Monday, June 22, 2015

Planner Pretties

So it's been a couple of weeks of using my new planner that I bought from Personal-Planner and I am truly loving it. There is so much room to capture everything that happens in my day...in fact, sometimes on those quiet days, there is a little too much room. Take a look at a sample weekly spread from my planner...busy huh?




So I've been using a lot of stickers and doing a lot of stamping. And the best part is that you can stamp directly onto the page. In my last planner, the paper was so thin that I had to stamp everything on sticker paper first. Now I only use the sticker paper if I've made a mistake and want to cover it up :-) Or when I print out some of the free printables that you can find on the internet. (One of my favorite sites is Vintage Glam Studios, stop by and check out Dru's collection).

So let's talk about some of my go-go products that I use in my planner daily. (Note: I am not compensated by any of these companies and there are no affiliate links in this post, just my humble opinion about products that I use and love).

Pens: I use the Uniball Signo 207 pens almost exclusively. Stephanie Ackerman introduced me to these pens when I took a doodling class with her a year ago. They are waterproof gel pens that you can use with alcohol-based markers like Copic or Prismacolor or watercolors and the ink won't bleed. So they are my go to pen for all my creative needs...and the fine tip is perfect for writing in small places. These pens also come in a multi-colored pack for those of you who want to color-code your planners.

Stamps:  There are so many great stamp companies out there creating stamps specifically for planner use. The majority of my planner stamps come from Studio L2E, but
I also use planner sets from the Sweet Stamp Shop and Waffleflower...don't limit yourself to just these companies. You probably already have some stamps in your collection that will make your planner come alive. When I want to stamp some text in, I use the Alphadots stamps set from Paper Smooches or the thin alpha from Hero Arts that came in the Stamps & Cuts flag set.


Inks: I am a bit of an ink hoarder. If it's a pretty color...I buy it and I have several different favorites. My go to favorite brand is Memento and I have almost every single color they have created. Not only do I have a dozen of the larger pads (pictured here), but I've also collected many of the colors in the Dew Drops size because they are easier to store (hoard) and they are great for planning on the go (which I don't do a lot of, but I could if I wanted).

There are actually 3 different types of ink offered in the Dew Drops collection. The standard inks, are pigment inks, just like the larger pads. But you can also get Dew Drops from the VersaMagic and Brilliance collections...and the range of colors is absolutely beautiful. 

VersaMagic dew drops are actually chalk inks, and the one thing you need to know about chalk inks is that the pad itself is very juicy and the ink stays tacky for a bit right after you stamp it. These inks work great for solid image stamps, but you need a very delicate hand if you are going to use them with small line art images because it is very easy to put too much ink on the stamp and you won't get a clean image. 

The Brilliance Dew Drops are pearlescent colors and they add a bit of shine to the stamped image. For the small images that you might use in your planner, you aren't going to really notice the sheen of these inks...but they have some wonderful blue and purple colors that I couldn't find in the other collections, so I picked up a few. But I wouldn't rush out to get these inks just for planning purposes. Like the Versamagic chalk inks, these pads are juicy and so you will want to use a light hand when stamping smaller images with these. The sunflower yellow color pictured here is my favorite color to stamp my sun images when recording the weather.

For an inside view of how I use these products in my planner, I created this short video below. If you have planner products that you love, please share. I'm always looking for new inspiration. Thanks for watching.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Planning Perfection, Perhaps?

Have you gotten caught up in the planner craze. Well I certainly have! So many adorable products out there to turn your everyday calendar into a work of art. 

Up until now I was working out of last year's planner that I got at Staples. It was an academic calendar so due to run out at the end of July....so for the past few months I've been scouring the internet looking for a replacement. Heidi Swapp, Me & My Big Ideas, Webster Pages, Inkwell Press, and the queen of planners, Erin Condron, all have gorgeous product lines...but I wasn't finding exactly what I wanted...until I stumbled upon Personal Planners. The thing I love about Personal Planners is that you get to design your very own planner...everything from the front cover design, through all the inlay pages, right down to the back cover.

Now my planner is pretty boring at first glance...but that was EXACTLY what I wanted. I plan on decorating the heck out of my planner with washi tape, stamps, stickers, rub ons...you name it...it's gonna be in there. So I wanted a planner with a very simple layout so that I could customize it just for me.

So without further ado...here it is!



If you'd like a quick peek inside my planner, be sure to check out my video below. And if you like what you see, you can use the coupon code that I mention at the end of my video to order your very own Personal Planner.




Only 13 more day until I can start using the planner, so be sure to stop by again and check out how it looks when I've gotten my hands on it. I'll be posting another video showing some of my favorite planner products...the stamps, inks, and pens that I use the most and how the Personal Planner holds up stamping (hint: initial attempts look very promising).

Hope you day is turning out just like you planned!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Scraptastic Sunday

Today was one of those days where I had nothing to do but craft and lots of creative mojo. That doesn't happen often, but when it does, I run with it.
Sketch for SIU Pajama Party
created by Melissa Pearson

My dear friend Melissa over at ScrapItUp365 has been my creative muse this month and I've really loved all the fun ideas and inspirational projects that she's developed on her new site to keep us crafting. If you haven't been over to the website be sure to click on the link above to learn more. She has some fun sketches, great make and take projects, and a weeklong layout challenge that she calls "7 in 7"....seven layouts in 7 days. (I'll post those layouts in a separate post).

Today was the ScrapItUp365 Pajama Party....a chance to get together and craft with other online friends. I loved the sketch that was provided (see right) and actually used it to create both a card for my mother's birthday (shh...don't tell her) and also a scrapbook layout for my sister-in-laws gallery exhibition last June.

This sketch is a perfect way to use up those paper scraps.

This sketch worked perfectly for a 12 x 12 layout as well.
I love when a sketch can do double duty for cards and layouts, don't you? If you'd like to see more great sketches and meet a wonderful group of online crafters, be sure to stop by and say hello. I hope to see you there.

 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

LOAD Day 2 and 3 Layouts

Popping by real quick to share the layouts that I completed for days 2 and 3 of LOAD Once Upon a Time.

Our prompt for Day 2 was inspired by the classic childhood tale of Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I decided to use this photo to capture the special bond that our son and cat have.  The layout was created using the February Challenge sketch that my friend Melissa posted over at her newly created online scrap group, called Scrap It Up 365 (website coming soon).


Yesterday's prompt had us looking at fonts, so I used a combination of letter stickers and online journaling (from the Peter Cottontail song) to create this whimsical layout featuring my little niece at her first Easter Egg Hunt. Hard to go wrong with pictures of this cutie!



Time to go work on today's prompt....hmm....better put my thinking cap on for this one. 
 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Layout a Day 215--Once Upon a Time

February is one of my favorite times of the year for crafting. I've just begun my 5th Layout a Day (LOAD) journey in this month-long challenge titled Once Upon a Time. We'll be telling the stories of our lives with an underlying them of literature and books...what could be more ideal from a former English major?

Our first prompt asked us to relate to a character from a childhood book...and that sort of stumped me. I have just finished organizing the hundreds of current day photos that need to be scrapped...so going back in time to scrap a childhood memory just wasn't on my to do list. For my page, I compromised and created a layout that featured a photo of some of my favorite books (and characters)--past and present.

Instead of actual journaling, I found this great quote by Lloyd Alexander that summed up my feelings perfectly. And what better way to put it on the page than in a homemade bookmark.

That's all for today. Time to work on my next art journal prompt for Documented Life Project (DLP)...stay tuned, I'll post pics when I am done.

 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

So Much Crafty Goodness

You might think from the radio silence on this blog that I have disappeared completely and maybe even given up crafting (heaven forbid)...but actually the opposite is true. I've been so busy crafting and expanding my repertoire that I haven't had a free second to sit down and write up a post. Silly I know, yet its the best excuse I've got.

A year or so ago, I was almost exclusively creating cards. I started mainly to use up craft supplies, but ended up so fully immersed in crafting them. I began following dozens of card bloggers, I mailed cards to
Operation Write Home, and I even entered a few card making challenges.
 It was all cards, all the time. So much so, that I kind of burnt out.

I just want to play....so these days my posts are going to feature a wide range of projects that I am working on....some scrapbooking, some art journaling, doodling, planner pages, and maybe even a card or two from time to time.

Lots of fun to be had, I hope you'll stop by and see what I am working on.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My New Crafty Crush

Okay you might be laughing at the title...but if you think about it, I bet you have a crafty crush too! Maybe its Tim Holtz and his grunge-chic style or perhaps its the haphazard nature of the beautiful art journal pages of Dyan Reaveley.  So I'll let you in on a secret....my crafty crush is on Stephanie Ackerman

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie at Right at Home Scrapbooking in North Attleboro, MA, last weekend for a class on doodling. Yes, you heard me right. I paid good money to have someone teach me how to doodle. But it really is an art form and here's what I created during class:




It may not look like much, but I am artistically challenged. In fact one of the reasons that I like scrapbooking and cardmaking is that it allows me to be "artistic" without relying on any real skills. Thanks to dies and border punches....anyone can scrapbook. But drawing? That's a whole other kind of artist.

So I left class, picked up my journal and created this during my son's soccer practice:



And then learned how to turn my doodles into page embellishments for my scrapbook pages, thanks to a tutorial from Art to the 5th.  Look at how cute they are?


When I was all done doodling....I found this great $5 tutorial on Stephanie's website for handmade ornaments (1/2 the cost of the PDF is donated to India's Daughter's of Hope charitable organization. And it is as easy as it looks....look at my almost finished product. Just need to replace the ornament top and wrap with twine. Voila! Super cute, handmade ornaments for the holidays. Perfect for those hostess gifts that we always need at this time of year.  



Pretty cool that I've gotten all this inspiration from one class. Stephanie is coming back to Right at Home Scrapbooking in May and I will be signing up for ALL of her classes. Can you say stalker...just (kinda) kidding? So I'd love to hear, who is your crafty crush? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stitching Together a Couple of Cards

So after my first sewing lesson last week, I've been stitching up a storm....some projects more successful than others. 

First up is a clean and simple sympathy card (based on something I saw on Pinterest) that I made for a friend who suffered not only the loss of her father but her little grandson as well. No sooner had I finished this card, when I heard of another friend who lost her uncle and aunt this week as well. I should have made a few while I was at it. Try to overlook the fact that the stitching cuts across some of the butterfly wings...I'm still a beginner.

Butterfly die from Penny Black's Tag set and sentiment from My Favorite Things.
The second card was one that I tried stitching by machine, but ended up going the old fashioned route with a needle and thread since I'm just not practiced enough to turn corners. I'm not sure who this will go to...but I always need general greeting cards around the holidays for the teachers, mail carrier, and dry cleaner.

Snowflake punches by Fiskars, sentiment from Paper Smooches, and fabric from Hobby Lobby.

Not bad for a day's work. Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Anniversary Card

So you'd think that since it's Halloween that I'd be sharing something spooky, but I am working a few days behind schedule and forgot to share this card that I made for hubby in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary.

The inspiration for this card came from a layout from one of my ScrapHappy "sistahs," who cited her inspiration to this Splitcoast stampers card found here.  

Rather than using patterned paper for my die cuts, I decided to create some of my own using Tim Holtz distress inks spritzed with water to give me a watercolor look in a more masculine color pallet.  Then I used my Spellbinders dies to cut out the hearts and outlined them in black marker. And finally, I hand stitched them onto the card front, since I still haven't figured out how to work my sewing machine. The sentiment is a quote from Goethe that I thought was similar to the one used in our vows (but it was so long ago that neither my husband or I remember the original).



Hope you have a scary night (if you celebrate Halloween)....if not, make it a crafty one.

Friday, October 24, 2014

All About Me Scrapbook Page

It's almost the end of October and I am not sure where the time has gone. The Fall is always a crazy time...the kids are back in school, the sports schedules overlap, and to top it all off, work picked up after a pretty quiet summer. It was a perfect storm that has eaten right into my crafting time.

That being said, I've managed to do a few projects and am committing to resurrecting this blog and posting on a more regular basis. I finally changed the photo on the top since I never really loved the one before and this new one is bright and cheery and makes me smile.

Today, I am sharing with you the first layout I did for our October members-only Layout a Day (LOAD) challenge. The prompt instructed us to create a fun page about ourselves. I had seen other people create layouts with lists of facts about them that correlated with their birthday age and got in my head the idea to make my page resemble a quilt, with tidbits about me in each shape. Good thing I am only 46, as you can see, I would have run out space if I were any older. I printed out the journaling on some scrap pieces of paper and then punched them with my Fiskar's hexagon punch. Unfortunately, I placed the photo down first...so the spacing is a bit off and to compensate, I used some stitching in the corner to tie in with the quilting theme.


In the end, I love how this turned out and think I want to make it a tradition of creating a birthday page each year (not necessarily with the hexagon pattern, but some way to capture what is going on in my life at that point in time). I imagine it will be fun to look back on these in a few years. Have you ever done a layout about yourself? Feel free to link to yours in the comments below, I love to get inspiration from others.

Have a crafty day.