Balls in the Air

Balls in the Air

Goodbye October, we hardly knew ye!

Seriously, last month went by so fast! Between being sick, trying to find a new job, family birthdays, and just general chaos, October came and went in the blink of an eye.

So, what’s the plan for November?

Let’s see…

Starting a new job.

Schedule and host a couple combo Stampin’ Up! & Pampered Chef shows.

Finish and publish my sketch book. I just got notification back from one of the companies I wanted to use as an inspiration source, and they were not willing to let me do that, three months after I originally contacted them. So now I’ve got to re-write and re-arrange a section of the sketch book. Then I’ve got to finalize the images I will be sharing with you, and try to optimize them for kindle format. I wish I could afford to pay someone to do this part for me, but that’s got to wait till it starts paying for itself.

Hosting Thanksgiving at my house. My sister’s going to be here this year!

Get new glasses. I am sitting in some pretty weird positions in order to read and use the computer.

Joining in with NaNoWriMo!

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant

If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a month long challenge to write a novel. In a month. The goal is to write 50,000 words, or about 1,667 words a day, and finish an average length novel in 30 days. It’s a pretty crazy idea, especially with everything else I’m trying to fit into the month, but I’m nothing if not a glutton for punishment.

I mean think about it. New job. New business. Might as well throw a tough challenge in there as well, right? I mean it’s not like I don’t like a monthly challenge now, is it? (LOAD anyone?)

Speaking of LOAD… Did any of you participate in LOAD this October? I only made it through the first two weeks. Then the galloping ick just sapped my will to create. That and the unholy mess that is my craft room. I desperately need to clean!

Since this month is going to be so busy, I won’t be around very much this month.

I’m not going to do my month of thankful cards. I just can’t commit to that, and have any time for my family. I think I’ll be moving to a monthly how-to. If I can figure out a way to make a video that doesn’t completely suck, I’ll be doing that. I know how much you all like videos, but between poor lighting and shoddy equipment, I haven’t had much luck shooting anything worth sharing in months.

Since I’ll be around so little, you might want to sign up for my mailing list (up at the top right) so you can get an email when I post. Emails letting you know about posts goes out once a week. So if I post once a week or three times a week, you’ll get one email for the week. If I don’t post at all, no email! When you’re new to my mailing list, you also get an email every other week with some links and posts that I think you might find interesting. That only lasts for a few months though. I’ll also let you know when a new book comes out, or if I ever get my video recording figured out, video classes too!

Whew! That sounds busy doesn’t it? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go finish my word count for today.

Making Pages

Making Pages

I haven’t been making many pages lately. But LOAD started on Saturday, and so far I’ve managed to play along. Want to see what I’ve got?

Day one: This photo has been calling me. I want to go here and write every day. Boston’s a little far to go on a daily basis though.

noexcusescrapbooking.com

Day 2: The prompt had a whole list of ingredients for the page, and I think I got most of them. I fussy cut a photo people! Who am I?

noexcusescrapbooking.com

Day 3: This has got to be my favorite photo from our trip to Atlanta over the summer. Also, if you’re in the Atlanta region, you MUST go to the Georgia Aquarium. It’s simply wonderful.

noexcusescrapbooking.com

Day 4: My kid has generously given me his cold. Pocket page and stickers is about all I can manage.

noexcusescrapbooking.com

Today’s the fifth day, and I haven’t checked the prompt yet. I’m going to do that, make something, and then go back to bed, maybe with a pile of books and my laptop. I need this cold to get out of my chest. Hopefully I can sleep it off. I’ve got a house to clean! Company’s going to be here for my oldest’s 15th birthday.

How am I old enough to have a 15 year old?

Stay crafty my friends!

Happy World Card Making Day!

Happy World Card Making Day!

It’s the first Saturday in October, and you know what that means, right? World Card Making Day! I’ve got a card and coloring sheet to inspire you!

First up the card:

pansy card ||noexcusescrapbooking.com

 

(Both these projects use the Birthday Blossoms set from Stampin’ Up! I’ll link up to all the supplies at the end of the post.)

To create this card, make a card base from a sheet of rich razzleberry, cut a 4″x5.25″ piece from the striped paper in the petals and paisleys paper set, and cut a 3″x4.25″ piece of very vanilla to stamp on. Stamp the leaves from the stamp set using cucumber crush about half way down and slightly to the left on the vanilla cardstock. Then use a water brush to pick up a little of the cucumber crush ink, and draw in a stem. In the bottom right of the piece, stamp a sentiment in rich razzleberry, and then rub the edge of the vanilla cardstock against the razzleberry ink pad to create a thin line of color. Stamp the single flower using the delightful dijon ink on a piece of delightful dijon paper, and then repeat with rich razzleberry ink and paper. Punch out the flowers using the pansy punch. Adhere one directly on the very vanilla cardstock, and one with dimensional adhesive. Adhere the striped paper to the card base, then a line of green washi tape (or scrap of patterned paper or a piece of ribbon,) then the stamped piece goes on top. Add a finishing touch by adding some clear wink of stella to the center of the flowers.

Next the coloring page:

coloring sheet || noexcusescrapbooking.com

To create the coloring page, you’ll need a large acrylic stamp block. Arrange the single flower, flower cluster, and leaves on the block in a group as tightly as you can manage. Then stamp on whisper white cardstock repeatedly using memento ink. Rotate the block as you need to get as close as you can to the previously stamped images. Fill in the page as much as you like. Heat set the ink with a heat tool if you plan on coloring with water colors. Otherwise, you can start coloring as soon as the ink dries.

Have fun!

These are the supplies you’ll need if you want to re-create these exactly:

birthday blossoms

pansy punch

rich razzleberry ink pad

cucumber crush ink pad

delightful dijon ink pad

petals and paisleys designer paper

petals and paisleys cardstock pack

whisper white cardstock

wink of stella

memento

affectionately yours washi set

water brush

large acrylic block

small acrylic block

Book Update (and a couple recommendations to tide you over)

Book Update (and a couple recommendations to tide you over)

It is taking me a little longer than I thought it would to finish up my latest book about using sketches in scrapbooking. How’d you like to help me decide on the title and cover?

This is what I’ve got right now, which one do you like the best?

Option 1

Option 1

Option 2

Option 2

Option 3

Option 3

Option 4

Option 4

Just let me know which one you like most in the comments below.

To tide you over until I get my booked finished, I’ve got a couple recommendations for you.

One:

and two:

Why should you read these two books?

You should read The Happiness Project because of one phrase in particular: the days are long, but the years are short. This was the impetus that started Gretchen Rubin on her happiness and habits journey. This was the idea that made her realize that she needed to pay attention to now, because all too soon today becomes yesterday, and then last week, and last year.

Folks this is the reason we scrapbook. We scrapbook because we know that as soon as we live a particular moment, it’s gone forever, unless we capture it in some way through memory keeping.

We scrapbook because it makes the current moment so much more happy, either because we’re trying to be present and aware of it, or because we’re actively scrapbooking, and making pretty stuff. Making stuff makes most people happy, at least in my experience.

You should read The New Rules of Scrapbooking because Jennifer Wilson is a woman after my own heart. In her book, she lists five basic rules of scrapbooking, that basically tell you to ignore all the rules and all the guilt that you think makes up scrapbooking. It’s a freedom manifesto for the scrapbooker plagued by self-doubt, fear, and guilt. Scrapbooking is a hobby that should help you feel more free. Jennifer’s rules will help you get there.

Making Letter Stickers Go Away

Making Letter Stickers Go Away

You know what’s frustrating? Using up all the E’s in a set of letter stickers before you’ve even used up half the letters. Or the T’s or S’s. My pile of partially used alphabet stickers is growing and growing. I’d really like to get rid of some of those packages of Q’s, X’s, and J’s, how about you?

What are some ways we could do that?

We could play scrabble with the rest of the letters in a set, and come up with words that we could use for titles. That’s always a fun challenge.

alpha letter soup|| noexcusescrapbooking.com

We could mix and match letters from multiple sets to create ransom style words. You do want to keep the letters in the same ballpark size wise when you do this. If you really don’t like having mismatched colored letters, you could even paint or ink them to help the letters go together better.

recipe for disaster||noexcusescrapbooking.com

I think you’ve seen this page a lot lately!

If they are flat stickers, you can add them to a piece of cardstock to create a one-of-a-kind patterned paper.¬†With both flat and dimensional stickers, you can use them with mists or inks or paint to create a background. Coat the backs of the stickers with cornstarch to reduce their stickiness, arrange them on a piece of cardstock, and ink or spray away. When you lift the stickers up, you’ve got the letters showing up as the original color of the cardstock. (I haven’t done this yet myself. I’m still having trouble letting go of my letter stickers.)

I’m sure there are a ton more ways to use up letter stickers. Do any of you have any suggestions?

Of course, there is always the final solution: the garbage can. When you’re down to a 2, a 5, three Q’s and a W, there really isn’t much point to holding on to it. I’ve got to remind myself of that, and throw out some stickers. Hold me. This is going to be hard.