Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is Why I Scrapbook

If you've been wondering about my "This is why I scrapbook" icon, this will explain it all. At the beginning of the year, Shimelle posed a question her blog, "why do we scrapbook?" Then, she upped the ante by challenging her loyal bleaders to create a project, depicting why each of us chooses to scrapbook. Thus, the This is Why I Scrapbook: A Creative Adventure for January, began.

The entire concept had me inspired and that night, in early January, I remember not being able to sleep, my mind was bursting with so much inspiration. Then, at about 4.36 am it came to me. "I Scrapbook Because I..." [Paint] Can. The idea instantly appealed to me for three solid reasons:
  1. It evolved out of a pun. And if you know me, you know I enjoy a good pun.
  2. I've never altered a paint can before but was excited about the possibility of working with new materials.
  3. Color would inevitably be involved, and a lot of color at that. [Refer to my last post concerning color. Hint:! ]
This was my little labor of love and ingenuity. It's been stewing in my head since that weekend Shimelle gave us to concoct it. But it wasn't until this week that I sat down to put it all together. I decided on a two part project, (1) a decorated paint can which would double as a *Mini* book holder and an inspiration can and (2) an actual mini book of 10 reasons why I scrapbook.

After attempting this project on the smaller paint can, I knew I needed a bigger size. Once that was figured out, the can decoration came together rather quickly. The photo featured on the front is a shot of some of my latest and greatest pages, pinned up to our rickety old fence. Realizing the can need a bit more oomph, I added tons of gorgeous ribbons to the handle. Then, I lightened up the inside with some bright turquoise cardstock and black and white hounds-tooth ribbon. Viola! My inspiration can came to being!

The second part, was the actual *mini* book. Using the chipboard from a 4 page Scene Route chipboard album, I quickly pulled together the base for my mini. The rest of the page inserts, dum dah dum...are paint samples! Yet another stroke of genius on my part. I pulled some of my favorite photos and coordinating embellishments, to create every page. The theme of each, is a reason why I scrapbook.

Matt is a big reason why I scrapbook. It's already so interesting to read about the beginning of our relationship and to see how far we've come. It's been a long time since I've had a real boyfriend and partner, so it makes me happy that I get to scrapbook about our lives together (well, kind of) and as Matt puts it, "to within an inch of [our] lives."

I've had the great privilege to live in some exotic locals and simply documenting my homes and my life in these cities, is so important to me. This is another way for me to look back and see the person that I was and how each of these experiences has shaped me into the person I am today.
Travel! Travel, travel, travel! It's typically the number one way us scrapbookers first got started in the craft. We all have vacation and travel photos just dying to be told about and remembered for years and years to come.

I chalk my life up to a series of experiences. Some things I never in a million years dreamed I would get to do, and others are simply ways to relax and enjoy life. This is a photo of Matt and I, from last years musical experience: ACL Music Festival. It was his first time and my fourth but it was by far and away the most memorable ACL for both of us. I'll never forget the mountains of mud that swept across the grounds and the amazing performers we got to see. Now, I have a visual representation that conjures up those cherished memories!

I would be nothing without my friends and they are a big enough reason in and of themselves, for me to scrapbook. I especially love these two girlies and we have a million and one memories together, that merit being remembered. I'm so thankful for the loving extended family that exist in my closest friends.

I truly understood the importance of scrapbooking and memory preservation, this last year when Uncle Joe passed away. Seeing this picture, still gets to me. It's hard for me to believe that he's really gone. But I'm thankful for this picture. I'm thankful for the time I got to spend with him and the small amount of support I was able to provide for him. I love and miss him so much and I never want to forget his face. I'm thankful that my hobby can help my family to continue to cherish and celebrate his life!

Like I mentioned in my journaling, I'll fight anyone who claims to have a cuter mama than me! She's downright adorable and truly my best friend. I don't know what I would ever do without her and I'm so happy that we got to capture this day in Rome, when both of us lost it to giggles for no apparent reason. Typical Mama and me!

Elephant trekking and hiking the Great Wall of China. Need I say more?! Who wouldn't want to preserve these precious memories and two wonderful experiences. Thank goodness I have the photos, or I'd hardly believe I did either of these things myself.

Ask me who my favorite person in the entire world is, and I'll be able to tell you in a heartbeat. Let me give you a hint, he's tiny and adorable, almost able to walk and slowly transitioning from a baby into a little boy. If you guessed Urijah John, my little nephew, then you guessed correct. This little guy makes my entire world go round! I feel so privileged to be his aunt, to paparazzi him constantly and to get to cherish every minute of his dear little life. Who wouldn't want to remember his cute little baby button butt!

Finally, my parents are a huge influence on my hobby. Ever since I was a little girl, they've encouraged my creativity, supported my crazy wardrobe decisions, wacky wall painting schemes, and financed my junky style art supply shopping habit. I would be not be the person I am today (nor the scrapbooker either) without my parents and their continual support and constant encouragement. [Wow! This reads of a bad award acceptance speech!] But it's true none the less.

The last bit of my project was this star book style *mini* created out of neutral paint chips. I'm not quite sure what's going to go into this, but it's an entirely blank canvas just brimming with possibility.

So there you have it. I feel so beyond blessed to have found a hobby that totally embodies my personality, that challenges my creativity, and allows me to express myself in an artistic manner. As I was, once upon a time ago, an Art major, then a Photography major, scrapbooking is an equal measure of each, with a dash of Journalism and a pinch of Engineering (yeah, that's a stretch ;) throw in for good measure. The idea of creating a project that explains all of this had me more inspired then possibly I ever have been. Perhaps you can see that, looking back at some of my blog posts from this month.

My question for you, if you scrapbook, why do you choose to scrapbook?


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Color Splash

Color! If anyone really knows me, they know I'm a girl of color. I love bright colors, soft colors, earth tones, bold tones, basically just everything across the spectrum. Which is what makes these two layouts a few of my favorites.

I turned to my February issue of Creating Keepsakes for inspiration on this one. A layout done by Maggie Holmes really jumped out at me, so I viciously scraplifted it. I once again utilized my Maya Mists in order to achieve a graffiti effect, added a few different style of Thickers for the title, and a few strips of patterned paper and other various embellishments. This graphic look is a total departure from my usual style but I'm happy with the results.

I've been hoarding this awesome American Crafts patterned paper as well as the idea of incorporating Ingrid Michaelson's "Be Ok" song into a layout. I combined the two in yet another layout about Matt and my's long distance relationship (or LDR as Kate calls 'em) All of the color was picked up from the strip of quotation marks. If you think of a bold pack of Crayola markers, this layout features the majority of those colors. Which is what makes this layout so fun!

I find it aptly appropriate that I'm watching my favorite HGTV show, Color Splash with David Bromstead, as I type this blog post. Love his bright bold rooms and ingenious use of color! Me and David, we're color siblings we are. Love him!

My question for you, what's your favorite color?


Bon Voyage

My bestie Kim is about to embark on a new and exciting chapter in her life. Next week, she's moving to England to become a social worker in Kent. I'm so proud of her! For imagining that her life could be different, and then pursuing it! I'm also insanely jealous that she gets to move to my favorite bit of the world. While she won't be London, she'll be darn close enough to enjoy everything that this wonderland has to offer.

As, once upon a time ago, I use to live in London, Kim and I have been talking regularly about what she can expect, what she should do, pack and bring. It's nice to have something to offer someone, if only my advice. In keeping with that, I created a mini book/list of 50 things she should do and experience while she's in London.

I concocted a mini file folder out of red cardstock, added an Andy Warhol print of her majesty and being the punny girl that I am, titled my folder Pearls of Wisdom and added pearl embellishments to her necklace.

The theme was inevitably England and the color scheme reflected this. Red, white and blue were used throughout. I relied heavily on my Maya Mists. Using an onion bag as a mask for the red page, blocking some chipboard letters as a mask for a blue page, and then taping off the Union Jack for a silver page. These products are so versatile, I could have done the whole book with just them. I now need them in every color!

Then, I added some photos from my time in London, typed up a list of 50 things she should see and do and added a funny anecdote or two. [Note the bunny on a leash below. I will seriously never forget this day!] These amazing Martha Stewart travel stamps that I got on clearance for $4.99 added the final touches, along with a button and a sticker or two.

By far and away, this is one of my favorite projects and I feel that I might have to make my own one of these days. From the tiny (seriously, who doesn't love everything tiny) file folder, to the bright color scheme and the cute pictures, I wish I could keep this guy forever! But alas, it was made from Kimbo and to Kimbo's it will go.
When I finally got to England, the first few days were no picnic (ask Sarah). I was on my period, the airline lost my luggage and I wasn't too sure about this girl who picked me to be her roommate (you know I love you now Stalin). But after a few days, I was fine. I liked the people that I lived and worked with, enjoyed the daily commute (didn't take too long for this to get old), and was having a blast in my new city.

But the one thing I remember missing, were pictures of my friends. I couldn't believe that being the scrapbooker that I am, I totally forgot to bring pictures! I don't want Kim to suffer down that same path so I created this mini altered coaster book as a way for her to carry some familiar faces along.

It's nearly exclusively Sassafras Lass products. Love their bright colors and vintage-y feel. I included pockets for notes and added stickers, die cuts and borders to festive it up a bit. It was my first stab at a coaster book and the first time I've ever done accordion style, I think I like the way it turned out. I don't know. Ask me about it later.

I hope she likes my lil gifts. I'm giving her a little bit of the past and the future to take with her. I hope she enjoys them to the fullest!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Haiti Relief

After hearing about the disaster in Haiti, I've been anxious to help in any way that I could. This is my small effort toward fundraising for a wildly deserving cause. I put together some handmade Valentine cards that I'm offering for sale, all proceeds for which, will be donated to the Haiti relief efforts.

I made 3 copies of each. E-mail me at if you're interested in purchasing one or two!

Owl You Need [$2.50]

Be Mine [$1.50]


Friday, January 15, 2010

2Peas Crop

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a 2Peas crop, at a local Archivers up in Cedar Park. I had a blast! It was awesome to meet some fellow peas, have people to talk to while I scrap, make a few new scrapping friends, and get some projects done.

My main projects were finishing up my Debby Schuh travel album and creating these mini's for James and Becky. They're 4x6, super simple, and feature October Afternoon's Road Map line. I also utilized the heck out of all of my border punches.

I'm so glad I signed up to participate in this so fun event! Scrappinbetty aka Steph caught me at work in the pic above. Thanks also to Steph for hosting! Can't wait for the next one :)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Christmas Goodness

Two Peas in a Bucket is not only a wonderful place to shop, it also houses the best online forum for sharing your personal projects. Known as the Gallery, it's the first place I turn to when I'm looking for some inspiration. The layouts and cards are created by some of the best scrappers our community has to offer and I'm never short of a great layout to emulate or an amazing color scheme to imitate. Here are a few of my "mediocre copies of another [scrappers] genius".

I fell instantly in love with Vivian Masket's simple yet sophisticated "Peppermint" layout. I thought I'd be clever and play off the doublemint twin commercials and throw in some purple to highlight the oh so fun stripped purple thermals, Nina and Mia were wearing. The perfect tie-in with a peppermint theme!

candiMandi was the influence for this layout. Her "Summer Fare" layout instantly reminded me of these amazing photos from Matt's and my jaunt over to the newest part of the San Antonio Riverwalk. The colors she used translated so well to this layout with these particular photos. The Sassafrass Lass patterned paper and the sewing did the rest.

The color scheme and the general layout from scrappygirljenni's "Christmas 2009 December Memories" pages, influenced my Leija Family Christmas. I loved the non-traditional Christmas colors and that I was able to use 6 photos and utilize my border punches. This was also my first stab at machine sewing. Lets just say, I'm glad I was going for a "distressed" look.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Travel Album *Debby Schuh*

Last year I had the chance to take one of Debby Schuh's amazing classes over at Scrapbook 911. This is what I came away with. It only took me 2 months to actually fill it with photos. Thanks to the 2Peas Archiver Crop last weekend, I got it done!

Debby introduced me to a lot of new techniques and ideas I hadn't used before. She was great about utilizing both sides of this amazing October Afternoon travel line. And she included a lot of pockets and places for hidden journaling.

I also got around to learning how to "properly" distress paper using Tim Holtz distressing ink and an ink blending tool. This already has made its way into my scrapping regime and won't be going anytime soon.

Mainly, I was just happy to scrap these photos from Becky, James and my road trip to the Grand Canyon. I got to spend an awesome weekend with two of my favorite people in the world. And I got to see one of the most spectacular sites this world has to offer!

If you ever get the chance to take a Debby Schuh class, I'd highly recommend it. Which is why I'm so beyond excited to take one of her new classes! The Anthropologie Album: Voyages is next on my class list. Can't wait until February 20!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Young Scrappers

My days around the blogsphere would not be complete without a jaunt over to my favorite thread on the 2Ps message board, Young Scrappers. The sisterhood of the scrappers is ever inspiring, ever encouraging and ever expanding. In an effort to keep track of all faces new and old, I volunteered to put together bios for my favorite ladies. Please find my sisters below :)