Country of the Month: Austria

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I did it! I did it! I actually scrapped some Euro pics :) And it only took 3 years!!

Yep, it's been three years since these photos were taken, but this trip was so memorable. What made it memorable? The people! We totally fell in love with the hostel owner and his staff. They totally made the trip.

I used the Studio Calico Dear Abby add on and threw a lot of technique at this page. Painting, machine sewing and some stamping.

I wanted it to be colorful and lively, so I utilized Noell's Train Station Flexible Template to create movement give it that extra zest!! I extended the trains with those adorable Ki Memories pockets and added as much color as I could. This was definitely one of my "everything and the kitchen sink" layouts.

Along with the people, I remember the scenery the most. It was pure gorgeousness and beauty. Majestic is literally the most appropriate word for the wonder and beauty of the Austrian Alps.

For this page, I used the House of Three patterned paper from the kit but wanted to show it off to the fullest. It's hard to see how beautiful it is from a picture, but when you ink it, as I did on the right, it brings out all of the gorgeous detail. I hit it with all of my blues and silver Maya Mist.

Then, I added some ribbon trim, sprinkled around the pack of buttons that come with kit, and added some letter stickers to the photo for the title. Oh, and I almost forgot! I used Scrapbook Challenges Sketch 236 as the basis for this layout.

I don't normally do much scrapping with blue so I'm happy I got to use some fun blue stuff! Maybe you should think about blue for your next project :) Happy Scrapping!


Paris 2003

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dear Mama,
I know traveling isn’t your thing. But I’m so proud of you for setting aside your misgivings and making the effort to step out of your comfort (and time) zone. I hope you’ve enjoyed the places you’ve seen. I’m glad you got to visit the Eiffel Tower, to hear Big Ben chime and to see the Coliseum in Rome. I know, in some small way, I was a part of that.
Thank you for helping to mold and shape me into the person that I am today. That girl with such a thirst for experiences and such a strong desire to see new places. I wouldn’t have become that girl without you.

I’ve finally finished a gift to my Mama! Last year, I started a set of layouts to decorate her guest room wall. They’re black and white photos of her travels throughout Europe.
I love my mama, but we couldn’t be any less alike. She’s fun and friendly, always making new friends, and talking and giggling constantly. I’m much more quiet and reserved, less sociable and decidedly not as giggly. I love to visit new places, she’s happy just staying close to home. But as different as we are, I’m convinced it’s the reason why we’re so close. Where I lack, she excels and vice versa. She’s the ying to my yang, the cheese to my cracker and all that good jazz. I love her to pieces!

After all this time, I’ve finally finished this 3-piece set. They coordinate with a set of canvases she bought from Hobby Lobby. They’re black canvases with white line drawings of Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum, all 3 places that we’ve visited together. I thought it’d be cute to also have photos of her at these places, to include on the guest room walls. Those walls, btw, are this lovely pumpkin-y orange; hence the black and white and orange theme to the layouts.

The Paris layout was the last in the set because I couldn’t find this photo! It’s an old photo, one from 2003, before the days of the digital camera. I searched high and low for that photo, which back in the day I had for some reason decided to cut! Who knows? But at least I have the image still. I scanned it into my computer and printed off a new copy. The thing of it is, that scanned image wasn’t so great. It’s got all kind of scratches and lines and the colors are all off. But it doesn’t matter to me. The image of the two of us together, there in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower is all that matters to me.
I’m so blessed to have seen the things I’ve seen and visited the places I’ve visited and got to experience those things with someone I love so much. I truly am such a lucky girl.


Big Girl Shoes

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh, a layout! Finally! I feel like it’s been awhile since I posted one of these, what with all the other projects going on.

It’s actually very old. Well, old in scrapbook terms. I started on it back in September. It was nearly all done then, I just had a few things I knew I wanted to add, but didn’t have the tools or the time to finish it (I was transitioning, half of my stuff was in Houston and the rest was in San Antonio).

The core of the layout was there, the gorgeous Dear Lizzy ticket stubs, the ribbon, the journaling, title, layout, photo. I just added the dangly tag, featuring a Slice cut stiletto shoe, punched the edges to make it look like a ticket, and added the outside line.

But enough of the layout, I want to talk about the details. I was so inspired to meet Dear Lizzy herself, back in August. She was so cute and sweet and kind, just exactly how you’d imagine her to be. She’s such a girly girl and I love that about her. And her girliness definitely makes its way into her projects and products. The ticket stubs from the Enchanted line just ooze “sugar, spice and everything nice” but most notably, emblematic of something at the very core of every little girl, her hopes and wishes and dreams.

I was so inspired by the lady and by her products, that I couldn’t not scrap one of my own dreams. One that actually became a reality.

It seems like I’ve been working toward this goal forever, well actually it’s been 20 years in the making. I started school when I was 5 and worked my butt off to get the kind of job I’ve always dreamed of doing. And while it isn’t perfect, nor exactly like the dream, I’m on my way to making a career out of what I’ve worked and studied for all of my life.

Traveling and me have been compadres for many years now. It’s the one thing that I love to do above all others. It’s the one thing I’ll save up my money for. It’s the one thing I dream about. It’s the one thing I long to do. Especially since I started college, I wanted to find a career that involved traveling. International business was what I choose to study. I even have my MBA in International Business Practice to boot. For all that hard work, and all of the waiting, and all of the freaking out at the recession, last September I landed a job doing exactly what I always wanted to do, working in international business.

It isn’t perfect and it isn’t my “dream dream” job but it’s exactly where I want to be and is exactly what I want to be learning, from the ground floor up (and believe me, I’m at the ground floor). I feel so very fortunate to be using the degree I paid all that money and spent all that time for, not very many people are as fortunate as I.

Thanks Dear Lizzy, for pursuing what I’m sure are your dreams, so that I could scrap my own!
Oh, and a note about the title, it comes from an Ingrid Michaelson song. I’m crap with song names, but I do know it’s on her Girls and Boys album. It was the launching off point for a layout about my big girl job.

No. 143-The Scrap Space

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tada! My scrap space!! You might have seen it before I moved; it was featured over on the Scrapbook Trends blog. But it’s back in a different form, definitely new and very much improved...and full of a whole lot more stuff!

I’ve embraced my small space and configured it to maximize my flow and my organization. Since it is very small, just a corner of my bedroom, I had to think “up” rather than “out”.

The hanging baskets, the floating shelf and the curtain rod, all help to utilize as much vertical space as possible, since I don’t have any more ground room for new bookcases.
I love that I can have inspiration right in front of me as well, and tools within grabbing distance.

I hope to make many a great project at my little crafting station. Hopefully, you’ll see some of it in the coming months!

Also, any questions about the storage featured here, please feel free to ask :)


The Houston Project

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Seems I can’t get enough of the colors in the December Studio Calico kit! What can I say, they’re my faves: yellow, gray, and turquoise. I was instantly attracted to that piece of patterned paper by Basic Grey, the cityscape one. And I thought it’d be the most perfect cover for a mini book I’ve wanted to make.

Here’s what I’ve been mulling around in my head for a bit: The Houston Project. I’ve been living in Houston for oh...5 months now. And I still haven’t seen very much of it. Heck, I still don’t really like it. It’s large and a bit pretentious. The people aren’t that great and I largely feel out of place. But, it’s where I’m going to be for at least another year or two. I have to get to like it, if only for my own sanity! Hating where you live just breeds bad juju and I need all the good vibes I can get!
In an effort to embrace my new city, I really want to get out and explore. To see new parts of the city, to meet new people even. To just get out of the little (and I do mean little) rut I’ve carved out for myself, in this metropolis.
And also, an underlying goal here is to work on my photography skills. If I can find beauty and culture and architecture (dubious) here in Houston, then when I’m out and about in London and Istanbul, I won’t have to play catch up. If that makes any sense!
I created this mini using only the Metropolitan Kit + Mass Transit add-on. It was made entirely from scratch and was binded using the accordion fold method (thanks Jessica Bree for introducing me to this!).

I love that in one night, during a sitting as long as the movie Avatar (it was on HBO) I was able to create something from literally nothing. There aren’t a lot of pages, but I’m ok with that. I added a couple of envelopes to hide extra photos away in, if need be. It’s a sweet little mini that I’m excited to put photos into. I’ll be sure to post when it’s all complete!

This Week *Mini*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Again with that kit and those colors!! I know, I know, I must be looking like a broken record (is that even possible...) But I made yet another mini using the same papers from the now infamous Metropolitan kit.
It’s simple and straightforward, and as previously mentioned, going to help me out with Project 12!

The format is 4.5 x 5.75, the same size as a standard A2 envelope. Which was the launching point for the mini.
Since I’m working on Project 12, I want it to be as stress free as possible. I created this mini book to write just a line or two about each day. That way, when I’m doing my month in review layouts, I won’t be struggling for content and making it harder than it needs to be.

The envelopes are to capture all of the bits and pieces of everyday life that I might want to include in my layouts.
I took apart a lined composition books (of sorts) and added these to the journal for a place to easily jot down my daily goings-on.

The patterned paper pieces are for...well, I’m not really sure what really. But I’ll figure it out as I go. Right now they’re around for the pretty!

Already I’m excited to sum up my days in a line or two. Such a simple thing but entirely effective. It just makes me happy to see the few entries that I’ve already done.

2011 Curriculum

Monday, January 17, 2011

I’m bursting with ideas for scrappy projects in 2011. My trusty binder has tons of lists and scribbles and ideas filling it’s lovely teal lined pages. So I thought I’d gather them all up, write them all down and share them with you all so that maybe your creativity could be sparked too!
Someone else online (I’m so sorry but I don’t remember who!) did a post along these same lines and called it her 2011 Curriculum. I loved that idea so I'm calling mine that too!
The Houston Project: More details to come!

Project 12: I feel that I’d be way too overwhelmed to tackle Project 365 or even Project 52. Project 12 seems like the most I can handle. I nabbed a piece of every single design of Ki Memories stitched calendars. They’re dripping with gorgeousness and I’m excited to put them to use! I figure a double page spread, 1 page calendar, 1 page 12x12 layout should do the trick. I’m already collecting bits and pieces (See Tuesday’s post “This Week Mini” for more details on how) and snapping photos along the way.
Paper Heart Project: More details to come!
No. 143: Slowly but surely, since moving into my apartment in September I’ve been decorating. I can’t afford to do it all in one go, but I’ve been collecting things here and there. I plan on sharing my handmade art, my collections, and just random bits and pieces of the apartment throughout the year.

Country a Month: Enough is enough!! It’s been 2 years since I’ve moved back to the US and I still have mountains of photos of my time abroad left to scrapbook. I had the resolution to do this last year. But didn’t follow through. This year, I’m forcing myself to scrapbook even just a tiny portion of the photos and choosing to tackle 1 country a month. If I make 2 pages from each country, I feel like I’ll be able to call it a success! For the month of January, I’ll be scrapping photos from a trip to Austria! Be sure to check back for the pages.

Book Review: I love to read. Did you know that? It’s been a life long “hobby” of mine. I devour books of all kinds, but my favorites are memoirs, real life stories. This year, I’ve chosen 12 scrapbook/design/art/creativity/life related books and each month I’ll be “reviewing” one of them. January’s book is The Happiness Project. Ok, so not very art/design-ish but I feel, still very relevant, especially since scrapbooking is a big part of what makes me happy.

So that’s it. It’s enough, no? I hope you’re as excited as I am, for all the creativity about to ensue on the blog. Be sure to check back for these along with my usual project posts. I can’t promise I’ll have something every day, but I do plan to be more diligent in my blogging. See ya later alligators.

Numbers Geek

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First off, whoa! I'm up to 103 followers now!! Thanks to all you lovlies who support my online world! If you're here for the blog hop, please scroll down. Or stick around, whichever you prefer :)

In 2010....

I wrote 144 blog posts.
I created 22 mini books.
I made 133 layouts.
I crafted 126 cards.
I concocted 9 altered art projects.
I read 32 books.

Confession: I kept a spreadsheet, complete with formulas and absolute references, to keep track of all my scrappy endeavors. What can I say, I love me a good spreadsheet!

And since we're talking numbers, thought I'd share my top 10 favorite layouts of the year. (Yep, jumping on that bandwagon :) They are in no particular order. So without further adieu, some layouts...

In 2011, I don't plan to make even half as many projects! In fact, I'll be lucky if I can make half. But for now, I'm just so happy to have several albums full of lovely paper pages. Thanks for stopping by.