Friday, September 30, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 29 (Friday)

Here is the layout inspiration for this week by KariAnn S. Her blog is one where I always find great pages (and I just looked back and realized we did another page from her blog in week 24.  I did a very literal scraplift of this one - right down to the buttons & heart shape as the embellishments.   As I was putting it together, I wasn't loving it - but didn't have the time to spend trying to pick different papers. (I think it was the colors... yellow is soooo out of my comfort zone, but I couldn't use anything blueish because the picture had a very blue cast to it that I was only partially able to fix in Photoshop Elements...)  I used the sewing machine again - loving that - going to have to stock up on some more colors!  As I was looking for embellishments, I found some Basic Grey buttons that I got last year and really hadn't touched and the colors went perfectly with the papers I had chosen and Mattie's skirt.  Once I picked those out, my whole opinion of the page changed and I ended up being really pleased with it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 29 (Wednesday)

Supplies that you'll want to gather include:
1 12x12 solid color cardstock
2"x6" piece patterned paper
2.5"x6" light colored solid or subtly patterned paper (this will be for your journaling)
7 small embellishments (buttons, are what is used on the inspiration layout)
1 slightly larger or different shaped embellishment
sewing machine (if desired) or marker

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 29

So, before we get to the pictures sizes for this week's Mystery Scrap, I thought I'd share something that cracks me up.  I went to the Homeroom Parent meeting at the girls' school last week (I'm the homeroom mom for Evan's class).  I introduce myself to the Homeroom Mom for Mattie's Kindergarten class and I don't remember exactly what she said, but the gist of it was - she writes a blog from the perspective of her son and Mattie is apparently a recurring character.  I read it starting from the beginning (the beginning of this school year) and just giggled and giggled. It's very entertaining as anything from the perspective of a 5 year old would be! But I love that Mattie's caught this little boy's attention.  My mom suggested printing it out so she can read it when she gets older - I'm sure we'll all get a kick out of it.  Anyway, here's the blog.
Now, on to the Mystery Scrap. I didn't get anything done this weekend (scrapbooking wise), so I'll be doing this one along with ya. Grab one 1 portrait 4x6 and meet me back here Wednesday for the gathering of the supplies!  Hope everyone has a great week! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 28 (Friday)

Here is the link to this week's inspiration page.  I loved the colors and since I still had out the papers from last week's page, I decided to use them again!  This might just be the fastest page I've put together yet. I flicked some paint from a paint brush onto the solid color background, then once it dried, put down the stripes and the pics. (I "might" have gotten paint all over my jeans & remote for the tv - I'm not used to working with paint.) The stars aren't grabbing me (I outlined them with silver stickles), but you know what?  It's a completed page! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 28 (Wednesday)

Not much in the way of products that you'll need this week
1 piece of 12x12 solid color cardstock
4 12" strips of patterned paper (ranging in width from .5" to 1.25")
A handful of small embellishments (brads, eyelets, small punched shapes)
contrasting color paint (if desired)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mytsery Scrap Week 28 (Monday)

This week, grab two portrait oriented 4x6's and one landscape slightly smaller - maybe 3" tall by 4" wide.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 27 (Friday)

This week, the inspiration layout is one I think I could use over & over again. Simple & a great way to use up scraps - I love it.  Without further ado, here is the link...
Since you've already got your supplies pulled, it should go together very quickly. Trim the 3/4" pieces into 2.5"-3"-ish lengths and create a tail at the bottom.  Starting at the left hand side, place them until you get to the tag in the middle. Then do the same working right to center.  I put my tag down, then put adhesive just on the bottoms of my paper strips so they'd stay down, then lifted up the tag in the middle and sewed all the way across the page (back and forth). Then I replaced the tag in the middle.
Probably like most other Americans last weekend, I was feeling very reflective. Remembering where I was 10 years ago and reading stories about heroism, stories about the children of 9/11.  Seeing pictures that I hadn't seen in years and remembering the horrors of that day, but also the amazing feeling of patriotism. The way the whole country seemed to pull together.
Anyway, this page is what I ended up with. I'd love to see your version of this layout.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Organizing Completed Pages

Do you have a method to organize your pages into albums that works for you?  It took me several years to figure out how I wanted to organize my albums.  So, I figured I'd share what I have finally figured out works for me.  Maybe some of this will work for you OR give you an idea of what would!
For about 3 years, I created pages but didn't put them in albums because I didn't know how I wanted to organize them.
 Do I two of each layout so each kid could have one? What if we decide to have another baby?
Do I put Christmas & Birthdays in the same albums with vacations?
What about pages about personality traits or funny things the kids say? Or the more feeling based pages?
Sports photos? School photos? Visits to/from friends or family? ACCKKKKK!!!
 Before I get to my actual system, it's worth mentioning I do all my pages on 12x12 patterned paper, solid color paper or card stock (not the album pages).  I stick to mainly 1 and 2 page layouts and don't often do more than that on one topic.
So, here's my strategy...

1.  Each of the girls will have a separate album for their first year. Evan's is a traditional first year album, and I'll do something for Mattie's, but I'm not inspired by the pictures from her first year. (Her personality is so much fun and the pictures just don't do that justice...)
2.  Special vacations each get their own album (example - our anniversary trip to Punta Cana, or our family trip to Disney almost 2 years ago). If it's a long weekend or short trip, it goes in the year albums (#5 below).
3. Each kid will get a school album which includes 2 two page spreads per school year. (Each year I include school pics, class photos, photos from class parties, first day photo, picture of teacher/s and a pocket to include report cards, certificates and a couple favorite pieces of art work or school work.
4. Each will also have a birthday album. One of my favorite things is to plan parties - especially birthday parties. I always have a gazillion pictures I want to include which would result in at least 4-6 pages. SO, by having an album solely for birthdays, I don't feel like I have to restrict the number of photos I use so as not to overpower everything else. Included are an actual invitation, pictures of decorations, favors, guests, cake, gifts, activities, etc.
5.  Finally, an album for each year. This includes everything else - sports photos, visits to family, personality/emotion based pages. I will include a one page summary of birthday parties in this one, and of course 1st day of school.  So there may be some repetition between the different albums, but that's ok!
American Crafts D Ring binders are my album of choice. They are simple, reasonably priced and I love that they are three ring binders. It makes adding a page or moving pages around simple. As I put pages in, I don't worry too much about exact dates - if I know three pages were during January, I lump them together before February.  I put in February, March and so on. Later, if I do a page that needs to go in February adding another page protector to put the page in takes only seconds. It doesn't bother me to have a blank space in there as eventually I'll have one to add later on and things can be easily shifted.
Does anyone else worry about goofy things like "when it's time for the kids to get the albums, what if they both want them?"  I can't have them fighting over the albums, can I?  (Yes, I realize neither kid might want them...)  My father in law gave me the idea to scan them.  I love this idea, because now I have the original page, the digital page (which could be printed if I/they ever wanted it to be) and if my albums were ever to be damaged or lost, we'd still have the digi copies. So, I create a bunch of layouts, then scan them all at once, then organize and add them to my albums.
Is anyone still reading?  Have my laptop on and working on these in front of the tv is resulting in some really long posts! If you're still reading - thanks for hanging in there!  Come back tomorrow to see the inspiration page for this week as well as my interpretation!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 27 (Wednesday)

I know I say this almost every week, but this week, our layout is really really easy.  Probably less than 45 minutes total (including picking out supplies!) If you haven't played along in a while or are new to the KariScrap Mystery Scrap, join in! The idea is to follow along, spend a few minutes 3 times a week on each step. Monday/Tuesday pick out pictures you want to work on. Wednesday/Thursday gather the supplies you will need to create the page. Friday-Sunday assemble the page using the inspiration layout and my layout to put it all together!  If you can carve out 45 minutes or so each week, you can put together a simple scrapbook page! 
On to the supplies you'll need this week...
1 12 x 12 piece of solid color cardstock
1 tag (same color as above, or different color if desired) approx 1-1.5" tall by 3-4" wide
5 scraps of patterned paper .75" wide by at least 6" long
1 tiny label (a tiny piece of scrap paper would be perfect!)
1 very small embellishment (gem, brad, etc)
1 small embellishment (button)
letters for title (that will fit on your tag above) stickers, cricut, hand drawn (yes, that is an option!)
this is another page that has sewing on it IF you want... so if you like that look or want to challenge yourself to try something new, grab a sewing machine or a paper piercer & some thread!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking with Kids!

So, I've talked a little about scrapbooking with kids and a little about digital.  Now, to combine the two! Both girls LOVE to work on the computer, but the time they spend on it and home is extremely limited. They get supervised computer both at school and daycare. Evan (older daughter) uses it sometimes for homework, but other than that, I don't let them do a whole lot. So, I got to thinking one day, that I bet they could pick up digital scrapbooking pretty quickly at this age. And I promised them that over Labor Day weekend, we'd each make a digital page.  They LOVED the idea and begged me constantly over the course of the weekend to get busy!  Before we get to the fun, let me tell you how I decide what I'm going to paper scrap and what I'm going to digi scrap.  If it's a one picture page, I tend to paper scrap.  This ends up being the more "feeling" type pages.  And, I feel like I can really create beautiful pages with one photo and other tactile type products.  But, if I'm trying to scrap something that's "event" in nature and might have lots of pictures, I lean toward digi. Why? Because it's easy and clean. You can find free templates all over the internet and squeeze 15-20 or even more photos onto a two page spread.  How many photos would really look good on a 2 page paper spread?  I think it's a lot tougher to have it look "put together" that way.  For me, these events need to be documented just as much, but the journaling is more fact-based than feeling based.  I don't know. It just works for me.So - back to last weekend's project!  Saturday night, I sat down and went through older photos looking for something simple that I could put together a page on my laptop while sitting in front of the tv. Went back to 2009 and started going through my "best of 2009" folder - more on that coming soon. One of the first topics I came to in 2009 was making cookies. I opened up the folder - saw I had 6 pics to work with or choose from, hunted through my digi supplies stash (more on that coming soon also) and got started with a template that would accommodate the number of pics I wanted to use which was 4.  I used one of the few digi kits (Flergs Over the Rainbow) that I actually bought to embellish the page & for papers. (For any children of the 80's, this set SOOOO takes me back to my childhood - lots of rainbows, unicorns, bright colors - very fun! Have to get my hands on some pics of my sis & I from that era and scrap those, too!) The template was by Scrapping with Liz - Recyclables. Ok -  back to business... This is the page I created.  Another reason I like digi is because you can use products over and over and never use them up. AND, just like paper, you can move things around until you get them just right!  But you have more options. Don't like the color of a flower embellishment? You can change it!  Want your accent paper to perfectly match your daughter's pajama top? No problemo! Anyway, without further ado, here is my page. (Journaling reads Sugar+Sprinkles+silly faces on an early January afternoon = priceless). Anyone like the scripty font? It is my FAVORITE FONT EVER!  Yes, I am screaming - it's that good. It's CK Ali's Hand - here it is because I know you'll want it!

So, while I was finishing up my page, I thought - wouldn't it be fun to give the girls the same 6 photos and same digi papers and embellishment kit and see what each of them comes up with!?!?!  It was!  Evan went first Sunday evening - she picked another template by Scrapping by Liz - the left side of a two page layout - Double Album 6, rotated so all 6 landscape photos could be included - the template was initially for 6 portrait oriented photos. We removed some of the embellishments and replaced them with a bird, a unicorn, a butterfly, a flower, a heart & a star.  She used the rainbow letters & liked a plain square of glitter (part of the Flergs kit). We used the ink dropper tool to pick up the color from her pajama top and color the little swirl on the left hand side of the page - super easy. Perhaps the neatest part of this exercise with Evan, was she picked up the basics of Photoshop Elements unbelievable quickly. (I have visions of her paying for college by doing graphic design work in high school...)  The basic steps for filling in a template are: select the shape you want to fill, drag and drop the photo onto your page, group it with the shape layer below it, resize and and move to it's where you want it to be. Repeat with all your photos. She had it down after I told her once.  She took to it like a fish in water. And, I bet with some more lessons, and practice, she will become the teacher & I, the student!  I tried to influence her design and decisions as little as possible (but I did try to talk her into a different colored font for her journaling that might be a bit easier to read - that was a no-go). Whaddya think? Not bad for a 2nd grader, eh? 
 Now, we move on to Mattie's page (just turned 5). We did this one Monday evening. She selected only 4 of the pictures - 3 of the 4 were the same as mine. And she picked a template by Joey Lynn Manwarren of Every Day Imagination - I think we may have Mystery Scrapped her before - AMAZING. And, for a while, she'd do a free template every Tuesday.  Just as with paper supplies, you gravitate towards certain designers, with digi, you do, too. Stumbling upon her blog was like Christmas morning to me! Anyway, check it out here.  Same Flerg's kit - she used the same alpha letters that Evan did, the unicorns, a butterfly & a bird. I loved how she decided to do the glitter mats for the photos and her cute journaling says I love you & I love your cookies. I did not have her using the computer because I don't think she's quite ready for that, but it probably won't be too long until she is ready.  
Overall, this was a really neat project, gave me some one on one creative time with each of the girls and allowed them to stretch their creative muscles. And, to see several different takes on the same pictures. They are already asking when they can make their next pages - so I'd consider this a success. 
Are you ready to give digi a whirl yet? Do you have questions? Let me know and I'll try to answer whatever I can!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 27 (Monday)

This week grab 2 landscape 4x6 photos. Stop by tomorrow for more about digital scrapbooking!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking

Have you ever tried digital scrapbooking? If not, I think you'd be surprised at how much fun it is.  Before I came to the conclusion that I had time in my crafting life for both traditional/paper scrapping and digi-scrapping, I really did not think it was for me. It's just not the same. You're not creating something with your own two hands using glue & bits of pretty stuff.  To me, it was the equivalent of crossing things off on a paper to-do list (I never could get used to a digital to-do list...)
Have you ever created picture Christmas cards through a website like Snapfish or Shutterfly?  Or done a photo book through a site like that?  If you have, that is digital scrapbooking!  It's really just the tip of the digital scrapbooking iceberg, though.
What finally got me to consider digital scrapbooking as a viable option, were the free collage templates that Scrapbooks etc. published on their website and became increasingly popular on pages featured in the magazine.  I pinpointed that for me, what takes the longest (and was the most stressful) part of scrapbooking - was picking out the photos & deciding on sizes and getting them printed.  I always hated feeling locked in on sizes.  At that time, you couldn't readily get a 2x2 photo - you had to "crop" a 4x6 down to that size. That was not necessarily easy (or a good look!).  The collages (see link here), gave me the ability to put a larger number of photos on a page, but still look nice & neat & clean. There were different sized/oriented blocks and using a few fairly simple steps, you could drop your pictures in, crop them, move them to see what looked the best. With just a little practice, I could put together a collage to be printed on an 8 1/2 x 11 in about 10-15 minutes. Print out the whole collage and use on a traditional page OR cut the collage into smaller pieces for a different look.  I was now able to decide much more quickly on my pictures. That was my version of "hybrid."
Here are a couple pictures of pages created using the Scrapbooks etc. collages. 

Are you interested in giving it a try? There are lots of programs out there and I'm sure they are all great. BUT, I'm going to recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements for a couple key reasons: 
1 - you can download a free 30 day trial from the Adobe website. Try it, see if you like it before buying it. 
2 - buying it is similar in cost to Stampin Up/Creative Memories programs but gives you the power of an Adobe product - it's kind of like a dumbed down Photoshop.  You also don't need the most current release of the product. I've been using version 4.0 for a couple years now and have no real need to upgrade (I think they're on 8.0)
3 - almost any tutorial you find online, especially on the major digital scrapbooking websites, forum type websites, etc. are for Photoshop Elements. 
4 - getting help from other digi scrappers will be much easier using Elements as that's what the majority use... 
Just my opinion - take it for what it's worth!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 26 (Friday)

Ooohhh.  I love this week's inspiration layout.  Check it out here - it's by Marelize from Australia!

I love the color combination she used on her layout, but I wanted something a little bit softer for mine because of the topic. I tried to do a light to dark for my repetitive heart component and I simplified - no embellishments at the corner of the pic, no subtitle or journaling.  The picture said all that needed to be said. as far as I'm concerned.  The hearts were hand sewn to the page - I  thought about using the sewing machine, but figured I could sew while watching tv with Chris.  Anyway, Here is mine...

I would love to see what you put together based on this week's mystery scrap. Play along with us and join the Flickr group so we can share the love!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scrapbooking with Kids

Have you ever scrapbooked with your kids?  You'd be surprised how early you can start scrapbooking with your kids.  My youngest, Mattie has loved "scrap-upping" with me since she was 3 ish. Which would put Evan somewhere between 5 & 6 years old. I mostly give them pictures that I've printed that are leftovers or aren't the greatest quality. Papers that I don't see myself using anymore get put into their stash and occassionally I'll get some stickers or ribbon for them.  Turn them loose with a Tombo mono adhesive & some instruction and see what happens.  They are learning so much - about colors, textures, what is pleasing to the eye. They work on their motor skills, cutting, even cleaning up & organizing.  And, to top it all off, they are starting to learn the value of scrapbooking - how to use pictures and words to tell a story, to express themselves and to record important events in their lives.  I can't wait to see how their pages evolve over time. Already, Mattie scrapbooks more like I do - pictures, paper, stamps or stickers & some journaling (maybe some ribbon), but Evan's pages are much more artistic - painting or drawing pictures instead of relying on patterned paper or stamps.  Think about it... how can you incorporate that into your weekend or summer plans?  It might just give you a little more time to scrapbook!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Myster Scrap Week 26 (Wednesday)

For this week's page, you will need to gather the following:
1 12x12 piece of cardstock - solid color
contrasting color cardstock - 6.25" x 10.5"
6" piece of ribbon
6.75" piece of ribbon or punched border piece
punched shapes - the orig layout used 14
embroidery floss & needle (or sewing machine) - come on - if you haven't tried it yet - I dare ya!
twine - 8" + 4" (if desired)
3 small 1" or smaller embellishments
title letters (you know what to do!)
stickers for subtitle (or journaling can be handwritten)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 26 (Monday)

Happy Labor Day!  I hope everyone is enjoying a day off from work. And if you are not off from work today, I at least hope you have a very nice work day!
This week's page uses just one photo again. (I figured we used enough on last week's layout to make up for it!)
So... one landscape 4x6. Go pick one out. Yes, right now!  Especially if you're at home!
Check back tomorrow - I hope to post some pics from something the kids & I did this weekend. But if not, I'll see you Wednesday!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mystery Scrap Week 25 (Friday)

This is a fun one. I found this page  by Tammy which I liked for an inspiration layout, and then discovered it was based on THIS page by Lisa Dickenson which I liked as well - see her blog here!  So - take your pick and use either option!  Below is my take on these great layouts. I'd love to see yours!  Join our Flickr group at ............ and post yours under the tag Mystery25.  Everyone have a great weekend - I hope you all get some scrappy time!