Sunday, November 30, 2014

wintery gift tags

I love packaging up gifts, maybe even more than the gift itself. My favorite is to get all festive in my gift giving for those that care about the presentation. Am I doing this for my six year old son? Sorry, dude. For a good friend? You betcha. The problem for me is my ideas are big and my time is itty bitty. I mean, I'm good to remember the gift in the first place and then I want it wrapped all cute? Forget about it.
But then, maybe don't.
My master plan is this: do all the things you can in advance. That includes making cute gift tags with supplies that you might already have on hand. It's easy to do assembly line gift tag making and it's bonus points if you don't have to buy a lot extra to do it. (But you *may* just have to buy this stamp set because the adorable factor is OFF THE CHARTS.)
Simple supply list here: tags, paint and stamps. To make a snowy background, drop paint on the tag
and then drag it across the surface with like an old gift card. You may have to drag over it a few times to achieve the look you want. Random is good here.
Another way to add a simple background to your tag is a snowflake effect. It's just a pencil eraser dipped in paint.
After the paint is dry, stamp away. You can mix up stamps, ink colors, and embellishments. This is a fun way to use up bits and pieces in which you only have a few of an embellishment pack left. Here, I've used cork snowflakes and digital elements from the Studio Calico shop. You can see I stamped the bear on old book paper and cut him out. Love the look.
And if your stamped bear looks cold, give him a scarf for crying out loud. I mean, I can hardly stand it. And he's waving "thanks" to me. It's just too much.
A little baker's twine and your tags are ready to dress up your gift giving this year. Or maybe use them to top a card or a scrapbook page. Either way, you'll have the coolest tags on the block :)

Love with a capital L

Grab a cup of coffee and sit a spell. I'm gonna start this novel off with a big group hug.
Most of you know my mother in law died in Feb. after almost 20 days in ICU because of the flu. It was the most difficult, devastating thing we have ever experienced. She was a rock to our family. I mean, Jesus is the rock, but she was like his right hand woman.
However, there is more that has happened within our family this past year which has made everything so much more difficult.
I read a quote on pinterest that said, "Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn how to swim."
and I thought...this is so very true, but we aren't even swimming. We are still treading water. I've never experienced a loss like this, so I'm not sure when you stop trying to just keep your head above water and actually move toward the shore.
I felt something had to give and since I have nothing left, it had to be SC. Sometimes it sucks being grown up about things :) I started homeschooling full time this year because I thought.. let's make things as crazy as possible (I'm kidding. kinda.) So extra scrap time is zero. I feel distracted and at the same time, obligated to be more available for my family because of all we have went through and are still going through. And then there are the holidays, which bring their own new set of waters to try and navigate.
So I made the tough choice to not reapply to the CT.
I Love SC. Capital L. The people that make up Studio Calico...not only the employees and creative team, but the community members as well, are some of the best people you will ever meet. (Or not meet as the case maybe.) If you love getting crafty and playing with paper and aren't a part of that community, you are missing out. Go join. I plan to still scrap now and then and of course remain a subscriber. Because man, I love me some Studio Calico.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Studio Calico Park Ave. reveal!

Ahhh, December. You are always such a pretty month.
Studio Calico December kits were revealed while I was out of town stuffing my face with turkey, but I wanted to share what I created with the Park Ave. kits this month!
These first two are main kit only.  I like the fact that these two very different layouts came from the same kit. I think it shows that you can mix & match and create the look you are going for. I'm not a huge purple/pink fan, but I had this photo, which happened to have both those colors in it. So it works! I cut up all the great graphic paper to use as a burst, similar to the lights on the stage. The title is cut with an exacto knife and raised with dimensional foam. Transparency pieces back the title. 
This one is true, blue December to me. Those diamond shapes were great, but I didn't want to use them as diamonds. So I cut them up as triangle trees. I also split apart the wood veneer arrows in the kit to make real wood tree trunks. Because I am weird like that. And apparently in my world snow falls down as mint hint and emerald city
These next three are mixes of almost every kit. Just one big December kit party! This one was mainly the Ritz add on and not me in the sense that it uses ALL THE FLOWERS, but so me in that it does it in a boho-ish way...? I don't know what that means. I just liked it all thrown together. The journaling is a quote from pinterest. 
This boy and his books. I love it. I went watercolor crazy and used mainly the Helmsley add on. Lots of blues and greens. I liked using the crazy alpha explosion to reiterate the reading theme. 
Last, but not least, a snow layout. because it's the december kit and you have to do a snow layout! Not really, but snow layouts are some of my favorite. I went crazy horizontal with this. I tend to do that from time to time for no good reason other than to mix it up a bit. I added some snow (paint) to the alpha and let me tell you...that stamp set in Waldorf caught me by surprise. I am not usually a cute animal type stamper, but these were COOL animals and I couldn't stop stamping that bear. And then I gave him a scarf and gagged over the cuteness! Too much! 

And finally, this was my last kit as a Creative Team member for Studio Calico. (I have a separate post on that tomorrow, but also posted on the message board here.) I chose not to apply for the 2015 team.  It was a hard year personally, but a great year being a part of such a kind, creative, innovative team. I wish the upcoming CT all the best! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

a homeschool (kinda, not really) break

We are *almost* halfway through our school year. That's a great place to be :) We are on a semi break from now until the first of January and I gotta say, I'm loving that. OF COURSE there is still schoolwork to do, but not so structured and definitely taking a total break a few weeks before Christmas. Lots of reading, lots of reviewing, lots of christmas carols, cookie baking, snuggles and hopefully snow. And did I mention cookies? ;) It's nice to have that freedom. Just ask Paxton--He wanted to do his handwriting in his underwear. In the dark. With a headlamp. And who am I to argue? I'm sure that IS way more fun! You have to choose your battles, you know?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Park Ave. Sneaks

It's ALREADY time for Studio Calico's December kit, Park Ave., sneaks! This time of year is always so sneaky anyway...time just goes so fast. As I mentioned on the board, I really had fun with these kits. There seems to be a bit of something for everyone in the kits this month and none of them are too themey, which is nice.
These first two are main only.
These next three are a combo of all the kits.
That bear stamp in the last sneak just kills me. The whole set is lovely. Just a few more days until reveal, Thanksgiving day to be exact. See you then!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

studio calico november reveal

Studio Calico Walden kits have been revealed and they. are. awesome. This was a month I had too many ideas, too many cool products to play with and not enough time. Hashtag story of my life.
This one was the first I did and while I don't really love it, I like it okay. I spray painted the deer gold and cut the doily from the main kit into leaves.
This one...sigh. It's just super simple, but I like how the colors and layers all came together. That tree paper is my new fave. Again, main kit only. I am trying *reeeeeeeally* hard to no longer hoard any product. So while my old self would be all "don't use those cool word strips as a background layer!" my new self is like "where's the glue?.  I like the look.

These next three are a combo of all the add ons. This one is mainly with the Concord add on. There are hints of pink, but I kept them to a minimum. We were at an Avett Brothers concert so I added the tickets as a little embellishment. It's a kinda random mix of craziness, but I kept it all similar in color and then added a b/w photo which helps calm down the crazy.
This was mainly the Baker Bridge add on and can I just say...those vellum leaves! I've had this photo awhile and when I saw this sweet little poem and those leaves, I knew they were all meant for each other. The little leaf stamp from Concord was a perfect addition.
I had been wanting to make a washi tape tree for awhile and this tape in Pine Hill was the perfect opportunity. It's a pretty whimsical layout, which is the same feel to the photo used. I swear I'm part elf so scrapping christmas in October is fine by me!
There are still kits available as well as some great new stamp sets (think christmas & new years!). You can check all that out here. Now I'm off to clean my desk and get ready for December's kits. Can't wait :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

log cabin quilt layout

I am not a quilter. In fact, I joke I can only sew on paper. (It's totally true, by the way.) I had these fun photos from a recent visit to Laura Ingall's home in Mansfield, MO and wanted to do something special with them. The October Studio Calico kit was sitting on my desk and I thought...let's make a paper quilt. There was a quilt in one of the photos and this would tie it all together.
I'm all about not making things too complicated when scrapbooking and truly this background could not be easier. I decided to go with a kind of log cabin-ish pattern because of the simple straight lines.
So first off, pick the paper with coordinating patterns/colors. Using a kit for this step makes it even easier because the coordinating guess work is taken out for you. Make one pattern reddish in tone.
Once you have your paper picked out, cut rectangle strips out of two different patterns in 1x3 inch. Doing this for a 12x12 sized layout will make your pattern the exact size, with four blocks across each row and no trimming. For the center square, use a 1 inch square punch or simply cut a 1 inch square. Typically, the middle square of the pattern is a red color to mimic a chimney if you were looking at a cabin from an ariel view.
Take your first rectangle strip and glue it down. Then for the sides: one side will layer over that top piece, while the opposite side layers underneath. You can see this in the photo. The bottom piece is layered opposite the top piece. It is really a matter of over/under/over/under. Once that is finished, add your red square to the middle. Done! Now your next block will go opposite in terms of patterned rectangle strip used and the way it is layered.
Once you finish the row, start the process again on the next row, doing the block underneath opposite of what is done above it. So essentially, blocks that are diagonal from each other are copies, while blocks side by side or above one another are opposite. You can see that here.
For a 12x12 background you will have four rows of four blocks each, for a total of 16 blocks. That's if you want your entire background covered. I sewed over my blocks to give even more of a quilt feel...and because I can't help but sew on paper :)
So simple, or "sew" simple if I am being totally cheesy.
Now if only sewing an actual quilt with actual fabric were this easy! Because somehow I think curling up by the fire with a paper log cabin quilt would just end very badly.