Friday, August 30, 2013

Flash from the Past

I pulled out this photo recently in order to complete a scrappy assignment.  It is a 5X7, a size I don't usually scrap with.  It shows my children, nieces and nephews.  I can't believe how fast time goes by.

I find it hard to scrap with pictures this big, but I made it work by using big elements and bold patterns that take up the right side of the layout.  I am still digging these speech bubbles!
I wanted to add some pizzazz to the page so I cut the chicken wire paper along the lines to make this cool scalloped effect.

Everyone is growing so fast.  I hope they have great adventures along the way!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Tip: Keep it Simple

I think life should be more simple.  Less stress, more relaxation.  Less drama, more girl time.  Less yelling, more hugs.

Simple works.  It has worked for Steve for a long time as he strives to keep life simple and calm.  I am trying to move there.  It is not in my personality.

It is in my scrappy style, though.  For a recent layout, I kept the design and embellishments simple and focused.  I worked with several common and repetitive elements that had some boldness.

Not to mention, I had the amazing Allison Kreft Recorded collection to work with.  Love this girl's designs...

Here is my page!

I love this picture of Ella and me.  We are pure joy for each other here.  And that is not always the case.  This photo was a selfie and was totally spontaneous.  I wanted it to shine.  I decided to use the overlays to create a bit of a grid.  There is a whole sheet of these babies...awesome!

I put patterned paper underneath and added some simple embellishments to the overlays.

Love the sticker sheet that comes with this collection!  Gray letters in a great font!

I added some simple touches like the cassette charm and the hemp twine.   

Sometimes life calls for simple!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Going with a Theme

There was a time when everyone was defining their particular scrapbooking style.  I remember reading and loving a book called Finding Your Groove.  It was about finding out your style so you could embrace it and shine. 

Clean and simple with a twist, story driven, eclectic.  All those things were a part of my definition.

But I think I forgot to mention theme-based.  I like a theme.  The elementary school teacher in me loves it. Picking a theme allows me to easily search for pertinent embellishments.  Sometimes all the stuff that comes with scrapbooking can be overwhelming.  So having a focus helps me.

I had a post up over at the Teresa Collins blog this week where I talked about how I used a theme to help me design this page.

Having a theme in mind allowed me to come up with the title work for this page, its most unique feature. 
I used the Family Stories collection to make this page.  Yummo!  Teresa has a new website...go check it out!
Happy Friday!  Back to school on Monday...better get some scrapping in while I can!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Technique: Iris Folding

Happy Tuesday!  I was challenged this past weekend to use a unique paper technique on my latest Lily Bee Design layout.  I googled to find some ideas and came up with Iris Folding.  It is a simple technique that yields big results.

Today, I will show you how I did it.

First step involves creating a cut-out window.  It can be any shape, but I went with a square..  Use your craft knife.  When determining the size, be sure to consider what you are putting in the center of the cut-out and folds.

I wanted my window to contain lots of color so I used three different patterned papers.  I cut out a series of paper strips, 1 inch in width by 12 inches in length.  While watching TV, I proceeded to fold each rectangle in half. I used my Scor-it to get even, crisp folds.

Once you have your rectangles, determine a pattern.  There are a ton online that act as guides for how you might place your paper.  I went with a pattern that was structured, diagonal across the corners as a layer and then straight sides as a layer.  Then repeat.

As you work, it is important to adhere your rectangles.  I also laid them out so that the folded side was in the cut-out.  See how I first went diagonal in the corners in  yellow.  I then went straight edges in the red polka dot.  They I repeated in the corners using the navy.  You just keep repeating, overlapping the rectangles until you almost fill the cut-out.  Can you tell that I couldn't find my scotch tape?

When you have achieved the size you want, adhere another piece of background paper to fully cover the hole.  I used red cardstock to back my layout.  You can see how the red peeks through!  Here is my completed layout!  I put a sentiment in the middle of the cutout and folds, but you can do chipboard or a flower.

The folding really looks cool and adds so much texture!

Some other details of my page.  I used the Lily Bee Pinwheel collection for the majority of this page.  

The Lily Bee design team is showing you projects all week that use unique paper techniques.  Be sure to stop by the blog and see what my talented creative team members have made!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

At Home: Family Room Updates

When I last shared photos of our family room, we were at the beginning stages of completing that room. We had renovated the space check it out at the very first before stage, go here.

Coming off the renovation, I was using many of the things I had already owned.  Budget is a major consideration.  So maybe rugs went down that weren't my ideal choices.  I think rooms evolve over time. As time has passed, I have been able to switch out the rugs or add in better pillows. Rooms are successful when they have great bones and solid pieces layered with lots of little details that make the space unique to you.  Kinda like a scrapbooking page.

This room gets the most use in the house.  The kids live up there so I wanted to keep it casual and friendly.


Rust rug was under the small dining table.  The bookcase and wall were not decorated.

I loved the counter area and had that great shelf, which I inherited from my mother-in-law.


I changed out the rust rug to put down a tan one.  It has a totally different pattern than the large floral, but is the same color tone.  I really love geometric prints so I wanted to add them to several rooms.

This is the counter area now.  The shelf is layered with finds from Home Goods, Target and flea markets.  I love the Elephant Trunk flea market in New Milford, CT.  So many treasures to be found.  I also get a lot of my signs and other decorations from Big Lots.  They are many deals to be found.

The addition of the gallery wall just happened this month.  I wasn't sure what to put there for the longest time.  I have a ton of gallery walls that are more random and unstructured.  I wanted this one to be symmetrical and linear.  

Want to know a secret?  I made those ten prints using very inexpensive frames from Jo'anns and art prints from this book:

I bought this at Home Goods three years ago and loved the cover.  I decided to tear out my favorite flower prints and frame each one.  The book cost about $8.00 and each frame only cost $2.65 (I waited for the 40% sale).  Making your own art allows you to cater to your existing style and color palatte at a fraction of the cost.

I made sure to lay out all ten prints before hanging.  I wanted to be sure to even space out the ones that showcased one large floral and the ones that showed two skinny ones.  It helped me achieve a balance.  Kinda like scrapbooking.

Next up, I need to get a seat cushion for the bench.  I plan to make one of my own as soon as I decide on a fabric.  Then I think I will be satisfied with this area for a while.

I will be back next week to show how the other side of the room has changed too!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

That Point Has Hit

You know that point in the summer where your children are bickering with each other or complaining about nothing to do.  We have reached it.  Nathan and Ella are either the closest BFFs around or they are literally slapping, scratching and tearing.  I have put kids in their bedrooms so many times this past week or so.

When this time of the summer comes, it usually means that we are ready to be back to school.

I just uttered those words, I realize.  Don't get me wrong.  I love this pace, how productive or non productive I can be.  I love the low stress and the freedom.  But the restlessness is here.

These two need some separation and a new routine.  There are many good things to look forward to in the fall.  Halloween being one of them.  Lately, it is a fright night...

This is the new Halloween collection, Masquerade by Teresa Collins.  Great line!  Chipboard stars and banners, layered stickers, awesome brads...

Funny thing is that once we actually return to school, I will be missing all the free time within minutes.  Then I might be slapping, scratching and tearing out my own hair.

Such is life.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cards on Tuesday

Happy Tuesday all!  I am enjoying the last couple of weeks of summer, sleeping in and lounging with a cup of coffee when I wake up.

It is back to school soon!  I have shopping to do and classroom set-up to finish.  To help me get in the school spirit, I created this card using yummy Lily Bee products!  It can be given to a teacher, mentor or colleague. 

I used the August sketch from the Lily Bee blog to make this card!  Check it out at the blog.  Diana Fischer also has two great cards to share!
Here is a shot of the details.  This would be a good card to celebrate the first day!
Be sure to head to the blog and join in on the sketch challenge!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

At Home: Living Room Redo: Red Rug

Well, I did it.  I hemmed and hawed about what color rug would add some pop and youth to my living room.  I love the space and the bones.  I have a lot of cool antiques and eclectic touches.  But I worried that it looked old.  I wanted a geometric rug and touches of bright color to add some personality.

I think I put down five different rugs in five different colors.  I settled on the boldest choice.


We had a very neutral rug.  It was calm and serene and worked. The Before photos show touches of the fall, when these were taken.






I went with a geometric red and tan rug.  It seems to ground the entire room and pull the red from the floral chair.  I added simple panels to the windows and it really finishes it off.

I also added many little touches of teal with accessories.  The addition of color and pattern made the room have a more lively feel, which matches the personality of our family!


Our floral chair.  I am not sure I would still have picked this one if I went shopping tomorrow.  However, it is what it is and I want it to look it's best in the room.


I added the gallery wall and changed out the lampshade.  I also think the panels balance out the floral.

We have unique windows in our dining room and living room as they have shelves built in over the top.  I love them and how I can display some of my favorites things.  How to hang panels became the question. Most decorating blogs tell you to hang curtains wide and high, but I didn't have that option.  The window is huge and I wanted to add panels without spending a million dollars.

I decided to use small, wrought iron cafe curtain rods that went across only the smaller side windows.  It totally works and adds a little black to the window.  I love how black can ground a room..  I still get to display all my letter Ms and some other art I created with scrappy supplies.  I am having a hard time getting a good photo of the windows with the panels.  They are jute striped from Pier 1.  The perfect amount of texture and pattern without competing with the rug and chair.

It is funny...most decorating blogs talk about not using red too much because it can be chaotic.  I decided to go against that because it seems to be just what my living room needed.

Boldness, color, punch, life.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Trending: Adding Words

Fonts, signs, phrases, quotes...all forms of words and typography that I have always loved.  In the world of scrapbooking, there are endless words on sticker sheets or on die-cuts.  One of my favorite things to do is to add these types of words to different places around a page.
I will scour the materials I have to find the just-right word or phrase.  Whatever goes on a layout has to match the theme.  Because I am theme-y like that.
Example on hand:

I used the Noted Favorites speech bubbles to convey my title  I then added in circle stickers and small sentiments.  It almost serves as a form of journaling.

I went with a unique color combination here, but I think the salmon and brown work together.  I love the vintage feel of the chicken wire paper and how it coordinated with the vintage bicycle in the photo.  I mixed some of my favorite Lily Bee collections for this page.

Building long titles with words makes my happy.  Although I am not sure if Noted Favorites Love This Joyful Happy Notes actually makes sense?

But who is keeping track, anyway!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

At Home: Gray Master Bedroom

I am typically a fan of warm colors...reds, tans, yellows and greens.  But I wanted a different feel for my master bedroom.  I wanted it to be serene, calm and almost monochromatic with a few bold pops.

I went with gray...dark gray walls, grey and white on the bed and a repeat of that on the carpet and curtains.  I really is my retreat.  A favorite place to catch an afternoon nap.

This room once had a floral wall paper with tan trim.  Pretty with my mother-in-law's stuff, but not my taste.  Steve took the wallpaper down and the rest was my doing.  The view from the master bathroom.

I tried to not have a TV in the bedroom.  The problem is my husband wouldn't be there either...LOL!  I made it a part of a grouping, place art on the empty space on the wall along with some frames on the dresser.
The view from the door into the room.  I love usual groupings so hung the art to the left and then found a glass star at Jo'ann's. 

This is from my side of the bed.  The master bathroom is right through that door on the left.  To see how it coordinates with our bedroom, go here. 

Keeping it real...we have our dog's very large bed on my side of the room.  You can't see it when you walk in, but it is there!
I went with pops of teal and yellow with my accessories.  The tray holds some of my jewelry and gives me a place to rest my coffee.  Our bedside lamps are also teal.  Yellow can be found in our curtains, on some throw pillows and on the cute bench from Target.  I love the teal, yellow and gray combination.

I found this old wood pallet sign from Home was a steal and adds such nice texture to the room.
I wanted a light source to the right side of my dresser.  I went with this small silver lamp, but when I got it home, it seemed tiny in the space.  I liked the width of it and didn't want a huge lamp in that spot.  So, I solved my problem by utilizing those wooden boxes.  I simply stacked two and put the lamp on top.  It almost looks as though it came that way.
The little beauty is from Target, the Threshold collection.  Yellow trellis pattern on legs?  I could not resist.

I took tons of inspiration from Pinterest and blogs such as Young House Love when creating this space.  I may replace the gray area rug with a bold teal one some day.  For now, I am happily enjoy this retreat.

Night stands, multi-patterned throw pillow:  Pier 1
Lamps, bench, teal tray, sunburst mirror, bedding,  yellow throw pillows:  Target
Art:  Home Goods
Silver accessories, dress form, hanging necklace holder, hamper:  Home Goods
Rug:  Ikea ($20.00!!)
Curtains:  Fabric from Jo'anns, Etc.  (no-sew!!!)
Gray Paint:  Gull Wing Gray using Aura by Benjamin Moore


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