Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Project Life 2013 - week 16

Week 16, some fun and some sadness this past week.

Our Monday was pretty full, a trip in to the Bay Area so Larry could check on the work he did at his mom's the previous week and a side trip into San Francisco so I could go to Typo. The day was fun and we had a great time until we heard the news of Boston. The wind has been so crazy here and in San Francisco Monday that Simone woke up sick as a dog with allergy stuffies and pink eye on top of everything else. We also had our 2nd experience with a swallowed dime.  I covered up the journaling in the next photo because I don't think anyone really wants to read about it but the stamp from Nicole Reaves was perfect for it, so I wanted to show that. I turned my 80's cut file into a digital card because I wanted to include it in this week because I loved it so much.

My title card is super simple this week, I wanted to pull some of the yellow over to the right and used a sheet of neon paper for it. It's not an exact match but it works.  I found the Boston map online and with a bit of cropping I made it into a card to remember the day.  The recording life card came from the Latte PL addon at Studio Calico for March. The green Currents card came in the Studio Calico March PL kit.  A photo Simone snapped of a birds nest a bit fuzzy but still cute, our amazing California spring, some soft serve, a simple card I made from this digital paper pack by Allison Pennington, fresh hair, a magazine cover that just arrived (so excited for this movie), and some Glow in the Dark mini golf that found a great home on my favorite card from the Studio Calico March PL kit.

Have a great rest of the week, thanks for stopping!

Monday, April 22, 2013

This is Me, continued

I finally had some time to start working on the content for my This is Me album.  I spent a good week making lists and looking through some old photos to jog my memory of things I might want to include.  I finally came up with a pretty good list and just picked something and started.  Starting is always the hardest, the fear of the blank page at its finest.

Here is the first page I made, about the family car.

I didn't have any really great old personal photos of the car, just lots of memories and oddly the car keys.  Not sure how I ended up with them but I was happy to have them to include.  I found the sales add online and the postcard at the bottom flips up.  The postcard came from an exhibit at the SF MOMA and I'll never forget seeing that painting for the first time.  It's almost identical to our car, just a different model but the same overall and the car is parked in front of a house in the town I grew up in.  The artist is Robert Bechtle and his work is truly amazing.  The detail of this piece is phenomenal, the painted reflection of the windshield onto the garage door, it's beyond realistic.  I wish I owned this painting.

The second spread that I made has been in the works in my mind for years now.  I always thought it would be cool to do a scrapbook layout of all the houses I've ever lived in.  I had made a list a few years ago and that was where I started.  I had a few of the shots, three actually.  The others I did not and since driving down to southern California to snap a few photos wasn't really an option I went to plan B.  I went online and typed in the address and went from there.  It's funny to see the places now with trees grown and covering up a few of the houses, some still look the same though.  The vellum tabs below each photo lists the address, (which I've covered for some security) and the approximate dates I lived in each place.  That's where things got really tricky.  Remembering that stuff was tough but I used a few dated photos and my resume of all things to help map it all out.  I think for the most part I got it pretty close.

The top right became a pocket for my journaling and pulls out with a little tab.

The class came with a little supply kit and one of the pieces in it was the wood veneer 'random facts' piece.  It was fun coming up with a list of random things about myself.  I knew I also wanted to talk a bit about my personality and these two topics seemed to work well together.  I was making a list of things to talk about and it started looking like crossword puzzle clues.  I found a site online that turns your words and clues into a puzzle for you.  I laid both of these pages out digitally and used a chalkboard background. I painted the wood veneer piece to tie the pink in somewhere.

After I came up with my list of what I wanted to include in my album I decided to lay it out in sections.  One of the sections I wanted to focus on was stuff in and around the 80's, there is so much of me that is directly tied to that period of my life it warrants its own section.  I've been so inspired by some things I've found on Pinterest lately, this one being a major one.  I knew this had to be incorporated in my album some how and I decided to give it a try here.

It took a really long time trying to make this work with my Cameo and after a whole lot of cursing and Googling to find answers that proved it wouldn't work, I made it work.  The program is not equipped to leave cuts open ended like I wanted (the designer software might, but I don't have it).  The original inspiration piece was cut by hand and after all the time it took me trying to make this work I could have cut about 5 of them out. 

If your not familiar, the words are song lyrics from a song featured in the move The Breakfast Club and the Silhouette is of one of the characters from the very end of the film.  A monumental piece of 80's pop culture for sure.

This will lead in to a large section of some of my favorite things from the 80's and what I spent my time doing during that period.  Lots more to come in this section for sure.

I still have lots to do and I'm plugging along as inspiration strikes and time allows.  More to follow for sure.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Project Life 2013 - week 15

Larry was gone a few days this past week doing some work on his mom's house so its a lot of us two girls this week.

Here is the full spread

The April Studio Calico Project Life kits had a lot of little cork embellishments this month.  The card I used for the title was one, the little camera another and I used an arrow too.  Really loving the texture that you get from cork and woodgrain, definitely favorites right now.  We have had more windy days than calm ones lately.  I stood outside for the first shot, hello allergies!  My messy work area, Simone loving anything space related and made herself a little moon bed, so funny.  Yes she's wearing snow pants.  The little envelope opens, photos and words from Larry's days away.  We stayed at the park after school for 2 hours last week with a few other kids, us mom's had a nice time chatting.  We have the best delivery guy ever, I snapped this shot of him letting Simone scan one of our packages. We made pizza while Dad was gone, totally looked like Wall-E to me.  When Larry got home he bought Simone a pop up soccer goal so she could practice, she loves it.  She's been watching this movie on repeat lately, thank goodness I like it too!  I ran this last card through my printer and it shifted a bit, since I only had the one, I'm leaving it the way it is.

Here the front and back side of the insert in the envelope. 

The right hand side, a photo from the book fair, some words about that day and some struggles were having, keeping it real! A impromptu trip to get some ice cream.  Our first shorts day this year, a stack of new shirts, one actually had this label on it so I replicated it. Ladybugs are everywhere these days, super fun to play with. A much needed nap and a bit of fun I had on Instagram and a pretend neighborhood full of scrappy friends.

I can't believe next week is the 4 month mark, just crazy! I hope you have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project Life 2013 - week 14

Its always a bit tough for me after a big holiday week with lots of hustle bustle and excitement to put something together.  Instead of forcing it to be something other than what it truly is, I find it best to just stick to the photos and let them speak for themselves.  Forcing it never works for me.  Sometimes taking a step back and taking a deep breathe helps.  I like to think weeks after holidays are for that, getting back to basics, living our day to day and embracing it for what it is. 

Here is the full spread

Simone's second trip to the dentist and she did great. They had taken xrays on her first visit 6 months ago and when the doctor put them up on the screen to talk about them I did snap a photo but it didn't turn out well at all.  /So on this visit I asked if I could have a copy and she was more than happy to oblige.  I love that it shows Simone's adult teeth waiting in the wings.  My new profile pic that was in my This is Me, a happy nap snuggle that is so not the norm these days, so I sat and didn't move until she woke up.  A favorite, 'we had a big, late lunch' dinner for us.  We had a second Easter on Wednesday evening with our extended family, a good time had by all including a yummy dessert that begged to be enjoyed from the mixer.

I wanted to balance out the pink on the other side in someway and had a different version of the title card made using some left over confetti but it just didn't seem right.  So late Monday evening this happened instead.  Its a pattern I've been seeing a lot lately and loving.  Simple cuts really and a simple calendar stamp (Amy Tangerine).  I used a pink highlighter to mark the days.  Our blueberry bush is ready to explode, hoping the birds don't eat them all again this year.  A new store opened in town, yay!  A bit about my Becky Higgins moment.  My 2,000th upload to Instagram, my This is Me book.  My sister in law turned me on to this crossword app and I've been going back doing older puzzles and loved this clue.  It was space week at school, so happy to find a place for the constellation card from the February Studio Calico kit.  And Mad Men is back, did you watch?  I like to think I'm smart enough for this show but sometimes, I have no idea what's going on or where its headed.  I guess that's the beauty.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

This is Me

Back in March I signed up for what would be Studio Calico's April online class, This is Me.  Its a mini album project all about - Me.  I'm super excited to embark on this class and I've had fun thinking about what I want to include and how I want to go about telling my story.

First things first I knew I wanted to use another handbook album and because I'm on a major, I love anything woodgrain kick, this one was the obvious choice.

Next step, deciding the look and feel for the album.  Was I going to decorate it, if so how and in what colors.  Lately another thing that I've been loving and seeing and using and wanting an awful lot was neon, especially neon pink.  My love of neon pink started oh way back in the 80's when it was cool the first time around.  Fast forward to last summer and I was sporting neon toes for most of sandal season.  This year, oh yes the love is still going strong.  My first big decision, neon pink would be featured.  My next fairly obvious choice if you know me at all is GLITTER!  Gold glitter to be exact. 

If I am remembering correctly, back in 2011 when I first starting playing around with Pinterest I came across an image of a December Daily album that I just fell in love with, this image precisely.  I died and went to glitter heaven when I saw the cover and its stuck with me every since.  Recently while trying to figure out how to achieve a similar look and googling every possible incantation of 'giant glitter splatter', etc. I came across a blog post with and great instructional video.  Finally answers and suggestions for how to achieve the same amazing look. 

I used what materials I had on hand and started making one heck of a mess splattering and glittering my heart out.  Harder than it seems (because of my 'random' issues, not because of the instructions given), but still super fun.

I decided I wanted to make a splatter on my woodgrain album but also wanted something in the middle of it, kind of set inside the splatter.  I played around with a bunch of ideas, words, my name, etc.  Eventually I decided on the very simple, Me.

I wrote the me about 100 times on my ipad until I was happy, using the Paper53 app.  I saved the file, uploaded it to my computer, played with sizing and such and saved it as a .jpg so I could cut it out on my Cameo.

Here is a bit of the process in action.  I did a practice run on a separate piece of brown cardstock and I was so happy I did.  It helped me see how my splatters would look and lead to me know what not to do or what I didn't like and hone in more on the look I wanted. 

One thing I did do when I traced my Me in the Cameo was I also made a fairly large offset of the image so that I would have something to mask off my area that wouldn't get glittered.  I attached the mask to my handbook using a removable adhesive tape runner.  It held it down just fine for the time needed.  It didn't stick at all to the cover when I removed it.  I'm sure adding watered down glue helped there too.

Here is a look at the mask in place with my glue spatters down.  Not going to lie, I'm pretty sure I held my breath the entire time for the glue application.  Talk about panic that I was going to completely ruin this cover.

I laid on a fairly heavy coating of glitter.  I used Recollections brand glitter from Michael's in Champagne.

I let the above layer sit for a few minutes, probably about five, because my patches were so thick.  I wanted to make sure it had a chance to absorb some glitter before I tipped it over to knock off the excess.  I was also worried about runs more than anything.  I didn't want the shapes of my splotches to get altered in any way.

I carefully and quickly tilted the cover just so the majority of the excess fell off.  I let it sit a bit longer and decided to pull up my mask.  I was afraid it would get dried down if I didn't remove it.  It came up really easily, like I mentioned above the water in the glue must have dissolved the adhesive a bit.

It took a good few hours to dry completely and I just left it along and let it do its thing.  Once it was fully dry I was able to go over the areas that were still covered in glitter and brush it off.  A large powder blush type brush ended up being the most effective for removing the excess bits that weren't glued down.

Here it is all finished.

I added the same neon pink paper to the spine and some gold mirror thickers.  This picture most clearly shows the color of the pink neon, this was incredibly hard to photograph and get accurate color.

I new the opening page was going to be a photo of me, I also wanted to incorporate the colors from the cover in some way.  I've never really played around with confetti before so I thought it would be fun to give it a try.  I now know that confetti or anything random goes against my nature completely.  I'm a very linear thinker so asking me to do anything random usually results in an absolute mess.  And if you saw my first attempt at this cover page,  you would completely agree.

This is actually two pages, the top is a thin-ish piece of plastic paper from Bazzil that I bought back in 2009!  Surprisingly and happily its still available.

I did the second page first because I needed to know what and where it was placed before I could proceed with the confetti part.  I made a simple frame from the gold paper and added two pieces of neon pink washi tape below it.  I also wrote @ forty-five on my ipad and traced and cut it was well with my Cameo from the gold paper.  I laid that on top of the washi and a few pieces of the confetti so it wasn't too plain when the top piece was flipped.

I found some really amazing papers at a local stamp store and sadly they aren't marked so I'm not sure who makes them but I found a pretty brushed gold paper and a dark brown woodgrain paper that has a subtle gold tint to it.  I added more of my neon pink paper into the mix and set out cutting some confetti with my Cameo.  The photo below picks up the gold tint on the woodgrain paper really well.

I cut some circles in small, medium and large sizes, the largest is 1" and also some stars.  I loved the star set because you got two for one with one cut, the outline and the inside full shape.  The pink paper cut just fine, the gold was okay on the first page, a bit harder on the second and the woodgrain, a major pain.  It has a weird back to it that no matter how deep my blade setting (I used a 6) it would not cut thru.  I ended up peeling each circle of the backing sheet.  At this point after already ruining one sheet of paper I was seriously reconsidering my confetti choice. 
My first attempt at adhering them to the plastic paper as mentioned above was a complete and total disaster.  Again I don't know how to be random and it totally showed.  There I was peeling each and every circle and star off trying to selvedge as much as possible so I wouldn't have to go thru the cutting phase again. 

Ultimately I decide to just jumble up all the pieces in a giant pile and just sprinkle it on top of the plastic sheet and see how they landed.  I removed some, pushed some out of the way and just went with it.  I then took each and every piece off in small batches while trying to remember how they fell and stuck them back to the plastic sheet with vellum adhesive.  If the adhesive wasn't going to show thru I used my regular dot roller because I'm running low on vellum adhesive.  Some of the adhesive shows thru on the back and I may go back and attach pieces on top where needed, but that's still a maybe. 

I wanted to date the photo so I opted to use a date roller stamp and place it so it wouldn't show when the top sheet was in place.  I really like how simple the second layer is and how the top layer plays on the second layer.  I'm also love the washi with the gold on top.

Here's a few looks at the confetti, not perfectly adhered which I like.  Letting gravity take over clearly was the better choice over myself.

That's the extent of the work so far on the album.  Like I mentioned above I'm taking lots of notes of ideas on what to include and plan to start this week making some pages.

Yesterday I did go thru some photos and picked out some gems to include.

Yep, that's me in my 70's and 80's glory. 

I hope to post some more of this project as I move through it so more to follow for sure.  Any if you made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, thank you!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Project Life 2013 - week 13

Well, thirteen appears to be a lucky number for me!  This weeks post was super fun and I had a blast playing around with Easter pictures requiring an insert and there are 2 flip outs as well.

Here is the full spread.

Here is the left side up close.  I tried again to use as many of the Studio Calico kit cards as I could especially the ones I really love.  The Grow Where you are Planted was from the February kit and I was holding on to it for just such an occasion.  I  made the title card digitally, I'll talk on that below.  The rain card is from the March Studio Calico kit and since our winter season is winding down I opted to use it here with some text about a thunder storm we had and yes a typo that I cannot change.  The Currents card is a digital item that's available this month at Studio Calico, its from Life Love Paper and I love this set.  So great to use when you have a slot to fill and no idea what to say (like I had this week).

I really wanted to make this card out of vellum and I searched high and low for bright colored vellum paper but couldn't find any that I thought was bright enough.  If you know of some let me know will you.  I resorted to digital and it ended up working probably better than if I had used the vellum.  I colored an egg shape, changed the opacity of each to 65% and got the look I was after.  I backed the eggs with a digital wood grain paper but it was showing through the eggs which I didn't like.  I used the eraser tool and just erased it from the areas just under the eggs.  The calendar is also digital I just changed the layout of it to suit my needs.

Here is the right hand side.  Larry has been working on this bike for a few months (as you've seen).  He started it and rode it for the first time that day.  We were both holding our breath for sure to see if it would start and it did.  So proud of his hard work restoring this bike.  A few shots of some Meyer Lemon's and a cocktail using said lemons. 

The collage on the right was a happy accident.  Simone and I were goofing off taking photos of ourselves and when I went to my camera roll on my phone to choose one to post on IG I realized they were all in a nice grid for me.  I snapped a screen shot and uploaded as is.  An instant collage.  For this slot I used two screen shots because the very top row of 3 pictures got cut off on the initial collage.  I just cut and pasted in Photoshop, deleted the photo that was in the first upper left slot and added a digital word art to that slot and the one below (from Studio Calico) and it was done.

The two bottom 4x6's slots flip out, you'll see them below.  I also added a few text slots to tell a longer story and a quote that would only come from a five year old.

This flip is from the class I took in Berkeley on Saturday at Scrapbook TerritoryShanna Noel taught the class and she was a delight.  We had a large group of 8 ladies in class and we had lunch together after.  A fun day for sure. 

The other flip up was from later in that same day.  We had a chance to visit with my Dad and Stepmom so Simone got to run trains over at Grandpa's.  My Dad has been collecting trains for most of his life and his layout is amazing.  Some of the buildings on it are older than me and many I remember him building when I was a kid.  We had dinner together at my favorite Mexican place that just reopened.  I swear if you cut me open you would find this enchilada sauce in my veins.  It's so good and I'm so happy they are serving food again. 

Here is the insert I added in between the two pages above.  I took a Design D protector and just cut of the outer two slots.  I needed some good vertical space for the egg photo so I opted to go this route.  I added a little tab from my stash and some pink tiny letters.

Here is the back side.  Some photos from brunch and Simone hunting eggs and a family shot.

If your wondering where the luck comes in, its here.  After I posted my pages to my Instagram feed on Tuesday this happened.  Becky Higgins the lady that started this (Project Life) was kind enough to share one of my images with her loyal and vast number of fans.  It truly made my day and I thank her so much for bringing this project to my life.  It truly has made me infinitely more aware of how much I have to be thankful for and enjoy every day that I have with this crazy bunch of family and friends that I get to walk through this life with.

Thank you so very much Becky!  And thank you so very much to all the lovely people who commented on her posts.  I very much appreciate every kind word.