Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scrapbooking Graduations and New York City

Today I want to share some scrapbook pages I made for a client here in New York City who wanted to surprise his girlfriend.

More on that story later!

I really enjoyed making this book.

Not only was I going to tackle a whole book at once (until now I usually worked on individual pages) but I also had to make themed pages about graduation and prom- subjects I haven't scrapped before.

The actual design work was easy!
What I found difficult was trying to interpret the needs of my client into something that would please not only him but the person the book would eventually belong to, his girlfriend.

Finding colors and titles for pages were the hardest. I wanted to stick to a clean color palette that would please both men and women and I very much wanted to stay away from overly sentimental titles.

Here are two pages from the book:
Many of the photos had specific themes and were easy to group into cohesive story pages but photos for "New York Living" were by necessity, quite random in subject. I was worried this would be difficult to scrap till I realized the client knew where these were all taken and didn't need me to spell things out. I added a few journaling spots to write in particulars and got out his way. Then I thought- isn't that how our memories work anyway? We don't remember every single detail of the night we went to dinner but snippets from one memory lead to others. I used a LOT of Ormolu products on this book- their small size and modern design were perfect for pages with lots of photos. The flair badges are from a Flair For Buttons (which can be found on Etsy or 2 Peas In A Bucket).
For this page I cut into a sun-ray print from Studio Calico and added a polka dot background paper with a more subtle print. I used some of the fantastic ephemera my client has saved over the years- these were tickets from his commencement from George Washington University. I was very impressed with the variety of stuff he had saved- I wish my husband and I had the forethought to save bits and bobs from the beginning of our relationship 13 years ago!
Overall a fantastic client and experience.

I am now available to work on other projects. so if you are looking for help with your project or even for friendly advice on how to get started please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

My email:

Have a great wednesday everyone!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scrapping through your mistakes- a Scrap FX and Ormolu scrapbook page

Happy Monday morning folks!
Today I am sharing a page I did for Scrap FX using Ormolu products.
In case you haven't heard- Ormolu is having a DT call.
I applied.
I just love their products SO MUCH! I had to throw my hat in the ring.
Last terms' team was amazing but hope springs eternal and all that.

Page up:
Materials: Echo Park Boy's Life paper, Scrap FX  Mixed tags- kraft model# 2012042 K, Playground chipboard model#2012295, Playground alphabet- small Model# 2012306, Ormolu Bungalow Dots & Spots, Fact or Fiction Flappers, Line and Letter Storytellers and Bungalow Flappers.
My article for Scrap FX was all about mistakes made while this page as under construction.
I love the final product but even I must admit- my "mask" technique needs some work
Case in point:
A fine mist right over Lola's face. Does it bother me? Yes. Will it bother me a week from now?
We'll see. I'm already thinking it's no biggie but don't bother sending this in for publication without reprinting that photo.
Also- I need to work on my penmanship.
First draft off the page!!! This is a mistake of pure sloth.
Tonight I have some time to scrap again.
I will be using those new Studio Calico droppers and lots of gesso.
I've been making so many clean and simple pages lately I miss getting my hands dirty.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I sure did!
We visited the Empire State Building for the first time ever- I KNOW!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful for family- A Flair For Buttons Post

Hello there!

I feel like I've fallen into the rabbit hole.
Today is the first day in over two months where I have nothing planned.

Lola is with me- we are going shopping for winter sneakers and having lots of Mommy and me moments.

Before I'm off on my adventure I just want to wish you a happy, drama free Thanksgiving.

Here is my most recent page for A Flair For Buttons:
 The red stripe paper is from Sodalicious, The fussy cut roses from Paper Trunk, the index card from Lily Bee and the flair buttons from A Flair For Buttons. The silver doily is from a pack I got at Michael's.
My gratitudes list:
1. I am grateful for having a husband who is very much in love with his crazy wife. I often play the lottery but I know lightning doesn't strike twice. My luck came in the form of one David Martinez.

2. I am grateful for Miss Lola who is happy and healthy and freakishly intelligent- pretty soon she'll be teaching me to multiply and divide fractions which is why I had a child in the first place.
(just kidding! not really)

3. I am thankful for my Mom who is awesome and my mother in law Reina who can cook up a storm. Also I am thankful for my brothers Guarionex, Daniel, Roberto, Luis and Christian (who just got engaged to Lisa!!! WOOOT!) and my sisters Leticia, Melissa and Sandra and my nieces and nephews Noemi, Emily, Natalie, Kaine and Marcus.

4. I am thankful for you my blog readers- for sticking with me through all my drama this year- sorry I don't post more- I wish I could dictate posts while on the subway.

I think that photo of Dave and Lola dancing down the street is one of my favorite images ever- too bad it's a low rez iPod photo.

Here are some detail shots:
I tried out my American Crafts DYI Thickers with loose silver glitter.
I will not be using them again- they stuck to everything except the page.
It's easier to use Stickles on regular Thickers instead.
I'm LOVING Heidi Swapp's Color Shine mists!
The tiny stars are also from Michael's.
The A Flair For Buttons blog is full of great ideas from the DT- swing by and check it out.

Have a happy, healthy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Five- Autumn love


Friday Five is a photo post I see some of my favorite bloggers use every week.
This week has been koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs crazy so I will post these and you let me know if they mean anything to you at all.

First up, The Gap is KILLING me with their Fall fabulousness!
The 34th street Gap store just underwent a major renovation and it's SO visually inspiring! I didn't buy anything but I added several jackets and scarves to my Christmas List. Also- hello inspiration! Layering! Light grey, green and yellow together! Pattern combos! It's all there.

2. This font at The Gap- MUST find it online! Also- why haven't I ever tried to make a "corner" title on a page?

3. This poster in my neighborhood made me REALLY want an old fashioned screen printing machine.

4. There is a wall in Greenpoint full of these steampunk era icons. This photo doesn't do it justice.

5. My brother in law Luis took this fantastic photo in Central Park. This week has been crap but I HAVE to remind myself- everything is ok- one door closes and another one opens.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scrapbook Basics- Movie ticket and Broadway show stub page

I've been furiously working on my first client based scrapbook so I've been even MORE invisible and distracted than usual.
This is my first continuous scrapbook project- ever.

It's true.
I scrap.
I usually make 8 to 10 pages a month (which isn't much considering I'm on 4 design teams).
None of my personal pages ever make it into an actual scrapbook.
They go into a memory box or on several easels I have around the apartment.
So this project was a true challenge and very exciting.

Some facts:

  • My client has been saving all sorts of bits and bobs since high school. 9 years ago.
  • My client handed over a folder with over 50 movie ticket and Broadway show stubs dating back to 2005.
  • I have free rein over what will go in the design of the book as long as I don't go completely theoretical (you KNOW what my "theoretical" pages look like. This guideline was necessary.)

Not sure why this photo is out of focus- the file on my desktop is completely crystal clear. A reshoot is obviously in order.  For this page, I used a tape runners to mount the tickets onto an Amy Tangerine paper from the Ready Set, Go line and used a thin washi tape to define the borders. I think the black color is too strong. What do you think?
I turn in the completed assignment today and I really hope it is well received.
I am extremely nervous- what if my eclectic style doesn't fit the client's vision?
I didn't design a series of two pagers so no pages in the book "match".
There is no "page flow"- I wanted the book to look like something which took a very long time to make- years.
Isn't that photo the cutest thing EVER? They are SO HAPPY!
Ormolu tags bring s little more focus to the photo.
 I had to print it very small because of it's low resolution.
What I avoided:

  • Paint, drips, gesso and 3D flowers. (If I got the look wrong it would be a disaster)
  • Anything that would pop off of the page.
  • Using a bazillion products- I stuck to a "kit" to economize and to make things easier since I had 15 pages to make in 3 weeks (in addition to my regular assignments- no pressure!)

My experience:
The "kit" took the longest!!! The hardest part of the job by far.
The first page took 2 days.
I freaked out over "What would my client do?" and second guessed everything down to the choice of glue. GLUE!!!!!
It was a dark couple of days.
Keeping my young and urban client in mind, I used lots of bright pops of color and white space.
I snuck in some hearts, paper doilies and fussy cut flowers- you can't leave ALL romance out the book!!!
This was an amazing experience.
At one point (since I had no personal memories to get in the way) I was meditating on the beauty of family, love and tradition and all KINDS of ideas started to percolate.
Scrapping as yoga- believe it!

Gratuitous Lola SHOT!
Little miss is BRAVE. Here she is climbing rocks in Central Park.
I didn't take this photo. I am INCAPABLE of taking this photo.
 I would never let the kid get near that rock. Thanks Dave.
Fingers crossed.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Die Scrapperin Magazine November 2012 issue is here! Also, there's a DT CALL!!!!

Good saturday morning folks!
I'm off to work but I wanted to share some happy scrappy news.
The latest issue of Die Scrapperin Magazine is available!

Here's a link to the digital preview:
November 2012 issue of Die Scrapperin Magazine.

I was asked to GDT and made three pages so I'm excited to get this pretty baby in my hot little hands soon.

Some of my all time favorite art style scrappers are part of the DT right now.

The good news is you have till November 11th to apply for the 2013 team so put your apron on, open up that art journal and send in your application people!

Here's a link:

You can also apply for Guest Designer consideration by linking your work to the Die Scrapperin Flickr group.

Here are a couple of sneaks of my pages in the November issue:
 Glitter and die cuts page
Have a great weekend and good luck!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 minute page tips- Optimizing your scrap time

Hello there scrappy buddies!
I want to share a post that went up on the Scrap FX blog last weekend.
I took time to really research this because I'm currently trying to "optimize" my scrapping.
"Optimize" is corporate speak for increasing productivity.
WHY bring corporate culture into my scrap la-la-land?
Because in this case "productivity" means FUN TIME while "waste" is time NOT spent scrapping.
For this page I used Graphic 45 ABC collection paper- loove that grungy graph print! I also finally used some of my doily stash- see what re-organizing can do? I had completely forgotten these were around!

30 minute page tips
1. Use items from the same brand and line. ”DUUUH!” you say rolling your eyes. Here's the thing- I tend to cherry pick collections. I also tend to buy in spurts so my stash is arranged by orders instead of by item or brand.  Solution? Store items from the same collections together instead of separating things into categories like stickers, alphabets and embellishments. It doesn't hurt to try to arrange things by color as well but don't spend all your time trying to ROYGBIV your stuff- THAT is called procrastination- see item #6.
2. Set up your tools in advance. You want to use your sewing machine but it’s sitting in a box in the closet. You'd use your heat embossing gun more but it's a pain to unfurl the cord and find an empty socket. Solution? Give your machines pride of place. Put your paper in storage, you’ll need it anyway. Just make sure it's all in one place. If you store paper in three different areas you’ll tend to ignore the stuff that’s hard to get to.
Scrap FX lace tag set in red and String of lights model #2012261 
3. RUTHLESSLY CULL YOUR COLLECTION! This is the hardest part for me. I want to “collect” certain brands but I have a tiny room I share with my daughter so either she finds something and “uses” it or I find it AFTER I bought it again. So get rid of that old paper! It’s JUST PAPER! Yes, I KNOW you paid X amount for it! But it’s just sitting there taking up valuable living space. Donate tools and paper to a school, shelter, hospital or daycare center. Trust me- someone else will cherish it as much as you did.
4. Develop a personal “style kit”. Notice what tools or materials you use most and keep them in a box next to your work space. Tend to use a lot of gesso or twine? Keep that in your box. Don’t include "consumable" items like paper or stickers. Try to limit the box to items you see in a lot of your work. Every few months go over the items in the box and cull those as well. That butterfly punch no longer making it’s way into your pages? Storage! Maybe next year you’ll love it again!
LOVE this Scrap FX Bauble E Merry Christmas model #2012254
5. DO NOT scrap by the rules. NOTHING kills mojo like forcing yourself to scrap a photo you aren't ready for. Scrap the photos you are inspired by first. If that means pausing the lil one's birthday 2 pager- don't bother with guilt- SKIP IT. I am scrapping Christmas 2010 now because now those photos have meaning. Before I focused on the "flaws" and berated myself for not getting a perfect family shot. Meaning changes with time. Moments that seem everyday to you now take on huge personal significance later. Give yourself the time to reflect and you will be rewarded with scrapbooks that are more than pretty. If you're worried that you'll forget your first feelings about a moment, keep a photo journal. It doesn't have to be fancy- a sticky note on the back of the photo will do.  
6. Procrastinating habits: identify yours and stamp them out. Do you have a procrastinating ritual? Is it going on social media websites for “inspiration”? Time yourself. Pinterest? 15 minutes! Twitter? 10 minutes! Facebook? DON'T GO IN AT ALL! Facebook is the black hole of digital life. 
So what do you think?
Anything missing from this list? 
Before I thought this photo was boring and badly lit.
 Now I look at it and miss my baby! 
Thanks for swinging by!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grateful, mindful and ready. A True Xoxo Girls Challenge

It's the first of November.
Happy Day of The Dead for those of you honoring loved ones who have passed.
I am honoring my Grandmother, Guillermina Martinez Hernandez, who passed last year.
A post on that later this week.

My day will be spent figuring out how to get to my daughter in the Bronx whom I haven't seen in 5 days due to bridge and tunnel closings during Hurricane Sandy.

We fared well through a historic storm and even though the recovery will be long, things could have been much worst.
I was reminded more than once than once this week, that scrapbooking is first and foremost a way to tell your family history.

Here's my take on the November True Xoxo Girls Facebook Time Line Sketch
For the True Xoxo Girls November Challenge: Facebook timeline sketch. Please swing by and join the fun.
: American Crafts Ready, Set Go papers, Doll Thickers , Hambly circle transparency, Basic Grey alphas, My Mind's Eye journaling stickers and Maya Road star pin.
Doesn't this look like a killer challenge? I think you should try it!
We watched the water creeping our way and wondered if we would need to take in our neighbors on the first floor.

Things got really scary when the electric plant across the river exploded and lit everything up in eerie shades of blue. 
Then the whole east side of Manhattan went black. Only the Empire State Building still shone.

Sunday Mayor Bloomberg issued a mandatory evacuation order for everyone in Zone A.  We sent Lola to Grandma T's but decided to stay. A closer look at the flood zone map revealed that our building is actually in "Zone C"- but Zone A is literally across the street. The water never came close but all our escape routes were cut off- bridges and tunnels were all closed due to flooding. This was only a category 1 storm. Next time we will ALL leave.
Just some of my thoughts.

The water receded and when morning came, our neighborhood was fine.
Thank you Mom Teresa and Mom Reyna for being so AMAZING during the storm- you two are the  parenting examples I know.
Thank you Dave for being strong and smart when I was freaking out. 
Thank you New York City. 
We will get through this and the next one too.

Day of the storm we visited the pier. The water was already on level with
the board walk. Never seen anything like it. 
Feeling grateful, thankful and blessed,