Monday, April 22, 2013

Layout of the Week - My Happy Place

Most of my layouts come straight out of my own mind.  I usually get inspired by my photos or new papers & supplies at the store.  But from time to time, I see a layout I just have to "scraplift"!  There are just some layouts that appeal to me so much, I have to honor them by recreating them, with a little Julie-spin.  Lately, I've been getting a lot of inspiration from Instagram.  I stumbled across the Chic Tags blog just this way.  After seeing the fun creations from Chic Tags on Instagram, I've been checking their blog for inspiration.  And a couple of weeks ago, I found a layout that begged me to recreate it!  Created by Kasia, who lives in Turkey, the "Today was Awesome!" layout had me smitten!

I love everything about this layout!  Now, someday, I really do plan to recreate this layout in the colors that Kasia used.  But, in this case, I had already chosen papers & photos and just needed to use this layout for its more of a sketch or plan.

Being obsessed with color, I chose to add my Julie-spin by creating a layout full of bright colors, letting Kasia's overall page design guide the placement of my elements.

To start, I hand trimmed my dotted paper and used my sewing machine to stitch it to one of my very favorite colors of cardstock, Ruby from the Vintage Collection of Core'dinations.  I liked the idea of continuing the dot theme, so I searched the Silhouette Online Store until I found the Linked Welded Rings cut that I could duplicate, rotate and weld to create a background similar to Kasia's.

I cut it in a dark teal, Stargaze from American Crafts.  Then I went back and deleted out the center of all my circles and cut that in white to create a background.  I love using the Luminarte Mists from Splash of Color (previously Creative Imaginations), so I used a paint brush and water to wet the white background and then dripped four colors of the mist onto the paper.  I let the white pieces dry before adhering them to the circle pieces.

Next I gathered some tags & other embellishments, some old, some new to give my page a graphic look similar to Kasia's. I chose some stickers from the Fancy Pants kit, along with a couple Technique Tuesday stamps and my SMASH date stamp.

I love how my page turned out, with tons of color and lots of layers & textures.  If you're having trouble layering your embellishments, just remember to lay everything down and move it around a lot until you like the result.  THEN start from the bottom adhering the back pieces first.  Adding pop dots to a few of your embellishments gives some depth to your creation, just be sure to pick only a few.  Everything doesn't need to be "popped up"!

I hope this "scrap-lift" shows you how you can use your inspiration layout as a sketch and think of its design elements in your own way to create something original that shows a little bit of you!

Check out my fun idea and TONS of other amazing ideas over at the link party on Today's Creative Blog!  Tuesday is 'Get Your Craft On' day!  You'll find SO many cool ideas there every week, you'll wonder why you hadn't found it before!  Oh, be sure to tell Kim (Creator & Diva of TCB) HI and that Julie from JulieChats sent you!

Today's Creative Blog


Core'dinations Vintage Collection Ruby
Fancy Pants Down by the Shore: Colorful Days
American Crafts Textured Cardstock: Stargaze
Colormates Non-Textured Cardstock: Light Heritage White

Fancy Pants Down by the Shore: Sticker Fundamentals

Peterson Arne: White & Yellow Mulberry
Creative Cafe: Together

Technique Tuesday: Awesome and Studio AE: My Life
K & Company: SMASH Date Stamp

Versamark Watermark
Tim Holtz Distress Ink: Walnut Stain
Splash of Color Luminarte Radiant Rain Mists:
      Bashful Blue
      Ginger Peach
      Key Lime

Embossing Powder:
Ranger: Rich Red
American Crafts: Zing in Cricket

Scrapbook Adhesives: 3D Foam Squares
Yellow Thread

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Layout of the Week - Me & My Peeps

I know that no matter how hard we try to "keep up" with our scrapbooking, there are so many things in life that "get in the way".  Actually, it's all the amazing things we strive to record that "get in the way".  I willingly admit that I am YEARS behind in scrapbooking, if keeping up is measured chronologically....  I'm not sure when this "being behind" started.  Over the years, I have gotten less and less concerned with "keeping up".  The very first time I remember realizing that being "current" with my scrapbooking is not important was reading about the scrapbooking philosophy of Cathy Zielske.  Cathy was a big part of Simple Scrapbooking magazine and has a great philosophy of keeping things simple and following your own path as far as scrapbooking is concerned.  Read some of Cathy's idea's in a blog post about "Taking the 'Crap' Out of Scrapbooking".  After you read it,  you'll see some of the reasons why I'm not concerned with "keeping up" any more.

I love creating and scrapbooking is a way for me to create and working in a scrapbook store, doing this blog, teaching classes and giving advice are all parts of the creative process for me.  So, if you have always stressed about "keeping up" with your scrapbooking, take this opportunity to think about what it might be like to let go and concentrate more on being creative and telling the important stories.

But, as a nod to my family who loves to browse through their photos, I've found a way to combine my simple, non-chronological style with a new-to-me way to create a very simple, chronological albums.  I plan to continue using Cathy's philosophy of telling my family's stories when I create layouts.  I love the idea of choosing which stories I create whole page layouts for.  As far as regular, everyday life and creating albums that my family can sit and flip through, I plan to create a 2013 album using the Project Life system by Becky Higgins when it arrives in our store.  I love the idea of sticking my photos into divided page protectors, journaling on a card and having that be it...unless I decide to get creative with it, which I'm sure I'll do from time to time.  I love how I can stick a layout or two in between the divided page protectors whenever I feel like it.  Using the idea of combining both types of scrapbooking, I can cater to my philosophy of creating whole page layouts whenever I choose and also, please my husband and kids by providing actual books of their photos for them to look through and share.  (Yes, my husband has been known to comment "If you spend so much time scrapbooking, where are the scrapbooks?  I'd like to SEE our photos!")

I'm really excited about creating an album that combines the philosophies of both Cathy & Becky!  I think this will be perfect for me and my family.  They will have something to look at filled with their memories and I  will be able to create a fun, story telling layout whenever I find the perfect paper or embellishment...or inspiration strikes!

As far as those of you who really are keeping up :), I thought I'd share a layout I created a couple of weeks ago.  It's an Easter layout, so it's perfect, since you'll be working with this most recent holiday now.... ;)  And for those of us who are not so caught up, feel free to be inspired to create a layout for any Easter you have photos for!  That's what I did.  I used photos from a couple of Easters ago, since that's when Delaney created her "Peep Army."  Seeing this cut on the Silhouette Online store inspired me on this one.  I remembered taking photos of Delaney dipping tons of Peeps in chocolate and lining them up on a plate.  We all know there are times when a product or memory inspires us to create a page.  So, when I have time to go back & create a Project Life album for 2011, I can slip this layout in the Easter section.  Until then, I'll happily slide it into my family's album of miscellaneous memories...after it comes down off the wall at the store, anyway!

Here's some Easter inspiration for you...

For this layout, I used a bright, "Spring-y" paper with a pattern for my background.  The glazed & glittered paper from Best Creations gave a pop to my simple layout and perfectly matched my Peeps die cut.  When I saw the "Me & My Peeps" cut in the Sihouette store, I knew just which photos I had to go with it.  I cut the title out of some deep dark chocolate paper from American Crafts and found some super bright, non-textured cardstock in my stash to match the colors of actual Peeps.  I added an outline to the cut in order to have a place to mount the peeps and cut it from non-textured white cardstock.  After cutting the cute little Peeps, I inked the entire surface of each one with Versamark watermark ink and embossed with an old jar of embossing powder that says "turquoise sparkle" on the label.  I'm not going to lie, embossing the entire surface of the little guys was a challenge...I ended up with a couple burned fingers...but the overall look was worth my pain...cute little sparkly, sugared Peeps!

With such a large embellishment and four large photos, I decided on a step by step sort of layout, I put the photos on my layout in a clockwise fashion after mounting them on white non-textured cardstock, to help them stand out.  At this point, I thought my layout needed a little extra I used one of my favorite stamps right now, the arrow from Technique Tuesday's "Awesome" stamp set to help guide the eye through my sequence of photos.

I ended up with a little extra space on the right side and decided to add a turquoise vellum tag stamped with the date of my photos as a finishing touch.

So, whether this layout inspires you to create pages for Easter 2013 or another holiday entirely, remember that however you choose to scrapbook your memories is the "right" way!  Really, the choices are endless...chronological albums, albums for each member of your family, digital albums, photobooks, Project Life, mini albums for special events...they are all ways of recording our memories to share with others!!!

Check out my fun idea and TONS of other amazing ideas over at the link party on Today's Creative Blog!  Tuesday is 'Get Your Craft On' day!  You'll find SO many cool ideas there every week, you'll wonder why you hadn't found it before!  Oh, be sure to tell Kim (Creator & Diva of TCB) HI and that Julie from JulieChats sent you!

Today's Creative Blog

Monday, April 8, 2013

Movie Night Theme Birthday Party

Last month, I threw a Movie Night theme birthday party for my daughter, Delaney.  She was excited to share her 12th birthday with her middle school friends.  We went through a few ideas before settling on a Movie Night theme party in our home.

I always think of the invitations first when planning a party.  A couple months ago, I found some great digital scrapbook designs when I planned my five year old son's Herbie the Love Bug party.  I enjoyed them so much, before I looked anywhere else, I stopped over at the Scrapmatters site to search for anything related to movies.  As it turned out, they had the perfect digi collection in the colors we were thinking, yellow & black.  The Movie Magic Collection by Jennifer Labre Designs had everything I needed.  When designing invitations, I've found it's SO much easier to start with a digital scrapbook collection.  I used Photoshop Elements to create these invitations.  With millions of options available in this program, I like to narrow my choices by finding a digital scrapbook collection that matches my theme and using it to create my invitations.  I printed these invitations at home on white cardstock.

Delaney used a Decoration Roller from Plus Corp. to decorate the envelopes, writing her guests' names inside the strip in red ink.
With the invitations taken care of, it was time to move on to decorations!  As I started looking for decorations, I wanted them to be fun, creative and also have a low price tag.  Having a subscription to the Silhouette Online Store, I always search there for any upcoming projects...just to see what they have.  This time, I was very pleasantly surprised to find exactly what I was looking for...some fun cutting files that I could use to decorate the house and also the cake.  I found a film camera, the five movie reel & film set by Lori Whitlock and the movie night title by Samantha Walker.  They all seemed perfect, so I grabbed some paper at my local scrapbook store and got to work cutting things out on my Silhouette Cameo.  (Yes, I love this machine!  I can't say enough great things about it!  I won mine in a giveaway over on Today's Creative Blog in January 2012 and I've been busy using it ever since!  Kim over at TCB often has discounts on the machines and from time to time gives one away, so stop over & check out her blog, if you haven't already!)

OK, here's the fun part!  I used simple, solid color cardstock to create my decorations.  Some of the paper is textured and some is not.  I knew that the group I was entertaining wouldn't be too concerned with the small details, just the atmosphere!

With the birthday girl in charge, we started with the Candy Table!  We thought it would be fun to have at least one favorite candy for each guest, so we asked them to name their favorite when they RSVP'd.  Since they're middle schoolers, most of the RSVP's came directly to Delaney at school, so she kept a candy list. On a recent supply shopping trip, she grabbed every kind of candy on the list...and a couple more "just in case".  For setup, we cleared a sofa table in our breakfast nook (it usually holds school supplies & homework, which we moved into the office and CLOSED THE DOOR!).  To give our display some height, I placed a tall box in the center and added a 12-pack of soda to each side and pushed them against the wall.   Next, I covered the boxes and table with a piece of navy velvet fabric I've had for years and never have found a use for.  I thought it had an old time movie theater type look and it was great that it covered the whole table too!  Delaney had specific ideas for the arrangement of the candy, so I let her go to work.  She placed black paper bags with stars in the center of the table, so each girl could make her own candy mix.  The plastic popcorn containers held pens for a party game and slips of paper with fun ice breaker questions to begin the party, since everyone didn't know each other.  Delaney used colorful bowls to hold some of the candy and just left others open in their packages.  She used acrylic risers to give some of the bowls a little height and sprinkled some confetti made from stars punched out of our discarded paper & shapes as a finishing touch.

In addition to candy, no movie party would be complete without a selection of salty snacks!  I found a large popcorn bowl and little boxes for each girl in the dollar section at Target.  We served buttered popcorn, kettle corn, herbed popcorn from Trader Joe's and aged white cheddar Pirate's Booty.

After living in my house for eight years and hosting tons of parties for both kids and adults, I've found that keeping decorations simple doesn't have to be boring.  One of my favorite ways to decorate is to hang strips of streamers down from the lights over my dining room and nook tables.  For this party, I had a friend helping with decorations in the morning.  She cut streamers about 4 feet long and draped them over the arms of my chandeliers.  Then she used clear thread to hang a few of the stars I cut out of gold and silver metallic cardstock to add a little sparkle.

We are not huge cake/frosting fans in my family, so Delaney chose a plain cheesecake from Costco as her birthday cake.  I used black & red frosting tubes to add a little color and my Silhouette cuts to make it a Movie Night party cake!  I cut 2 large film cameras from my black paper.  Then I took one of the pieces and used clear tape to attach one skewer to each of the three legs, leaving about 3" of skewer sticking out past the end of the camera leg.  After the skewers were attached, I used scrapbook adhesive to adhere the remaining camera over the top of the skewers.

Next, I carefully stuck the skewers down into the cheesecake, so the camera stood at the back of the cake.  I placed a film reel in front of the camera and one of my metallic stars in front of that.  I loved that the film strip had seven spots, so I trimmed a piece of white paper to fit and added Delaney's name to the strip with silver glitter stickers.  Since she rarely, if ever, finds her name on a personalized item, she just loved seeing it on her cake like this.  I placed the film strip in front of the taller items, stuck in "12" candles and we were set! 

To cover the table and take away attention from my Christmas table cloth (the only red one I have long enough to cover the table with two leaves), I cut a piece of paper from my son's IKEA easel, long enough to make a table runner.  Delaney & a friend sprinkled the table with their homemade confetti and added some film strips from the decoration roller to give it a finished look.

As far as the scheduling of activities during the party, Delaney had a great plan and the girls had a lot of fun!  She started with an ice breaker her theater teacher used on the first day.  Then they watched Lemonade Mouth, a fun preteen/teen Disney movie that most of the girls had seen.  Delaney wanted the girls to pay attention to the details and actually watch the movie, so she found a quiz online and printed one copy for each guest.  She told them there would be a quiz at the end of the movie.  Everyone watched the movie and had fun filling out their quizzes at the end.  For prizes, she handed out boxes of Cracker Jacks that we had decorated with a little baker's twine.

After the quiz, the girls made individual pizzas and ate while decorating the paper table runner with crayons Delaney had placed on the table in plastic popcorn containers.  They had dessert, Delaney opened presents and we shot some fun photos in front of a party backdrop we had created with long pieces of yellow paper. (I "borrowed" the yellow paper from my son's preschool...his teacher's daughter was at the party, so she was more than happy to "loan" it to me!)  Delaney and her friend used metallic stars I cut on the Cameo, backed them with red stars, so the "12" cut out of the inside would really pop, and placed them on the paper randomly.  We used a few streamers and added a "red carpet" with some red preschool paper.

For all my parties, I try to have a little fun with my front door.  For this party, I used one of my Southern Living at Home door buckets filled with white paper Easter grass.  I added some of the movie night theme cuts from my Cameo, a few streamers and the large Movie Night cut to the front.  I added an outline to the Movie Night cut, to give it an extra layer of color.
This bucket ended up being my favorite decoration for the party!

Delaney gathered a few fun props and the girls had a great time taking photos of each other in front of our "red carpet" backdrop!  Everyone had a ton of sugar, snacks and fun!

The Movie Night theme party was perfect for our group of middle school girls!!
And it could also be perfect for your girls, boys, families or groups of any kind!

Check out my fun idea and TONS of other amazing ideas over at the link party on Today's Creative Blog!  Tuesday is 'Get Your Craft On' day!  You'll find SO many cool ideas there every week, you'll wonder why you hadn't found it before!  Oh, be sure to tell Kim (Creator & Diva of TCB) HI and that Julie from JulieChats sent you!

Today's Creative Blog


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