Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Process for Creating a Layout a Day (LOAD in Vogue Bloghop)

A Process for Creating a Layout a Day (LOAD in Vogue Bloghop)

Welcome to the ScrapHappy LOAD in Vogue bloghop! This should be your third stop on the hop, after Christy, and before Lisa. If you want to start at the beginning, head on over to Lynnette’s blog! Everyone’s site is listed below if you want to jump and skip around. Now on with the show:

As some of you may know by now, I am a big proponent of periodically participating in a Layout a Day Challenge. (Or LOAD as we regulars like to call it.) What is a LOAD? It’s when you commit to making one scrapbook layout each day for a month. Lain Ehmann runs this twice a year in February and May, and then the members of her ScrapHappy community put together a members only challenge in October. Which means another challenge is rapidly approaching.

I’ve already told you how I got on the LOAD bandwagon, how I prepare for it, and why I think it’s an important part of anyone’s scrapbooking journey. However, I’ve never told you how I manage to fit LOAD into my daily life, and the process I go through when participating in the challenge.

Each morning, after the kids get off to school, I check the prompt. If it immediately triggers an idea, I’ll sit down and start working on it right away. If, however, a related story or photo doesn’t pop into my head immediately, I let the prompt marinate for a bit.

Sometimes the prompt just doesn’t work for where my head is on that particular day.

Not that it matters. The wonderful thing about LOAD is not that you’re creating pages based on various prompts, but that you’re committing to making pages. THAT’s the important part. The commitment to yourself and your creativity is what’s inspiring and empowering. The prompts are just the delicious icing on the cake.

Alright-y then, time to get off the soap box…

At some point in the day, I make time to sit down and start a page. I don’t always finish it in one sitting. However, I do try to have a story idea and photos and papers chosen before I move on to the next task.

Some days, I’m so busy I completely forget about LOAD until 10pm, and then I don’t worry about the prompt at all, and just make a page with the first story that comes to mind. I scrap fast. I can make a page in half an hour. That’s one thing I’ve become good at with LOAD.

For the slower days, if I don’t create a page from start to finish, I come back and work on it in chunks. Choosing supplies in one step, and then building a design, writing the journaling, and finally adding a title and embellishments.

It’s a very organic and relaxing process actually.

If you want more details on how I create, I made a video last fall of one of the pages created during the ScrapHappy LOAD  based on a prompt. You can find the video here: Process

idea to page

Now on with the show!

Next on your bloghop is Lisa.

And if you want to hop, skip, and jump around, here are our participants:



Heather <– You’re here now! Hi!








Thanks for stopping by!


Diving Into Your Stash to Create a Kit

Diving Into Your Stash to Create a Kit

Now that you’ve thought about how you scrapbook, and what you use when you scrapbook, let’s pull a kit together.

Actually, before we get started, ask yourself one more question: what am I planning on scrapbooking soon? Is it a subject that lends itself to a theme? Knowing that can help you make decisions.

Let’s create a kit now!

Start by going through your paper stash, and looking for one paper that you really love, but haven’t figured out how to use yet. Just one paper. Any pattern, any theme, something that you had to have the first time you saw it.

This is the paper I built my kit around:

basic grey | ambrosia-winsome

Now look at your paper. What are it’s major colors? What’s it’s style? (This one is a bit grungy, with small details that make it feel more ornate and girly.) Based on the colors in your first paper, find a second paper with similar colors and style.

This is the second one I pulled out of my stash:MME | Lost and Found 2 blossoms

As you can see, this has an orange and yellow similar (but not exactly the same) to the oranges on the butterfly paper. It also has a dark grey and light grey, and it pulls in two more colors: a light blue and a pale green.

Now, using those colors, bring in more papers. You’ll want at least six patterned papers, although I pulled ten. (I have a large stash, I need to use it!) Vary the sizes of your patterns from small to large. You might also want to make sure you’ve added some monochromatic papers or some neutral patterns. Don’t forget to check both sides of double sided papers. Sometimes one side doesn’t play real well with what you’ve already assembled, but the opposite side is just what you needed to pull all the separate elements together.

If you know you’re going to be using this kit to scrap a theme, start with a themed paper you love if you want. You do NOT have to use themed papers for themed pages though. You can use Valentine papers on a Christmas page. You can use train themed papers for pages about your pets. (Especially if any of yours are named for trains as mine are!)

The most important thing is to start with a paper you love, whether or not it has a theme.

stash kit papers

Once you have your patterned papers assembled, do another color check. Are your papers still carrying on a color and style conversation? Good. Based on the colors in your patterned papers, pull out four pieces of cardstock in colors that coordinate with your patterns. Any black, white, or kraft you have in your stash are bonuses and can be used to make your kit go further.

using your stash cardstock

Notice how none of the oranges are exactly the same? That’s okay. You just want your papers to play nicely together, they don’t need to match. (Matching is for 70s velour suits!)

Finally start pulling together your embellishments. Add some alphas if you want, and embellishments that you’ve been dying to use, but were saving for some special page. Once again you want a mix of sizes and types. If you can vary texture as well, that will add a lot of visual interest to the pages you make from your kit.

stash sourced embellies

Things that aren’t in my kit, but that I’ll probably use at some point? Baker’s twine. Bling. Inks and mists and masks. Washi tape. (Washi has totally replaced ribbon at my house. Do you still use ribbon? You’ll probably want to add some to your kit if you do.)

These items are a starting point. Like all kits, they are meant to be used together, but also with the items in your stash.

Any questions about pulling together a kit from your stash? I’d love to help you figure it out. And if you want to get into adapting what you have to mimic other kits, you really do need to check out the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog. They are full of ideas and inspiration.

If you make up a kit, take a picture of it, and add it to the No Excuse Scrapbooking Flickr group. I’d love to see what you pull together.

Personally, I am so looking forward to playing with this. I’m planning on using it for the ScrapHappy October LOAD. If you don’t know what LOAD or ScrapHappy is, come back tomorrow for a little blog hop that will explain one of the most fun things to do in the scrappy universe.


What Makes a Good Kit?

What Makes a Good Kit?

It’s time for you to think a little bit about how you create scrapbook pages, and about any changes you want to make to your style or process.


Because you need to have that information on your mind when you consider buying a scrapbook kit, and when you decide to create your own.

If you like having a plan on how to use up most of your kit supplies, you want to join a club that has cutting guides and samples for you to emulate. If you love making two page spreads, you want a kit that has two sheets of each paper design, rather than one. If you like embellishments, you will want a kit that has a lot, and if you don’t use them very much at all, you’ll want a kit with fewer doodads to play with. If you like techniques, you’ll want some new to you supplies, and  inspiration and instruction from a design team or kit club owner.

So that’s what you need to think about when you consider buying a kit. Is what’s in the kit going to work with how you currently scrap, and is it going to encourage you to expand your crafting skills or style?

With that in mind, let’s look at the kit clubs I mentioned last week, and break down exactly what’s in a kit, so we can use that as a jumping off point to building our own kit.

Across the board, each kit has 4 sheets of solid color cardstock. The amount of patterned paper varies from 6 to 10 sheets, and the amount of embellishments varies a lot as well. The smaller kit has just four packs of embellishments, and no alphas, while the larger kits have one or two alpha sets, with lots of embellies. They handle the embellishments by either having full packs, and not as much variety, or by doing partial packs, with a lot more variety.

So what do you put in a kit? Well it really goes back to what you want to get out of it.

Me, I know I like to have the option of doing double page spreads, but I solve that problem by using the large stock of white, black, and kraft cardstock I have on hand. I don’t embellish a lot, but I want to use what I have, so I need to remember to add a bit of variety. I like mixing alpha sizes, so a couple different alpha sets are in order. And mini books are a ton of fun, so maybe a mini album base would be a good idea as well.

Here’s what I’ve put together:

kit from stash dive

This has four pieces of colored cardstock, 10 patterned papers, two alpha sets, a mini book base, a few paper bags, a transparency, and a few packs of embellishments. How did I decide on these? Great question! I’ll talk about that later this week. 😉

Now go look at some of your favorite kit clubs, and look at the kinds of supplies in them. Make a list of them, and start doing your own stash dive! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Kit Envy

Kit Envy

Do you love kit clubs? There are so many wonderful and inspiring ones out there. They have an eclectic and interesting mix of products, and their creative styles vary widely, so you can usually find a kit club that works for how you create pages.

Generally, there are two types of kit clubs: ones that stick to one or two product lines while assembling the kit, and those who mix and match multiple product lines and manufacturers, and sometimes even design their own product.

A couple examples of single line kit clubs would be ones like the Kit Terrific Club from my local store Captured Moments, or the monthly kits  created by Little Red Scrapbook.

Sample of typical kit club supplies from Captured Moments

Sample of typical kit club supplies from Captured Moments


Sample of kit from Little Red Scrapbook

These are great examples of how you can pull together patterns from a single manufacturer and make them play nicely together. One of the benefits of the Kit Terrific Club are the cutting directions and visual samples they put up on their blog to show members how to assemble pages and use all the parts of each kit.

Sample page from Captured Moments

Sample page from Captured Moments

Gossamer Blue and Studio Calico are two companies that do the manufacturer mixing style really well. Studio Calico has become the gold standard against which most kit clubs compare themselves, while Gossamer Blue is just a year old, and full of fresh ideas.

Studio Calico sample kit

Studio Calico sample kit

Gossamer Blue sample kit

Gossamer Blue sample kit

One of the fun things about both these companies, is that they usually have a unique stamp available, either in the main kit, or in an add on. I love being able to add stamped images and techniques to my pages, so that’s a great bonus.

I LOVE kit clubs. They are full of ideas and product you wouldn’t necessarily use together. But they can be expensive, especially if you still go out and buy more supplies on top of your monthly kit fees. Be honest. Who doesn’t do that?

There are some options for you. You don’t have to buy each and every month’s kit or sign up for a six month subscription. Most kit clubs offer an option to purchase a single kit at a time for slightly more money.

You could also do what the lovely ladies over at Counterfeit Kit Challenge do. Each month they find a kit to use as inspiration, and then their members create their own kits with the product they have on hand. That’s  a fun way to use up your stash, and they always have goods ideas for ways to adapt what you have to create something similar to what you want.

Not sure how to put together your own kit, or how to use it ALL up? We’ll be talking about that a lot more over the next few weeks, so be sure to pop back in, or sign up for my newsletter, so you can get notified when new posts are up.

In the meantime, do you have a favorite kit club? Give them a shout out here. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s looking for new kits and ideas.

A Peek Behind the Curtain: My Unfinished Projects

A Peek Behind the Curtain: My Unfinished Projects

One of the things that can hang over your head when you’ve been scrapbooking for a while is the dreaded unfinished project. We’re all guilty of biting off more than we can finish, but that doesn’t mean we can’t complete a project if we have a plan.

As mentioned in previous posts, I have an unfinished Project Life album from 2011. I’ve got a plan for finishing it, and have made quite a lot of progress. All the photos are in it, and the cards are loaded as well. Now it’s time for writing. I think what I’ll do is, while watching TV, fill out a few cards at a time each evening. It will take awhile to finish that way, but what’s the rush? It should be more fun, and invite more input from my family by doing it this way. But that may just be my optimistic nature showing.Unfinished Project Life

Then there’s this summer’s digi album. I need to make a list of events to add to the book, and then I’ll be able to really get cracking on it. Hey, I’ll do that tonight! Little steps get you closer all the time.

OFN pics

Then there are my kids’ School of Life albums, which both need to be updated. I’ll pull photos for both of them, and pack them with my school supplies, and bring those with me the next time I head to a crop. The School of Life albums are great for getting things done, and allowing for chat time while scrapping.School of Life albums

Then I’ve got a couple chipboard mini albums, where I know what I want to talk about, but haven’t got pictures yet, or need info from family members. Those are further down the list.

chipboard albums

The thing about all these projects is that I DON’T HAVE TO do any of these projects, but I want to, so I’m planning time and processes that will help me get them done.

That’s what you need to do in order to get your unfinished projects done. Break projects into pieces, and plan each step. You don’t have to go into a huge amount of detail, but knowing what the chunks are can really help you see projects as do-able instead of insurmountable and guilt inspiring.

One more thing. Are any of your unfinished projects stories you no longer want to tell? You don’t have to you know.

You have my permission to throw them in the circular file, or recycle them. Turn them into something you love, instead of something that weighs you down.

The only person who should be setting your scrapbooking goals is yourself. Not your kids. Not your friends. Not your mother, and most especially not me. Do exactly as much as you want to do. It’s all okay.

So what projects do you have unfinished? What are you going to do about them?