Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring *Mini Book Monday*


Welcome to another late edition of *Mini Book Monday* This week's mini is a little bit different than my usual style, which is probably why I struggled with it so much! I wanted to attempt to tackle a shaped mini and saw this gorgeous sheer butterfly album at Archiver's the other day.

So the idea behind this mini was to record a bit about me at 25, but I wanted to go a bit more in depth than just these are my favorite shows and this is my favorite color. This year, for me, has been one of the most difficult of my life. Without delving into too much detail, I wanted to create this mini to remember this year and to record some of my hopes for the future. After all, Spring is a time for new beginnings, isn't it?

I didn't include all of the pages, as I'm still finishing it up but I wanted to share a few favorites. The album itself is done by Maya Road. I loved the shape of the butterfly. It's a pretty butterfly, and I'm a bit picky about the shape of those :) The chipboard embellishments, Thickers, crochet flowers, and ribbon are all from the Dear Lizzy line by American Crafts.





So thanks for stopping by and seeing the final *mini for Mini Book May! Be sure to leave a comment for the chance to win a fun Mini Rak! Oh, and check back next Monday for the winner of the RAK and a bit more Mini goodness.

xxbesos
j.leija

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blog Post #100!!

In honor of pet week, as I've know decided this week has become, and in honor of my 100 blog post, I thought we'd take a walk together down memory lane. :) Shall we?

After I made those mini's I went back to look at some of the pages I've done of Maddie in the past. I've been scrapbooking her since the beginning, so it's super interesting to see how my style and general skills have evolved and changed. Also to see her "grow" up and get older. I didn't take many photos of her when she was younger. I think I might have been too young to have a camera yet, it was so long ago!

Oh those first pages...Can you tell that I started out with Creative Memories? That was way back in 1997 (if I did that math right) the same year I got Maddie.


What were the signatures of my style then? Apparently shaped photos, decorative scissors and hand lettering. The latter has a lasting place in my repertoire.


I stepped away from scrapping for awhile but got back to it in 2002, at least according to the dates on these layouts. Note to self: start dating the backs of layouts.

It seems that Maddie has been on this scrappy journey with me, for years and years now. Here's a page I did 6 years ago, almost to the day. Found out via 2Ps that this was created on or around May 24, 2004.

Back in the day I scrapped a lot on my bed, since I didn't have any space. Maddie sleeps on my bed. Vis a vis, she slept in the midst of my scrappy zone.

A few weeks later (6.29.2004), I came up with this layout. Love the color of that red! Also sad to note, I guess I had the intention of writing something to hide under the photo that is tagged "lift" but there's nothing there!! Such a bummer.


I remember I was feeling guilty about my stash at this point, which is why I chose these papers and stickers. I actually really like it though. Oh, and this is also around the time when I started getting into my now staple, 8x8 size.


Sad to say, the last layout I did of Maddie was in 2005, before the mini I created earlier this week. I got super fancy with the font work on this one. Not sure if you can really tell, but I shadowed Maddie in the background behind the journaling. Might have to try that again!

Thanks for coming with me on this jaunt down scrappy memory lane. It's been interesting to say the last. Anyone brave enough to share some of their earlier work as well? I'd love to see it! Happy scrapping :)

xxbesos
j.leija

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hazel Tag *Mini*



Here's the second of my pet mini's, the one of Hazel my oversized lap dog! I got the idea to do a tag book from alexandra s.m. and the tutorial on her blog. I love how cute and tiny her version is. This guy is approximately 3x3 in.

Thanks for stopping by!

xxbesos
j.leija

Monday, May 17, 2010

Doggie Bag *Mini Book Monday*


Welcome to this week's installment of *Mini Book Monday* I'm so excited about not one, but two, mini's I made this weekend!

I came across the pet themed Basic Grey Max and Whisker's line by accident one day at Archiver's. It's such a beautiful line that can be used in the theme and outside of it. I initially purchased it without my pets in mind, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to create mini's honoring my favorite animals.



Today I'm going to share just one of the mini's, the one of my number one girl, Maddie. Maddie and I go way back. Think more than a decade. She's my baby, my sweet little angel and my best friend. I don't know what I'm ever going to do without her, and honestly, just thinking about it makes me emotional so I'll stop now.

I knew I wanted to create a mini of some of her latest photos and I wanted to include a lot of journaling and tidbits about my old girl. Somehow along the way, my punny self got the best of me and making a paper "doggie" bag book seemed like a good idea. And I. love. it. It was so easy to assemble and put together.

This features that lovely Basic Grey Max and Whisker's line. I love the line and it's vibrant offbeat colors. I couldn't afford all of it, so instead I choose a few versatile sheets -- stripes, grid, a floral -- only two actual theme patterned papers, the matching brads, and my splurge, the gorgeous bloomers.

The majority of the decor is journaling with a few brads and strips of patterned paper thrown in for good measure. And since the base is actual bags, I had handy little ready made pockets to include a few tags. That's where a few extra photos and some fun Maddie tidbits were included. I love the finished result!




Thanks for stopping by this *Mini Book Monday* Don't forget to leave a comment for the chance to be entered into the running for a fun *Mini* RAK! Happy Scrapping :)

xxbesos
j.leija

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Color Karaoke


Kristina Werner prompted a Color Challenge this week and it had me very inspired! I loved this photo (it was my vote) and the colors featured in it. I'd say they're this season hot picks, since a lot of the products out right now are in this color theme. Including the American Crafts Dear Lizzy, which is what I used for my karaoke page.



I love the curve of this Dear Lizzy paper, and this week Weekly Challenge over at 2Ps, featured a curve on its sketch prompt. Perfection for this layout, also because it had that line of sheet music! Such a fun time and now a fun page!

xxbesos
j.leija

Friday, May 14, 2010

Circle Punches & Scraplifts

I'm back at my desk creating, creating, creating! And it feels so good! These are my latest and greatest and I'm absolutely in love with them! Now, before you go on thinking I'm some kind of creative guru, I have to admit that all of them are scraplifts, mediocre copies of another woman's genius.

The challenge this week on the Studio Calico blog is to scraplift some inspiration from their galleries. Well, if you've ever been, you have to know that the SC galleries are literally oozing with sticky sweet inspiration! Just look at what I created!



Based off of Susan Weinroth's A Surprise layout, I created this layout about my two besties, Kim and Tara. It felt mildly disturbing to punch out our heads from this one photo, but its a good one of our faces so it had to be scarified. I used a 1 in. circle punch and the Basic Grey 6x6 June Bug paper pad and went to town.
This gem is based off of Stephanie Howell's oh.my. layout. I loved the different sized circles she layered below her photo. I figured it'd be a good way to highlight all the colors of our dresses. A few choice Jenni Bowlin stickers later, plus a butterfly here and there and this simple scraplift was complete.



I was instantly attracted to Amy H's Firehouse Fun page, I loved the design! But I wanted to mix it up a bit so I opted for a black background instead of a white. I think it made all the difference because everything really pops off the page! I happened upon the perfect sheet of Bazzil cardstock, in blue, that oh so perfectly matched Tara's pretty party dress. I used it for the circles and cut out the title with my Slice and the Vintage Findings design card. And I've had those metallic buttons from American Crafts for forever! I'm so glad I used them because I think they're adorable.

Well, that rounds up this blog post full of scraplifty goodness. Be sure to click through and to visit the inspiration pages I've mentioned. They're totally worth your while. Oh, and become a member of at Studio Calico if you haven't already :)

xxbesos
j.leija

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cheers, Bye: Stash


Cheers, Bye!

This layout is what got me out of last week's scrapping rut. I love it! Not only does it include some of my favorite new products, it also features my favorite girls and my favorite place in the world. It was created for the final challenge over at Handmade Love. Which is ironic when you think about, being called "Cheers, Bye!" and all. I swear I didn't do that on purpose!

So the background paper is from the Basic Grey Basics line. And I can already tell you, it's going to be a staple in my scrapping repertoire. I like neutral non-cluttered backgrounds and whoever hit on the whole ledger/notebook vibe was really on key. I also used the Basics border stickers to add a bit of color below the photos. And vamped the entire layout up with stickers, something I rarely use! But they were theme specific without being campy.


If you get the chance, play along in the final Stash Challenge over at Handmade Love for the chance to win a small RAK. Happy Scrapping!

xxbesos
j.leija

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Letting Go

Something finally just clicked in my scrappy brain today. It's something that's talked about widely in scrapping circles but not really anything I'd actually thought about in my own personal pages. And that is the entire concept of letting go and just going for it! I've heard it talked about so much but really only got it today.

I feel like I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself lately, which photos to scrap, what products to use, some prescribed idea of what I want my pages to look like, deadlines, minis...ahh! It's been stressing me out and making me not want to scrapbook. Which is so not how I want things to be! I love scrapbooking and I want to enjoy doing it.

So that's the attitude I had, when I approached 2 of these 3 layouts. [I'll let you ponder which one I felt "forced" to do] I just did what I wanted and what I thought was the most appropriate to the photo. I didn't look for any inspiration anywhere, I just sat down and played. And man did it feel good!



What I remember most about Cabbages and Condoms (and if you visit Thailand you have to go!) is the lovely glowing atmosphere and the awesome plaid table cloths. I so love plaid and had the perfect paper to go with this photo. Every single piece of of Basic Grey's June Bug line is beyond drooling gorgeous! And for this layout, I used two pieces of it, the plaid background and the flowers. I also painted! Love this technique and I'm happy that I went with white ink instead of black.



The class prompt for this month's edition of Patterned Paper Every Which Way, one of 2Ps year long classes, was to use your punches. So I went to town with some patterned paper scraps and nearly all of my border punches. The only other element to this page is all of my handwritten journaling. It doesn't really match the photo, but I kind of like that. I guess I'm taking a page out of Stephanie Howell's book.



This photo is very near and dear to my heart. I love elephants! And getting to spend some time with this one was amazing. Moni and I nicknamed him Mr. Narwhal. Cruising around in the jungles somewhere in the vicinity of Chiang Mai, Thailand, the scenery was so lush and green! I had to use some green patterned paper, another of Basic Grey's June Bug line. I cut the flowers with my Slice and layered them to resemble the flowers in the paper.

So there you have some of my latest and greatest. Lots of color, only one photo, and three complete pages. A very good scrapping day :)

xxbesos
j.leija

Monday, May 10, 2010

Asian Agenda

Just wanted to update with a sampling of my latest design team work for Handmade Love and Scrapbook Challenges. Since I'm such a frenetic scrapbooker, we're now back in Asia. These are all fairly basic layouts, simple lines, cardstock bases, minimal embellishments. Not my typical style but I'm happy with them none the less. And even more happy that I'm slowly whittling away at the mountains of photos I have from the past few years!


xxbesos
j.leija

Grad *Mini Book Monday*

Hi, hello and welcome to this week's installment of *Mini Book Monday! I'm really very excited to share this mini with you all. It's been a little labor of love as I've created the thing entirely from scratch.

May being Graduation month and all, I figured now was a good enough time to scrap some of my own graduation memories, even though I graduated nearly a year and a half ago. As it goes in scrapbook, it's never too late to scrap those memories!

I created this custom mini to look like a graduation cap, using black fabric, a fabric brad and a Jolee's tassle. Super simple and super easy to put together! The binding on the other hand, not so easy to put together. I used the coptic binding method and this video to help me along the way.

As you can see, the insides aren't put together yet, but I'll post an update with them, later on this week. For now they're blank little canvases, just waiting to be filled! I used the new Basic Grey 6x6 White Basics pad for all of the inside pages. They're a great alternative to just plain white cardstock.







Don't forget to check back later this week to see the finished project. Oh, and also don't forget that one lucky commenter of one of the 4 *Mini Book Monday* posts, will win a fun *Mini* RAK! Comment away :)

xxbesos
j.leija

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cardstock Confessions



So I learned something new about my scrapping today. It's today's cardstock confession. Here it is... Idon'tthinkI'magoodcardmaker. There! I said it!

I struggled so long with my mom's mother's day card today. Literally hours! And it was just one little card. I don't know if it's the small space, or not having a photo, or what? But I realized that I'm hardly ever satisfied with the cards that I make. So I went hunting around for inspiration and some basic elements I could apply to my card making.

Now around the interweb, when one thinks of making cards, Kristina Werner instantly comes to mind. She's a graphic designer, a 2Ps Garden Girl and the host of the weekly Finally Friday & Make a Card Monday video series. Every Monday & Friday she makes a card to share via a neat little video on her blog. What better place for inspiration than Kristina, right?

So I came across some older cards she made using the Basic Grey June Bug line. She created three cards highlighting some truly great product. But what appealed to me the most, were the basic feel to the cards. These are my scraplifted versions of her beautiful cards.


I too wanted to highlight some of my own favorite products so here's my plug for them :) Beyond the basic cardstock card, I really only used 3 products and some scraps. A gorgeous sheet of double sided printed cardstock by The Girls' Paperie, it's called Travel Skirt (btw, how adorable is that?!) Seriously, this is the single greatest piece of paper that I've come across recently. Not only does it have a multi colored circle/diamond pattern on the one side, it has a fun red polka dot on the other. It had me at red polka dot!

I also wanted to showcase some of those letter stickers I'm addicted to! The first set, is a black printed chipboard Thicker by American Crafts. You really don't want to know how many sets of Thickers I have!! [......51 bah!! I don't even want to think of how much $$ that is retail!] But I use them ALL of the time. Just checked, I've tagged Thickers 41 times on this blog. I'm pretty sure it's the most used "product" in my repertoire. It's a super quick way to add dimension to your page or project.

The second set, is a smaller sticker in a really great font, the yellow Origins Micro Mono letters by Basic Grey. Now I know yellow letter stickers can seem very themey, but I've already used these so many times on so many projects; a few pages about Urijah (one with a lot of journaling), a travel page, and also these cards. And I'm only just now beginning to run out of certain letters. If you're looking for a good alpha in a versatile font that's small enough for journaling and large enough (if you need it to be) for title work, than the micro letters by Basic Grey are the way to go. I now own these in white, manilla, black and red!


So after poking around Kristina's site for awhile, and then scraplifting her cards, I wanted to share just a few of the basic elements she used to create them and essentially what I learned about her style of making cards. Now this is just from my observation, I haven't asked her about this or anything. And this also isn't by any means a comprehensive list! Just a few things I've noted.
  1. Layering: the girl loves layering and boy is she good at it! It adds real dimension to her cards, especially when she "pop dots" between the layers. And because she layered her latest MACM card, she was able to thread a ribbon in and around. How cute is that?!
  2. Rounded corners: if all else fails, round the corner. I think it adds a nice touch to projects and gives them a more finished look. Seems like Kristina agrees with me :)
  3. Pens: faux stitching is everywhere on her cards. I love the look and homemade feeling it conjures up! And it's done simply with a white pen. Not only does she "stitch" a fair amount she also peppers in her handwriting for writing sentiments or adding a filler word here and there. If you haven't already, invest in a white pen.
So that is what I learned about cards, this day that I've admitted to not being good at card making, And now that I've gone all Julie and Julia on her, I think I might drop Kristina an e-mail. You know, now that we're on a first name basis after all ;)

Oh and I feel the need to mention this from time to time, but anything bolded and in a different color (usually red) is a link. So please click through to visit Kristina's site, the cards that I scraplifted or to purchase the awesome supplies I just mentioned.

The easy parts done. I made the cards and typed up the blog post. Now to figure what's getting sent to whom...

xxbesos
j.leija

Monday, May 3, 2010

3M *Mini Book Monday*

Hi, hello, and welcome to this first [late] edition of Mini Book Monday! This is my creation for the week, a mini of a weekend trip I took to Morocco, the summer of 2008. My travel partners that go around were Kori, my perpetual travel mate, and our friend Mark. We also, along the way, acquired "new" Marc, a cutie from Cally who we adored!

Surprisingly, I don't have many good photos from this trip, back then I was on a scrapbooking hiatus and thus not thinking in scrapbook mode. I was just going with the flow and was more worried about living in the moment, than having photos to remember the moments by! C'est la vie! But that's also one good reason for making a mini: not enough photos to make a whole 12x12 album and too many photos for more than a few layouts.

I'm calling this the 3M update because it's a Mini about Marrakech, Morocco using lots of Maya Road and Maya Mist! [I suppose technically it could be the 6M post but we'll keep it simple.]

The album itself is the Maya Road Canvas Pocket Binder Book. This is the first time I've ever used canvas in my scrapbooking and I have to say I now LOVE it! It's so versatile! You can paint it, draw on it, mist it. You name it :)

I didn't really have a solid plan of how I was going to decorate the cover so I just went to town with some gold and orange mist, turquoise acrylic paint, some decorative chipboard, and Thickers. I love the color from the mist and the paint. And I love the dimension from the chipboard and the Thickers!

For the inside pages, I used the Basic Grey Marrakech collection. How appropriate ;) I have to add that this is line is by far and away my most favorite of all of the Basic Grey lines! And that's saying something! I love the great blues and oranges, the fun patterns, the great shapes. Now having been to Marrakech, it just seems Morocco to me! But I also think it's a versatile enough line so don't shy away from the "theme" of it. You can make it work for just about anything.

I wanted to include a lot of journaling, so that I'd be able to tell the story and my perspective of the few photos I did end up taking. Oh!! And I have to add that I used a few of my friend Marc's (a Moroccan acquisition) photos in this book, too supplement my paltry group of photos. He had some really amazing shots! I'll point them out along the way.

The basic formula for this book was 4x5 in photo coupled with a 4x5 in rectangle of that amazing BG patterned paper. I printed a title for most of the pages using the AL Modern Type font and added my handwritten journaling plus whatever sticker or chipboard embellishments I felt would enhance it. This was a total BG production and I think that's just fine.

I wanted the photos for this mini to be as large as possible, because there are so many things going on in them. Morocco was a virtual schmorgesbord of activity, color, scent, etc. Believe me, the photos do not do it justice.

It seems that light was a reoccurring theme in these photos. I'm so happy I was able to capture a beam of sunlight streaming in through the slats in the "roof" of the Souks. It really shows you how piecemeal this massive market truly is!

This was one corner of the Souks that Mark and I came across. It was ramshackle and dilapidated. Almost as if a bomb had gone off. There was graffiti and rubble everywhere. But it also wasn't for sale. A point made in spray paint on the wall. Very interesting for an area completely bent on haggling and selling. As I was taking this photo, Mark was about 20 ft behind me hassling over the price of a jewelry box.

And of course, I had to include a photo of the Djemaa el Fna, the large square in the medina and the center of it all, quite literally, in Marrakech. If this photo looks blurry and disorienting, then it did the actual scene slight justice. Words cannot even describe all that was going. People were putting on magic tricks, playing with cobras, offering photos with monkeys, drumming on bongos, selling food, begging, milling about and a million other things. It was so hard to take it all in!

Which is why we decided to get out of the city for a bit. The next day we did a day trip out to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and into the Ourika Valley.

In such sharp contrast to the "bustle" (if you can call it that) of Marrakech, was the quiet restfulness of the countryside.

Also on the agenda for the day, a hike to a waterfall. Lets just say we weren't exactly prepared for hiking that day, at least Kori and I weren't. These are the shoes we showed up in. We thought it would be fine considering our guide was wearing those plastic gelly sandals. Boy were we wrong! He ended up being a little mountain goat in those things! K-train and I did our best to keep up.

The falls were definitely worth it! A virtual oasis in the middle of the hot Moroccan mountains! Marc captured the footpath we had to walk across to get them and a few people luxuriating in the welcoming cold water. Being the non-outdoorsy type, I was just happy to not be hiking anymore!

These last few photos are my favorites (the above is one of Marc's). They're of real Moroccan women going about their day to day lives. And that's what I love so much about traveling. Getting to see how other cultures live and learning about their customs and traditions is truly thrilling to me. Even the mundane aspects of their lives take on new meaning for an outsider looking in.

The final page is a wrap up of our trip. I'd be lying if I said Morocco was the most fantastic place I'd ever visited. It's dirty and hot and often times disorienting. But while it wasn't my favorite, it still was an adventure and a new place to explore. I'll always have those memories and now, I have a fun mini as well.


Thanks for stopping by this inaugural Mini Monday! Leave me a comment to tell me what you think. What kind of mini books you like to make. What themes and places and events? I'd love to hear from you. And don't forget, one lucky comment-or, from one of the four planned Mini Monday posts will win a special Mini themed RAK! Can't wait to hear from you all :) Happy scrapping!

xxbesos
j.leija