Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor of Love

Okay these are not childbirth photos so you can go ahead and look at the photos :^)
I'm scrapping at the Sharon Memories here in Olympia and wanted to share my first completed layout with you. 
Pictures of three special dads available for spending Father's Day with are offset with warm wood tones, blues and even the surprising pink! 
I'm hoping my honey will journal about his road to fathering and what it's like parenting our brood (does two count as a brood?)- I even placed a sticker of an old fashioned pen at an angle a lefty like himself would hold it.
Nautical stickers echo the Gig Harbor Historical Society's emphasis on the Mosquito Fleet's local influence . I also added a burlap lol through the magic of Washi tape!
Thanks for cropping by to craft with me tonight!
♡ Anna

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Odds and Ends

Didn't get to make too much last week as I have been downsizing my collection of papers and momentos and have a ton of "junk" spread all over my workspace. Got so tired of that mess I shoved it all in a bag last night and was able to make two really cute cards you can see on my instagram feed today. (click the purple camera circle to the right to be taken there)
This card was made for a friend of a friend recently and was made with very little dimension, using stamps and lots of fun summery colors. I need a bit of something though, so I went over the heart with some Liquid Glass which turned it into a custom enamel shape. After this photo was taken I also added the glass effect to the Smile word too. Baker's twine and my favorite Queen & Co. bling twinkling dressed the card up further and then I drew on some stitching at the top left with my new alcohol pen freebie from the Scrapbook Expo last month.
So where does one house an incredible selection of acquired bling (brads are not included in this mix)? Why, in my Queen & Co. miniature suitcase, or trunk, of course! It's the perfect size for the tiny packages and I also recently organized it so I can show you how well all my rhinestones and pearls live together. There are also enamel dots in there. I have another trunk that I keep washi tape inside. A great reason to sign up for one of their classes at an event!
Speaking of, it's almost November! Well for most readers that will be insignificant and not worth mentioning, but for me it's the peak of my year as that month is when Seattle hosts the Creating Keepsakes Convention. You will see a lot more about this as it approaches so I won't spend too much time on it here, but it is on my mind of late and if you've never gone you ought to look into it. And start saving your money for the vendor fair lol (the paper is calling me DF)!
Anyway, having all my blings together in one place allows me to flip through them easily and also to reach for all my options with one lift of the arm. You can take a tour of my craft room here.
I'm considering a new shoot of my set up; some items have changed places since I uploaded that video, but for the most part my room is the same. More paperwork stuffed in out-of-sight places since last night, but otherwise... plenty of stash to shop from at home!
Thanks for stopping by today. I've got a new scrapbooking process video coming out this week, click on the purple YouTube link up at the top right and subscribe to my CraftWithAnna channel, do so and you won't miss any of my latest movies as they get online. Have a great week and make it crafty!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Project Life- My Way


Ok, Sharin Memories in Olympia is hosting a freestyle crop next Friday night from 6-10pm. Store owner Jodie there calls it "Project Life- My Way," and it's meant to be sort of a, free-for-all work time for crafties. Who may be bringing snacks :-) My friend DF and I have gone once before. The store has beautiful displays on show to inspire, and lots of table space to share.
Project Life, if you aren't familiar with the phrase, is a term used to describe a style of scrapbooking which captures the everyday details of life. It used to be that generally, only the "important" photos would get the fancy paper treatment, but about 5-7 years ago there was a shift in the industry to include the more everyday photo as well. Probably a direct correlation to iPhone's release! Next came a concept called the Smash Book, which was basically an artsy journal to place all of your saved ticket stubs, airplane tickets, fortune cookie strips, and brochures you might be saving, all mixed in with photos.

There have always been embellishments like die cuts and pockets to include with your memory preserving, but now these are available in standard sized kits and pocketed page protectors. Simple Stories might be a company who deserves credit for introducing a time saving way of preserving which appealed to newbies and old-timers like myself alike. Many companies have fallen suit and Becky Higgins presented a program of scrapbooking called, Project Life.
Available in any theme you can think of, a project life kit can contains as many as hundreds of 3x4 and 4x6 die cut cards, printed with cute phrases or just pretty patterns, to go along side your photos in the pocketed page protectors. Some people (like me) mix these in with their standard full sheet pages, and others devote entire albums to this style, capturing a week in photos in each "spread." Friday, Shimelle posted how she and three of her friends are approaching Project Life, and it got me considering my own style, and Jodie's phrase, and how I really DO do this my way.
I include the pocketed pages right next to my full size 12x12 pages. Sometimes I include a group of photos that all speak to the same theme, and sometimes, it is all about one day, or moment. My photos may be turned the "wrong" way, and that doesn't bother me, I just turn the album to see better and keep flipping!
There are times when I have a full sized page and a pocket page next to each other and they are all about the same event, but most often they are not. Usually I am creating just one "side" of the page at a time. One of the conundrums I've encountered in my learning process is that these pages almost have to be worked on consequentially, and that's not particularly my style- I tend to jump around in my memories quite a bit.
So how do I go about making this style work for me? You can watch one of my first attempts here, or join me at the Gig Harbor Michael's for a Project Life class! Each class is only $15, which is one of the least expensive classes the store offers. Email me if you are interested, and we will find an upcoming class time that fits in your calendar.
Interested in peeking over the shoulders of some other scrappers? There's that Project Life- My Way event next Friday at Sharin' Memories in Olympia, and next month, a Scrap-In on September 13th from 2:30-6:30, again in the Michael's classroom. Sign up for only $5 online, bring some pictures and basic supplies, and we'll get you figuring out how to work these products, Your Way!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Die Cut Crazy Birthday Blog Hop!

 Welcome back! I'm glad you stopped by today, because there is a super fun birthday themed Blog Hop going on amongst my Co-Contributor's at This month, Eric from the PaperWizard has donated a lovely piece of blog candy, so be sure to comment on everyone's blog for a chance to win that! If you can follow us on facebook and hit the Like button on my post from yesterday, you can win a little something from ME as well :-D We're all so excited for the launch of our new website too! I hope you enjoy my little birthday card, it's full of die cuts and should somewhat easy to duplicate in your craft space of choice :-)

Ah, birthdays... who doesn't love a good excuse for a party, huh? Well, I've been surprised over the years, how many people actually don't enjoy them, but I wasn't raised that way. Having a daughter born on New Year's Eve meant my mom sacrificed a lot of year end partying in order to make my birthday special each year. Even as I've gotten older and said things like, "Oh mom, do what you want this year, I'm grown enough to be happy with a special meal with my family." She just laughs and says she'll be on call lol. Without fail, she always mentions that it must be time for my half birthday, as well! What a mom :-D

For this card, I used die cuts from the Basic Grey RSVP ephemera pack. Using preselected, coordinated die cuts makes it so easy to create a card with lots of layers and depth; just select a few pieces that seem to fit together, glue them with some multi-dimensional adhesives, and voila! You've created an intriguingly beautiful card for your bestie, man, mom, or whoever's birthday might catch you off guard in the future. I was so excited for this hop, because it seems you can never have too many birthday cards on hand, am I right?

I have been wanting to use that flowered frame for awhile, and this project was the perfect occasion. There was a smaller frame within it that I wanted to have a little more lift too, so I managed to cut my very tiny foam squares even tinier to fit in that thin underspace. It can be kind of annoying when a corner of your foam adhesive peaks out from under your layers, but no worries, I usually just add some more layers on top! 

The bottom right corner where this happy little accident occurred was just the right spot to add some flowers. I chose one of shimmery fabric, and one made from mulberry paper,  the little brad holds it all together and eliminated the need to find yet another type of adhesive to hold it all together. Ever since I started selling my cards, the idea of my card not falling apart after I've made it is a lot more appealing.
Now, after adding the acetate flowers die cut under the frames, and the Party banner on top, my card was looking oh so festive, but I wanted it to be somewhat summery, so I thought about some stamp sentiments I could make work for me. A package of K & Co. die cuts with fancy borders has been very handy to have around, it came with four or five different shapes, and was very inexpensive at Michael's.  Ever made a stamping mask before? Simply stamp your sentiment or image onto a scratch piece of paper. I like to grab a post-it note, and there are lot's of new products out there made for this type of fun too. Another way to use the one word from this stamp would have been to just color in the word "garden" with a marker and stamp it that way onto that K & Co. die cut.
After stamping your image, carefully cut out the part of the stamp you want to show on your project. Line it up in the desired location, stamp over, and looky-here, you have a perfect stamped phrase without any mess.
It's nice to continue the theme of your card on the inside as well, so I stamped some CloseToMyHeart flowers off the page and a simple birthday sentiment to finish this birthday card.  Another advantage to the post it notes? They are thin and come in a variety of colors, so if you aren't the best stamper (like me) and you make a boo-boo,* you can just cut out the post it note version and cover your mistake right up, while adding another bit of visual interest!
*If you don't remember to mask the "nd" in "and" to make an "A," you can also work a little piece of cover up paper into your design and the recipient will never know the difference!

I love the way the plastic die cut adds some shine to my card. It was even shinier after I realized I'd left the protective plastic cover on it! Yeah, I noticed that after I'd glued all my layers down, tried to lift part of it back up, and tore the plastic. So I just took a deep breath, carefully lifted it apart, got the plastic off, and made a mental note not to do that again!
I hope you've enjoyed reading about how I spruced up my die cuts to make this lovely card, full of dimension. Now, hop on over to our new site, and comment on each blog for a chance to win that amazing layout from the Paper Wizard. Follow DieCutCrazy on facebook for even more inspiration, and tune back in to see my latest round of cards going out in the shops next week!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Let It Rain!

Do you have a theme song? I mean, is there a song that has been playing throughout your life that seems to come on the radio at just the right time, the lyrics of which echo parts of your life experiences? You know, the one that no matter what, you will be singing out loud the words too... ya, you know you're thinking of it right now!
Sometime within the last year I was on and either read a post or watched a video of her talking about visiting the David Bowie exhibit at her local museum. Apparently he had saved so much of his early scribbling and assorted paraphernalia over his (50 year?) career that it needs exhibition status. Shimelle challenged us to scrapbook based on a song, or an artist that we really felt a connection with.
First song to come to mind? Prince and the Revolution's, Purple Rain.
 Yup, I'm a tried and true fan of THE Prince. Raised to want to fling my panties on stage even before I knew why anyone would be interested in doing something like that! Side note- I often wondered which day of the week pair I'd have thrown...
So, did I want to scrapbook about "maybe I'm just like my mother?" or "maybe I'm just like my father?" "Why do doves cry?" NO! I wanted to fit this song to the fun pictures I'd taken of my family picking plums over at my moms house last summer.
Purple rain, get it? lol, 'cause if you've ever had plum trees, or just fruit trees for that matter, you know that the ground is apt to get messy once the blossoms turn into those natural fruit gems.
I gathered many different shades of purple, my favorite color naturally, and then I envisioned lots of frilly looking cream colored paper reminiscent of those popular flouncy blouses men wore in the eighties. Honestly, what was up with the pirate look?! And even more honestly, were any of the men in your life wearing blouses? lol I only had eyes for Prince. I mean, when he showed up at the concert I saw two years ago wearing a caftan (of all the headwear he could have chosen!) with what I'm guessing was a cape- now that is a real man, folks!
The page on the left hand side was actually a pre-made deal, complete with torn paper layers, paper pieced multi-colored border, and sewing. I wanted to mimic that look on the right hand side and it turned out I had just enough shades of paper to work with. I love the way they look side by side, and although I added it after these photos were taken, I also added some stitching with my sewing machine to the bottom of the right hand side page as well. Ended up moving my sewing machine into an even more prominent location in my craft area, so we'll see if that helps me to use it as much as I desire too.
My best friend had met me for some scrapbooking and catching up at Michael's Saturday, and brought me like, the entire October Afternoon Witch Hazel line, including two sticker sheets! What a pal, huh? I wanted to try and incorporate something from that mass of goodness, and found the music notes border sticker to fit my theme perfectly. Not sure what the song actually is, but who cares right? I also made a witch into a garden fairy by adding a crown sticker over her pointy hat :-) I used some of the tab stickers for a four-photo flip up so I could include even more photos, and added a lot of my friend's washi tape in layers around the layout too.
When I think of Prince, I also think of Diamonds and Pearls- as embellishments! but, while neither of those items was seeming to be the right accessory, I did include the quote, "More Precious Than Pearls"- perfect for describing the bounty that God provides us each harvest, as well as the joy of feel watching my beautiful daughters, spending time with my family and enjoying the same activities I grew up doing. Certainly a precious enough idea to capture.
One last thought on scrapbooking: what about scrapping those terribly unflattering photos... my thought is, include them anyway lol! These pictures of Ray certainly don't capture him at his most handsome-est, but they are funny and I love how much Sunday looks like him in the photos we took. I used that little witch sticker to write out, "Is this Organic?" and then wrote in, "Was that from Safeway?!" The plum he's eating is freshly picked from the tree, but the quotes are a little inside joke that goes back to my step dad trying to pass non-organic food off on us by saying, it came from Safeway!
So what's your theme song, friend? Leave a comment below, and come back this Friday, August 15th, for a birthday blog hop sponsored by DieCutCrazy! Eric from the Paper Wizard will be giving away an uber-fun layout kit to one lucky hopper! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Late Nights Finish Early In the Morning

Those late nights can lead to some really fun mornings! Staying up late scrappin' the night away is one of my greatest pleasures. Well, to be honest, it doesn't matter what time of day it is, if I'm scrapping, I'm happy! When I can finally make myself go to bed the wheels on my creative mind are continuing to roll, and sometimes it seems like I've just kept on working til the dawn's early light :-0
Not a bad experience!
In my last post, I showed you  the starts to three pages I worked on late Sunday night. Here are a few photo collages to show you a few of the additional finishing touches I've added before tucking them into bed (sheet protectors haha).
I did end up going with the title, "Annie get your Gun" on this single page layout to the left. I used a mix of different alphabets, including but not pictured, some old, patterned chipboard letters which happened to match the colors in the Glitz Design sticker banner perfectly. See how I added brads in between the "Love is a Gamble" banner, and then hung some Close To My Heart metal I-don't-know-what-they're-calleds embellished with tiny brown sparkles, and some knotted baker's twine for extra texture and a bit of whimsy.
My journaling is not hidden, but it's not meant for easy reading, either. Writing on a patterned paper background is a fabulous way to write what you want with less fear of judgement lol. The story I wanted to tell was how Ray came home with a new gun, which I promptly declared to have been bought for my own enjoyment. Or Zombie killing. Whatever comes my way. It's just an air rifle! The funny story that I'm internally implying through my sticker phrasing, is that a woman with a gun can be hard to leave... as in, don't even think about it, Mr.! That might explain the somewhat maniacal expression on my face?

I loved the simplistic but balanced appearance of the two pages I created using the Storytellers "Delightful" set of die cuts. Not much was added to either page, but it's all the little things that made me feel that they are complete. Little touches like the ribbon and ribbon slide behind the "Good" die cut, the sprinkle of tiny gems directly on a photo, the brad berries I created, as well as some journaling to tell the story of the photos.  I added some hidden journaling behind the top title block, and dressed up a tab die with some hand drawn fancy numbers for the date.
See those brads under the numbers? I did not add them, they are printed on the tab! Pretty easy to use embellishments that are dressed up for you beforehand! Hmmm, now that I think of it, these die cuts are inspiring me to add some brads to my next project...
Thanks for taking a look at how my late night scrapping turned out the following day... Don't forget to come back throughout the month to see how I'm incorporating my large stash of die cuts into my creations.
The latest edition of DieCutCrazy is available today and includes loads of inspiration as well! On the 15th, my fellow contributors and I are having a Birthday inspired BlogHop! Sounds like a prize will be available too, hip hip hooray!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Anatomy of a Late Night Scrap Sesh

Late at night when the kids are in bed, I like to have Ray select a few photos for some "Scrapbook Starts." That's my little nickname for these pages I start and don't usually complete right away. You'll notice these examples are pretty basic... they'll be spruced up sometime today, but here's a peek into my late night creative process!
I generally start with the photo itself. Thinking of a basic title, or the story I want the photo to tell helps me get into the mood to gather my supplies. The chosen photo or story may also influence the colors or theme of papers I'm shopping my stash for. It really helps to take the photo to the paper stored in our craft room; you can pretty easily tell what "goes" (and doesn't ) by holding the photo up to a few selections. There can be surprise pairings of patterns that emerge as my creative engines begin to turn over!
Next, I reach for add-ons like stickers or die cuts that I may have thought of while looking at the photo or searching for a background. The way I have my embellishments stored makes this a really easy thought to page process. Check out this tour of my craft room for a glimpse at one of the ways I've had my space organized. I look for either matching colors, a theme that fits, a phrase to use as a title, or maybe just something shiny that needs to be used.
I recently overhauled my die cut storage system, and along with my August Product of the Month Challenge and wanting to use more of my old stuff up this year, I'm hereby announcing that my product of the month will be... Die Cuts! On August 15th my fellow contributors to DieCutCrazy and I will be hosting another Blog Hop, so watch for that! Last night I got into my circa 2009 Storytellers collections and chose this "Delightful" set that went well with the photos and papers I'd chosen. The great thing about their die cuts is that they already look layered and embellished, so sprucing them up is not actually needed, but very easy to do. See how I layered photo corners over those already on the background patterned paper above? And in the layout below, I simply added paper flowers, and used my exact-o knife to cut out a small part of the design to layer on top for added dimension. There were more than enough pieces to spread across two pages that will go side by side in my album, so I put the extras into a new kit, made from papers I'd thought of using but didn't. I  mean, why put them away when I can use them for another late night crop session?! 
So sometimes, on simple pages like those two, I can add a few finishing touches that bring them nearly to "enter the album" stage. Touches like the brads in the centers of the flowers, or the hand drawn blackberry vines with custom blended ink splatter berries. Touches like the eyelets on those punched circles, or inking the edges to make the white core disappear.
On the page to the right, I chose a package of Glitz Design's cardstock stickers to embellish my layout. You can see the page is still lacking- nothing is holding the banner together, there is no title or journaling, and frankly, it's hard to tell what the story behind my holding a large gun with a gleeful smile is. And guess what, it's totally okay that the page is incomplete! I fully intend to go back in and put those finishing touches on sometime today or later this week.
In the meantime, I may think of a much better title (although, "Annie Get Your Gun" will be hard tobeat), I may change the angle of the story I want to tell, or add variegated yarn instead of black twine as I intended... the choices are all still there, but I can make them in the my actual craft room,during daylight hours easier than late in front of the tv, on a card table set up by the sofa at night. On the other hand, I sometimes find that I'm really okay with how it looks and I just add a quick dash of fiber and journaling to get it in the album pronto. These simple pages add a different visual element to albums that can almost become monotonous in all their embellishments and details. As long as those pictures are getting printed and/or our stories are being told, there's no "wrong" way to scrapbook!
So theres a peek into my late night creative process... now you know why I'm posting photos of my work to facebook at 12:23 am! Let me know, how do you maximize your creative energy? Do you have a little routine that makes it easier to craft in a jiffy? Leave a comment below, mark your calendar for August 15th's DieCutCrazy blog hop, and as always, thanks for reading!