Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Favorite Brand

I love "MY FAVORITE"'s.  They actually give a little insight as to how someone feels, thinks, connects, creates.  I know I've touched this subject before, but occasionally one has to revisit, redefine, reestablish their favorite anything - movies, songs, food, color.

Everytime we start a new adventure about paper, the question is asked:  What is your favorite paper?
Well, of course, this could be answered in several ways.  My favorite all time paper is:  OA Woodland Park Blue Sky... or DL 5th & Frolic 6th & Main... or EP Everyday Eclectic Hot Air Balloons... at least this year... maybe.  My favorite all time collection is OA Sidewalks... or DL 5th & Frolic... or EP This&That Graceful... or K&Co Amy Butler... maybe.  So, I find that each time I answer it I find it's the wrong answer... or not enough.  But one thing that is truthful enough is that I usually have favorite papers that go with favorite themes - K&Co for heritage pages, MME Lost & Found for family pages, DCWV Nanas Kids for baby pages, etc. 

As I was restarting the Scrapbook Remix class, the question came to my mind once again.  So I thought in broader terms - what is my favorite Brand?  A look at the above would say that it's probably October Afternoon as that came to mind first; or American Crafts, or maybe Echo Park.  Then I decided to look inside my stash and let it tell me the answer... What brand do I have the most of?  Well, one of those stated answers was right - but only half right.  The answer:  American Crafts.  I have A LOT of American Crafts.  All that Dear Lizzy and even that bundle of Crate Paper is actually American Crafts (I'm not actually a big AT fan...yet).  But the largest portion of my American Crafts stash belong to those other collections:  Blue Skies, Craft Shop, Botanique, Junior, Backyard, Love, Baby just to name a few.  And all of those papers are small, repeating patterns on the A-side with solid B-sides.  And yes, there are more than a few of which I own several sheets.  I can make layouts and layouts and layouts from these sheets and none look the same... in fact, sometimes I don't even notice that I've used one of those papers over and over and over in my albums until I actually look for it - and I bet you wouldn't notice at all.  And even though I buy them for 1/2 price at a Scrapbook Warehouse, it's definitely not the price that drives the purchases - these are my investment pieces.  These are the cut up bits and pieces... the backgrounds for titles and embellishments... the photo mat... the stacks... and every once in awhile, they make it all the way to the background.  These are those doses of just the right color.    These are the papers that I don't worry about finding just the right photo or subject for, that I don't worry about not showing off enough, that I don't hoard.  These are my perfect papers.
And then, second to all that AC paper, I October Afternoon. and Echo Park. and My Minds Eye. and Fancy Pants. and Simple Stories. and Cosmo Cricket. and K&Co. and...

A couple of the layouts I've worked on for ReScrapbooking Remix... definitely imperfect:

These two layouts rely heavily on AC and EP with a little shot of Freckled Fawn Washi, SC Veneers, Evalicious Stamps,OA MiniMarkets & Sprinklers and a couple of things from 'the box'.

Okay, so I am seriously into 'camera' love at the moment.  You may see a camera on every layout for months to come as I have 3 more camera stamps and all those mistables to use up.  Also, like these two layouts, they usually go in different albums, but even if they didn't that's okay - everybody needs a theme, right?!!
And that's it.  Starting with my dad, each day one of us in the family has come down with this horrible stomach bug that just doesn't seem to want to go away, so I'm feeling rather puny.  Dreamt this whole post up while sleeping off the Phenergan.  I do want to say a great big Thank YOU for all the comments regarding your epiphanies on the last post... it's great to hear how creative minds think (and I've seen your work, yours is definitely a creative mind!). 

Now,  I would love to hear what your favorite patterned paper brand is, why, and how you love to use it.   And don't be afraid to drop by an example!


"Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to." - Ashleigh Brilliant

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Scrapbooking... Random Thoughts in 2013

I have read so very often that what people love about scrapbooking is the 'creativity' it affords them.  I understand this explicitly... it does allow a person to use anything and everything in conjunction with photos and/or journaling to create items of which they are proud.  But, apparently people feel that they must strive to produce uniqueness in their layouts to ensure that they are truly 'personal creations'. 
So, after 13+ years of scrapbooking, I have finally decided what I love most about scrapbooking.  And yes, it is the creative outlet that I really need to survive!  But I don't feel that each and every layout must be an absolute phenomenal creation from the depths of my heart or right-brain.  In fact, that entire thought just made me have a sharp pain in my head.  So here's a few random thoughts on how I feel about scrapbooking:
  • Total uniqueness is not an option.  I think that it has been this belief that each layout must be different and exclusive that has led me to totally abandon the process (but not the buying!) for long stretches at a time.  It is totally overwhelming and stressful to me to have to produce distinction in each creation. The best of my originality comes in the papers I choose, the embellishment I use and, most, the stories I tell through my layouts.  But there's only so much you can do with a 12x12 background. In fact, I have created things to only see an almost exact sketch a year or so later (not a scraplift because who could have seen something I made when no one ever saw anything I made).   And that's okay.
  • Scrapbooker and artist is not a synonym in my mind.  I am a crafter.  This is a craft.  Whether I use paint or found objects or just stickers on paper or canvas, I am still crafting. I appreciate that some people may feel they are artists; but I am more proud of being a craftsman than I can say.  In fact, my brother is an artist - he was born with this innate talent to create amazing artwork from nothingness; I was born a crafter as I can create artistry within a given framework.  Einstein was a genius, Renoir was an artist, Jesus was a craftsman.  And that's seriously okay.
  • I need motivation.  I need someone or something to say 'get er done'.  Classes, forums, photographs, this blog and a sense of achievement all give me the inspiration to accomplish something.  But not someone telling me I should scrap this or that... that makes me crazy!  Nor the fact that there are 1,000s of photos or 100s of stories that need scrapped - that's just pressure.  But accountability and pride drive me.  And that's okay.
  • I love a good sketch.  And what may be great to you, is not good for me. Scraplifting is my new favorite way to scrap.  It totally takes the pressure off.  I spent most of my scraplife ignoring sketches; not entirely true... I collected printed sketches, but only used one in all the time I can remember. And even though I had this collection and looked through them monthly, I just didn't find anything I felt comfortable recreating.  Obviously, I was collecting the wrong sketches and felt that each must be recreated exactly... exactly the wrong attitude.  There is no way to rectify the amount of time and money I have spent on this hobby to the few layouts I have actually produced.  But with my new scraplift epiphany, there is no way that I can't get through these 1,000s of photos in time.  And that deserves a great big, WOOHOO!!!
  • I don't have to journal on my layouts to tell a story.  For the longest time, I did very little, if any, journaling on my layouts... afterall a picture is worth a 1,000 words.  But then, I started to journal - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot - and it started to feel that it should be a part of every.single.layout.  But sometimes, every once in a while, it's not necessary.  The photo(s) can tell the story - the whole story - because of the subject or a look on a face.  I have layouts like that... the entire story is wrapped up in an expression, in a dress, in a mirror and in the title -nothing more necessary. And that's okay.
  • It's okay that I'm hoarding the things I love the best.  Let's face it, I've always had a little stash issue.  But then it came in so handy when going through the worst of times.  So it's probably only natural that I'm gathering a little right now.  Of course, I'm using a LOT.  But then, it's not just that.  I really do believe that it's perfectly okay that I have 4 sheets of Ring Around the Rosie paper and 3 sheets of teal/black Mini-Market letters because I love them so much.  On the other hand, I don't have to have in my stash and I don't have to be 'on-trend' in order to make absolutely lovely layouts that I can be proud of.  And that's okay.
  • I cannot! randomly cut up a stack of 12x12 papers.  It's an exercise of creativity about kits and starting points and freedom that I just don't get.  I have a stack of randomly cut-up papers... it's called a 'scrap basket' and it's the first place I go once I decide on a 'theme' for a layout.  Also, I've only been on one 'crop' in 13+ years and don't see that changing anytime soon.  So the fact that I'm just not a kit person is totally okay.  I choose a set of supplies for each layout and pull those out, but I don't like to make a stack of premade kits and then put photos with them.  It doesn't work for me.  And that's okay.
  • I am not a photographer! In no way, in no how.  I take photos of events.  I occasionally take photos at other times if the moment comes along.  But being a scrapbooker has in no way made me a photographer.  Taking photos has come with the love of scrapbooking... and with the fact that I want to make my grandchildrens' lives remembered as opposed to the lack of pictures in my brother and my lives.  And about 50% of the time, my photos are not very good regardless of how much I've read on the subject.  Don't get me wrong, there are times that I love taking photos - but because I scrapbook does not in any way make me a photographer.  It's simply a means to an end.  And that's okay.
  • I don't understand that whole Project Life thing.  Honestly, maybe it's just because my life is so utterly boring.  Here I am day-after-day doing the same thing - or nothing.  And really I don't think this is so extraordinary.  I don't think this is just a matter of my circumstance.  Even when I worked or when I was single or when the kids were young, most of the days were fairly much SSDD.  Of course, not, but most were fairly much the same.  I know that so many people love it... and that's okay.
  • I wish I was a professional scrapbooker... not.  Okay, this a 'right-on'/'hell-no' thing.  I love scrapbooking and what a great way to make a living.  But then, if I had to do it all the time I'd probably become totally overwhelmed and/or bored.  But then would I get phenomenal travel opportunity?  But then would I be able to go?  And really, do I want to have to tell arbitrary stories about the kids just for the sake of scrapping?  (Okay, let's face it, I'm pretty good at that!).  No, I think I'm happy it's a hobby.  I think that this blog is as 'professional' as I'll ever get.  And that's okay.
Now a look at my final Pretty Paper Party layouts: 

A whole bunch of MME with a little American Crafts and a smidge of October Afternoon with random brads.
Just cardstock, Echo Park and AC Thickers,
Oh so much American Crafts with a dash of Nestabilities & Martha Stewart Dies/Punches and a touch of Love My Tapes.
October Afternoon everywhere with Martha Stewart & EK Success punches; and AC Thickers of course.

Now, I am very interested in knowing your scrapbooking epiphanies - whether you figured them out today or 5 years ago.  We each have our own - whether it's that you love making cards more than layouts because of the paper or that you prefer Smash Books & mini-books to 12x12 or that you prefer the artistry only using photographs as another medium or that you only use scrapbooking as an aesthetically pleasing platform for photographs - it's all very much okay.


"It's refreshing to see a woman who can artfully weave her individuality into an otherwise safe ensemble." - Nina Garcia

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Scrapese Definitions - Part I

Okay, we all know that my '10 on the 10th' never ever get posted on the 10th.  This month is no exception; but, this month they're going to be early rather than late. Ha!
As a result of the comment left by Susan, I think it's time for a little literary lesson.  I cannot figure out why we have the Scrapbook Encyclopedia, but not a Scrapbook Dictionary (besides, I'm sure it would be wrong even if someone did one).  So I am starting one as of this.very.minute.  I don't have many specific scrapping words in my repertoire just yet, but it is growing and I plan to update this subject in the future... especially with your help.  I mean to incorporate all the scrap/blog-ese into one little place so that we may reference it as needed.  And you may add to at will by leaving a comment at anytime, regardless of that day's subject and ramblings - just pipe on in with your random wordage.  I know that many of these words are specific to me, but maybe understanding them can help you understand what the heck I'm talking about.  So shall we begin with my top scrapese definitions:

  1. Scrapese - Obviously, scrapbooking related wordage.
  2. Blond - a person whom you have probably never met face-to-face but have become fast friends within Blog World - probably 'meeting' over a scrapbooking event.
  3. Scrapping - Verb or adverb.  The act of scrapbooking or to describe a person who performs scrapbooking. ("She's a scrapping genius for scrapping about trash pickup.")  One should note though, that if I am scrapping, I am most likely scrappy.
  4. Scrappy - Scrap Happy. I do not use this term lightly. It does not mean (to me) just anything scrap-related. When I get my 2Ps box in the mail, I am scrappy. This can also describe just sitting down and getting into my scrapping mojo.  And that leads us to:
  5. Scrappiness - Scrapbooking Happiness. Again a very specific word in my vocabulary. When I am in my little corner, surrounded by pretty paper, lovely letters, and darling doodads, I am at the height of my scrappiness as it is my scrappy place.
  6. Scrapgazim - Hooray Susan! An orgasmic reaction as the result of seeing, feeling and smelling pretty paper. I love this word. Susan obviously lives next door to Archivers!
  7. Scrapends - Scrapbooking friends - not little pieces of paper all over the floor. These can be in your actual real life or online.  And while Blonds can be Scrapends, I like Blonds better!
  8. Scrapped - One of the few words that can have two very different meanings.  Either it has been glued on a layout, or it has been tossed in the trash - hmmm. Must reread any sentence this is placed in as I have done both in that order. 
  9. Scrapworthy - Virtually anything and everything.  Ticket stubs, tags from clothes, broken legs, the moth that flew into the glue on my layout.  This can also describe all those items you were rating 1-10 on their 'scrappiness' before you knew the true meaning - it's actually the Scrapworthy Rating System (SRS) and besides, most of those things that are scrapworthy are actually adding to our scrappiness.
  10. Therapy - Okay, you thought you knew what this meant... but to me it's:  Scrapbooking as therapy.  This is what I do best.  Suffering from manic depression/BPD, a good session of scrapbooking can make me a whole new person (and the people around me appreciate it!).  Creating something is seriously good for the mind and soul.
And one to grow on:
  • 11.  Scrapaholic - Me.  A person who puts scrapbooking above many other mundane aspects of their lives (cleaning, eating, bathing, paying the cable bill, etc.) or who actually saves all those ticket stubs, tags, pieces of casts, moths, etc. because it will need to be scrapped later.  This also describes people who hoard scrapbooking supplies.  At it's worst, you may see someone who hasn't showered in several days, hair disheveled, in pajamas, huffing pretty paper one sheet after another.
And on an even more personal note:  I am the worst of hoarders.  I realized this today as I was looking at a slideshow of the layouts I have made for Pretty Paper Party.  I noticed that I had actually used some of the embellishments and papers I recently purchased.  Specifically my flair.  I love flair.  I have been collecting (& losing) flair since I was a teenager and the top of my visor had little things that said "Really Occifer, I'm not as think as you stoned I am" & "It's 4:20 somewhere" all the way up to a few years ago (before flair made it's big scrapbooking splash) I found 2 little green & red tinpins that said "Merry" "Xmas" and wore them for 2 months (that includes 3 weeks after Christmas) and the "I am Loved" pins that are stuck on everything, everywhere.  Anyway, I was looking at the slideshow and my mouth dropped open when I saw the flair... really, I actually glued it down to that layout.  Not that I didn't love the layout; not that it wasn't a very important story to be told (as opposed to the "for fun" layouts I've been known to produce just because I'm a scrapaholic); not because it didn't match - but simply because I have the hardest time actually using my supplies.  It's almost as if I buy it but not for consumption.... it's just weird!  I complain because I have so much that I just don't use - I buy it because I see it and think it's so very beautiful and never think about what in the world I would actually use it on - not my style at all.  But flair is my style.  It's perfect for the layouts I'm currently creating.  So why that little wince when I actually saw it on a layout even though it worked perfectly?  Because if it's there, what if I need it for another layout?  If it's there, I don't have it anymore.  If it's there, I've used it so now I need to buy more.  And then... a deep breath... a heavy sigh... a small grin... I actually used my supplies.  I am soooo scrappy!

And just because I can, I'm adding a few of the creations from Pretty Paper Party but honestly, I just don't have the energy to say what's on each project.  So if you want to know, just ask!

 Cards made from 6x6 Amy Tangerine & Prima.  But for really great looking cards, you should visit Cynthia.

I just loved this blackboard frame paper from Fancy Pants Road House collection, but it was way too white for this layout - so I just dirtied it up with a Vintage Photo Distress pad. Also, no journaling... I have other Halloween layouts with the stories written, and this one may yet get a little; but if not, it's no big deal as it's pretty self-explanatory.

Yes, you've seen a similar layout before (while I was in Remix), this is the 2nd page to that.  Couldn't believe I lucked out with this Cosmo Cricket to match the balloons; and with pearls & rhinestones to match GiGi's dress.

No amount of bling on a layout could match GiGi's dress in this one... but I'll be scrapping the dress again, because that's a whole different story.  But as you know, I am loving the Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic!

Okay, that does it for today.  It's raining buckets here and getting chilly, so it seems to be a great day for Harry Potter and scrapping.  But regardless of your weather, you too should go find your own scrappiness!


"I'm always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life." - Miles Davis

Monday, February 4, 2013

What Happened???

So, my question is: what happened to all the LSS's?  I mean really, some people just woke up one day and said, "I quit; from now on all the photos never get printed."  I just don't see how so many people can be so obsessed and then just stop. Because I’ve been scrapping for so long (over 13 years), when the LSS’s started shutting down around me I believed it was because scrapbooking may have been a very long-lived ‘fad’. But how can that be? Scrapbooking is a way of life for me. Everyday there are new events, new photos, new stories to be told... and a scrapbooking is so much better than keeping a plain old diary.    And through taking the classes at Pretty Paper.True Stories., I have found out that there are new scrappers all the time; that as younger women start to travel, get married, and/or have children they want to tell their stories in a pleasing manner. More and more women scrapbook. Even my GiGi took Scrapbooking as an extracurricular at her middle school with 30-40 more girls her age (and let’s face it, young girls LOVE to shop – for anything!). Yes, we may have started budgeting ourselves during the recession, but we are still here and we are still buying supplies. Heck, I bet there are over 1,000,000 blogs about scrapbooking!

 I know that a lot of people went digital; but I'm so sure that many many more continued to want to lay eyes on, lay hands on, and enjoy the aroma of pretty paper.  Honestly, while I love 2Ps inventory, I hate the fact that I can’t see and feel the paper to know if I really want it or if it’s going to arrive and go to the back of the stack (happened this week).  Also, the inventory is so huge, that I can’t browse the entire ‘shop’ to see new and unexpected things that may be older (not from current CHA) that I didn’t know even existed.  Besides, the other day I spent $XXX.00 on an order from 2Ps.  Two days after ordering - before it even arrived - there were items in my cart that I had forgotten but really need.  But the order doesn’t add up to $50.00 without sale items, so there’s shipping – enough shipping cost that I could actually buy a paper pad or stamps or a sheet of brads or Thickers.  This is the thing that makes me absolutely insane… that my shipping cost could actually afford me more supplies that I didn’t pick up because of money restraints.

As a woman in my 50’s, I’m a hybrid shopper.  I like to shop online; but moreover, I am inherently a hands-on shopper… a browser shopper.  Trust me, I spend way more at Hobby Lobby on crappy stuff than I do online for the good stuff because when I have things in my hand, I just can't live without them; when I shop online, I put it in my basket and out of my basket with abandon because there’s very few things that I just see and absolutely need.   Photos from CHA were lovely and so many of the new things look promising, but really because it wasn’t ‘live’ I wasn’t overwhelmed with that feeling of YES PLEASE!. 
I did notice that my LSS – before it closed – was a tad overpriced.  Smart thing for those owners to have done was to have accessed the online stores and go 10 cents under that price (because we all know that everyone makes a profit).  In that way, they could have stayed competitive; especially if they offered crops, classes, etc.  Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a group of women from this area take the Pretty Paper Party class all at the same time and meet up at that local LSS to work on their Prompts together?! Those are the things that almost all the online shopping sites offer:  a forum for scrappers to gather & gab; and, classes & freebies to check out a little something new.  (And honestly, sometimes you can forget your online when there are several people involved and conversations popping). 
Which leads to the big reason these online shops strive where the real-deals failed… women are pretty darned monogamous and usually loyal to a fault.  It really has to be Gold Lame Color Shine or Wood Veneer Stars for us to wander to another store to shop.  So if our online gathering spot is offering to sell us something to boot, well you know we’re going to hop on it because all of our online scrapping friends do; and, well, we appreciate them giving us a gathering spot so we’re just going to pay them back a little.  To boot, our scrapping heroes are affiliated.  That’s how I finally broke down and started ordering from 2Ps, a link in my scrapping hero’s blog; and honestly, it was so that she could get a little profit for giving me so much scrappiness… first order=$51 so I could get free shipping.
So, I just don’t understand these closings.  Of course, I live in Bumfuque, Egypt, and now have to drive 50+ miles to see if the LSS listed online still has it’s doors open; but I have read over and over again about LSS’s in very populace areas closing up shop.   And it’s so sad to we who love to feel and smell the paper.  Neither Michaels nor Hobby Lobby, the only two places I can visit, carry beautiful new paper lines… so the smell has worn off all their mediocre old paper.  What I wouldn’t give to live next door to an Archivers in February!

Anyway, this was the first year in as many years as I can remember, that I did not watch the Superbowl.  Instead I cut smallish squares of paper, inked them, glued them, thought about it, did it over again.   But here’s what you’ve been missing out on in Pretty Paper Party:
At some point in the forum someone said something about saving branding strips. Well, when I set up my new desk the other day, I moved my trimmer and found all these branding strips underneath. Instead of tossing them, I threw them in the box with my border strips. So when I opened that box to do a layout using strips, I thought "Well, look at all that pretty paper I've used." I mean really, what do you think of when you see branding strips but pretty paper.  And what better way of talking about pretty paper than with branding strips?  So here is the page that will go into my Book of Me because this is such an important aspect of my life.
That stack is 5th & Frolic by American Crafts as well as the Thickers, pearls are from Paper Studio and Recollections, punches are Marvy Uchida & Martha Stewart, and that's my new Spellbinders Lacy Circles Nestabilities Die you see on that there embellishment (gonna see a lot of that coming up soon).  And then there's that ancient piece of vellum that I've had for 5-10 years - just like clothes, everything comes back around I guess.
More 5th & Frolic and Neapolitan papers & letters, more Thickers, some Love My Tapes, new camera stamps by Amy Tangerine to add to my Dear Lizzy camera (all from AC) stamped using Colorbox Chalk Ink, a little Studio Calico stamp and Mistable cameras using Tsukineko Chalk Inks, My Minds Eye Sweetest Thing words & phrases, same old punches and my new Die!

Oh how I love October Afternoon and Sassafras and Cosmo Cricket!, that little frames by Heidi Swapp, and lovely wood veneer circle things by Studio Calico, some AC Thickers & OA Mini-Markets, and a bunch of Doodlebug twines on all those assorted buttons.
I am loving American Crafts Neapolitan and 5th & Frolic.  It looks pretty good with those old AC papers and that Echo Park too.  Of course I used AC Remarks & Thickers letters and some AC stickers.  Popped on a Heidi Swapp frame & rub-on; plus I threw in some Studio G (Hampton Art) brads & gems.  Used those same old punches by EKS & MS and grabbed some flowers by Paper Studio & assorted buttons.  Called that one DONE.

Love this paper by Amy Butler for K&Co. (may be my all time favorite).  I just added some diecuts from OA, EP, AC and Pebbles and that Studio Calico Mistables Camera.  Those little rosettes are set off with Paper Studio brads.  And yes, you see AC Thicker and OA Mini-Markets of course.

October Afternoon, American Crafts, Echo Park all contributed paper.  Stickers  by AC and OA and tapes by OA, Bazzill & Freckled Fawn with that EKS punch & Spellbinders Die. Throw on some Studio G (Hampton Art) buttons and call it a day!

Well that about does it... I'm almost caught up in my Pretty Paper Party but not quite.  When this is finished, I'm going back to Scrapbook Remix.  Boy oh Boy, am I ever loving these classes.  Talk about motivating.  I don't know if it's the Prompts (which are super duper awesome) or the great company in the forums, but I have done 21 layouts in 3 weeks.  That's a layout a day!!!  I mean, that may not seem like a lot to some people; but I have been car shopping for a week, down in my back for almost as long and I move like a snail & take frequent breaks because of the MS.  TWENTY ONE!!! and still at it!!! WOOHOO!!!!  (I probably didn't even have to write that WooHoo, you probably heard it wherever you are).  Well, if I can do it - you can do it.  Go create something wonderful... I know you can!  And if you're looking for some motivation, join a class.  Shimelle offers wonderful ones like the two I've taken (several will be going back through Remix around the 18th) that include PDF Prompts w/Sketches, Videos and Forum; but the great part is that you have unlimited access to all the current materials as well as any future materials that are added.  Or you can just check out some of her freebies like 4x6 Love or Write It Down... I mean really, what an awesome opportunity to get inspired.  But whatever it takes, creating is good for the soul.


"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity." - Bo Bennett