Monday, December 11, 2017

December Daily: Title Page & Intentions

I've had the idea for my December Daily title page in my head for months. I knew I wanted to use the transparency sheet from the Messy Box kit and that I would use coordinating glitter Thickers to write out the year. The rest of it came together pretty easily. It's simple, and that's what I need this year.

You can see my process in the video below.

December is always a busy month for us, and this year is no exception. I'll likely be finishing most of my album in the new year, so in case I'm not back here before, happy holidays to you all! And happy scrapping!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December Daily: Plan & Supplies

This is my 7th year of December Daily. Some years have definitely been more successful than others, but I've at least attempted a December Daily project since 2011. If you're not familiar with December Daily, it's a month-long project created by the genius memory-keeper Ali Edwards.

This year I chose to keep it pretty simple. I'm using a 4x6 album from Ali's store and the coordinating kit designed by Kelly Purkey (still available as a physical or digital kit). The kit is a couple years old, and I actually purchased it earlier this year during a sale.

You can hear more about my plans in the video below.

Are you doing a December Daily album this year? I'd love to hear your plans.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

February Kit & Update

Yes, I do realize it is nearly August, and I am just now posting about my February kit. I have been woefully remiss in posting to this blog, and I feel dreadfully guilty about it.

The good news, if it can really be considered news at all, is that I'm not so far behind in actually using my kits as I have been in posting about them. So I have lots to catch you up on, starting with the contents of my February kit. 

For each kit, I started with an inspiration piece and built the rest of the kit around it. For the February kit, that piece was this super old sheet of cut-apart tabs from Evalicious. 

For the 12x12 patterned papers, I chose ones that stayed within the pastel color palette, even though there are a few brighter elements on the tabs. Since I planned to use this kit in February, I thought the brighter colors might be too much of a contrast with my winter photos. The papers are from a variety of manufacturers and collections, including Becky Higgins, Echo Park, American Crafts, and Dear Lizzy. I also included two sheets of cardstock, one an embossed teal and the other a super soft pink, as well as a printed vellum from the Dear Lizzy Neopolitan collection. Can you believe all of these were in my stash and completely untouched?! 🙄

The 6x6 papers are a mixture of Studio Calico, Maggie Holmes, and Pink Paislee. The 4x6 and 3x4 cards are mostly from past Studio Calico kits, with a few from Becky Higgins Project Life kits and pads.

For alphas, I included an old, partially used set of chipboard Thickers in black and a small, pink alpha from a past Studio Calico kit. The embellishments are a mish-mash of things, including some Heidi Swapp frames and rub-ons, a Dear Lizzy sticker pad, some bits from past Studio Calico kits, and even some Smash journaling cards. I also added a sampling of washi and sequins from my stash.

And that's the Febraury kit! In my next post, I'll share the layouts and card that I made using this kit. I also have not forgotten that I promised to share my Project Life status in my last post, and I plan to share that very soon. So check back for lots more crafty fun! 😉

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

January Kit Update

Yes, I know it's June. Sometimes living life gets in the way of sharing it.

So today I wanted to give you an update on how I used my January kit. In case you've forgotten, this year I decided to abandon all of my kit subscriptions and create my own monthly kits from my overflowing stash in an attempt to use what I have. You can read more about my decision and see the contents of my January kit here.

First of all, I want to tell you that the monthly kits are working out perfectly...well, almost perfectly, but we'll get to that later. I am a bit behind in using them up, but I'm working my way through them. My goal for each kit was to use to create at least 3 layouts, 1 card, and my monthly Project Life spread. So far I've been able to do that plus some. I loaded these kits with plenty of products.

Back to the January kit. I love that I was able to get three very different looks from this one kit.

This layout is definitely my favorite. I stuck to papers that were grey, blue, green, and yellow, leaving out the pinks. I'm usually at a loss when it comes to using floral stickers on my pages, but with a little inspiration (found here) I was able to incorporate them in a fun way. Love the way this turned out!

The second layout is a traditional 12x12. I challenged myself to use one of the doilies from the kit, something I very rarely use. It turned out a little "girly" for my taste, but with all the pinks in this kit, I guess that was bound to happen. I didn't have a pink mist to match, so I mixed up some watercolors to create the splatters. Overall, I think it turned out nicely.

I have to be honest, I'm not in love with this third layout. the watercolor didn't work out the way I had planned, and it warped the cheap cardstock I had on hand. The layers are a little off to my eye, and the stamping may have been a mistake. I'm not in love with it, but I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes. 

A friend of mine had a birthday in February, so I decided to use the kit to make her birthday card. I'm not normally a card-maker, which is part of the reason I challenged myself to make a card every month with these kits. I'm actually really happy with the way it turned out, even if the ink did smudge a bit on the title. It's very simple, but I think it's kinda cute. I even made the envelope myself from a paper in the kit. :)

That just leaves the Project Life pages from January, which I'll share in another post. I have a bit more to say about how these kits are working (or not) for Project Life, and this post is long enough as it is.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Day 10 / 100

I'm cheating. I made this printable yesterday, but I never got the chance to post it. So technically it really is #10, even though I'm posting it on day 11. I make my own rules.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Day 8 / 100

Today is National Library Workers Day, and I'm a card-carrying librarian, so I knew I had to do something book related. These fit the bill.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Day 7 / 100

Another day missed, but as my mom would say, "Too bad, so sad, oh well."

On to day 7. This one was inspired by #siblingsday and my crazy siblings.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day 5 / 100

It's only day 5, and I've already missed a day. 😞 Oh well, I'm not giving up.

So here are today's printables. I felt this sentiment was appropriate on many levels today.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 3 / 100

Two of my coworkers are going to see My Favorite Murder live in Indianapolis tonight, but it sold out before I could get tickets. :(

Instead I've been listening to episodes all day and doing my best to SSDGM.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day 2 / 100

Because the Grouch Anthem has been on replay in my head on this rainy, April day.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Day 1 / 100

Day 1 of The 100 Day Project. I figured this sentiment would be appropriate. Feel free to download and use these images in your crafty endeavors, and please let me know if you do. I'd love to see them in action!


Do you know about The 100 Day Project? I followed along with Elise as she participated last year, but I honestly didn't know much about until earlier this week. The 100 Day Project is a free global art project that anyone can participate in, started by Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thompson. The purpose of it, as I understand it, is to make time to be creative and to pursue something that interests and inspires you. You pick one thing and you do that thing for 100 consecutive days, beginning today, April 4th.

I loved the concept immediately, and I knew I wanted to participate...but I had no clue what I wanted to do. I thought about it for days, turning different ideas over in my head, trying to decide if they would work for me. I considered photography. I thought about cardmaking. I even briefly considered digging out my acrylic paints. But ultimately, I knew I needed to choose something that didn't require much in the way of supplies and that could be done pretty much anywhere.

So I chose #100daysofprintables. Each day, starting today, and for the next 100 days, I'll be creating a digital print that I can use for Project Life or scrapbooking or even just to frame, and I'll be sharing those prints with all of you here on the blog.

This is something I have wanted to do for so very long, and something that I'm excited to finally tackle. They won't all be artistically great. I'm still learning about design and have yet to master Adobe's Creative Suite, so I fully expect to make mistakes. But I'm learning, and hopefully this project will push me to learn at a greater speed than I have been.

So I hope you'll consider playing along, or at least follow along as attempt this project. Here's to new challenges!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Monthly Kits

As I've mentioned before, part of moving to our new house involves some serious down-sizing. Our new house is about 900 square feet; that's about a quarter of the size of our previous home. And there is only one bedroom, which means no separate offices and no craft room.

As someone who has amassed a shitload of supplies over the last 20-or-so years, that was a hard pill for me to swallow initially. But I've come to terms with the fact that my habits are going to have to, I've more than come to terms with it, I've embraced it. I'm ready for change. I'm ready for new challenges. And I'm ready to have less stuff to deal with.

What I'm not ready to do is to simply toss all the things I've collected over the years. There are a lot of supplies in my stash that I still love, even if they are a little out of date or out of trend. So instead of getting rid of everything and continuing to collect new things, I made a pact with myself. I cancelled the Studio Calico Documenter Kit subscription that I've had for over two years and instead decided to make my own kits from things I already own. 

My goal for 2017 is to limit what I buy to essentials (page protectors, glue runners, etc.) and a small amount of digital products. Other than that, I want to only use things that I already have. It's a big goal, and I'm almost positive that I will slip up at some point, but that's okay. I will still be adding less to my stash than I have in past years, and more importantly, I will be using the things I already have and love. 

For each kit I tried to stick to a kind of recipe so that I would be sure to have enough to work with but wouldn't add too much and overwhelm myself. Each kit has two sheets of 12x12 colored cardstock, 10-12 12x12 patterned papers, 8-10 sheets of 6x6 paper, 8-10 of both 4x6 & 3x4 journaling cards, alpha stickers, washi tape strips, and various other embellishments. 

When I sat down to make the kits, I started by picking twelve of my favorite items from my stash, then built a kit around each item, keeping seasons and holidays in mind. Each kit is coordinated and completely different from the others. 

I had more than enough in my stash to make 12 kits, and I can't even tell you how fun it was to put them together. I have all of them packaged up and waiting for me to rediscover at the beginning of each month. 

I also set some goals for using the contents of each kit, like I want to make more traditional layouts and even try my hand at card-making, in addition to continuing with project life. And there's plenty in each kit to do all of that. 

Now the only thing left to do is get this house finished enough that I have space to actually make something!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Home Sweet Home

We bought our first home in 2004. It was the summer before my senior year in college, and we knew we'd be around for at least another year, so it seemed like a solid move.

It was definitely a fixer-upper. We removed fake wood panelling from nearly every room in the house, took down rickety make-shift closets, and had a list a mile-long of other things we hoped to accomplish while we were there.

A year later, when I had finished school, and we had managed to make a small dent in our list, J was given the opportunity to work in Vancouver, B.C., and we took it. We left our little house for the big city, and when we returned six months later, our priorities had shifted. We were ready to move on to bigger and better things.

Luckily our little house was located in a college town, and there were no shortage of renters. So we finished as many of our to-do list items as we could, and our little house became a rental.

Fast forward 8 years to the fall of 2015. I was living in an apartment in a small town in southern Indiana while working as the local library director, and J was still living in our country house three hours north of there. It was hard and stressful and lonely for both of us.

Then our thoughts returned to our little rental house. It was half way between the two places, within driving distance to both of our jobs. So after much thought, we decided to move back home.

Being a rental for 8 years had taken a toll on our little house. It was in need of some serious TLC. We started renovations in August of 2015 with the intent of being done by the end of September. Oh, how optimistic we were!

Renovations never go exactly as planned, and now, a year and 5 months later, we are just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That means that for the last 17 months we have been living in a construction zone. The word "chaos" doesn't do it justice. 

I wanted to share this to give you some context to my life as it is right now. So many of my decisions over the last several months and my goals for the next year have come from this place of chaos and the need to feel more grounded and settled. 

I couldn't be happier to be back in a town that feels as much like home to be as anyplace ever could, with old friends I've missed terribly, and in a house I know I will truly feel at home in. But it's been a long road getting here, and we still have a long road ahead to finish what we've started. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hello, 2017

I don't do resolutions. I don't make big sweeping statements about radical changes I intend to make just because I flipped a page on the calendar. It's not realistic. And I know myself well enough to know that I will buck against any rules I try to set for myself.

But I do believe in the power of goal-setting. I set goals for myself all the time. Some of those goals are well thought out and have a support system in place to help me keep them. Some of the goals I set are more like wishful thinking. Clearly one method works better than the other.

So for the start of 2017, in an effort to put last year behind me and focus on the coming months, I have set some goals. Goals that I have been thinking about for quite some time. Goals that I have done the work of creating support for. Goals that I am invested in enough to not simply blow-off in a week or two.

I'm excited about the changes these goals will effect, both physical and mental, and I hope to share more about them over the next several weeks.

What goals have you made for yourself for 2017?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016 In Review

Let's be real here. 2016 was a total shit show.

All of my plans went to crap, and I spent the year living in a house without a kitchen or most of a bathroom. It was stressful and depressing, and I'm pretty sure it took a good five years off my life.

...And that's not even mentioning the things that happened outside of my personal life. Ugh.

To say that I'm glad 2016 is over is an understatement. If I could have kicked 2016 is the ass as it headed out the door, I totally would have.

So here's to hoping 2017 is a better year. And just to start the year on a positive note, let me recap the handful of good things that happened in 2016.

J had the opportunity to spend two weeks in India. While that doesn't sound like a good thing to me, he had been looking forward to it and hoping it would happen in 2016. He met some great people, had some interesting experiences, and brought back presents, so it was a win-win.

We had the chance to spend lots of time with friends, including camping for a week and attending the John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom for the fourth year.

J and I also got the chance to get away, just us and the dogs. We spent a week in Michigan on Glen Lake, and I will never get over how beautiful it us up there. 

We added a new member to our family. Nacho kitty has been great for Scrunchy the demon cat. Scrunch has completely given up attacking us and now saves all of her pent up frustrations for Nacho. Plus Nacho is the sweetest, cuddliest kitty I have ever known.

Abi completed her therapy dog training, and she was a rock star. All that's left is for her to take the final test, and then she'll be a certified therapy dog. Not bad for an old girl.

My mom and I drove to Kansas to spend the weekend with family at the Whatever Craft House. It was amazing. We had so much fun (maybe a little too much, eh mom?), and the house was gorgeous. I'm so glad we were able to make it happen.

And that about covers the positives for the year. So adios 2016. Here's to a better year ahead!