse to give yourself chocolate and flowers.

i'm needing to get busy on the valentine's front.  i have plans to make an addition to my mantel decorations, join in a postcard exchange, and make the best classroom valentine's ever (g's in the 5th grade, so this is probably my last hurrah).

here is a bit of inspiration from last year to get us all motivated.  this first one is a sample of g's class valentine's.  i've been working through his collection of little plastic animals for the past few years.  i think this year is supposed to be ugly bugs.  i have already done these lizards, dinosaurs, and ocean animals (all of which can be seen in the link above).

a sweet little heart garland that i crocheted for last year's mantel.  it's already up decorating my new vintage map this year (my 2014 valentine mantel can be seen in this post as well).

a valentine page i made for my baby last year.

and the february pages in my holiday mini album.

how about you?  any valentine crafting plans in your near future?

good blog reads

we had such a great time last weekend with our cub scouts.  this was our view from our tenth floor hotel room.  it actually snowed the first night we were there.  what a beautiful scene to wake up to.  ice skating was no g's favorite, but snow skiing was.  i am so thankful for the opportunities and friendships we've had with these people.  it is bittersweet to think about crossing over and moving on next month, but the future waits for no one.

a few new blogs to share on another snowy morning:

lifestyle -

interior design -

planning -

gardening -

cooking -

photography -

Monday, January 26, 2015

quality literature: out of the easy

out of the easy is by the same author as between shades of gray.  it was equally as amazing, if not more so.  i am anxiously awaiting word of a new release from ruta sepetys.  so far, she is that good.

the books are completely different, except for the outstanding and strong female protagonist.  this one is set in the french quarter of new orleans in the 1950's.  the main character, josie, is the daughter of a brothel prostitute who has no mothering skills.  josie ends up more or less raising herself with the help of the brothel madam and the owner of a used book store who semi-adopts her.  it is a fabulous read.  i remember waking up the morning after and feeling a little emptiness because i was no longer a part of josie's world.  i had become that attached to her.

genre: (psuedo) historical fiction, chick lit
setting: 1950's new orleans french quarter
reading level: adult, high school

cocoa daisy: scrap room tour

i made big plans on january 1st to get my whole house (including my car, computer, and shed) cleaned, tidied, and purged this month.  i started out strong, but seem to be peetering out.  oops.  at least the craft room is done, right?  i have a full tour up on the cocoa daisy blog today.  you can see it HERE

this is a bonus shot just for you though.  i finally found a semi-permanent (hello, the thing has wheels) place for my raskog cart.  now what the heck do i put in it?  what do you store in yours?  i know a lot of you put mixed media  stuff in it, but i've already got that housed nicely in other places.  i did just move most of my stamps to the bottom spot.  i want to use them more this year and though having them out in the open might help.  this freed up the mesh bin you see just to the right.  my washi tape was overflowing the basket i had them in, so i moved them into the container that my stamps were in.  i worried that this wouldn't be a convenient spot, but turns out it is.  i moved it to where it is from the far right side of the shelf and it's made all the difference.  i can reach them from my chair there and grab them all the time.  they are actually more convenient now.

on the middle shelf i've put all my freckled fawn kits.  i haven't been using those either, so i've gone through them, broken the kits up, and reorganized them according to type of product.  also, i have all the stamp sets out front and center.  must stamp more!

the top is currently just a catchall spot.  we all need one of those, right?

and here is my little buddy playing legos in his favorite spot in my craft room.  our craft room, actually.  this is our most used spot in the house.  when we are awake, i would say we hang out in here 75% of the time.  together.  so sweet.  

and also, how sweet is it that he's so into his legos again.  this comes and goes with him and i'm sad every time it goes, worrying that he's done with kid toys.  but then they come back again and i'm happy once more.  this time, they've come back full force!  he's currently working on the entire set of bikini bottom!  love it!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

the b&w photography project: first timer

these photos were also taken on our interstate hike.  i had been toying with the idea of joining in on the b&w photography project at the podcast for quite some time now, but never gotten around to it.  while i was going through my pictures from the hike, i had a good 40+ that i liked and decided it was a good time to finally dabble with converting some to black and white.  i've never really done black and white for the artistic element.  mostly it's just been for poor quality or noisy photos with the occasional one for "emotional impact" on a scrapbook page.  this was an eye-opening experience.

there is a nice write up of black and white photography tips at the podcast and two of those really stood out to me.  one is the idea that you have to begin seeing the world in black and white.  i think i am very much color driven, so this will be something to really focus on.  the second tip that practically made my head spin was that overcast days can be good for black and white photos.  i am very much into lighting in my photography.  finding out that i can pursue interesting photos in flat lighting is mind blowing.  this could be the answer to my winter photography blues!

wasp's nest.

as i was choosing which to convert to black and white, i mostly ignored the ones i had chosen for a specific color quality.  that was a no brainer to me.  the part that surprised me was that 90% of the ones that i had taken because of lighting conditions, didn't show well in black and white.  wow!

i'm really quite excited to explore this aspect of photography more.  it's fascinating!

g trying to make it through the fence gap on his own.

finally he needed a helping hand from his mama.

i'm curious.  do you have a favorite out of these?  there are several that i like for various reasons . . .

bird nest.

here is something else to analyze.  this portrait i thought was so striking in black and white and the one in the previous post was taken just a few seconds prior and lost something when i tried converting it to black and white.  like i said earlier . . . fascinating!

joining in with the b&w photography project on podcast.