Best. Mascara. Ever

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Top 5

My top five reasons for loving Christmas time:

5. Making meaningful donations.
4. Seeing friends (and family) at holiday parties.
3. Indulging in delicious holiday fare.
2. Giving (and receiving) presents!
and my top reason:
1. Memories (past and future!)

I know I am a scrapbooker... but I seem to be making a lot of cards lately.  They are quick and fun and require no advance planning (i.e., printing pictures).  I can play with artsy techniques and clean up everything quickly.  So, for right now, cards it is!

Here is another one I made recently:


I used an old Hero Arts (and Basic Grey) stamp set for the poinsettia (had to look up the spelling on that one!) on watercolor paper with Tim Holtz Distress Paints - Festive Berries, Evergreen bough, Antique bronze... I added some gold stickles as the berries for some sparkle and tied the sentiments in by stamping with Versamark and then adding some gold "perfect pearl."

Hope you enjoy your top 5 this season!

Leslie



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In the Air

Christmas is in the air!  I love the smell of the real pine Christmas tree in my house (I admit, I also love the look of our fake christmas tree in the living room), I love the twinkling lights (inside and out), and I love all of the memories as I unpack ornaments and decorations.  It's a great time of the year.  But lots of people forget the joy.  I overheard two women in Pier One talking about how stressed they were and how they just wanted to go away during the holidays and forget it all.  People get irritable in checkout lines, at sales clerks and in parking lots.  WHAT?  It doesn't have to be so difficult.  I say focus on the JOY.  This is a time of year where people share with those less fortunate, where we remember loved ones, we honor traditions, we host and attend parties and we eat too much and do too much, but it is all good.  And if it stresses you out to decorate, send cards or host parties - then don't do it!  The world will not end if you choose to simplify.  I'm going all out because I think it's fun and exciting (and no one will see the bags of clutter I'm putting under my desk anyway!)

Here is a Christmas card I made based on (another) of May Flaum's classes.


I used a Tim Holtz red card stock that has a kraft colored interior.  I stitched (just for effect - I actually taped the book page to the base) around the edges of the ripped book page and stamped with gold paint around the edges.  The wreath is made up of several leaf stamps stamped in a circle with various green Tim Holtz distress inks.  I started with the red berries around a circle and embossed them with clear ink.  They then resisted the green ink as I layered the leaves.  Added a bow and a stamped sentiment (popped up with glue dots) and edged in gold.  Very festive.

Hope you can ENJOY the season!

Leslie


Monday, November 17, 2014

Talk, Talk, Talk

Girls just like to talk.  I don't know why.  We just do.  I went out for a girlfriend's birthday celebration last night.  It was so fun to catch up with everyone.  We are all so busy these days that we don't just sit and visit as much as we used to.  The poor waitress had to wait forever for us to finish chatting to take our orders.  The poor staff had to wait for us to stop talking so they could close it down for the night.  And still we chatted in the doorway, prolonging that moment we had to get in our cars and leave for the evening.  And I'm guessing the girls that carpooled stayed and chatted in their cars just a little bit longer!  So good to have girlfriends.

I made a card for the birthday girl.  I modeled it after a May Flaum idea from one of her classes.  I think it was Camp Scrap. I wanted it to be festive and sparkly and fun.  Although it is more sparkly in real life, I wish I had used some paper with gold foil or some gold washi tape to add just a little more zip.  But the card was made with love (and inky fingers - as the stamp on the back says!) and conveyed my heartfelt birthday wishes - so it is all good!


Hope you get to talk, talk, talk with a friend today!

Leslie

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Memories

I took time to remember my grade school art teacher today.  She lost her husband recently and so I made her a sympathy card.  I've thought of her off and on over the years.  She influenced me and my love of memory keeping.  She didn't know that making me yearbook editor during my middle school years would start me on the path to becoming an obsessed scrapbooker.  She didn't know that introducing me to watercolors and art concepts would grow into making me a crafty card maker with a room full of art supplies. It makes me wonder if I've influenced someone's path, without even realizing it.  Makes one think.


I used some Tim Holtz distress paints in blues and silver for the background and filled in with some distress ink on top.  After stitching the edge down I added some embellishments with gold accents and then tied it all together with some gold stamping on the background.

Hope you have time to reflect on some memories today!

Leslie

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's amazing

It's amazing how if you get out of the habit of doing something, it is very hard to get back on track!  This applies for everything from crafting (and blogging) to dieting, exercising, reading, organizing - you name it!  It takes dedication to be consistent.

I was crafting and blogging everyday for a while there and then I didn't do it for one day.  And then two. And then ten.  Whoa.  Happens fast.  Kind of like how my dieting is going. Or not.  Well, I guess the lesson is to just get back after it!

A cold front is coming through here and gift markets are popping up everywhere.  I'm thinking Christmas!  Here are some cards I made using a Jennifer McGuire (www.JenniferMcGuireInk.com) inspired technique.


I took a 6X6 stencil (I think it was the Crafters Workshop) and taped a small portion of it in a triangle shape - hence the Christmas tree image) and used various green (and red) Tim Holtz Distress Inks to make the trees.  Then I used another stencil (a Tim Holtz one) to make the "snow" with texture paste and glitter - so cute in real life! I used the stars from, yep, you guessed it, Tim Holtz.  (The man is a genius in the crafting world!) Finally, I stamped and embossed the sentiment and used pop dots to secure it to the card and provide a little extra dimension.  So fun to make and easy to duplicate - yet still have variety.

Hope you get back to good habits today!

Leslie

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello There

Hello There.  There hasn't been much crafting and blogging going on here.  There has been lots of visiting (Mom's here), shopping, Dunkin Donuts trips (their pumpkin donut really is yummy), and a bit of organizing.  The weather has completely changed this week and we are no longer ridiculously hot, but have beautiful, crisp fall weather instead! Time to get outside and get walking again.

Here is a card I made using white embossing powder and Tim Holtz distress inks.  The sentiment is a silver embossing powder (Ranger) and really shines in real life.  I added a few pearl drops which compliment the damask stamp.  It was super easy to create and is pretty effective.  I think I will be making many versions of this card!


With the change in the weather and a few holiday gift markets going on, I'm thinking about the holidays coming!  I'm looking forward to making some gifts and Christmas cards, and tags and maybe a calendar and also... well you get the idea!

Happy crafting!

Leslie

Monday, October 27, 2014

A case of all or nothing

So I seem to go in spurts these days… from crafting to laundry and everything in between.  I'm usually pretty balanced and steady, but lately I have been in kind of a binge or nothing type of mood.  When I read, I read the whole book or I don't read at all.  I either do laundry as a crazy all day event or I procrastinate it until it's a huge pile taking over the laundry room.  It is the same with crafting.  I'm either scrapbooking and card making all of the time or doing nothing!  I guess I am having trouble pacing myself.  It's hard to find that balance where everything is still under control but pushing all of the boundaries!

Speaking of balanced, I thought this layout was nicely balanced.  How's that for a great transition!  So many happy memories from this trip.




Hope you can find some balance in your life!

Leslie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A whirlwind

So it has been kind of a whirlwind around here... and I think the house might reflect this crazy amount of activity as well.  I attended my first ever online "live" event - there were scrapbooking lessons and interactions with teachers all day for the TrueScrap event.  It was fun to try and watch the videos, listen to the commentary and text messages in a chat room all at the same time.  And I thought I was going to be crafting during the lessons.  haha!  Definitely not something I could attempt.  As it was, I had to miss a lot of the classes dealing with real time activity here.  Fortunately, the classes are all archived forever, so I can go back and re-watch and pause as much as I want. Phew.

I left the scrap event to pick up Mom at the airport.  It will be fun to visit with her over the next few weeks.  And did I mention it was homecoming this weekend as well?  So my son, who is a Junior in High School, was involved in getting a mum for his date (it's a Texas thing - and it is BIG), a new suit (at the last minute), a new shirt (at the last, last minute), pictures, dinner, dance and so on!  It was very exciting and a fun, but tiring event.  He fell asleep very early on Sunday night.


Here is a camping layout I made using a ScrapRoom kit and some stickers from my stash. Believe it or not, I am using things from my stash.  Of course, I could create from now until the end of time and I'd still have left overs!




I do most of my journaling by hand (instead of the computer) because I like having my handwriting in the scrapbook as part of my story and as a memory for my kids.  There is nothing quite like a person's individual handwriting!

Hope you can get crafty today!

Leslie

Friday, October 17, 2014

Getting ready

I am looking forward to a scrapbook "weekend" of sorts... I am signed up for the online True Scrap event - scrapbooking classes and tutorials on line, but "live" with other scrapbookers.  I think I am ready to upload and share content and chat with people on line... I've come a long way since I started my blog in August!

I have no idea how industry leaders and teachers like Jennifer McGuire, May Flaum and Noell Hyman and Laine Ehman are so consistent in their content and postings!  It takes so much time - not only to craft, but to take the pictures, crop and edit (which I admit I don't do very much of that), write the post and upload the images.

Here is a layout I completed earlier.




I used a kit from The Scrap Room for this one... plus added in some embellishments from my stash.  

Hope you get some crafty time this weekend!

Leslie

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A case of "at"...

Sometimes I don't know where to stop at.  I know I said that if we just keep working on a  project eventually it comes around.  But sometimes it doesn't.  I'm not loving this card.  I just kept working on it and adding things and taking them off, and searching for products to go with it, until it's just over done out of balance and not what I wanted.

I was experimenting with using spray mist to paint stamped images and I was going to run a sentiment or something along the center of the card.  That might be the first problem - I just didn't have a focal point planned.  I tried a large three dimensional butterfly, but the scale was all wrong (it was too big for the card) so I pulled it off.  Then I tried a rectangular image, but I didn't like the sentiment.  So I found the small square bird and I stitched it on.  But then it really needed more, so I added another stitched piece.  Now it feels out of balance, so I added a sentiment and sequins and a double layer of purple background paper and so on!  Yeah.  I didn't know where to stop at!

But it is what I've got for today and I will use this as adding to my experience... what is that quote from Mark Twain?  Something along the lines of, "Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."  It's just a card and I'll still send it - I'm just not going to sign it! haha


And I want to keep doing something to the card to "fix" it, but I am just going to be done with it!

Hope you create something you love today!

Leslie

Friday, October 10, 2014

Until Recently

Until recently, I didn't understand what my mother-in-law meant when she said, sometimes a person's best feature was also their worst.  Huh?  So for example, my middle child.  His best feature is that he is game for anything and is always optimistic and upbeat.  So how could this also be his worst feature?  Well, it means that he doesn't plan for contingencies and for things to go wrong... like at 11:55 p.m. when he is trying to turn in his assignment that is due by midnight.  And this is a lesson that has to be re-learned.  A lot.

So looking inward... I guess my creative, willing to dive in and try any messy, artsy technique is fun, but also disorganized.  I often spend more time looking for my Fiskar's trimmer and the tape runner than I do actually crafting.  Haha.  I used to be organized.  But it has been so long now, that I am not sure I can even claim that anymore.  I love being organized.  It is so much easier.  I really need to take some time to organize my craft room...maybe tomorrow.




One of the reasons I love using my Scrap Room kits (www.scrap-room.com) is because they come all together with everything you need to make a great two page layout (and more!).  This layout uses products from the kit and maybe a few extras from my own stash.  It came together really quickly.

Have a great weekend!

Leslie

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I just love...

I just love scrapbooking supplies!  I may have a bit of a problem.  I recognize it.  That's the first step, isn't it?  Recognizing the problem.  I have lots of scrapbook goodies.  I mean lots.  They are all just so pretty!

But I am taking steps to actually USE the supplies I have.  I have signed up for another one of May Flaum's classes.  If you haven't taken one of her classes yet, you need to!  I love her (classes).  I feel so inspired to create when I watch her videos.  Her current class is called Supplies on Hand and is all about using up your stash. Ok, so I may not be able to "use up" my stash - but I certainly have a lot of supplies on hand to use for all of these lessons.  I made a card this morning using washi tape (yup, bought a lot of it and haven't used a lot of it) as the background.  Then I used a bunch of flowers, brads and an old stick pin.  Can't wait to go make a few more cards using this technique.


Hope you can use up some of your supplies today!

Leslie

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sometimes...

Sometimes I've got nothing creative.  I've got so many ideas that are swirling around in my head, but actually sitting down and putting it together just isn't happening.  I don't have time is my familiar thought.  But I think that is just an excuse.  I can use all of my other to-do's as a reason not to head in to my craft room.  I think I need deadlines (even self imposed ones) to get a project done.  This is, of course, the excuse of every procrastinator I know!  I've got lots of ideas, I just need to get all of it out of my head and onto paper.  Does this happen to you?  Lots of great ideas, not a lot of action.

So I am going to share a layout I created a while back.  I like it.  It's clean and simple and makes me happy to remember that trip.  And that is what I need to focus on.  It's a recorded memory.  I had fun creating the pages.  I can see design "flaws" when I see them up on a computer screen.  But I just have to remember that the pages are for me and I like them.  No pressure.




I hope you can find some time for some happy crafting today!

Leslie

Monday, October 6, 2014

A hint of Fall

So I live in Texas.  It's hot.  Usually I like it.  But when October hits and cooler weather starts to tease us in the mornings, I kind of miss the New England fall weather.  I'm thinking of crisp air, leaves turning color and the smell of a fire in the fireplace.  I really want to wear all of my cute sweaters but it is just not time yet.

But in anticipation of fall, I am getting out some fall themed products and anticipating some cooler weather around the corner!





I have to admit, I don't miss winter!  Hope you are enjoying your weather!

Leslie

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Little bits and pieces

I often think of the line from a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon, "There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want!"  Ha, so true.  Or in my case, never enough time to do all the crafting I want.  I'd like to scrap all day and ignore everything piling up in the house - but it's just not possible.  And in this last week, we have jumped in and taken on an exchange student from France for the rest of the school year.  A replacement child for the one going to college?  Perhaps.  He needed a home and we have the room and the ability to do it.  He is a really nice kid and I think it's going to be a great experience for all of us.  But as a result of all of this excitement, the crafting has taken a back seat.

I listened to a podcast from The Scrap Gals (a recommendation from mrscraftyadams.blogspot.com) where they were talking about ideal conditions to scrapbook.  Clean house, no responsibilities, no laundry, hahaha.  I subscribe to the Mrs. Crafty Adams philosophy, that you just need to do it!  You can't wait for the ideal time, because it may never come.  I like to try and get a few minutes in here and a few minutes in there (sounds like Dr. Seuss) and just do something!  Just getting little bits and pieces of the layout finished whenever I can.  This layout is coming together quickly (in my mind) but it's taking some more time to ink the edges, glue down the pieces and finish up!  Here is the layout in progress.  Pardon the lousy photos... I still haven't implemented Lisa's tips and tricks for photographing layouts.




Hope you can find time to get a little bit or a small piece of crafting done!

Leslie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do you ever...

Do you ever get so excited to try a new technique or idea that you push other projects out of the way to start this new project and then another shiny object comes your way and the new project just doesn't get finished either?  

I consider myself a scrapbooker.  I have two scrapbook layouts all laid out and ready to be taped down with just some finishing touches to be added... but it seemed like "work" (haha) so I have them stacked on the corner of my desk.  I've been trying out new techniques on my scrapbook layouts - whether design ideas inspired by Noell Hyman at Paperclipping (www.paperclipping.com), or story ideas from Stacy Julian at Big Picture classes, or technique ideas from May Flaum (www.craftwithmay.com) but I got distracted.  By card making.

I'm kind of on a card making roll.  I have been taking all of these classes (online and in person, too) and have been filling my brain with all sorts of new techniques and ideas.  Even reinforcing old techniques and ideas too.  My brain is overflowing with ideas.  This is, of course, reflected in the massive amount of clutter in my scrapbooking room.  There are a lot of ideas and projects happening.  Really.  

The blog is motivating me to get projects finished.  It makes me feel like they have to get done.  I think sending my first child to college (and the other two to High School) may be bothering me more than I realized.  Adjustments.  But on the positive side, more time to craft!

Here is a scrapbook layout inspired by Noell Hyman:

I think it may need a title, but I've got nothing, so for now, it is being considered done.

And here are some cards I've been working on.  The first is based on my Richele Christensen class (www.californiaartgirl.blogspot.com) and the rest are my interpretation of that!



This was an unfinished card that has been on my desk for weeks (ok, maybe months), but it is now finished!

 This is inspired by May Flaum's Distress Ink class.  Stamping with water.  Brilliant.  Can't believe I had never thought of it before!  Told you I have been taking a lot of classes.


That's it for today!  Thanks for visiting.  Hope you have a crafty day!

Leslie




Monday, September 22, 2014

A bit of planning

I took my first "in person" class (in other words, not online) yesterday at my favorite local store, The Stamp Asylum.  It was so much fun, I met some crafty people, I made four awesome cards, and I learned some things - always a bonus.

I was a little apprehensive about taking a class because, unlike a scrapbook weekend where you are all working on your own pages, in this class we were all going to be making the same thing.  I wasn't sure how that was going to work.  But it was fun to use the class kits (everything was pre cut by the teacher - Richele Christensen - and did I mention she is part of the Tim Holtz team?  Automatic "rock star") so we just got to play with the inks and distress tools and glue.  No thinking involved.  Just relaxing.  It was like following a recipe (although I don't find that relaxing!) with the teacher there to answer questions.

Here is the card we made following Richele Christensen (www.californiaartgirl.blogspot.com) techniques:

Her card is full of details and layers.  It inspired me to create my own cards using her card as a template or "recipe" for my own designs.  Here is the card I made using hers as my inspiration:


Different, yet the same!  Here is what I learned from doing this on my own (no precut, ready to assemble parts):

You can never own too much Tim Holtz product! It is all good.
Don't glue/tape too early - plan a little bit first.  Embossed paper is hard to peel up to add ribbon behind it… um, don't ask how I know this!
The Tim Holtz distress tool really is better.  I now own one.
If you are using text paper with a die cut, you might want plan which direction the text will cut (so it is not sideways!)
Inking the edges of all those little pieces really does make it better.
The Distress Kraft Core paper is amazing - you can emboss and sand it to bring out the kraft color (see orange) and use it as the card base (see the dark brown).  The inside of the card is Kraft colored - easy to write on.
The Vagabond die cut machine is AWESOME! 
Don't wait to sign up for classes at Stamp Asylum - so fun.  

Hope you can get crafty today!

Leslie




Thursday, September 18, 2014

If it tastes good...

So we've all heard it when trying to be healthier, "If it tastes good, spit it out!"  I couldn't quite spit out the Trade Joe's Grand Slam Snack, including caramel coated popcorn and peanuts, almonds, cashews and pecans.  It was too good.  But darn.  I'm trying to make better choices - but I just love the "bad for you" stuff.  Back on track (now that I've finished eating that bag of popcorn!).

Speaking of great eats, I love this layout from our trip to Italy.  We indulged in some delicious focaccia bread from the region and some wonderful restaurants.  Look at those views.




I used a stencil and some Tim Holtz Distress paint to make the border based on a video in Paperclipping.com.  It was fun to get paints and stencils out on a scrapbook page instead of for a card background.  I love the colors because the reminded me of all of the colorful houses built into the cliffs.  All of these towns in the Cinque Terre, Italy are right at the edge of the sea.  The views are just stunning!  (And the food is good too).

At least we did lots of walking that trip to balance out the eating.

Hope you can find some balance in your day today!

Leslie

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Details, Details

It's the little details that make all of the difference.  I watched another May Flaum video (www.craftwithmay.com) on using Tim Holtz Distress Inks.  I can't really take credit for this card because it is kind of "scrap-lifted" straight from her.  It came out so stinkin' cute, I'm not going to lie. 

But it was a lot of steps.  It came together quickly and it was fun.  But it was a lot of little details! And the biggest for me was changing that darn bobbin.  I don't know why it takes me like 5 tries before I get it.  The black thread just kind of makes it though, don't you think?  

I used one color (yup, just one) on the background (Tim Holtz, Wild Honey).  First blending in the color then stamping with it.  Who knew it would look so different (well I guess Tim Holtz and May Flaum would know) but it was a simple way to get depth on the background.  The doily absorbed some distress ink (wiped up after a previous project and saved for now), and the tag was made for teacher gifts (last year) and this was an extra one.  I stamped with the mini blueprints leaf image (yes, a Tim Holtz stamp) and cut the leaf out and adhered with pop dots.  I've always struggled to put a tag on a card and have it look integrated and not just "plopped" on there (to use the technical term).  I'm feeling pretty good about this one.  I could have overlapped things a little more to make it a bit more cohesive, but overall I am pleased with it.

And my hubby gets high marks for his very enthusiastic response when I showed him the card.  I'll say thanks to May!


Here is hoping you can add just the right details to your day!

Leslie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where does the day go?

I mean seriously, we wake up, everybody scrambles out the door (it doesn't matter how early we get up - it is always a scramble to make it out with everything in hand!) and the next thing I know it is the end of the day!  haha.  At least it feels that way!  I, of course, plan on exercising (so far that is a fail) but instead sit at the computer.  Oh, yes.  Well that explains everything, I think!  I watch a crafty video or class, post on Facebook (not scrappy stuff there) and sit and write a blog post.  There goes the morning!  Afternoons are spent trying to wrangle laundry, keep up with dishes, dogs and did I mention laundry?  Any errands that need to be done (Mom, I need a compass for my math homework and math test today!) and any hope of crafting needs to be squeezed in the afternoon before everyone is back home.  Between school activities, homework and after school activities the evening is done.

But I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.  I love a statement by Stacy Julian (long time expert in scrapbooking and Big Picture Classes owner/teacher) where she says something along the lines of, "Day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different."  Pretty profound.  Makes me happy to be capturing moments in time with this hobby.

Here are some moments in time with my mom and daughter.  So glad we took some "girl" pics in addition to our family ones.




I used a Scrap Room kit (www.scrap-room.com) for this page, as well as some chipboard pieces I painted and stamped.  I painted and stamped them prior to working on the page with no idea how or when I was going to use them and yet they seemed to work great on this (the very next layout I worked on).  

Hope you can enjoy a piece of your day today!

Leslie

Monday, September 15, 2014

Some Messy fun

I have to remind myself sometimes that it is just paper.  It's ok to rip it and paint it and use it up.  There are times I just don't want to cut into that pretty paper.  Seriously?  That is why I bought it!  To use it.  I did clean my desk a little… just enough to work on some scrapbook layouts, but not enough to photograph it for everyone to see.  I am always amazed at how many little pieces, scraps and embellishments that are just sitting out on my desk seem to coordinate with whatever layout or card I am working on.  It pays to have lots of stuff.  I'm just saying.

I got out some paints and punches and made a mess.  It was fun to try some different techniques on my scrapbook pages (instead of for cards).  I'm not sure I am really following any design principals… more like adding items to cover up paint splotches where I  might have been overzealous with my paint brush.  But I like how it looks and I'm calling it done.  It probably needs a title.  But nothing is coming to me and I'm ready to move on.  I might add a title later when I move the finished layouts from the stack on a shelf into an actual album.  But I might not.  Just not going to spend anymore time on it.  It's good (enough)!




Hope you can make a mess today!

Leslie

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just Do It!

So I was going to procrastinate this card.  I had all of the pieces and I wasn't sure what to do with it all. I put it aside to deal with later… but then I realized I needed to just get it done.  Finished is better than perfect.  It is the advice I have been giving my daughter.  She is a little overwhelmed with the jump to high school and the increased work load and her cheerleading responsibilities and service league activities and pressure for THE FUTURE etc, etc.  So rather than having melt downs and being incapable of doing anything, it is better to break it down and get it done.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

I really want to be getting back to some scrapbooking projects - I think I have three 2-page layouts in various stages of assembly stacked up on my desk and about a 6x6 inch area of clear working space!  Hence the reason I have been making cards… they require way less room to work.  Perhaps I should stop procrastinating getting that scrap room cleaned… or maybe I will break it down and just tackle the desk.  I'll take a picture if I manage to make it presentable!

Here is the card I did get finished today:




More glitter - told you it was addictive!  A little Distress Paint on top of some old scrapbook paper and a few rhinestones to finish it off.  It may not be perfect, but it is finished.  And today, that is just fine with me!

Hope you finish something today.

Leslie