Wednesday, January 30, 2013

December Daily Album pages with Scrap FX

As I wind down my DT term with Scrap FX I am using a lot more of their product in my pages.
February marks the end of the first design team's term.

I encourage you to apply!
The chipboard is first rate quality and the designs come in all styles- from romantic to grunge to modern.

Here is one page I "redid" for a multi page post that's up on the blog today:
Before- which I thought looked haphazard.
I kinda like it now- talk about second guessing yourself! 
After which I like better since it fits better with the other pages in the book.
I took the chipboard off and added them to another page.
I LOVE silver glitter embossing powder! Ranger Distress Inkers are amazing!
I used the Picket Fence here. It dries slowly so it took the embossing powder beautifully.
For this page I used:
Ornament pack, mini item#2007385

Please swing by the blog and check out what the team has been working on!

Scrap FX blog


Monday, January 28, 2013

Scrappy friends are AWESOME!

Happy monday folks!

Just a quick post to let you know that fellow scrapper Ashli Oliver of let me talk for waaay too long last week and wrote it up on her blog.

Apparently she really liked something I did on this page:
One of my first pages ever for the Scrap FX design team.
Their 2013 DT call is up! Swing by the blog and get the details!
I'll give you a clue:

I think you should swing by and see how she totally made the "technique" above her own.
This is why I read blogs and encourage people to swing by and scraplift my pages if they so wish.

Ashli didn't scraplift- she took an element she liked and made it entirely her own.
Swing by and check it out!

That is a huge compliment!
Thanks Ashley!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Custom Engagement Scrapbook- Getting Hitched in New York City

Hello there!

I can now reveal the pages I made for a client's engagement scrapbook last November.

I wanted to give plenty of time for Dan to pop the question to his girlfriend, Jess.

You are going to LOVE this story!

Dan had saved bits and bobs from dates and trips abroad with Jess for over 9 years.

Now he wanted to pop the question by putting them in a custom scrapbook of their lives together.

Opening page- I used some Crate Paper Valentine's paper I had for a while.
I tried to keep things simple as possible since I knew many
eyes with different points of view would be looking at this book.
Dan met Jess on a band camp (BAND CAMP!!!!) trip in 2003 when they were both in High School.

They then attended George Washington University together (where they had great spots to see President Obama's first inauguration), and moved to New York City upon graduation.
Jess is a great photographer so Dan and I had plenty of material to choose from.
We decided 2 page spreads built around specific themes would be the best way to incorporate
everything. For this high school themed layout, I used the pops of red and blue in the photos
 to guide my journaling sticker choices and picked a dark color to match the next page.
High School Prom was very important to Dan. He saved the tickets all these years.
I built a page around the ticket colors and used silver alphabet stickers to give the page some pop.
Fussy cut roses from defunct manufacturer Paper Truck made their way into the page.
 I loved the look so much I made myself a page using the left over flowers.
 When I think of college my brain immediately goes to blue jeans and notebooks
so I used those prints as the main elements for this part of the spread. The blue
jeans paper is Bo Bunny and the notebook paper from a Me and My Big Ideas print.
This page went over HUGE with Dan. I was so excited because I really loved it too.
Prints from My Mind's Eye and Studio Calico were used to make the rays.
The stars were made with EK Success squeeze punches.
 Basic Grey chipboard alphas finished the page.
The book also had to have several pages detailing their favorite activities together and a special spread for their families who would naturally want to share the book.

The 2 page family spread turned into my favorite. I love the bright pops of red and you can't fail with tile letter stickers and grid patterns.
I really hadn't used my collection of stickers before this project.
Now that I had a specific audience I suddenly understood how to use them properly.
So there's a tip: if you're out of ideas, choose someone specific to design for  and make the page
in a way you think would please them. You'll be surprised how much you'll love the page.
I stuck to high quality materials for this project- Crate Paper pagers, letter stickers from American
Crafts, Elle Studio and Ormolu mini journaling cards, October Afternoon journaling stickers and
embellishments from Studio Calico. I also reinforced everything with Zip Dry glue since
I've had letter stickers fall right off the page just as I hand over a page more than once.
When in doubt- double the amount of glue in a project.
I had so much material to sort through I was actually worried I wouldn't be able to fit it all into 10 pages so the project expanded to 15, then, 17, pages. 

Next up are the rest of the themes Dan wanted covered: travel, city life, friends, sports and one page I love above all....

Dan saved 9 years of movie and broadway show tickets which we decided to make into a background for a page containing a tiny photo of the couple.

I've seen scrapbook paper with ticket themes before but never one made with actual tickets.
I matched pages in most of the 2 pages spreads but I associate travel with freedom and fun so
I just used a tiny amount of the green stripe paper on the orange page and brought orange to the green page with some My Mind's Eye enamel dots. 
These two have been EVERYWHERE! That map washi tape is AWESOME!
It brings to very different pages together perfectly. I wanted this book to look like
it had been put together over time so I didn't pick one collection or color scheme for it.
I love the look of matching books but I think they can look rather static and dated if they have
too many pages. Then again, sticking to a color palette and single pack of paper is more
economical- something to think about if you are putting a book together for someone. 
This city life page also worried me since the photos where from all over the place.
When I realized many of the photos had water in them a title popped right up and
the rest was easy. Journaling spots from Ormolu did most of the design work here.
Jess has a HUGE collection of Instagram photos- it was hard to pick just 6 for this layout but
I wanted to give the page some breathing room.  This was actually the first page I made and it still looks unfinished to me.
I showed Dan a stack of papers and his eyes crossed- too many choices! But he thought Jess
would really love this rainbow chevron print from Pebbles. I cut out a frame for the outside layer,
flipped to the b-side and layered navy flower print in between to get this super simple and fun page.
Personalized Baseball cards!!! HOW COOL! I love this page! Light blue
looks AMAZING with bright red and yellow. An arrow badge from A Flair For
Buttons on Etsy and actual baseball tickets finish this page.
Dan had football tickets, photos of baseball games and specifically mentioned the Dodgeball team
he joined with Jess. I was stumped! Do I make three additional pages? I decided to put
them all in one page and leave plenty of white space for  journal specifics like names,
dates and memories from each event.  
Awesome right? My husband and I are now saving all our tickets so I can do this
for my own book!
 I think I scared Dan a bit by tearing up and repeatedly expressing my enthusiasm and gratitude for being asked to be part of this project.

Designing for someone else can be risky- especially since design work can be so style specific- but I quickly got over any reservations by keeping things simple and choosing prints and colors almost everyone loves.

I recently got an email from Dan, Jen said yes (YAAAYYY!!) and was thrilled with the book.
I was so happy to hear they (and their extended family) liked the book.

They had so many cute couple shots! I saved them all up for this page and imagined Dan popping the question.
Jess you are one lucky lady to have such a thoughtful and romantic fella!
 Congratulations to the both of you!!!
Thank you SO MUCH Dan (and you too Jess!) for trusting me with your memorabilia and telling me your personal love story- that alone was worth the meeting!

MucHoS SmOoChEs!

Monday, January 21, 2013

December Daily Album- Hanging with Louise Nelson and talking crafts and art.

Hello happy people!

I got to meet my art/craft/scrap HERO.
Louise Nelson.
I can't EVEN begin to tell you how nervous I was.
First of all I made her wait at the station for EVER because I didn't plan an exact pick up location
Then I talked her ear off.
It's what I tend to do when I'm nervous.
I then walked her around with no visible aim.
Thankfully she sees things and was able to take photos and do a bit of shopping all the while listening to my ever present chatter.

It was great to meet a serious artist face to face.
I'm not gonna front.
Most scrappers have a problem with the word "artist'".
Their thoughts or words:
"Give me a break! IT'S JUST PAPER.
Your work isn't original, you are using other people's designs.
You do this for FUN. You do this for a HOBBY.
Calling it art is pretentious."

Blah blah Blah. Whatever.
The first step to making life truly yours is to take yourself and what you do SERIOUSLY.
Who set the rules for what is art?
Why should there be ules fro creativity and self expression?
As Sara Bareilles so aptly puts it:
Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?

Rule breakers have ALL THE FUN.
They get stuff done.
They sometimes fall off cliffs and get arms stuck in collapsed caves (I saw that movie!) but mostly they are happy.
They are living life on their terms.

For many reasons this concept of positive of self definition and vision is threatening to some people.
It's been my experience that the loudest negative voice is usually the unhappiest, the most fearful and the least productive.
So who are you going to be?
The troll deciding who is or isn't an artist/good person/fill in the blank?
Or the cool chick who travels the world, gets things done and kicks life's butt?
I know who I want to be!!!!
Thank you Louise for great conversation and some major food for thought.

Onto my December Daily Album:
 I found these OLD Making Memories polka dot circle stickers
while destashing! WOO HOO!
Took a risk with Heidy Swapp mists after watching Janna Werner's
Creative Jumpstart video. You should join- it's a GREAT series and it's FREE.
Made this page after watching Louise's Creative Jumpstart video then I got
her invite via email to have coffee and PINCHED MYSELF!!!!!!
OOPS! Skipped a page! WIll upload later.
Scrap FX chipboard with glitter embossing powder- LOVE!
My favorite Studio Calico Mask.
 I switched color halfway through my book. Because I can.
I really like Kraft and silver.
On December 16th I went to a Sandyhook Memorial at McCarren Park here in
Brooklyn and I really needed to reflectthis in my mini.
When my daughter asks why she has to go through metal detectors at school I will tell her.
It is reality, one she must comes to terms with now.
That very thought is a tragedy all on it's own.
As I near number 25 the pages are getting simpler.
Sorry for the fuzzy photos- something happens when Blogger compresses files
 I don't know how to fix it.
Another page inspired by a video I saw at Nat Kalbach's
Creative Jumpstart Summit- swing by and join!

I also want to wish President Obama the best of luck in his next 4 year term.
I voted for him twice because I believe in his vision and I stand by his plans for the next 4 years.

I will also keep Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first and foremost today. 
His words. 
His call to action. 
His passion for truth and fairness for all.
He represented the best of the American dream because he helped expand that dream.
I am but one.
A small ant in a giant world. 
Dr. King helped me realize I have purpose 
I am but one yet I have power 
I am but one yet I have dreams that deserve to be pursued and treated with respect and honor.

And sometimes I get to bask in the presence of greatness.
Life is good.
MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Houndstooth Challenge! A True Xoxo Girls post


Today's post will be super duper quick because I have to go get a root canal!
Isn't that GREAT?
Just add that to the house re-organizing, flu epidemic and Lola's pre-school applications!
This week is STRESSING ME OUT.

Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts!
The challenge over at True Xoxo is- drum roll please- HOUNDSTOOTH.
I've never really gotten into that pattern.
I like it but I haven't gone out of my way to buy it.
Luckily Hambly came to my rescue (again)
How could Hambly go out of business??

Swing on by and PLEASE join the fun!
We need more players- more readers- more comments!
I'd love to see your face!



  1. Join the challenge by entering any houndstooth page you happen to have posted on your blog. 
  3. Swing back here and leave a comment letting me know you did so.

I will award one lucky reader some awesome stash from the many items currently getting new homes.

I will pick things from your favorite color and brand to make sure you are happy.
Sound cool?
What? You've been trying to reach me for to hours? SILLY!
You know I can't hear my phone! It's under a ton of crap in the very bottom of my bag!
If you want me to notice you Instagram me. See? You got a call back!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Project 30 bags in 30 Days and some December Daily love

I'm making some headway into my 2013 resolution to clean up and simplify my home.

I've joined a low key project called 30 bags in 30 days where you organize and throw out at least 1 bag a day for 30 days.
Almost everything in this box got donated to Materials For The Arts.
Only the Basic Grey prints made the cut and I'm using those for a Valentine's Day
project coming soon to a blog near you.
Scrapper and Photographer Becky Novacek has many beautifully organized space photos posted on Instagram and her blog Becky Novacek Photography, head on over for inspiration.

Several friends on Facebook have already expressed interest in joining along.

If you'd like to join us- there isn't an official group or web page-
just use the hashtag #30bags30days on Instagram or Twitter or post photos on your blog and let me know through Facebook and I will swing by your blog and cheer you on.

The art wall behind my computer got a thorough dusting.
I also threw out all the computer related ephemera that had snuck onto my "inspiration shelf."
I'd like to switch out some of the objects but that is a later project- first clean the mess I've made on the floor.
I haven't taken photos of my seven bags so far.
Mostly because I'm so distraught about the mess I'm making while cleaning that I forget to shoot the bag or the room.
I think it's going to take more than 30 bags to rid me of the mess I have in this very small space.
But I'm trying anyway.

Here are my latest December Daily pages.
Red, silver and white are SO awesome! Can't help throwing in some black to ground things.
The rock star badge is From A Flair For Buttons on Etsy.
Crafter's Workshop snowflake stencil and Crate Paper vellum number. Washi tape 
and "Love" wood veneer arrow from Freckled Fawn.
I later added kraft as a color since I love how it looks when paired with silver.
Scrap FX mini chipboard shapes and new arrows are the perfect
 addition to this project. Silver glitter embossing powder from Paper Source
is now an all time favorite product.
Last year I made a page a day but I was home all day so it was easier.

This year I decided to make the album larger using 6 by 8 flat cards from Paper Source as my base.
Last year's "cute" loose ring binding failed- it exposes interior pages too much and I've had too many pages fall off.
This year I will bind the album using traditional book binding tape- a tutorial on that coming soon!!

Now get going, you! Life is awaiting!

Friday, January 11, 2013

True Xoxo and If It's Groovy BLOG HOP!

HIYA folks!!!

Today's post is dedicated to the If It's Groovy and True Xoxo Girls Challenge crossover blog hop!

Here is the blog hop order:

Representing January we have: Wendy & Christa

Representing February we have: Michelle & Michelle H - You are here. HIYA!!!

Representing March we have: Wendy & Miae

Representing April we have: Heather & Jaclyn

Representing May we have: Lindsey & Deborah

Representing June we have: Brenda & Khristen

Representing July we have: Jean & Tess

Representing August we have: Rochelle  & Faye

Representing September we have: Kelly & Tiffany

Representing October we have: Kelly & Alaina

Representing November we have: Heather & Kimmy

Representing December we have: Deborah & Queen Kat

And the purpose of this hop is to make a page giving meaning to a particular month of the year.

My chosen month is February.
Materials: Basic Grey Fact or Fiction paper and embellishments, October Afternoon 9 to 5 stickers,
Studio Calico fabric rips and vellum arrows from Twine + Ink at Two Peas in a Bucket.
Yellow paint from Kaisercraft and mist from Studio Calico
I... dislike... February.
February means early evenings and long cold nights.
There are no benefits to cold weather no matter what poet Nikki Giovanni tells you.
Cozy doesn't cut it!
But February also means lots of red in the stores (thank you otherwise meaningless holiday Valentine's Day!)
AND it's my birthday.
For those reasons alone, I tolerate February.
So happy to have some vellum arrows! Now I get to indulge my
need to layer them all over my pages. My camera is in the shop so I'll be
scanning all my projects from a few months. I removed the chipboard from behind the
Basic grey "Fiction" butterfly so it flattened out completely.
This year I am a proud 39 year old woman.
I don't worry about being old or about the smile lines sprouting around my mouth and brow.
39 is a chance to start fresh and have some experience under my belt.

Not exactly deep journaling but it's my mantra for the month of February. 
For this page I wanted to use a color not usually associated with winter- yellow.
It's my favorite color and how I keep myself from FREAKING OUT over the weather.
I put bring cheery colors all over my pages- pretend I don't mind being stuck inside for three months and soon it's SPRING and I sigh in relief.

Thanks for joining in today- you next stop in the blog hop is:


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Michelle's picks- CHA Winter 2013


The irony of me picking new crafty stuff just as I clean out my old crafty stuff does not escape me.
But yet again I am drawn to manufacturer blogs like a moth to flame.

Here are my personal MUST BUY picks for this term:
1. Crafter's Workshop stencils by Ronda Palazzari.
Dina Wakely's Eyechart and Julie Balzer's  leaf  stencils are all coming home as well.
2. We R Memory Keeper baseball size card punch.
I was JUST wishing I had a 3x4 punch for easy Project Life cards in prints I choose.
3. Cosmo Cricket's Summer Love paper- awesome graphic prints!
4. Prima paper clips- I pretty much want all styles available.
5. Studio Calico confetti size shapes veneer. LOVE!!
6. Krylon glitter sprays and this lil 3 oz guy in red, yellow and silver.
7. Wow! Glitter embossing powder 3 packs

8. Jenni Bowlin feather chipboard and mini book clear stamps
9. Webster's Pages "Sweet Notes" overlays by Allison Kreft
10. Anything with diagonal stripes in red or black/white.
I will be cherry picking like crazy since I'm not too excited by the papers in most of the collections I see. 

Some of my favorite brands have complete fallen off the design map this season.  

Perhaps it's a sign of the times, not a single company seems to be taking any risks right now.

It's all muted colors and motifs from past seasons- lots of cameras, banners, doilies, chevrons and circles.

Where did all the stars go?
And when did speech bubbles become so popular?
I like them but SHEESH! There's only so many I can put on a layout!

What's with the anchors? Unless you have a yatch or are on a cruise vacation those are random!

Ok time to dish- What are your favorites?

Lemme know! CHA hasn't even started so I know there are other fabulous products out there waiting to be discovered.

Chelles out.