Friday, July 18, 2014

Magnets: UPCYCLED!

Today, I am reposting an older Blog post- just wanted to share a fun "upcycle" with you all. Here you go!

I was so excited to recycle these thin magnets that regularly come in the mail...(elections, carpet cleaners, financial institutions, cosmetic companies, etc...) and use them to show off a few of the kids' pictures!

I recycled small pces of Bazzill and Basic Grey Cardstock (CS) plus some bits of Fiskars and Accord Publishing patterned papers in order to complete these.

Used portions of regular sized photos- ie: the one of Bryan with his age 10 b'day cake was great b/c the rest of the photo was the "backs" of people's heads-- so I just used the part that showed Bry and thus saved an otherwise-unusable pic.

Used up a few "left-over" letters as small monograms. The K and the N are both from Debbie Mumm Designs. The denim-look B and D letters are from the Stickopotamus collection.

Blue satin ribbon on edge of Kate's magnet came from my Mom (Thanks!)

CM corner rounder used on Noah's magnet.

Noah's beautiful portrait was taken by Tammy Pyette of Enchanted Portraits. Hope you like these! They're useful and pretty. (I took the other 3 candid-kid pictures. )

ENJOY and Thanks for looking!!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Stash-busting, Upcycling, Creating, "Kitting" and MORE

Hi there!!
Just thought it was time for a creation post. Since chatting with ya'll on Jan 12th (YIKES!)  I DID finish that Christmas 2011 12x12 album, participated in LOAD 214 and LOAD 514... and have kept on scrappin' thru the graduation of 1 child from grade 8 and one from high school-- Safe Grad and Prom included-- PLUS a big Grad brunch for family AND the moving of my eldest child to a neighbouring town!!!  Now, I didn't scrapbook all that stuff yet, but I kept creating pages, KWIM?

Additionally, there were all the little things that made life busy and yep-- here I am-- finally!

It's summer, things have finally calmed down a little and and I have a couple of LOs to share with you today. BACKSTORY: While going thru some older pictures, I came across an envelope of pictures on my desk, and they were pics from 2002, taken 2 years before we went to a digital camera. Those were the days when we were parents of THREE, not FOUR kids, and because we were not digital yet we didn't take NEAR as many photos... so these are special!
I joined a private group on FB called Summer Scrapping Challenge. (You can ask to be admitted to the group- there's a box on the right side of the page where you can do so!) It's a great place for motivation! These are two of the LOs I created  with those particular photos for the challenges there. The day was Daniel's second birthday. The first one asked us to use triangles on our LO. Here you go:

"Little Guy- Oh Happy Day"
Daniel Cole on his 2nd Birthday, 2002
 Chocolate cake by Mommy! 

This one was a veritable stash-buster. I even used an overlay for the title!

"Little guy" overlay: Fancy Pants Designs (2010)
 "Oh happy day" sticker: 3 Bugs in a Rug (pre-2010)
PPs: "Kraft Fun" Collection from My Mind's Eye (2011)
Kraft CS: CTMH
Ink: CTMH "Desert Sand"
Pen: "Antique Burgundy" Zig Writer
Corrugated CB circle: CTMH
Star that says  "wow" inside: CTMH stamp set
Shiny CB arrow
Boat fussy-cut from pp I bought at a closeout sale
Ticket, string, "approved" rub-on (MM), button - ALL stash
Used some "Kraft fun" paper scraps to create the triangles... and for the rectangular patch to "anchor" the boat in the cluster.

The next LO is one I created using yet more old stash! The challenge was to be inspired by a photo that  was summery & boasted a lot of blue. Here's what I  created. The pics were of our older 2 kids, their Uncle Gil, and their cousin Garrett in 2002 at my sister Mary's backyard pool.

"Hello Backyard Tropics"
 Kids having fun with their Uncle Gil.
PP: "Mediterranean Summer" collection- TPC "Grecian Blue" (pre 2010)
Dotted pp, "Hello" accent: Studio Calico "Darling Dear" Collection
Ink: "Autumn Terracotta" - CTMH
Journaling Block & photo mat:  "Autumn Terracotta" - CTMH
Brads: BasicGrey- "Curio" collection (2010)
Banners: Paper scraps from CTMH and Studio Calico
Flowers: Stash
Sunburst button: Frenchy's (my stash)
Font: Ariel bold

Journaling: On Daniel’s birthday in August 2002, we spent the afternoon at a pool party hosted by Tante Mary & Uncle Gil. These are iconic photos of Uncle Gil jumping into the pool with his nephew Garret (Gallant), niece Kate and nephew Bryan. The kids all look so young here! J It was a great “family” day and these photos make us grin!

Photos- August 2002
Journaling by Ali (Mom)- July 2014
Pics taken before we got a digi camera (2004).  

I also joined a FB group called GinaZeeUpcycle. It's a fun thing to upcycle things and I do it all the time, so I'm really enjoying this group! The following LO has an item that I upcycled in it-- you will have a peek at it when I explain.

In addition to the Summer Scrap Challenge group and the Upcycling group, I am a member of the Scrap Stash Kit Club.

This month, I went into it full bore and with great enthusiasm! I have created a kit! It's called "Squeeze" (named as suggested by leader Margareta Carllson.)
 Here itis- I separated the parts a bit so you can see it easily.

Cardstock kit  for "Squeeze" SSKC Kit #1
 (12 sheets- 2 of each)
The green is MUCH more lime-y than it appears here, BTW!
 Patterned  Paper Kit for "Squeeze" SSKC Kit #1
(18 sheets)
Patterned Paper Mini Kit for "Squeeze" SSKC Kit #1
(all partial sheets)
The lime-y green is true in this photo, BTW! LOL
Embellie Kit for "Squeeze" SSKC Kit #1
See the cardboard "tree"? Well, it was a protective "insert" I found in a set of glasses we'd bought at the department store. There were several, and I envisioned them as trees! All have been used in scrap projects except this one. Here's a closer view of this cardboard insert:

Close-up of cardboard piece in the embellie kit.

I created my first "Scrap Stash Kit Club" layout using my version of the  "Squeeze"  kit. Here you go!

"I am Blessed" Layout
by Yours Truly 

This is my UNB Grad photo...I am most proud of the pics of me in my nursing uniform and cap, which have already been scrapped... but I do LIKE this photo and it needed to be safely kept, so here it is!

Journaling Block:  Colonial White CS- CTMH
Dotted PP: Studio Calico "Darling Dear" collection
Small geometric print: SU!
Swirly Print: Tim Coffey (K&Company)
Zigzag print: Studio Calico "Darling Dear" collection
Brads:  BasicGrey "Curio" collection (2010)
Washi Tape: Forever in Time (leftover strip from roll- no adhesive left)
"I am Blessed" title tag: "Simple Pleasures" collection 3 Bugs in a Rug
Ink: Autumn Terracotta: CTMH
Tree "trunk" - Copic marker E55 Light Camel
Flowers for tree: Dollarama #02-3021452 (self-adhesive)
Large Ric-rac- Savvy 'n Sassy (2010)
Font: Arial bold

The cardboard was nicely upcycled into a tree-- I am so happy with it!!
Here's a closeup:

Upcycled cardboard  pce redesigned as a tree! 
Journaling: I am incredibly blessed to be an RN. My nursing career has spanned a brief but rich and varied 20 years in the field-- loved it. Being an RN it has enabled me to care for my large family and better deal with our special needs. Yes, we have a heavy load, but I understand that situations can be MUCH, MUCH worse than whatever we’re facing. That understanding stems from nursing. It helps me take it all in stride and be thankful for what we have despite unexpected challenges: we’re still so richly blessed! I am lucky to be able to talk to medical personnel without fear or lack of understanding… and yes, to “stand up for us” the odd time it’s been needed. I’m thrilled to be able to connect with the teachers who help educate my children. With a strong background in social sciences, I “speak the language.” It makes everything easier. I simply “GET” the fact that others have challenges. Being an RN makes it less difficult to develop strong ties of trust with other human beings. I am blessed to be a strong communicator. Because of this, I am able to understand and feel more clearly what may be going on in the minds of others and to get the clarification needed to move forward. I am able to develop trust with almost everyone I meet because I have good people-skills. Being an RN has made me a good judge of character. Nursing taught me that! I am a decision-maker, a teacher, an advocate, a do-er and a helper. I push forward. I don’t wait for things to happen, I make things happen. It all stems from being an RN. I am thankful- but most of all- yes:  I am blessed.

Photos: UNB Graduation April 1988 (taken Oct 1987)
Journaling by Ali:  July 12, 2014

Thanks for popping by everyone! I am so happy you were here, and SO happy to be back to regular blogging and creating. Makes my heart SING! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Process..."Getting it Done!"

Yep!! LOL! I'm happily shouting it from the rooftops!

I got all of our Christmas 2011 photos scrapped!

As promised the other day, I wanted to share some of my "process" with you.

To start, I must explain that I'm not an event scrapper, and Christmas is an "event" to me. I avoid scrapbooking events because I "overthink" the pages. At least, that's what I suspect!

I've come to the conclusion, though, that sometimes you have to keep things simple, not complicate them, and just get them done. This was a case in point. Those photos needed to be scrapped! They'd been patiently waiting. Our family loves photos, and we deserved to have them saved in a way that would enable us to enjoy them!

Would you like to know how I did this? I took some photos of my "steps" as I worked, and  will use them I'd explain how I planned, and then got this ALL done.

Main premises for this Christmas Album:
Simple, clean
Crisp graphic embellies
Linear design
Minimal layering
USe of white space

Keep it consistent by using:
One colour CTMH ink
One computer journaling font
One title style (Sizzix "Sizzlits"- Nouveau)
One colour CTMH cardstock for BOTH background and journaling
One CTMH paper collection


Gather the photos
for the event you want to scrap.

Decide on size of album based on your preferences and the number of page LOs you want to compile in order to document memories of your event. I chose to go with a 12x12" size.

Choose a paper kit or group of papers that you know will set off your photos. I chose the beautiful "Sparkle and Shine" Paper Collection from CTMH.

"Sparkle and Shine"  from CTMH

There were 6 pieces of double-sided paper in this pack. Additionally, there was plenty of coordinating cardstock including Ruby and Juniper in the collection.. Seen above are the three patterned papers I used exclusively on my pages.

Choose one solid cardstock colour. Be sure you have enough sheets in your stash as this will be the background for each page. I chose White Daisy CS from CTMH for my page bases.There was White Daisy in the paper pack, but I added more from my stash as I needed 13 sheets. Thankfully as a CTMH consultant, I had lots on hand!! LOL. I rarely use white as a background colour, so this was a fun idea.

Choose one ink colour to use throughout your album. I chose Archival Black from CTMH: a nice rich black goes well with Christmas colours and the white background I had planned. Black ink was my choice.

Next, gather some old photo envelopes to use in the sorting process. You know, the ones that photos come in when you pick them up at the photo lab. :) I always have a few laying around on my desk. These were really old ones, so I was happy to give them a new life for this project. You can use any recycled envelopes you have on hand and you will need ONE envelope for each page you plan to create for your project.

Photo lab store envelopes were repurposed
 for sorting
Sort your photos into layouts or "pages."  The number of pages will depend on what you have planned and how many photos you use on each page.

Decide which photos you will use on each page.

Crop the photos to feature the people and things you want to showcase. I tend to crop my photos  in similar or same sizes, this way I can group them in ways that appeal to my linear-thinking brain.

Sketch a design you can refer to later when you create that page. Use the size and number of pics available, already cropped, to guide your sketch.

TIP!! Be sure the paper you sketch on is small enough to fit into your photo envelope. In the past I have sketches on post-its, but this time I had a perfectly-sized notepad handy! Use the approximate shape and size of the pics you have already cropped.

TIP!! Be sure you leave space in the design for journaling. (In my personal sketches, I use a "J" to mark the journaling area.)

Rough layout sketch  by A. MacDonald

Place your photos and the rough sketch in the photo envelope.

Label the envelope and sketch with same number, just in case they happen to get separated. Use pencil so you can erase and use the envelopes again if you wish, once this project is all finished.

I do my sketches "roughly" because I do not know which are "keepers" yet. LOL! If it turns out to be a keeper, I will draw it out properly later for future use! :) I know his is different from the way some folks create, but it's the way I chose to proceed in order to design make the pages I wanted to complete. Works for me!

Envelope containing photos for one layout.
Accompanying sketch will go inside envelope.
(Notice that envelope and sketch are both numbered the same. )
It may be of help to write a suggested title for the page on the envelope containing the photos and sketch.

Place each envelope of pics and its' accompanying sketch in a 12x12" ziplock bag. Place a piece of White Daisy CS in each bag.

Make a bag like this for each page you intend to create.

Write the journaling to go with the photos in the envelope. I do this with my computer. I used Arial unicode MSw for my journaling. I love that font!

Bring your photos over to the spot where you journal so you can refer to them as you write.

Print and place journaling in the bag, ready to roll. (You can handwrite journaling if you wish, just be sure to place in bag.)

TIP!!! Choose one journaling font and one cardstock colour for journaling at the beginning of the project. For example, I decided to use Arial Unicode MS and to repeat the background White Daisy CS for my journaling. This created consistency within the project and kept it simple.

Save your journaling on your computer. I created a folder for this purpose, to keep things from the same project together.

Here is how I created a folder to keep my journaling in:

After I typed my journaling for each page into MS Word, I titled each file and saved it to a folder called "Christmas 2011 Journaling."

Each file of journaling within it was numbered and titled.

This is the way I do all journaling intended for a specific project.

With regard to this particular project, let's say I had just journaled for page/sketch #10. I would call the file "10 Christmas 2011 Journaling."

Journaling for page 1 was called "1 Christmas 2011 Journaling" and for page 7, it was called "7 Christmas 2011 Journaling."  Easy-Peasy!

My "Christmas 2011 Journaling" folder
showing all the files within it.
The numbering of my journaling files corresponds to the numbers on the envelopes and sketches.

Once I had printed the journaling I needed for a specific page and placed it in the Ziplock bag, I wrote DONE in the title of the file.

File title was changed AFTER I'd printed out the journaling. 
The next part is more about my own process, so for the rest of the tutorial. I will talk about this as MY project and not in steps.

I took my 12x12 bags of journaling, CS, photos and sketches over to my scrap desk. I placed them aside for a moment and went hunting thru my stash for some Christmas-y embellishments.

I found chipboard, 3-D stickers, trees, some angels and bling. I set it close to my scrap area to have it handy, either to USE or as inspiration for my pages.

I laid out the sheet of White Daisy CS. I had a gander at my sketch, what papers were available and how much space I would need for the photos placed as they were in the sketch.

Gathering what I need to adhere

I put the photos on the plain white piece of CS to look at the space available. I cut out a title, wiggled things around, slid things back and forth, then decided on what patterned paper I wanted to use.  After that, I just cut it to size, arranged everything, and adhered it all.

I wanted a linear style with lots of white space so I kept that in mind. For example, I decided to mat one photo in this set, as I placed it.

Here's what this particular page looked like when complete. I repeated this process for all the pages.

It was fun, simple and satisfying to get these done!

 Page 9 of our 2011 Christmas Album, all completed! 

Would you like to see the set of layouts I created for my album?
Here you go! I will be working on a title page soon!

 "Christmas Tree Joy"
Our beautiful tree came from Stork’s Landing in Kingston, NS. It had been grown locally at Lake Paul and was fresh as could be! Noah gave it the “sniff of approval”- and once Daddy had placed it in the stand, he proceeded to decorate it with shatterproof ornaments! He was so happy. Then, he went to sleep. We took the ornaments off and Daddy put the lights on the tree.  Noah woke the next day to a tree with shining lights on it, all ready for him to start decorating for real! (Noah was not upset as we always do it this way so that he doesn’t have to wait for lights to go on and gets to decorate it with the ornaments. Tree-day is so exciting for him!)

December 2011

Here is our beautiful tree on Christmas Morning- December 25, 2011

Here are our 3 oldest kids peeking around the corner as they arrived upstairs on Christmas Morning! Great anticipation!!
Although, to be honest…I think Daddy and I were even more excited than they were! (Shhhh!! Don’t tell!)

December 25, 2011

"Big Day" 

December 25th was always a very special family day!
Here are a few different views of the kids while we were having fun relaxing, eating delicious treats like chocolates and “scranwiches” and just being silly. J

Christmas Day, 2011

Bryan was opening a gift from Noah, who was super-interested- carefully watching, then HELPING his big brother unwrap the gift!
The fun expressions on Noah’s face as he helped his big brother were soooooo photo-worthy! **

December 2011

**Translation: darned cute!

"A New Friend"

Daniel was very excited on Christmas morning because he was given a video camera!
Iris was enjoying a snuggle on his lap…
Daniel really loved being her buddy while she was staying with us!  
Such a great day!

Dec 25, 2011

"Happy Guy" 
Daniel enjoyed his time with Iris, and looking at his new gifts!
The various books he was given were things he’d asked for, but the Vivitar camera was a total surprise! It was so comical to see the look on his face when he opened it!** He was super-excited because he LOVES to make movies!
December 25, 2011
**See other photo

"Enjoy, Smile, Relax"

(For this one, I created an "equation.")

Kids’ anticipation of Dec 25th
Pretty tree
Yummy treats
+ Critters
Things that make Christmas fun!!