Saturday, October 4, 2014

World Card Making Day 2014

Hi everyone! 

I thought I would be spending this Saturday doing laundry and making cards...but I spent the morning brainstorming some business ideas, so my first card did not get made until late afternoon. A second card quickly followed and now I am on a roll this evening. :D

WCMD2014 was a good opportunity to use my October 2014 Card Kit featuring the Simon Says Stamp "What's Brewing?" Here's a photo of the kit: 


Here is the first card I made today. Didn't come out as I had originally planned, but might be one of my favorite cards ever thanks to the Basic Grey Grand Bazaar 6x6 papers in the kit. I used Simon Says Stamp ink on the cups and Memento London Fog for the steam. I used Distress stickles in Tea Dye for the coffee in the cups. 


I made a process video of making this card but I do not think it will be posted on #worldcardmakingday 

My second card was also made using the Simon Says Stamp October card kit. I really wanted that whipped cream look on the cup of latte. 


Any other cards I am able to make tonight will be posted in a blog post tomorrow. Trying to post more often! 😉

Happy Creating! :D
Stephanie 


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Winner with flair...

Hi everyone! 

I tried to make a catchy title. LOL

I won an adorable flair set from Toni From Designs. 


I have followed Toni From on Instagram and been inspired by her creativity. Toni launched her new shop a week and a half ago. She had an Instagram giveaway and I won, along with my IG friend Marni who alerted me to the giveaway. Congrats Marni!!

I was so excited about the win because I had two photos that I knew would go perfectly with the flair and were part of my Project Life for September. 

Here are the PL cards I made using the flair:







The pineapple card belongs in Week 35 and the pumpkin toaster pastries in Week 38, neither of which have completed layouts.

I'll be featuring the completed layouts in YouTube videos...eventually. 
Click here for the YouTube video that gives more detail about the flair I won and showing some of my process for these two cards. 
Happy Creating! :D
Stephanie 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Miss You

Hello all!


It worked out perfectly to be the right sentiment for finally getting a new blog post up! ;-)
I do miss YOU!

I had actually made one of the embellishments for the card on Tuesday while playing around with the Simon Says Stamp June Card Kit papers (by My Minds Eye and the polka dot vellum is by Doodlebug). It became the perfect inspiration for the rest of the challenge card. Simon Says Stamp is showcasing Paper Smooches and I had this really adorable PS Vogue Abode stamp set that seemed to fit quite well with the picture frame embellishment. I stamped one of the chairs and the hexagons from the stamp set onto two of the papers from the card kit that also happened to feature dots!

I hope you like it and leave me a note if you have time when you stop by!







Thursday, February 27, 2014

Studio Calico SUGAR RUSH: Ray of Sunshine, Sun Ray, Here Comes the Sun...

Hello everyone!

The title of this post are the title options I have for a new 12 x 12 layout I finished today. 

I almost always have problems choosing a title. 
I think that I should start with the title really, but since I will be scrapping a lot of photos 
of Mount Lemmon throughout the year (Michael rides up there every weekend), and I don't want the title to always be "Mount Lemmon."

Although I should do a seasonal one with the same spot on Mount Lemmon during each season change. Hmm...better write that idea down somewhere so I can be sure to collect the pics or have him take them. ;-) 

I also bought all of the SUGAR RUSH add-onkits at Studio Calico last month and have barely played with any! Yikes!! The new OFFICE HOURS kits go on sale in about 3 hours! 

So I am challenging myself to try and use the older kits during the approximately 2-2.5 weeks I have before the next ones deliver. 

This layout is using only a tiny portion of the SUGAR RUSH Scrapbook kit.

I called it Sun Ray when I uploaded it to My Projects on studiocalico.com but it really needed a bold
title on the layout itself. It might look a bit bare. Also, that is kind of my style. 





Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Simon Says Stamp - Rainbow of Color

Hello everyone! 

My second post today...and maybe not my last! 

As usual, I am behind on blogging so trying to catch up with on my creative adventures recently. 

Yesterday I received the March 2014 Simon Says Stamp Card Kit.
It is called Rainbow of Color and is super, super cute! 



An awesome kit that I had an idea for right away.
Luckily I found some time last night to make a card that I needed to go in a package this week.






I encourage everyone to subscribe to these kits. 
I always have a lot of fun using the goodies each month, even when I have to be slow at it. 
This is a subscription I don't really want to have to give up, but a nice option is that you 
can skip months when you don't like the preview. 
I have never done that. LOL

Which of your weekly/monthly craft subscriptions are you most fond of? 

 

Unity SOTW - Well...Check you out

Hello everyone! 

I have a card to share today but I actually made this card last week and meant to post 
it several days ago. 



Like many of you, I am running out of storage room in my craft studio. 
So I have to make some tough decisions on purging, and stopping some subscriptions. 
Unity Stamp of the Week is one of the subscriptions I was going 
to stop, but never got around to it. 

I adore this SOTW, so I am really glad I didn't yet let go of my subscription. 
This one is by Tifany DeGough.






It is so super adorable! 

I used a real manila folder for the library card insert. The red heart doily is a leftover from a Doggie Bag Embellishment Kit available at paperissues.com (each one is different, so not sure you can still get the heart). The paper is from an a couple of older 6x6 pad from my stash, and some cardstock from a card kit. I do like that I am using from my stash, but I have such a bad memory and can't seem to find the pad for the green paper. So what I can tell you is that I used a Simple Stories Snap 6x6 pad for the yellow. ;-) 

How good is your memory when your stash leftovers get mixed up? 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Studio Calico Color Theory Ink Preview


I got lucky and caught the preorder for the new Studio Calico Color Theory Ink Bundle, which sold out fast! I had to wait several weeks to receive the inks so wondered if I should have just waited until I had seen more reviews. I am very pleased with these inks so far though!! I haven't had a lot of time to play with them so this is just a preview. They stamped true to color and I love that they dry so quick! There is a beautiful range of colors and it looks like we have another bundle to look forward to later this year. The color cards came free with my Studio Calico kit delivery. I also want to mention how much I love the Sugar Rush kits. I got all the add-ons! LOL 

Here are two photos of the Studio Calico Color Theory Dye Inks...including the stamp that I chose to stamp the ink onto their corresponding card. I am even considering the coordinating cardstock even though I have an over abundance of paper in this crowded craft studio. 



Did I forget to mention the ink pads were stackable! Love that feature even though it means the pads are a bit smaller than I would have liked. It so convenient to have one stack of so many colors taking up so little room. The Color Theory Inks are sold separately in the Studio Calico online shop. They are $4.99 per pad. The bundle was $54.99 (free shipping) for all 12 colors so that was a bargain...in my opinion. I am not an ink expert, as that was one supply I was really sparse on when I first got into paper crafting but of the inks I have tried, these are at the top of my list of faves right now. 

Let me know if you have tried these inks or which ink is your favorite! 

P.S. The kitty stamp set is also from Studio Calico and was a Sneak Peak subscriber special offer that is no longer available. I don't have any kitties but the set was too adorable to pass up and I love cats. 

 





Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's Mocha...on a scrapbook layout !

Hello everyone! 

I have another blog post, already!! ;-) 
Eventually I'll get up to those daily posts, or maybe not. I do plan on sharing a lot more often so thanks for stopping in! 

This layout is of Mocha. 

We rescued her in 2006. Michael found her online through a GSP rescue in Utah.
We had fostered a teeny dog (only 7 lbs) for a week in February 2006 when a neighbor had to go into a nursing home.
Ginny and Bebe didn't really get along well, so we found Bebe a good home with a friend of mine, her daughters, and their two dogs. Bebe was much happier in this home and became very close to their Golden Retriever, Goldie so it all worked out well. 

We did realize after that experience that we really wanted a second dog.
Michael was also interested in a German Shorthaired Pointer because of some dog rescues he had started following on Facebook.

Mocha (originally named Moe-Moe by the rescue) seemed like a perfect fit for us.
Michael thought she looked fairly small in the pics (around 40 lbs) which was good for us because Ginny was around 45 lbs and I didn't want two big dogs.

Mocha was very sickly though after she was rescued from wandering in the forest during winter. 
It took much longer to get her healthy than the rescue expected so she didn't arrive in Tucson, having been brought here safely in a car by Best Friend's Animal Society, until late March. 

She was also larger than expected. That was funny! It didn't matter though, of course we loved her from the minute we saw her.

It was rough timing though, because Michael went to India for 3 weeks in early April. 
Mocha had become immediately attached to him and then wondered where he had gone. She did get along great with Ginny and her presence also allowed Ginny to relax more when they were left alone. No more having to put Ginny in a crate when we left the house. 

The photo for this layout was taken in 2008 or 2009, probably 2009 by our friend Erin. 
It was before we got our third rescue, Bella and before Mocha had white hair on her face (which we think Bella caused LOL). 

Anyway, onto the layout. 

I made this using Glitz Design and Chic Tags, plus some American Crafts thickers (which were the last part to be added). Journaling is still a bit weird for me because I don't want to mess up the layout and sometimes I just want to say "cute" or "love this." I didn't put a date on this either. 

 Still awkward photos but I did take this in sunlight and love how the Glitz Design rhinestone sparkles! 

Here is a photo of Mocha taken recently. 


She looks a wee bit sad in this photo but was wondering why I was disturbing her circle turning as she tried to lay down, and was also having a bad day with lots of accidents. I was worried it might be diabetes but the vet thought maybe just an infection. She is all back to normal now. 

Tail wags and,



Monday, January 27, 2014

Scrapbook page without a title, how do you decide?

Hello everyone! 

These are not the best photos but I wanted to do a quick blog post of the most recent 12 x 12 layout I finished. It is using the new Heidi Swapp Hello Today collection. 

When I was working on the layout I only had stamps sets and the 12 x 12 paper pad. 
 
I also used Tim Holtz inks, which I love but I don't really love for this project. I want crisper stamped images, like when I used the Ranger ink.





Well I thought I would be showing the full layout but that photo really needs to be edited or retaken in much better light. 

My question really is...do you start a layout with the photo or a title in mind? 

My layouts sometimes have a title but I didn't start out with one in mind 
and now I don't know what title it should have. Hmm...



Thursday, January 23, 2014

My 2013 Project Life Adventure

Hello!!! 

Welcome to 2014 on this blog. I am only nearly a month late in getting to a 2014 post, 
but better late than never...right? ;-) 

This post is to recap my adventure with Becky Higgin's Project Life (and discuss plans for 2014). 2013 was the first year I scrapbooked using Project Life and I started at the very beginning of the year after subscribing to the Studio Calico monthly Project Life kit
I ADORE these kits every month - and I especially loved the first one. 

Let's start with what is going on currently, 
because it impacts the way I view my 2013 adventure: 

I have two wonderful online classes I am enrolled in to help with my 2014 Project Life Adventure and they have allowed me to look back on my 2013 PL journey through a very different perspective. 

First, I am enrolled in the Studio Calico Day by Day class. 
I was a bit behind on checking in with this class but read most of the downloads yesterday and discovered that struggling with the first year of Project Life is not unusual...
or anything to be too concerned about. 
In fact, I am even considering not "completing" my 2013 Project Life albums because of the statement the incompleteness of it says about me, over me trying to fill it in after the fact. 
Of course, there are still some experiences last year that I want documented, so when I go back and fill in those missing experiences/weeks, I will probably say that I did so in 2014 with a little notation on the title card. Or they may just be a traditional page mixed in with PL layouts.

Second, I won an IG giveaway from the immensely talented Deb Duty for a spot in the  
I have loved this class so far! 
I was surprised to receive the card set that went along with the class because I thought they were all sold out. The cards arrived in the second week of January and I have already used several of them in Weeks 1, 2, & 3 of 2014. 

Here is one of them in Week 1 of 2014: 

'begin with the end in mind'

It is a 20-week class and will finish after I am done with school, so it will be interesting to see how I document that with the influence of the lessons from this class and BH. 
She is an inspiration! 

Okay, now onto the recap of 2013 (all photos were taken today): 

I took a few online classes focused on Project Life in 2013, one I won and two I paid for (if I remember correctly). As amazing as those classes were - I really didn't benefit as much as I had hoped. I did take away advice that has helped me with all of my papercrafting though, and to feel a bit more relaxed about my creative pursuits. Project Life 2013 definitely didn't start out as relaxed. LOL 
Here is the title page though, one of my favorites. 


Here is my 2014 title page (which I love even more): 



When I started thinking about 2014 I decided I had been too fussy and that my 2013 layouts had been too overdone. I had tried too hard. Michael complained that I spent too much time on Project Life. When I looked through the albums this morning, I realized just how much I loved the layouts - fussy, overdone, and all or even when they were simple or had bad photos because it really was about the memories and not about perfect technique. 

The albums - 26 weeks to an album (that was original plan) and color-matched at least. ;-)

One of the inserts that I so enjoyed reminiscing over today about goodies and an amazing postcard I received from Kristin in Stockton. We met on IG but hopefully we will meet one day in person as well. Her care package arrived at exactly the time I needed a little bit of Stockton (was missing Auntie Flo who had recently passed)...and a glimpse of the amazing ocean on a postcard from her vacation to Hawaii. Thank you darling Kristin!

So many unfinished weekly layouts. Marked with post-its. Waiting for memories.

One of my very favorite rediscoveries. The dogs feature prominently in the layouts, of course. They really are my life. :-) But oh, how I love these photos of their big heads...and the photo of them out back, split in two. So "real life" because Ginny often is on her own, away from the other two. The For The Record card is a flip up and I enjoyed rereading the story. Made me smile. This layout is one of the simplest and the photo quality isn't great on any of the photos but when I look at it now, and I haven't looked at this one in months (it is from September 2013), I realize that it is perfect...perfectly me at least. It is my entire everyday - dogs, funny stories about silly games, beautiful weather, and lots of crafty goodness!

I was so happy to see this in a week that has little else in it. I thought I had forgotten to document Michael's promotion.  Such a perfect documentation.

The last title card I made for 2013. Making title cards was one of my favorite things about Project Life. Thinking about what the week "felt" like to me determined the title card, as much as any of my supplies. I did like to use newer craft goodies in each week's title card so I could remember that is when I got them, but that was not a rule. Also, there are still many weeks without title cards before Week 47 (which I continue to read as Week 41). 






Making sure each week has a title card at least is probably the only real goal I have for finishing up my 2013 Project Life albums.

I am doing well so far in 2014.
Behind, but relaxed about it. Learning and now realizing that even the most mundane memory I documented last year helps me to become a better me now.


What happened in 2013

2013 was a difficult year for me. 
Not in a major health-scare way, but in a constant, nagging way that I struggled with 
and that put me into a depression for many months. 
I battled consistent, but illusive health issues after a visit with Michael's mom in late March. Michael's mom has basal cell carcinoma, so for the first time her usual sun-loving activities were a no-go during the visit and even though it was enjoyable, it was poignant - as the weather was gorgeous!
About a week after her visit I started having severe fatigue, fever, and abdominal pain. I had been in good health prior to that...extending my yoga routine, at an ideal weight, and looking forward to my first bikini-wearing summer (blah, blah, blah). 
When I started feeling bad, I just took it for the flu or even major anxiety attacks - I thought I was having a difficult time processing my MIL's compromised health, her first solo visit since Michael's Grandma passed (her traveling companion and someone I was extremely close to), and from not discussing certain issues with her during the visit. 

I have coping mechanisms for my anxiety, but they weren't helping as much as I hoped.
The symptoms just kept persisting.
 I was gaining weight but it was more the excessive bloating that was an issue, and I was so, so tired. Some days I had to lay on the craftroom floor (where I spent most of my time) and would instantly fall asleep, because I just didn't have the energy to move to a different location.

 I didn't go to the doctor for seven weeks though. 
By the time I did go in early May, the diagnosis was severe depression 
and by then I was depressed. 
I argued with my doctor though because the initial physical symptoms had not been depression. I knew that but trying to treat them like they didn't require a doctor visit and watching my body change so drastically (so quickly) had really altered my mood. 

I had eventually discovered that my initial illness had been Hepatitis A. 
I never filled the prescription for the depression meds. Some days I wish I had, but meds are not my thing. My body doesn't handle them well, so I didn't want additional symptoms. I had lab tests, twice because a second set was needed for insurance purposes. I posted my highest blood pressure ever, which didn't do anything to relax me. lol 

I took a trip to Southern California in late May because I had made a commitment and because I wanted to see my best friend of 30 years and watch her eldest daughter graduate high school. It was a great visit.
 Otherwise though, back in Tucson I kept to myself. I had a hard time keeping up appearances in person for very long. I could smile for the camera though.

 I got out of bed every day for the dogs. My love for them pulled me through.
I still have anxiety, and need to be healthier - want to get back into shape and feel stronger - but I have overcome the depression.

It has been a great help to have social media during my depression. I didn't really talk about it but posting and interacting helped me stay accountable to the bigger world. I enjoyed interacting, sharing, and receiving so much - happy mail really does give pure moments of joy. I found that wanting to be creative helped keep the scales balanced.

I am fortunate for amazing online friends (especially Beth and Margaret), a supportive online community of fun people, loving family (even from long-distance), and a strong husband. 

Speaking of my strong husband, here is something else I will be open about. Only because not being open about it held me back in 2013. Held me back from accomplishing certain goals and couldn't help but add to the depression. 

My strong husband is compassionate, thoughtful, and the best kind of person. He is wonderful! 
He is also not on the same page as I am when it comes to adoption. 

Over the past seven years I have tried to get us on the same page about adoption (we have discussed it off and on for two decades). For one glorious moment a few years ago we were on the same page, even shared our adoption plans with family - but that moment was so fleeting one could even doubt it ever happened. That I have the memory of it happening made it harder to deal with the aftermath of 'our' plans disintegrating (meaning he changed his mind)...does that make sense?

Anyway, we have some issues. Every married couple does. 
Personal, private issues. Struggles and triumphs. Love and sometimes pain.

He is a good man though, and that is not something that will ever change.

2014 is a year for many major changes in my life though.
 All of which I hope to document through Project Life. 
I am happy to have this method of capturing moments and writing memories,
because sometimes we forget those little happenings that result in the biggest changes we can imagine.


I wish you all peace, love, happiness, and Happy Creating in 2014! 
~stephanie~