Monthly Archives: September 2014

World Card Making Day is Coming!

World Card Making Day is Coming!

Each October, the first Saturday of the month is World Card Making Day. Yes indeed, a day dedicated to making cards. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

This Saturday, I’ll be posting a video about watercoloring techniques for you. Rather than focusing on making a card, start to finish, I’ll be showing you different ways to create watercolor effects with different mediums.

My personal take on techniques is that you need to experiment. See how various mediums and papers work together, and then you can decide what you want to use.

So that’s what we’ll be doing on Saturday. I’ll also have a small announcement to make. You probably don’t want to miss that, either. ūüėČ

Until then, how about a picture of my smart and handsome eldest son, who will be turning 13 next week. Thirteen! How is that possible?!

IMG_8821

PS What are you going to be doing for World Card Making Day? Hope you have something fun planned!

 

Project Life Update (Month 2)

Project Life Update (Month 2)

Over the weekend, I updated our Project Life album.PL Aug 1 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

To adjust for the photo variety, I used an old We R Memory Keepers sticker organizer page on the right, which also required a bit of paper finagling.

PL aug 1 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

I just got a smart phone, so I’ve been playing with the camera a little bit. Not too impressed with the quality so far, but then again, it was a very cheap phone.

PL Aug 3 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

While on our first group family vacation ever– my family, my sister’s family, my mother, and my brother’s daughter all in one house for a week!–I managed to sprain my ankle, my mother tripped and fell face first into a patch of poison ivy, and my niece got a gigantic splinter in her foot. ¬†Apparently we wanted to share everything, even injuries!

PL Aug 4 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

You might be able to see, on the right, all the journaling cards have the writing sideways. Since I am trying to write every day, I am not worrying about card orientation. That may lead to some awkward pages like this, but I want to make sure I’m capturing stories.

PL Sept 1 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

The last few days of vacation, first couple days of school, and then I got struck down by yet another case of strep throat. That’s an important thing to think about when doing long term projects– are you going to try to maintain your tempo when you’re feeling unwell, or are you going to give yourself room to heal and recover? That’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself, based on what you want to accomplish, and what will most likely help you succeed.

I needed to slow down a bit, so there’s only a handful of cards and pictures for the two weeks I was sick. That’s alright. I’m back on track now!

How do you handle being sick? Do you keep making stuff?

 

Circle Inspiration

Circle Inspiration

While switching craft rooms this summer, I came across a couple old catalogs from The Angel Company. Back in the day, I was a demonstrator with them, before they went out of business. If anyone is interested in a copy of the catalog, leave a comment below. I have two left that I’d gladly give away. While you can no longer get the supplies, it is a great source of inspiration.

On the cover of the catalog there’s¬†a lovely scrapbook page that made fun use of a circle in the design. “Oooh, circles,” I thought, “let’s talk about circles on the blog!”

Little did I realize how rarely I use circles when I make pages.

In looking through previously made pages, there seemed to be three types of pages where I used circles. The first group were all inspired and based upon sketches and page lifts. There were a decent number of those. Another group of pages were obviously inspired by the paper itself, where it had a strong circular motif. The last group, and there were decidedly fewer of these, was story and theme based. Let’s take a look at the last group:

crafty vacay || noexcusescrapbooking.com

This is one of my more recent pages, where the subject matter–my son’s desire to make art like Jackson Pollack– inspired the use of circles and art inspired pieces. After all if you’re going to make a page that references the master of the paint splatter, shouldn’t you include paint and messy artsy stuff on it?

A little further back in time, we’ve got this page that uses motion to show my son’s reaction to a late arriving birthday present:

Is that? || noexcusescrapbooking.com

This looks like a photo, matted on the blue graph paper, but is actually a window cut into the blue paper, revealing the photo underneath. When you turn the circle you get this:

It's a kindle || noexcusescrapbooking.com

You know how sometimes you capture a moment perfectly, and want to relive it over and over again? Turning this page into a spinning wheel helped me recapture some of that surprise and excitement. Plus, it was so fun to make.

One last circle inspired page for you:

donut entertainment || noexcusescrapbooking.com

This is a really old page, inspired, of course, by donuts. The title was computer generated, then cut out using circle punches and an exacto knife. Yes, entertainment is cut by hand. The donut itself was cut by tracing a plate, and then cutting that by hand as well. A bit of color stippling to try to make the donut look more dimensional, and some stickles to bring to mind sugar crystals, and the page was done. Ugly, but done. I can’t help but love this page, because it makes me laugh every time I read the journaling.

Do you use circles to communicate a theme or story? Feel free to share your circle enhanced pages!

 

 

For New England Scrappers

For New England Scrappers

This summer, we went on a family vacation to Mystic, Connecticut. While there, we found a wonderful little scrapbook store called Scrapbook Cove.

Of course, I neglected to bring my camera with me, so I can’t show you how bright and lovely the store is, but I did manage to take a picture of what I brought home with me.

Scrapbook Cove haul ||noexcusescrapbooking.com

This isn’t all I bought, since I also got supplies so my niece could make her own mini album, but this is what came home to my stash. I am trying to not bring a lot into my space, because I have so much already.

I loved the patterned paper selection, and they had a nice selection of Bazzill solids to choose from. Lots of lovely embellishments, from pre-cut die cuts to bling to washi. They also carried stamps and cutting dies, in reasonable amounts for general paper crafters. (Not enough for die-hard stampers, but more than enough for the average scrapbooker.)

As for the lines they carried, they concentrated on consistent favorites as well as smaller and less common manufacturers, so as not to have to compete with big box stores. The items I picked up were from SEI, Queen & Co., Bo Bunny, Bazzill, Lawn Fawn, My Mind’s Eye, Echo Park, Canvas Corp., Fancy Pants, Crafts n’ Craftin’, and Glitz Designs.

Prices were reasonable for an independent store, and most of the product was USA made. They had a small amount of discounted items, which bodes well for the owners, since that means they understand that they need to get old product sold before bringing new product in, and they seem to have a good grasp of the kinds of things their clientele would be looking for.

The space was bright, and filled with light, and there was room for about 12 scrappers to crop in the back, on lovely, antique style, large sturdy tables.

The owners were pleasant, and friendly, and willing to chat, which is very important for encouraging new customers to become repeat customers.

In short, I loved the store. I wish I lived closer so I could go on a regular basis.

Short and Sweet

Short and Sweet

Somewhere along the way from learning there is this amazing hobby called scrapbooking, to actually calling yourself a scrapbooker, a lot of people pick up the idea that they must journal, and it must be deep and profound.

While pages with that type of journaling are a great way to provide context and emotion to your scrapbooks, not every page needs that kind of thought and energy.

Another implied rule that scrapbookers pick up along the way is that they must use their handwriting (and it must be beautiful) or they must have gorgeously designed computer generated journaling.

Again, while those things are nice, they are not must-haves in order to create wonderful scrapbook pages.

What do you need to have a scrapbook page?

Just words and pictures.

In other words, keep it simple!

Case in point: this little album I created about myself as a 10-year-old, thereabouts.me at 10 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

To start off, I looked through the photos I had, and jotted down any memory the photos triggered. These were not deep, meaningful thoughts, but simple “what’s in the photos and why should anyone care” recollections.

pg 2 me at 10 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

I used a font that appealed to me at the time, and created little blocks of text. Oh, and in case you were wondering about my opinion regarding “good” fonts, if you want to use comic sans, or papyrus, or ariel, or any other font that you love but that font geeks love to hate, use it! The only time you should worry about whether the font you are using is cool and hip is if you are doing graphic design. You’re making a scrapbook! Make it to please yourself, not the arbitrators of fashion. The¬†only caveat? Make sure the font you choose is easy to read.

pg 3 me at 10 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

Don’t feel like you have to tell every story inspired by your photos, but do share things that make you laugh, or smile, or sigh. Include details about things that have changed, and things that have stayed the same.

pg 14 me at 10 || noexcusescrapbooking.com

Journaling doesn’t have to be hard. Keep it short and sweet, and you’ll have a scrapbook to cherish.

If you want to see the full album, you can find it in my Flickr gallery here.