Monday, 30 May 2016

Mixed Media Monday

Today I'm sharing a page I made for one of an in-person class I taught at The Paperie (my LSS) in March. It's part of a series called Make Mine Mixed Media. In these classes, I teach how to combine mixed media supplies like gesso and spray ink with traditional scrapbooking supplies and techniques to make a mixed media layout that you will love. The goal is to combine memory keeping with creative expression.

The challenge was to use the beads that have been lingering in stashes since forever. Mixed media is great for updating supplies you've been hoarding. Here's a look at one of the layouts I made featuring beads - a supply I own but have rarely ever used.

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And here's a closeup of all that texture.

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 The trick to creating texture with beads is product - two products, to be precise.

1. Adhesive. You need to use a strong adhesive to keep them in place or else they will fall off like raindrops. I used Finnabair's 3D Matte Gel by Prima to adhere to beads but you can use any heavy gel. I spread the gel on my background and sprinkled the beads over the gel. If I didn't like where they landed, I moved them into place with an old brush or palette knife. Both work fine but the palette knife was easier to clean.

2. Gesso. Gesso is key because it lets you change the color of your beads. If you're anything like me, you're probably not using your beads because they are the wrong color. With a few coats of gesso, your beads are white and ready for the next coat of whatever color your heart desires. I used Prima Color Bloom sprays to add color to my layout but you could use acrylic paint, Liquitex acrylic ink, Silks acrylic glazes. There are so many options. 

Each Monday, I will share a mixed media layout and share some of my favourite tips and techniques. If you have any questions, just leave a note in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, 27 May 2016

Abstract Watercolor Flowers

I am still happily experimenting with my Prima watercolor palettes. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen a few these before.

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I have started about 73 pieces. They vary in size and they are in various stages. I have completed only 14 of those 73 pieces. So, I'm not intimidated by a blank page but I do have trouble finishing pieces. I think it's part of my learning process. Now that I feel very comfortable starting pieces, I need to work on finishing pieces. That's my goal for the next little while. Usually I start a new piece when I'm stuck but I think instead of starting a new piece, I'll give myself a little more time to think about what to do next. Maybe I'll learn something. Maybe I'll ruin something. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Week in the Life 2015: Part 1

I'm sharing the first half of my 2015 Week in the Life album. Partly to remind myself that it can be done. For my 2016 album, I'm lost in the weeds of editing and selecting. My goal is to get photos printed this week so I can start putting it together. Week in the Life is a big project and it takes a lot of work to finish but the results are so worth it.

Here are some tricks that I used to put this album together.

1. Use a familiar album. I have experimented with other albums but the 6x8' Sn@p binders and albums are my favorite.  I have used this album so many times because it suits my photo taking style which is to say that I like to use portrait orientation. It appeals to me and the 6x8' pictures are some of my favorites in this album. I use the protector that has 4 3x4" pockets a lot too. Using an album that I like, that I have experience using and suits my personal style makes it so much easier to finish this project. In fact, I will be using the 6x8" Sn@p faux leather album for my 2016 album.

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2. Keep it simple. I am a mixed media girl at heart but I love pocket page scrapbooking because it is so simple.  The week after Week in the Life 2015, we went on our own summer vacation.  I didn't start on this album until November. The first step was to put all the pictures in pockets - simple. I set it aside until April and by then my excitement for the project was long gone. I decided to keep it simple with journaling and some embellishing. I picked a few favorite embellishments and repeated throughout - simple and done.

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3. Let the photos speak for themselves. I believe that scrapbooking is so important because it gives context to our photos. Sometimes, photos don't need a title or journaling. Sometimes the photos do a great job of telling the stories all on their own.

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It is possible to finish a big project if you focus on what is really important to you. For me, I want lots of photos and I want the album done. That means I have to compromise on having an album full of embellishing and detailed layouts. The trick is figure out what is important to you and use that to guide your planning and your scrapping. Doing what you love and what is important to you is more fun and leads to more completed albums.

I'll share the second half of my 2015 Week in the Life album next Wednesday.

Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Gathering Inspiration for My Week in the Life Album

I'm still in editing photos and not quite ready to put together my Week in the Life album. Once I have all my photos printed, I will put them in pockets and then create a kit from my stash to use in my album.

I know the stories I want to tell but I'm always looking for ways to tell those stories. I'm always looking for inspiration. Maybe you're same and are looking for inspiration too. If so, here are some ideas that I loved and want to use in my album.

1. I love how Ali Edwards used tags in this post and made her own journaling cards. I like mixing handmade with store bought journaling cards.

2. I like how Jess Forster includes reflections in her blog posts. This would be a great way to tell a story that doesn't have a picture.

3. I also love Caylee Grey's minibooks. The way she combines pattern paper with other supplies makes me happy. I would love to have my WITL album look as pretty as her minibooks.

4. I discovered Emma from Create The Simple on Jess Forster's podcast, Pocket Talk. I like how she combines her photos and journaling cards using a color palette. It's very striking and unifies all the elements on her pocket pages. This is something I did with 2015 Summer Vacation album and it makes pulling supplies and putting the album together a lot easier.

5. I have been painting a lot of watercolor florals lately. I thought it would fun to incorporate some watercolor lettering like Amy Tangerine and Jen Kinkade.

There are so many inspiring people creating so many beautiful projects it can be easy to get overwhelmed. There's no harm in looking as long as I remember that done is better than perfect.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Week In the Life 2016: Friday, Saturday and Sunday Photos and Words

Last week, I participated in Ali Edwards' Week in the Life Project. I have been participating for years and I still love this project. If you're curious about this project you should head over to Ali's site for all the details. 

Today I'm sharing some more of the Week in the Life photos and words. I took 368 last week. wow.

When I look at these photos I see a lot of little details.

I see that Gabe and Ben love to wear PJs all.the.time. Ben puts his on as soon as he comes home. The navy blue pair he's wearing below are his favorite. If they're not in the wash then he's wearing them.

I see the technology we are currently using - our tv, our tablets, our phones. This changes so much from year to year.

I see how our puppy, BG, has become a part of our everyday. It's like he's always been with us.

I see some things I'd rather not - like clutter - but when I look closer I see the little bits and pieces of our lives.

I see that the boys are getting bigger. Last fall, Gabriel was losing his front teeth. Those teeth are grown in now.

I see that we are happy.

It's a big job to sift through 368 photos but I can hardly wait to get started. 

Here is a look at some of the photos I will be putting in my 2016 Week In the Life album.


On Friday, I took 41 photos. That's the least I took on any day of the week. Still lots to document though. The day started with snow...really. So, I opted out of the usual morning walk with BG. The boys had a day off school we stayed in our PJs and pretended the snow wasn't happening. We did some chores and tidied the downstairs. Later in the day, I blogged and painted some more watercolor flowers.  After the kids were in bed and asleep, Sam and I watched a movie.

I usually have a lot of trouble getting Sam into my albums. By the time he gets home in the evening, it's time for the supper rush and bedtime routine. I just never think to take out my camera when we're brushing teeth and tucking in. To make it more challenging, the light is terrible in our house at night and it's so hard to get a decent pic. Week in the Life encourages us to take these pictures anyway and forget about the light or the mess. It's about the story of our week. So, I went with it. I might not love the quality of all of these pics but there's no way I'm leaving them out.

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On Saturday, I took 55 photos. No school and no work means we're together a lot on the weekends and I like capturing the interactions between us so I took more photos. Also, the weather was nice. I had lots of good light and happy people to photograph.

Saturday started with coffee, of course. The boys and I are all early risers so we usually hang out on the couch with tablets before starting the breakfast and head out the door routine. This week, Gabe had track and Ben had swimming. After that, we had a pretty quiet weekend.

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On Sunday, I took 110 photos. It was warm and sunny and it turned me into a shutterbug. We didn't have any activities so we just finished up homework and spent time outside in the sunshine. It was great to relax and recharge before another busy week.

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Well, I guess it's time to edit and print pictures. Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by!