Monday, March 25, 2013

The Process...

The first time I took the Scrapbook Remix class at Pretty Paper.True Stories, I took each Prompt very literally.  I stuck to the papers as best I could, I recreated the layouts as best I could, and I followed the instructions as best I could.  This time, the further in I get, the more abstract my interpretation becomes.  If there is a specific formula/sketch that the Prompt calls for, I still try to get it done - after all, the purpose of the class is to walk away having something stuck in the back of your mind that will be used later on my own independent layouts.  But then some of the Prompts just don't 'talk' to me.  It's in these Prompts that, rather than anything definitive to duplicate, the process becomes my task.

I am always interested in a scrapbooker's process; and, I often think about mine as I look at a fresh-made layout and wonder "Well, how did that happen?!". 

When I started scrapbooking (and depending on how long you've been a scrapper, this may apply to you as well), everyone took a photo and selected papers and embellishments to match.  This is still the preferred method for many scrappers and it works just fine.  Honestly it makes for very well coordinated layouts in your albums and that is very pleasing to the eye.  And this process is still at the forefront of whether I choose a cream-based vs. a white-based paper to scrap my photos.
But I believe nowadays many of us have turned this process on it's head.  While many times our photos still coordinate with the paper, it's the paper that comes first.  We purchase the newest and loveliest papers, and then in our need to play with them like a new toy, we find photos to coordinate with them.  Case in point: my recent road trip photos are the perfect companion to my new Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm because they are very white-based photos in which I wore a navy & white top and my mom wore lovely pink sweatpants (how fortunate!?!).  But whether or not I had those photos, I'm sure I would have found something in my vast stash of photos to coordinate - this latest purchase is getting used regardless of whether the photos are 'perfect' or not!

Then there are those themed papers that popped up on the scene many, many years ago.  We gobbled up these themes, as it wasn't enough for the photos or journaling to tell the story - our paper needed to lend a helping hand. I still enjoy a themed paper now and again - especially for Christmas or other holidays.  And if you really think about it, even those yellowed or distressed papers are the ones we will reach for first when scrapping heritage photos - and that actually creates a theme (of course, heritage photos aren't the only thing to scrap with this paper!)  But regardless of how much we like/dislike themed paper, they are merely an extension of the coordination of photo with paper... Christmas photos coordinated with Christmas paper telling Christmas stories - it only makes sense and can be exceedingly fun to boot!

Of course, photos and paper aren't the only parts of a process.  Layouts can be based on anything and everything.  New 'toys' can get our creative juices flowing - I've recently created an entire layout starting with a single diecut.  Or maybe we see a photo of someone else's work that provides the inspiration - I have a few of these recreations hanging around.  Or we find a sketch that speaks to us - I love a good sketch.  And more and more often, our process - regardless of how we get to any one point - involves walking away... we set the layout on our desk or put it in a slideshow, and then look at it later to get a fresh perspective (of course, if you're one of these scrappers, it's helpful if you use a removable adhesive until you're absolutely sure). 

And so, in the name of "The Process", I am going to talk about the process behind each of these layouts.  (I'm afraid you will find that my 'process' can often be as chaotic as the rest of my life!)

Background Paper: Crate Paper DIY Shop; Floral,  Pink Dot, Pink ZigZag, Blue Square: October Afternoon; Yellow Heart: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm; Camera Sticker: Echo Park; Letter Stickers: American Craft Thickers, October Afternoon; Tape & Diecut: October Afternoon; Enamel Dots: Teresa Collins; Word & Label Sticker: MME; Wood: Studio Calico; Ticket Punch: EK Success
This layout was pretty darn simple - kinda - as the design comes from the Remix class.  I knew I wanted a vintage feel to the papers because of the subject: the Old Jail at St Augustine; but I didn't want them too vintage - a cream base would do for starters (thus, totally ignoring the tone & colors of the photos in lieu of choosing papers based on the story).  So I put together the layout on some kraft cardstock and went to bed.  Aha, when I awoke the next morning, I promptly hated this design!  As I was determined to use the overall sketch for the Prompt, I had to figure out what would make it more appealing to me.  I thought a wood background would be better to reinforce the wood in the stocks and then remembered this new wood doily design from Crate Paper and transferred everything to this background (thank goodness for repositionable adhesive!).  So far I like it much better this way.
Cardstock: Paper Studio; Patterned Paper: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm; Wood & Mistables & Mist: Studio Calico; Letter Stickers: American Craft Thickers & October Afternoon Mini-Market; DieCuts: "2"-Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic, Flags-Pebbles; Stick Pins: Basic Grey; Inks: Tsukineko; Bling: Hampton Arts; Punches: Ticket-EK Success, Butterfly-Martha Stewart; Die: Circles-Spellbinders
This layout came about completely different and is not a result of the Remix class.  It all started with that "2" diecut.  I had the photos printed and knew I wanted to create a story based on the road-trip my mom and I had taken all alone.  When I found this "2" in my basket, I knew that I had to use it soon or it would get torn.  Then, in the middle of the night, it came to me: the "Road Trip for 2".  I placed my photos on the page and, knowing the colors would look great, pulled out the Lucky Charm blue floral.  And so I placed my photos with the title on the blue on the kraft cardstock... and watched my new movie (The Hobbit - so excited!).  I glanced back at the layout several times and it never once looked good to me.  So eventually I pulled it all up and placed it on a patterned background (an American Crafts Botanique); but while pulling that out I saw the chevron that just screamed 'road' to me.  So the borders were cut from that paper and the heart paper placed as well.  In fact, I went ahead and finished the layout as you see it now.  And it sat on my desk while I watched The Hobbit again.  When I went back to my desk - I didn't like it one bit....not one!  So I put it aside and started another for Remix.  Then, while barely into that next layout, I decided that all that prettiness needed to be put back on kraft cardstock - just to check.  And you know what - I like it pretty darn well this time.,. sometimes I suppose, you just have to play to get it right.  The layout is still a little busier than usual, but that's okay with me because I plan to put a 'just journaling' layout next to it to balance out all that busyness.
Cardstock: Paper Studio; Patterned Paper: My Minds Eye Dreamy 2 & Recollections (blue w/white dot); Chipboard: Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic; Title Card: Echo Park; Journaling Card: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm; Label: October Afternoon; Punches: Ticket-EkSuccess, Heart-Martha Stewart; Tape: Recollections; Stick Pins: Basic Grey; Gems: Hampton Arts; Die; Spellbinders
You know how Shimelle will often show you several layouts using the same basic design? Well, I decided to try this as well.  So this layout and the next are just various designs based on the previous one with no story or photos chosen to scrap - just what was at hand - and the only real criteria other than the design was to use some paper that had been sitting around awhile (and wasn't in my "fave" bin).  And that's what this is - the same design with different paper... period.  Not even a process there!
Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper & Title: My Minds Eye; Diecuts: October Afternoon; Stickers: Sassafras; Stick Pins: Basic Grey; Twine: Doodlebug; Punches: Large Eyelet, Ticket & Small Scallop Circle-EK Success, Small Eyelet & Star-Fiskars; Pennants-The Paper Studio; Other: Eyelets, Journaling Card
Same thing here... just a duplication of the same design.  This time using 6x6 papers. (Basically this calls for a 4x6 piece on the horizontal, and a 6x6 on the vertical.  You will notice, however, that in each layout I stuck with the papers and homemade embellishment pieces coming from the same collection.  This was totally on-purpose.  While I most often try to mix-and-match papers from different collections/brands on a layout, it has become rather rarer to utilize papers all from the same collection.  I thought it was time to go back to this tradition just to make sure I still could!  Also, you'll see that I used a colored-cardstock on this layout.  Again, totally on-purpose.  When I started to create this layout, before I had even chosen a patterned paper, I knew that I wanted to use a colored-cardstock background, as that has become nearly unheard of... and with 35lbs of colored cardstock hanging around, I need to think about using it more often.
And then sometimes, there is no process at all - not even much in the matter of thinking.  Sometimes it's just copying - like the next two - and that's perfectly okay... no one who ever looks at my albums will have a clue that these are not original ideas and I obviously like them enough to recreate them.
Patterned Paper & Journaling Card: October Afternoon, Crate Paper; Twine: Doodlebug; Letter Stickers: October Afternoon, American Craft Thickers; Other: Cardstock, Eyelets
This one is from a Shimelle sketch.  I thought I'd give it a try for a little something different.  And while I like it fine enough to leave it as is, and think the design rather matches the subject matter, this will be a unique design in my book.
Patterned Paper: Background-Creative Imaginations, Green Print-Basic Grey, Blue Floral & White Floral-Dear Lizzy 5th&Frolic, Blue Screen-Echo Park; Journaling/Title Cards: Dear Lizzy; Chipboard: Basic Grey; Wood: Studio Calico, Punches: EK Success, Martha Stewart; Other: Scraps
This one is from Remix as well, and while it follows pretty closely to an example of the photo, being in the corner, there are definitely things about it that feel like mine when mixed up in my album - unlike the previous layout that is definitely unique.
Cardstock: The Paper Studio; Patterned Paper, Stickers & Button: October Afternoon; Thickers: American Crafts; Dies: Spellbinder; Punches: Scalloped Circle-EK Success, Bird-Martha Stewart; Wood Studio Calico; Twine: Doodlebug; Other: Journaling Card
 And then there is this layout, that is not from Remix or the result of anything but spontaneity.  I actually think this came from my great need to use my yellow Thickers that I crossed while pulling out my mint green ones. The OA papers were still laying out from creating a previous layout, so I just decided that rather than putting them back, I'd make a layout.  I cut the floral first actually (8x8), then the green (9x9) and then the pink last (11x11).  I found the blue check (3.5x12) laying in the stack.  From there, I just pulled out my Cuttlebug and started cutting scalloped circles and lacy circles and regular circles from the scraps on my desk.  Yes, I cut waaay too many, but that's okay, I just threw them in the basket with my other OA Flower Sack diecuts.  I had this photo actually matted and attached to another sheet of paper sitting in my desktop file (dish-drainer) and decided it would be perfect for this layout so took that starter-page totally apart.  Another of those backward-thinking processes I suppose.
(Disclaimer:  I have not looked at any of these layouts on my big-screen slideshow yet.  Therefore, they are all subject to change once I see what they truly look like!)
So this week a little something different: a challenge.  First, tell us your normal process - photos first with papers to match; papers and then photos & story; choosing a sketch or design first - whatever it is, tell us how you normally go about creating a layout.  Then create a layout following these criteria: choose an embellishment and base the entire layout around it, AND use colored cardstock + one other item from your older stash (eyelets, frames, etc).  When you write your answer to the 'PROCESS' question in the comments, either post a photo (does it allow you to do that?) or a link to your photo.  I can't wait to see what you come up with!!!!!
"Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure, a sense of nothing having been done before, of complete freedom to experiment..." - Alfred North Whitehead

Friday, March 22, 2013

Give Credit Where Credit is Due...

So sorry I forgot to credit Shimelle Laine at Pretty Paper.True Stories. and her Scrapbook Remix class for the awesome sketch used on the second two layouts yesterday.  This may be one of my all time favorites. While the "Party" layout starts as an almost exact duplicate, the "Best Friend" layout goes a little more awry.  I'm sure that I can take that background and go insane - and plan to!

Also should mention that the background in "What You Do" (about JC) is actually only two pieces of paper - the base sheet and a section I cut out of another sheet that had all that great tearing, punching, and photo mat done for me.  They're from the Basic Grey Fact or Fiction (in this case Fact) papers.

So if you're reneging on your thoughts that I am 'so creative' at this point, completely understandable.  Just don't hold it against me, please.

Okay - 'talk' to you later.  Love to all and I hope you are scrappy today!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just Some Layouts...

I've been busy - but not really.  I've been sick - but not really.  I've been tired - yes really.  First, Mom and I took a little road trip to St Augustine a couple of weekends ago that I've really been wanting to write about - and will soon.  I've had a horrible sinus and ear infection, but it seems to be getting better.
But truly I'm so very tired right now.  Don't know if it's the trip, infection, weather change or just the MS.  One thing that's for sure, it's Spring Break right now - and while that should mean resting up since I don't have to get up at 5:30, it actually means more chaos.  The kids going places, having friends over, hanging out playing Xbox until all hours.  It's just a little more chaotic than usual.  I guess even with getting up at 5:30, the routine rather works for me.  But then again, the weather is playing havoc on my body.
So, since I just don't feel up to writing about what I had been planning (and planning and planning), I think I'll just show the layouts I've made since I was last on:

Made this one of the Bob Dylan song and it's hanging in my scrappy place... it says everything I've always tried to tell the kids all in one place!
October Afternoon, with a little help from AC Thickers, Martha Stewart & EK Success punches, and
Hero Arts Stamp with Colorbox Chalk Ink.
You know, I love playing with all those filters in Instagram and Hipstamatic; but then when I get the perfect photo and it's got those weird color schemes, it just sort of makes me crazy!! Oh well, I shoot it - I use it!
I am loving my new Basic Grey as the next few layouts show!  Not only do I love the colors and patterns, but the coordinated embellishments are just plain fun. (It's relatively inexpensive already and then I got it at Joanns at 50% off! That is my bargain of the year!!)
Everything is Basic Grey with these exceptions:  Green dotted paper - American Crafts; Wood Veneer - Studio Calico; Felt and Thickers - American Crafts; Small Letters/Numbers - October Afternoon; Punch - EK Success; Cardstock - Paper Studio

Basic Grey again, except:  Green Dotted paper, Thickers, Paper Flowers - American Crafts; Small Letters, Button - October Afternoon; Wood Veneer - Studio Calico; Tape - Freckled Fawn; Cardstock - Paper Studio
(You ever notice that when I take photos of my layouts, it always seem my letters are stuck so very well?! Crazy it doesn't look like this in person before I shoot!)
Basic Grey with Freckled Fawn tape, Studio Calico veneer and AC Thickers
Basic Grey with the addition of October Afternoon diecuts, Frecked Fawn tape, 7Gypsies stamp, and The Paper Studio punch
And now for some change ups, woohoo!
American Crafts with the exception of:  Echo Park Journaling Card, October Afternoon letters and some old white cardstock. (Why yes, that is my new Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm paper with the writing on it!)
More American Crafts!!! with OA letters and Studio Calico veneers (except that souvenir piece of course)... And yes, I am loving that my Lucky Charm is working so well with the rest of my AC.

I haven't forgotten my older stash - I still love it all!!!
Paper Studio cardstock; Pink Paislee & October Afternoon patterned papers; OA letters & diecuts; AC Thickers & chipboard arrow; Martha Stewart & EK Success punches; Studio Calico Mistables (cameras) & spray; Tsukineko ink; Crate Paper journaling spot (I think); Hampton Arts Gems; 7Gypsies stamp
Well that's all for tonight.  I'm going to try to get some sleep and maybe I can scrap something tomorrow.  I hope you all are doing great and creating awesomeness!
"Scrapbooking isn't about scraps of paper and photos. Scrapbooking is about scraps of life - yours and those special to you." - Rebecca Sower

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Looking Thru the Albums...

I love looking through my recent albums!  Especially those five that I have almost completed in the past year.  I admit the photos and memories are great; but hey, I can look at all those on my computer.  No, it is purely an egotistical journey.  I love those layouts I have made this past year.  I love the variety of papers that seem more beautiful than ever before.  I love the techniques I have used to make them aesthetically pleasing.  I love the embellishments - oh so much diversity with everything from cute wood to lovely gems.  I love the stories that I have put to paper.  And I especially love the heft as I turn the pages; each turn gives me a thrill with the feel of it.  Oh these lovely layouts creating these lovely albums of these lovely people with their lovely stories.  How utterly thrilling!

Then there are the albums of past.  I am also proud of those layouts - even though some can cause me to wince "What was I thinking!?!".  But those papers are pretty too and there is technique in the layouts as well. And even those pages there is heft; though not as much and those pages are not as fun to turn.  But these albums make me melancholy.  These photos and stories, while bringing a smile to my face, makes me realize that my babies have grown and I shall never be with those little people again. They are different people not only in size, but in personality and attitude.  And while I love these new persons more than life itself, and they are the ones give each day a reason to rise and purpose of smile, I miss those small selves so very much.  Thank goodness I have those albums and may revisit those little ones who make my heart sing.  Thank goodness I have those albums as much for the sadness as for the gladness.

So these albums that I regularly go through are a mixture of emotion.  Like me, they are rather bi-polar.  But one thing stands out... I am very proud of all I have created as part of this craft.  How lucky am I to be a scrapbooker?! How fortunate am I to have found a vocation that allows me to mix my favorite things with memories to create items that provide me such diverse emotion each time I look at them?!  How blessed am I to have "met" so many people that understand the sentiment and pride that looking at my own work brings?!

It is this reason that I revisit the sites, classes and blogs that bring me in touch with these companions; though not as often as I would like.  I am sharing my computer with my granddaughter these days so if I don't have something specific to do, I may only get to use it myself for a few minutes here and there.  But don't think it's just the computer where I suffer: it takes me an entire day to complete just one layout - even on those days when I have absolutely nothing else to do.  I have been down as much as up the past few months.  I hope it's just a temporary condition, that it's the MS that will eventually go into remission.  I so hope that I get back in the swing of things soon... I know I am missing so very much.

I have completed five layouts in the past two weeks while trying to participate in a retaking of the Scrapbook Remix class.  Since I showed the first two last week, here are the next three:

Crate Paper background with American Crafts all cut up on top.  AC diecut and flair, Basic Grey flags, Studio Calico veneer, Recollections gems and Spellbinder dies.  AC letters.

Echo Park background, MME papers with all kinds of little scraps on top (?!).  Lots of AC on this page too with Teresa Collins dots, Studio Calico veneer & mistables, MME words, KI Memories glitz sticker and AC thickers, chipboard and dimensional.
Everything on this layout is American Crafts with the exception of the small gray letters (Simple Stories), tape (Freckled Fawn) and yellow sticker (October Afternoon).  Help also comes from Spellbinders dies, Doodlebug twine and Wilton doilies.
 Sorry about the photos... took these in my room with my phone.  All the colors have turned out so very intense!  And I'm not sure if that's good or bad!?! Oddest thing though - those script Thickers are the Dear Lizzy Smoke Splendid ones - in the package and on the page they look white; but in every photo they are gray.  Just odd!
I hope you all are having a very creative time.  I hope to see everyone's blogs this week... and I promise if I can stay up long enough I will try to get caught up on all you've been doing. 
P.S.  Cynthia, I love your cake!
"I love scrapbooks. They are one of the finest ways of dejunking life and abode... A good scrapbook is interesting and inspiring even to the stranger..." - Don Aslett