Thursday, February 27, 2014

Studio Calico Office Hours, the full reveal

This month always flies by and its no surprise that its already full reveal day over at Studio Calico.

Please note: If you are a subscriber all of the links below are active for you today at 9:00am EST, if you are not, they will be live for you at Midnight EST tonight.

I made two spreads this month.  The first I'm sharing was made using the main Office Hours Project Life® kit only.

I loved the beautiful shade of green that was in this kit and because this spread covers the beginning of February it paired really nicely with the pink.  I loved the die cuts in this kit and I really loved that Golden card a lot.  I had fun with some of the card kit digital elements this month because thankfully we finally got some rain.  I love that digital papers were introduced to the digital shop this month and I really enjoyed having textured papers that perfectly matched the kit.  It was so easy to clip them to the digital images and not have to do the extra steps myself.

The bottom center card was made by me with the digital papers and one of this months digital elements.

I really loved the Inbox stamp add on this month and but I also really wanted to add some stitching to my layout so I decided to combine the two.  I used the digital versions of the stamp set to layout my pattern and dialed the opacity of the images way down so it was just a faint line showing (see image below).  After it was printed I pierced along the lines with a piercing tool and then went back over with my needle and thread in the corresponding colors.  It was a really simple, easy way to make my own custom stitching template.

My second layout is a combination of the Main Project Life® kit, the Report add on and the Spreadsheet add on.  For this layout I used more of the royal blue elements that came in the kits and it was so fun to work with. It's such a beautiful color and I love how it pairs with the yellow pieces that I used.

I think my favorite thing in this months kits was the wood veneer pieces.  These are two pieces that I typically would have horded for sure but loved that I was able to find a place to use these two.  There is also one more that didn't make it in but will get used for sure.

I mean that hand, how cute is that!  I also really loved what they did this month to the B side of the printed 3x4 cards.  I adore the binder paper print and used the backs of two this month.  I would sure love to see this again in future months.  The title card as always was last and I had to use the cool Thickers that came in the main kit.  I printed the 3 to 9 directly on the tag and planned to only use the bottom half but loved how it looked when I placed the remaining cut piece above the Thickers.

There are lots of little bits of digital in my spreads this month and I played around a bit with layering the digital elements underneath the photo and making them appear embossed.  It was a fun technique to try and one I'm sure I'll use again.  

To achieve this look yourself you will need two copies of the same photo and your digital element.  Here is a look at my layers pallet which will help me better explain.  The bottom layer would be your background. Above it you will need the first copy of your photo.  Above that place your digital element in the place you want it and add a drop shadow that gives you the raised look you want.  Above that you will place another copy of the photo, make sure you don't move the photo or it won't look seamless. You want this photo is the exact position as the one below it.  You will then clip the very top photo to the digital element and this can be done by placing your cursor on the line between the top photo and the digital element and pressing the Alt key on your keyboard.  When you see the little double circle appear click on the line to engage.  This will clip the photo to the digital element.

Besides the kits there are some really great new dies this month that I picked up for myself.  I mean how cute is this Thumbs Up,  the InstaHappy die and the Numbered Geotags.

Phew so much to share this reveal, I hope you enjoyed it all and I hope you'll make a point to check out the rest of the layouts the design team have uploaded to the gallery, it looks like its another really great month.

See you soon.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Color Studio with Lisa Truesdell

I'm curious how you feel about color..... I personally can't live without it and honestly I'm hard pressed to pick just one that I love.  I'm as fickle as can be and tend to completely embrace one wholeheartedly for awhile and then move on when something else becomes an obsession.  I think that's why the world of beauty and make-up always appealed to me, I mean an endless array of color combos at ones fingertips ready to play with.

Because of all of that, when this class was announced I was sold immediately.

"Take a spin on the color wheel with Color Studio. Join Studio Calico Creative Team Member Lisa Truesdell for an online class exploring color palettes from monochromatic to rainbow hued. You'll experiment with techniques for adding color to your projects with ink, mist, and watercolors, and learn to mix and match the products in your kits for a whole new look."

I think the beauty of this class is it will appeal to the obvious color lovers like myself but I think it will be just as beneficial to those that may be a bit fearful of color, those that might not be as comfortable with combining colors or those that need help with coming up with combinations that work cohesively together.

Check out this fantastic intro video from Lisa

Here is what you can expect to see when the class starts on March 1st.

  • 4 videos from Lisa sharing color & design ideas
  • 8 secrets for unlocking the color wheel and tips for using color effectively on your projects
  • 56 perfect color schemes
  • technique tutorials for adding color to your pages with ink, mist, watercolors, patterned paper and embellishments.
  • PDF lessons posted each Tuesday & Thursday in March
  • 40 all new projects, including layouts, Project Life® spreads and cards
  • bonus color schemes in every PDF
  • Printable journal cards, accents and labels from Hello Forever
  • Cut Files from Hello Forever
  • Color Studio planning sheet from Hello Forever
  • Ink planning sheet from Hello Forever

I sure hope I see you in the classroom, its going to be an amazing class.  Click here to sign up, class starts March 1st.
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Studio Calico Office Hours sneak peaks

I truly cannot believe we are almost to another reveal, this month has just flown by right!

I've spoken before how much I love the variety that comes in the Studio Calico Project Life® kits are and let me tell you I I absolutely loved how different the kits were this month compared to last month.  I'm a huge fan of mixing things up and I love how different colors can bring out different things when I'm choosing how I want my spreads to go.  The lovely shade of green immediately jumped out at me so for the first Main Kit only spread that I made I focused a lot on the green elements as you will see.

 there are also some exciting new items in the digital store this month....

My second spread focused more on the blue that was included in this months main Office Hours kit and the two addons, Report and Spreadsheet.  And let me tell you the wood veneer pieces in the Spreadsheet addon were my absolute favorite thing this month.


The sneaks that I'm seeing from the rest of the design team are amazing and I know you will love everything you see this Thursday when the design team gallery goes live.  In the meantime, you can see more sneaks and the early peaks at all of the kits right here.

Don't forget we always do a live chat one hour before the big subscriber reveal so that will be at 8:00am PST.  Reveal goes live for all subscribers at 9:00am PST and then at 9:00pm PST for all non-subscribers.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

the leftovers have a new home

It's been over a year since Studio Calico first introduced their Project Life® kits and I have enjoyed each and every one of them.  I started my subscription the minute they announced the kits so my sub goes way back to January 2013.  I have absolutely loved the variety and mix of the kits and had a great time this past year incorporating them into my spreads.  Because I'm so photo heavy I don't always use every card each month so there are always a few leftover.  I have done an okay job of keeping them together but was never super organized with them.

I typically keep the most current kit out and all together and pull from it as I'm working on my spreads. When a new kit would comes in the leftover embellishments get merged with my supplies or passed on to my daughter it if was something she really wanted.  The leftover cards were placed in a bin off the top of my work space in no special order but typically placed in front of the last months cards.  I would pull from them a lot if the current kit didn't have exactly what I needed or if I remembered a specific card from a previous kit that was a good match.  Because of that they didn't always stay in perfect order.

When 2013 ended I new I wanted to organize those leftover cards in some way but wasn't finding the best solution out there.  I have seen some really awesome organizers but the 4x6 and 3x4 cards were always in separate sections and I really wanted the whole months kit together.

I've been using these bins to hold all of my stamps and while I was out shopping the other day I saw one and it dawned on me that it was exactly what I needed.  I don't know why I didn't realize it before but perhaps seeing it on the shelf empty I was able to see the potential.  The size of bin is 11" x 7" x 3.5" and while it looks small you will be surprised how much it holds.

I decided to make dividers from some plain white cardstock and they are sized 6" x 5".  I have saved the cute little stickers that come with the kits and applied them to the top left corner of the cardstock dividers. These stickers are meant for the spine of the storage boxes which I have saved and use for other purposes. I have since found my sticker for Roundabout which I believe was the first kit that came in the box.  I don't believe a sticker came with the Valley High kits if I'm remembering correctly so that might be why I can't find that one.

Behind each kits divider I have everything related to that months offerings.  I added the card that comes with each kit

In this case for Sugar Rush I have the cute little Valentine addon that was available that month

the 3x4 main kit cards and any from addons that I had purchased.

the 4x6 cards

and the 4x6 paper pads if I purchased them

Now for the most part my cards were kept fairly well together but there were quite a few that needed to be put back in place.  What I did was lay out post its for each kit with the month and name written on it.  I started with the 4x6 cards and placed them in the correct months then I did the same for the 3x4 cards.  I also did the same for the addon cards but since these typically did not have rounded corners I had already pulled them out of the 3x4 card stack so it would be easier to sort.  I found that it definitely helped to work in smaller batches.  If I didn't know what kit it was from I would pull up the kit card images from the Studio Calico site and match the cards that way.  It didn't take too long and thankfully since I had used a good portion of my cards I didn't have a ton to go thru.  There are still some cards that I can't identify, about a dozen but I think they might have been from class kits so for the mean time they are in the last section under Misc until I can figure them out.  But I'll tell you going thru each one card by card sure made me realize how awesome these kits have been and how many great cards I still need to use.

For the kits that did not have the cute little label I just ran the dividers thru my printer and using a typewriter font labeled each card with the kit name, month and year similar to the labels.

At the back I also separated out any cards that were sold as extras as you can see below.  It made more sense to me to keep these separated by designer.

This is everything all together in the one bin.  As you can see there is still plenty of room for more cards to be added as the months go on.  Eventually I'll need another bin but not just yet.

I hope this storage solution helps you in some way, it sure is nice having them all in one place and back in kit order.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Project Life® 2014 weeks 3 and 4

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm sure you thought I'd thrown in the towel on my Project Life® album but I promise I haven't.  I just decided to ease off the 'I must always be caught up' mantra I have been chanting for the past year and give myself a little break.  That being said being behind has also started to make me itch a little bit so I decided I better get back to it before it got too out of hand.

Here is week three, I actually worked on this spread a week ago but just hadn't had time to post it.

This week was kind of all over the place photo wise and because I had been taking my break it was really hard for me to get back in the groove when I sat down to work on it.  Looking at this totally makes me want a coffee right about now too.  I used a few of the stamps (digitally) from the exclusive stamp set from the Studio Calico Sugar Rush kits.  The physical stamps have sold out but the stamps are still available digitally here.

Seriously the weather has been crazy!

Here is week four

I didn't start this spread with the idea that it would be mostly black and white but the photos of us out after soccer weren't the best so I opted to make them black and white.  After that it became a 'hey I wonder if I can make them all black and white' and it totally snowballed from there.  I really like how it turned out, like a lot.  I left the photo of the roses in color because it helped make the overlay from the Studio Calico Copper Mountain Project Life® kit pop a lot more.  Because I left that in color I made all the typed text red to help balance it out and added in as many pops of red as I had room for.

How lucky for me that the 23rd fell on a Wednesday, it sure helped make my title card balanced.  I pulled two more cards from the main kit and the Union Meadows addon to fill a couple of slots.  Oh and in case you were wondering caramel sauce in black and white is not very appealing, hence the tiny bit of color on this one. To do this in Photoshop Elements you need two copies of the same photo with the black and white on top and the color below it in the layers palette.  Then using the eraser tool, erase the parts of the top photo to expose the bottom color photo below.  Its super easy to do I promise.  p.s. if you want the caramel sauce recipe you can find it here.  I burned the first batch so be careful, but its totally worth the effort.

My new kits from Studio Calico have arrived so I'm excited to get to work.  I'm also hoping to bang out some of the other weeks that I'm behind so it should be lots of fun catching up.

See you soon!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Studio Calico Valentine's Day Letterbox

Well its almost Valentine's Day and today Studio Calico is giving away a super cute printable to make a Valentine's Day Letterbox, you can find it right here.  It is also featured on their blog today and you can see what an amazing job Maggie Massey did with her letterbox.

I made one for the blog post as well but I wanted to share it here too.

I knew immediately that this project would be a fantastic way to re-purpose an extra Studio Calico Project Life box so I adjusted the size of the pieces to fit the shape.  I loved the graphic almost trompe l'oeil look of the pieces when cut in black and white and decided to keep it super graphic.  I used my Silhouette Cameo and the Print and Cut feature to print then cut each piece using the Offset feature so the pieces would have a nice white edge around them.  My husband cut the hole in the front flap of the Project Life box using an exacto knife and it ended up being super easy to cut.  I covered all of the edges that would be shown with black washi tape and covered everything with white cardstock.  I layered each piece on the cover with foam tape for dimension and then cut the red heart out of foil paper for a single pop of color.  I opted not to cut out the larger door opening since the box opened easily but did add some text and the swirls to that piece before printing and cutting.  

Supplies : Studio Calico Valentine's Letterbox PrintableStudio Calico Project Life kit boxSilhouette Cameo, white cardstock, Black Chalk Washi tape, Red Foil cardstock, Fonts – Voluptate Demo and Bergamot Ornaments, adhesive and foam tape

My daughter has already called dibs on this but I really want to keep it for myself.  I guess I need to get busy and make another one for her.

I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day!
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Tooth Fairy

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now and since Simone lost her second tooth yesterday morning I figured it was time. But first let me go back a bit and start at the beginning....

Awhile back on Pinterest I found some really cute ideas on things you could do to make the visit from the Tooth Fairy extra special. The first and foremost "The Tooth Fairy Door." If you search Tooth Fairy Door on Pinterest you will find tons of ideas on how to do it and ways to paint and decorate them. So when Simone's first tooth started wiggling back in October I knew I needed to get busy. I hit my local craft store and picked up a door, door knobs and a door knocker from the dollhouse section. I figured it would take a good few weeks until the tooth fell out so I wasn't in a huge hurry.....

Prior to painting we had to attach the molding around the edge of the door and the pieces that came in our kit weren't cut to the right size so my husband had to do some trimming. He glued it in place and I took care of the painting. I picked up some craft paint and wished I had used something a bit better quality. The coverage isn't the best and I did add a clear coat at the end to try to make it a bit more finished.

Many of the samples on Pinterest had the door installed so it would not open and I saw a few posts where some had turned their door so it would open. I thought that was super cute and decided to give that a try. Now this means you have to paint both sides of the door and more of the interior but I think it was worth the extra time except that like I said above I thought I had all the time in the world to get this done. Of course I did not because the tooth fell out the day before I was leaving on a trip and the door wasn't done. It was a mad dash getting it all ready for that evening and a total team effort with my husband. We still had to finish the assembly of the door pieces and add the backing and install the handles and door knocker.

To decorate the inside I cut a piece of plain chipboard and covered it with white paper and added a piece of Dear Lizzy cloud vellum on top, just enough to add a bit to the magic.

Gluing on the door knobs was easy I just used a bit of hot glue. The door knocker was trickier, in order for it to be movable it had to stick out from the door. After a few failed attempts I ended up cutting a tiny piece of foam tape and so far that's worked just fine.

We attached the whole piece directly to her wall using some command double stick squares. I made sure she had cleared off a space on top of the bookshelf that sits right next to her bed so we could put all this together with minimal disturbance while she was sleeping.

One of the other super cute ideas I had seen on Pinterest was to have the tooth fairy leave a receipt. This had to happen and luckily I was partially prepared and had downloaded a font called Fake Receipt and easily made a replicate of the Pinterest one in Photoshop Elements.

Here is my version of the receipt that I made sized 3x4 (sized for scrapbooking of course).

I found some really thin paper in a journal I had on hand and just tore pieces out and cut it down to 4x6 and just printed the receipt with my home printer. I cut the width down to size and then tore the top and bottom edges against a ruler so it looked more legit.

We also wanted to leave a letter for Simone since this was her first tooth and we had to explain the door in some way. I found a cute poem on Pinterest and used part of it to start our letter, the rest we made up ourselves and poets we are not.

I also purchased this cute set of cut files from the Silhouette Store and we used the cute little pillow box for Simone to leave her tooth in that you can see in a photo above.

Here she is the morning after when she found all her stuff. I had asked for some suggestions and tips on the Studio Calico boards and a few suggested the gold dollar coins which we decided to do. My husband picked up a few to have on hand as needed and she will get one per tooth.

The other day when it was clear that tooth number two was on its way out I cut out all of the pillow boxes so they would be ready to go and I also printed and cut some of the cute little certificate cards that came in the set.

The cards were designed so that each tooth could be cut if you wanted to which I did and backed them with some blue glitter paper. My plan is to make her a little mini album with the photos of her as the teeth come out, the receipts the tooth fairy leaves behind and these cards so its all in one place. I did modify the certificates a bit first from the original that came in the set. I changed the size and deleted some parts I didn't need and made the teeth a bit larger. I print and cut the cards fist via the Silhouette and then run the cards thru my printer after they are cut to add the text.

It's pretty exciting stuff losing your teeth and boy is she excited that number two is finally out. She can't wait for the tooth fairy to come visit again, luckily this time it will be a lot less last minute.

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