Life without patterns

I had pretty much convinced myself that I couldn't create anything without patterned paper. And really...why would I want to? With all those amazing papers in the stores (and on my shelves), reverting to solid cardstock just seemed so...well...boring!

But the class I'm teaching at Michael's -- Scrapbook Design & You -- encourages students to start out using only solid colors and add patterns in later. While I don't completely agree that this is the easiest way to put a page together, I thought I should at least give it a try. If nothing else, it was an interesting challenge.

The only papers I used on this were Bazzill cardstock in four colors (Hollywood, Dahlia, Love Potion and Glacier, if you care about the names).

But I have to give a shout out to my friend Martha -- if it weren't for those Martha Stewart Butterfly punches, I think I would've struggled. Hmmm...maybe my next challenge should be to create a page without using punches. Naaah...too hard.

I'm a big fan of doing the title on a curve, especially when there's a handy-dandy circle just calling out for a title. One last butterfly topped with a few Making Memories pins and some sheer ribbon...yep, that'll do it.

This was my first layout using the new pink ATG from Scotch. After trying it at CHA, I convinced myself it was a must-have, and I found it at Michael's last week for a little over $20 (after the coupon). It's taking some getting used too -- this thing is gi-normous! But once I get my technique down, I'm sure I'm going to love it.

The Rules

I've never really been a fan of rules. No, I'm not an anarchist; just a girl who thinks common sense is usually a lot more valuable than a list of do's and don'ts. But sometimes rules can be a good reminder of things we take for granted.

I've had the Maya Road Dress Form chipboard on my shelf for a while and couldn't decide what to do with it. A few weeks ago, as I was playing around in my craft room, I started thinking about some of the "rules" that I should adopt as a crafty girl -- a few basic principles that I'll always live by.

It soon evolved into my "Rules for a Crafty Life."

Appropriately enough, one of my rules is to "Break the Rules"

I made the spiral flowers out of an old sewing pattern. The tissue paper twists up beautifully.

Paper and embellishments are from the Pebbles Treehouse collection.

Thanks for stopping by!

New perspectives

This weekend has been a bit of an adventure. Our upstairs air-conditioning went out -- conveniently during some of the hottest days of the summer -- and I couldn't stand to be in my scrap room for the two days until it got fixed. It forced me to watch movies that were sitting on my DVR for way too long and check out some new message boards to talk about (what else?) scrapbooking.

Another adventure was turning the camera on myself. As I was flipping through old scrapbooks, I realized that there are only a handful of pages with photos of me. It's not because I don't have anything to say. It's mostly that I'm on the wrong side of the camera all the time. So I fixed that:

I used one of the kits from Paper Poppy (I think it was the July one) and based it roughly on the sketch from their blog this month. Want some detail shots?

The flower was made from a doily (which I smushed a bit in the center to turn it into a flower). Then I topped with a ribbon flower, a little patterned paper, some baker's twine and a button.

The journaling includes several truths about me -- some well-known and some that I try to keep under wraps. But journaling is all about honesty, right?

Admittedly, there's a lot going on in that layout. When I stepped back and looked at the finished product, it occurred to me that I've veered off from the simpler style I used to have. So I challenged myself to create a layout in 15 minutes or less, and here's what I came up with:

Same kit, totally different look. And it took less than 15 minutes. Yes, I can still do "simple." But the great thing is that I have options.

Options are good.

Flying high

Ever since I returned from CHA, I have this incredible urge to crank out new projects. I guess the creativity was contagious.

I've been pulling out some kits I got earlier this year and playing around with them, and I found the Noel Mignon kit from May, which is seriously one of the biggest, most chock-full-of-treasures kits I've ever seen. Here's what I made:

As soon as I pulled these tags out of the bag, I knew I wanted to do the title this way. I love the way it turned out.

Here's a close-up of the journaling...a little note to my older daughter:

There are probably over a dozen different manufacturers represented in this layout. Let's see if I can name them: Pink Paislee (background paper), My Mind's Eye (die-cut paper, journaling spot), GCD Studios (gingham paper), Little Yellow Bicycle (ruler paper), Prima (flowers), October Afternoon (rubon), KI Memories (lace paper and flair button), Making Memories (pink ribbon), 7 Gypsies (tags and rubons), American Crafts (letter stickers), Elle's Studio (journaling spot), Jenni Bowlin (buttons), Ranger (Distress Ink), Glue Arts, Beacon Adhesives

Okay, so that was actually 15 manufacturers in one layout. That might be a new record for me. But that's why I love kits -- they make it easy to mix things up!

How 'bout them apples?

Thanks for all the love on my sketch layout. It sounds like I'm not the only one who's loving the Apple Cider collection these days. Here's one more layout I did with this collection and a photo that is one of my all-time favorites.

Here's a close-up of the flower I made. The leaves are cut from sticky-back canvas, then painted with Making Memories paint and misted with Glimmer Mist in Tattered Leather.

I added i-rock studs on the corners of the title block for a little extra pop.

I love the denim stickers in this line -- see the basket of apples and the red apple? So fun!

Speaking of the i-rock, did you see the HUGE giveaway on the Imaginisce blog that was posted today? It includes an album, plus a ton of i-rock goodies, so be sure to check it out!