Thursday, April 16, 2015

Scrapbooking Kit Roundup

I have been such a bad, bad blogger. I like blogging, I really do - because I like to talk and it’s kind of like having a conversation with yourself. That doesn’t sound crazy at all.  I started instagramming earlier this year and that’s where I post almost every day. But I miss the time capsule that the blog creates,  so here I am again.

Where to start though? How about at the beginning – this is what I was up to in January:


When it’s cold and dreary and snowy, this is where you can find me. I miss the light and the living.  The only thing that keeps me from falling into a funk is making things. I spent so much time at my desk this winter. In January, I worked with the Scraptastic This Must be the Place kit to create these pages:



I love going back in time to when Nico was a baby and telling a story. I keep journals so the story is from 2005 although the making occurred in 2015. If I close my eyes, I can remember exactly what he smelled like at this age – heaven. That I miss, the sleep deprivation I wrote about, not so much.



Scrapbooking sunny days makes the dark days better right? I remember pulling this photo out and wanting to tell the story of California and all the shopping I did before our trip. A whole new wardrobe of dresses and accessories for my niece and her love of all things sparkly and aqua. I had a really hard time with this design. I wanted to highlight the softness of the ombre pink and floral papers and at the same time give it a bit of ‘edge’. I tried to do that with the triangle up in the left corner. I’m not sure if it really works though. It’s one of those pages I look at and go hmmm??


This photo just makes me laugh. Screaming, mouth wide open – yep, that’s me on a ride. I love that my husband captured this. Here I wanted to use the frame stamp and highlight bits of cardstock in shades of yellow and aqua. It doesn’t really tie into the screaming theme, I just wanted to try the technique. I took this apart several times, searching for the balance between not enough and too much. I wanted to highlight the stamping, but not at the cost of the photo. Keeping the title white on white and using a bold black and white print at the top, gives it an interesting yet minimal look. I loved the way this one turned out in the end (even if it took me days to work out).
  
The versatility is what I love most about the Scraptastic Kits. When I can take one box of supplies and create three very different pages (soft, feminine and graphic) – I know I have a winner.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Designed 01 | Connections




collection
Pebbles We Go Together, American Crafts Alpha, Amy Tangerine Thickers.

story
These photos are a series of shots that we took at one of our new favorite places – Smashburger! A French fry was thrown, a kid in a neighboring booth stopped to stare at us and then it just descended into a typical Damiano silly fest. I couldn't stop laughing at the kid's expression. My son (the true product of a scrapbooker Mom) just kept snapping away. So while I started to tell the story of how Smashburger came to town and how much we love it, the photos show who we are. I merged the stories so you get the 'facts' + the personality.


design tips |
  • Photos that are badly lit (like these) are made so much better by converting to black and white.
  • The 2-inch black American Crafts alphabet was perfect for a bold statement - any alpha this size is going to scream for attention.  The placement just under the photos draws the eye as if to say "look here first." Which is exactly what I want!
  • Add random text and shape stamping in a bold color (red here) to a block of journaling text. Notice that adding a tiny bit of red in this area creates a visual triangle (from the red date stamp at the bottom, to the red card, and then the red stamping in the journaling).
  • Black and white photos can often handle the weight of a very bold design. Notice how the pictures are still front and center even though there is so much going on here!
  • It's all about connections. The scripty "the" word and puffy heart connect the cheeseburger/fries card to the title visually. The finishing touches of black paint splatters, enamel dots, date stamp and wood veneer connect the script and blocky parts of the title. Notice that from the wood arrows and flair all the way down to the last of the black splatters create a diagonal line of embellishments - that's not random! Connecting the parts is important for creating designs that work.
I hope you enjoyed my attempt at explaining the whys and hows of what I do. Telling the story through words and photos and design is what I love. So I'm going to stick to what I know and make it a goal to continue this series.  I think that taking the process apart and explaining it will help me grow and push the design envelope (which only has straight lines naturally right?). ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Disneyland Carsland Opener


STORY | This will be the first page of my Disneyland album this year. It's the reason we went after all. The kids picked California because they wanted to visit Carsland. It's one of the handful of photos that we have of our group and is perfect for telling this story.

DESIGN | I kept this design pretty straightforward and simple. I started with the bold polka dot print to ground the large, bold photo. I placed the photo right where the pattern meets the white card stock. This is a major focal point and it's where your eye goes immediately! 

The target card in a pretty, contrasting teal color repeats the circle shape and balances out the photo. The large white star fades into the background and adds some shape and texture to the white area. The bold black and white word bubble stickers point right to the journaling - so the story doesn't get lost.

KIT | Counting Stars Kit by Scraptastic (February 2015)

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Disney Class + Magic Memory Keepers Podcast


Blogging and chatting today about some of my favorite subjects - Disney and Scrapbooking! I sat down with Tracie Claiborne of Magic Memory Keepers and we talked about how to document trips to the Happiest Place on Earth. I hope that you'll listen and let me know what you think!


To listen to the podcast click here or look for it on your iTunes app.

What seems like a lifetime ago, I taught a Scrapbooking Family Vacation class at the now closed Two Peas in a Bucket. One of my favorite lessons in that class was a chapter dedicated to Disney scrapbooking. Unfortunately, the video is no longer available but everything I created with ideas and notes is included in a PDF that you can download here Happy Disney scrapping!



As I was preparing for the interview and this post, I came across some of my favorite Disney pages. I thought I'd share those here as well:































Monday, November 24, 2014

Scraptastic November Kit + Maggie Holmes Open Book

My goal this month was to design two layouts that were radically different with the November Scraptastic kit. At first look, the Shake it Off kit has a very soft, feminine feel to it. I started at that jumping point and chose to highlight this photo of my niece at the Bippity Boppity Boutique in Disneyland. It was my favorite shot from our trip – the look on her face is just priceless!


The intricate design of the wood veneer complemented the ‘fancy’ feel of the photo. I painted it with a thin coat of watered-down, white acrylic paint so it wouldn’t steal the spotlight from the photo. It is that beautiful! I also thought it would be the perfect “o” to my “xo” title. The idea for that came from the rub-on on the side of the photo that reads: ‘I love everything about this’. I do and I wanted that sentiment to be front and center.
My challenge here was to go with a bold palette, use at least 3 photos and a tiny title. The complete opposite of the “XO” page. The kit has so many versatile patterns and colors that it was easier to do this than I had anticipated.
First, I picked out the heart patterned paper and two coordinating cardstock colors. Then I laid out the photos in a grid design adding a spot for journaling. Next, Iayered a small veneer title, die cut card and embellished tag for pops of color and dimension.


The finishing touch came at the end with the three layers of triangle photo corners in the lower left side. Stitching the edges, using two different patterns and stacking them gives this area of the layout weight and that something ‘special’ detail. On the opposite corner, I used the patterned heart paper to balance the design out.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Simple Stories Life Documented Planner: Here We Go!


Here it goes, I’m jumping into the planner craze! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Google “planner addict” and you will see!
I knew this was something I would love. I’ve kept many planners over the years, but stopped in favor of the iPhone a while back. There’s something about seeing all of my plans and ideas on paper that I have really missed. Add stickers, organization + colored pens and this stationery loving girl is sold. Plus, every once in a while I peek at my old planners and it’s nice to see what my life was like as a college student. It’s a time capsule that makes me smile. My priorities and to-do’s have changed radically.

The Simple Stories Life Documented planner collection is perfectly bold, colorful and graphic – just my style! Watch this video if you’d like to see how I set up my planner and how I will be using it:



Happy planning!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scraptastic Heart it Races Kit


This month I've been working with the Scraptastic Heart it Races Kit and Add-On. I chose this set to work with because I love all the bright colors and graphic feel. It can be used for so many different types of pages and that's what I tried to do this month - a mix of every day, vacation, girl centered and neutral layouts.


This file folder paper from Maggie Holmes latest collection is one of my favorites. I cut it up here and used it to balance out a enlarged photo from my son's birthday party. The story is about our tradition of gathering the balloons and doing a release at the end of all his parties. It's one of my favorite moments and I was lucky enough to have this picture of it.
This page was built around the colorful "paint swish" paper from Chickaniddy's Scrumptious collection. I thought it would make the perfect backdrop for some of our Disneyland photos. This one is the moment the kids first hit Main Street in all their silly glory.
The last layout was created around another favorite pattern - the stacked titles in this bright Studio Calico paper. It gave me a great girl palette to work with. The story here is about just that - the little girl in our lives and how even in the midst of boy centric Legoland, she finds the brightest pink girl spot.
Three very different pages all created with one kit. That's what I love about Scraptastic and how they put things together. The kits are packed and the palettes work with all types of photos. Makes my life easier for sure!




















Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Earlier in the month I was tagged by one of my favorite scrapbookers, Kim Jeffress to participate in the Scrappy Blog Tour. And I failed big time. Back to school, a last minute vacation, football and life just rolled into one big time sucker and blogging took a hit.  I made time to create (because I have to or I’ll die), but writing – not so much. Then time goes by and I’m not sure where to start or what to say. So I decided to begin with a simple Q&A from the hop. I can do that.

1.       What are you working on now? 
      A magazine cover project, a Disneyland page and project life for September. This is what my desk looks like right now:


2.       How long does it take to create a project?  
       2-3 hours usually. But I’ve also taken days. If something is not working, I’ll set it aside and start on another project until I figure out what’s not working.

3.       What are your favorite things to create with right now?  
      Acrylic paint (inspired by Wilna Furstenburg especially), the Shimelle collection and the monthly kit from Scraptastic. This is a peek at some of the things I've bought this month:

4.       How does your creative process work?  
      My pages usually begin with a story and the I find the product to support it. That’s my favorite way to create. Most of my kit club pages begin like this. But when I work for a manufacturer or a magazine, then it’s usually product first and then matching a story to it. This is definitely more difficult but I like the challenge (most of the time).

5.       How do you become inspired and stay inspired?  
       Little doses of Pinterest, but not too much or I just get crippled with sensory overload. And color. I love working with color.

6.       What is your signature style?  
      This is a hard one, because I don’t think I have a really defined style. I like clean lines and bold colors. I like to try to meld current trends with those two staples and that makes me happy!

7.       Who inspires you?  
      I have an eclectic group of favorite scrappers. Jill Sprott, Wilna Furstenburg, Shimelle, Kim Jeffress,  Mel Blackburn, Leanne Allison, Melissa Mann, Nicole Nowosad, and Susan Weinroth.  Each one for a different reason. Some for their words and smarts, some for their photography and style and some for their artsy souls. I have a long list, but those are the first ones that came to mind.

Thanks Kim for nominating me! Maybe this will pull me back from the world of Insta and back to blogging regularly.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Diagonal Love

Sometimes I find myself following a diagram of sorts when I start a page. A design that I've done over and over again comes naturally, but sometimes I get bored. That's when I know it's time to shake things up.

Creating on a diagonal line is not new, I've seen it all over Pinterest. But it's new to me and it was a challenge to put my own spin on it. I kept super clean lines, bright colors and a line of stamping to make it my own.
This corner cluster started with the two small photos and then I just kept building out until I reach the corner of the page.
I continued the layer on the opposite side with larger pieces. My favorite is this colorful, hexagon print transparency from American Crafts.
All of the items on this page are from the July 2014 Scraptastic kit Summer Nights. The photos, the kids and the story are all mine. :) 





Friday, August 8, 2014

In the summertime....Simple Stories + Scraptastic

I've gotten so many ideas and pages from the Scraptastic's July Sail kit. I'm not sure if it's the cool nautical vibe or the fact that I'm desperately trying to hang on to what's left of summer. 

It seems like we just came back from California and I love looking back at these pictures. One of our favorite days was a very laid back afternoon on Mission Bay. The kids chose to rent a speedboat instead of going to the zoo. I think they were all theme parked out. 
I love everything about this sticker (the colors, the icons, the text) and I was determined to work it into the design. Adding a circle of handstitching and some random stickers, sequins and a date stamp give some lift to the flatness of it.
 Layers of patterned paper gave me a pop of turquoise and a shelf to put the title on. I used a little swipe of turquoise paint on the white wood background to soften the edges of the linear design.
This page speaks to me. It highlights pictures that make me smile, a good memory and pretty layers of paper. It doesn't get better than that for me!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Painted Backgrounds

This picture of Nico makes me laugh, it so him. Laid back + funny + waiting on the world to cater to him. That's my kid. The sole picture tells the story perfectly so it's all I needed. That left we with a lot of space to get creative. I started the canvas by brushing some acrylic paint on the white background to match the aqua in the photo.
 All of the things I used on this page came from Scraptastic's July Sail kit. While it has a definite nautical theme, it also includes a lot of pieces that can be used for telling any story.


 The circle die cut is the perfect place to add little bit and pieces. I love details - they're one of my favorite things to design.
I cut up strips of aqua paper and layered them under the photos and embellishments. This adds a layer of texture and shape to the base. I used Staz-On ink to stamp on the painted background.


The paint anchors everything on the layout. It made putting the rest of pieces together easy and highlights the photo. Layers of tags by Scraptastic and a journaling card from Carta Bella add just the right punch of bright color.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marco Island meets Scraptastic Ki

DESIGN NOTES:  I was recently sorting through a big pile of layouts, putting things away when I came across this layout created not so long ago with the Worth Wondering kit over at Scraptastic. It's based on a sketch that the team worked with in April. I love that we get to work with sketches, it frees me up to concentrate on color and embellishment and less on figuring out how things are going to fit together. My favorite part (other than the photos) are the stitched circles. They add movement, texture and ground all the important elements of the design.
THE STORY:  I can't believe it was almost exactly one year ago that I was taking in this view from our balcony. Marco is an idyllic little place located on the Gulf of Mexico with white sand beaches and turquoise waters. This was a very laid back, relaxing vacation for us which is unusual for us, but sometimes so very needed.
All of these pictures were taken with my iPhone. The vacation was so relaxed that I couldn't even be bothered to take out the heavy DSLR. It was risky, but I'm happy with the shots that I was able to get. I liked them so much, I made this mini and video for 2Peas last July:



Here's a process video that explains how to organize, sort and scrapbook vacations in a mini album format:




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