Kit building for Oct ’21

Yep, it is that time again. I’m here with my Counterfeit Kit build for October. Joining us as Guest Designer this time around is Machelle Willing. Let’s give her a big welcome!

Diving in I expected our inspiration piece to be fall themes, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was more home and connection themed with a color palette right up my alley. This is the May ’21 kit + add-ons by Hip Kit Club. Let’s take a look…

Main Kit

I ended up ignoring the inspiration kit theme altogether and built my kit around specific designers/companies that caught my attention! Ha! I was inspired by PinkFresh, Jen Hadfield and Paige Evans in the inspiration kit to pull from my own stash of papers from those designers/companies. And along the way Vicki Boutin made an appearance as well. The theme I ended up pulling together became the title of this kit build called Nature Study. You’ll see how it got that name and theme as you follow along here.

First up the video version. Keep reading for the short version…

As I was pulling all manner of anything that caught my attention I realized that I had two different feels going on in my choices, which you may notice above. To get specific, in the photos below you will see that I have a bold and graphic office/school vibe (photo directly below) and then a soft and flowing nature vibe (2nd photo below).

I am perfectly okay with that! This is my kit and I can do what I want. When you build your kit you can do what you want as well! That is the beauty of CKC. I did, however, make some choices that do help tie things together. My “solid” color paper choices are flexible enough that they can work with either vibe. And giving this kit the title Nature Study is a sneaky way to justify my disparate choices! LOL!

For embellishments I pulled some items directly from the kit inspiration and some items from designers, and tried to keep my newly developed theme in mind.

This kit is jam packed with embellishments which I know I will NEVER get to use all of this month. But choices are really nice and I will be doing quite a bit of scrapping this October as I’m playing along with the LayOut A Day challenge (aka LOAD) over at ScrapHappy.org. So we shall see how big of a dent I can make in these supplies.

Don’t forget that this kit reveal is a hop and you can go check out the other Master Forgers to see how their minds work in approaching this inspiration. And if you want to join in and play along, CKC is totally free and welcoming you can follow the blog below and join the Facebook group to share your work.

Mini Kit + Pocket Page Ideas

Hello everyone. I’m here with the Counterfeit Kit Club’s Mini Kit and project for the month of September 2020. You can quickly see my whole process in the video below or keep reading for the text and photo version.

Our inspiration kit (Vivid by {Not} Just for Boys kit club) shown below had a strong fall theme vibe.

When I was pondering this project I was in the process of cleaning my scrap space. While doing that I came across this bin that contained the extra photos, paper scraps and previous fall themed layout I had created a couple of month back.

Admittedly this gave me a huge head start on creating a page kit for this month’s mini. If you think I cheated, I promise all you would need to do to get to this same point is choose a base pattern paper or cardstock, plus 3-4 pattern paper scraps in various sizes. Then grab 6-10 embellishment pieces in various sizes to support your theme and you are done. Simple as that. Really.

Here I chose a base woodgrain paper, 5 pattern paper scraps, 1 cardstock and literally 12 individual embellishment pieces. The woodgrain, plaid and use of blue comes from our inspiration piece. The other imagery I chose to support my page theme (cameras + together/cozy)

Once I had a narrow palette of supplies to work with, my layout came together quickly. I think about this style of layout as a “pocket page” layout without the actual pockets. (You could also just call it a grid layout). I love the idea of pocket pages for ease but I feel too constrained by the pocket numbers and orientations. So I started my layout with the base page + photos. I trimmed my photos, and in fact all the pocket elements, down by 1/4″ in both height and width to give that gap that pockets have.

The open areas around the photos now become other “pockets.” The top right was very large and could have been broken down into several pockets, but I left it large for more visual impact to those cameras since this layout is about selfies. The journal pocket on the bottom left is 6×4″ (or rather 5.75×3.75″ once trimmed down.) The gray strip started at 2×4″ before trimming and the lower plaid is 2×8″ before trimming.

Sprucing up each pocket with limited embellishments helps the whole page feel cohesive. I also repeat elements, such as circles, blue, and plaid, in a visual triangle to pull everything together. Approaching a layout this way is super straightforward. It gives you the ease of pocket pages without the constraints. And with this design you could include way more photos than I did! Just so much flexibility here.

I hope you were inspired by how easy it can be to put together a quick page kit as well as a quick layout!

September CKC Kit

Welcome to September 2021 everyone. For me this year has flown by despite all the continuing troubles with covid. I thought for sure this would be another year that crawled by. Yet here we are. I hope you have all stayed safe and healthy. I send you extra wishes for continued health as we head back indoors with the chill of fall weather looming.

Lets get on to crafting, shall we? This month Master Forger Tina is our kit host and she has invited Tori Gaines as our guest designer!

Tina has offered up this kit called Vivid from the {Not} Just for Boys kit club from September 2020 as our inspiration this month. Of course it is sold out at this point so counterfeiting this kit is a great option to get the vibe you are going for.

This kit includes

“Vivid” Paper: 

  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Amy Tan-Late Afternoon “Make a Wish”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Amy Tan-Late Afternoon “Free Spirit”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Amy Tan-Late Afternoon “Warm & Cozy”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Heidi Swapp- Old School “Summerland”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Simple Stories-SN@P! Basics “Walnut/Cream Dot” 
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Heidi Swapp- Old School “True Blue”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Elle & Viv- Oxidation “7” (single sided)
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Echo Park- Witches & Wiards “Letters”

“Vivid” Embellishments: 

  • Crete Paper “Magical Forest” Puffy Alpha Copper Foil Stickers-14 pieces
  • 1 NJFB 3″ x 4″ Exclusive “Vivid” Stamp Set- 13 stamps
  • 1 Amy Tan-“Late Afternoon” Ephemera Pack- 40 pieces
  • 1 Jar NJFB “Vivid” Pearl Mix
  • 3 Yards “Vivid” Trim (1 yard each of 3 colors)
  • 1 Pack of NJFB Exclusive Acrylic Embellishments and 3 Mini Tassels  
  • 24 “Vivid” Textured Buttons
  • 1 “Tree Slice” cardstock cut by Sophie Gallo  

For the whole process of my kit build you can check out the video I made for this month.

The first thing I noticed about the kit is the warm oranges and browns of the classic fall season imagery. Since these are not my favorite colors and I am just plain not ready for fall, I looked deeper at the kit for inspiration. The Heidi Swapp blue and yellow stripe/geometric paper caught my attention next. I know I have this paper in my stash… well at least I thought I did. When building my kit I just couldn’t find it. (I may have tucked it away in another project and since forgotten which project and where!) Despite not being able to find that paper I let the colors lead the way for me. And then I followed this inspiration kit’s path in terms of pattern. I found some plaids/checks, a bold floral, woodgrain and some watercolor textures. I then added a couple of supporting patterns to round out the choices.

Moving on to embellishments I was inspired by the leafy die cuts, ribbon texture, wood texture buttons, and the log cut file. I decided to pull wood and cork elements and add in plenty of floral die cuts. It worked out that some of my leafy ephemera also had gold, which was included in the alpha from the inspiration kit. I also found some floral acetate that can take the place of the acrylics in the inspiration kit. Toss in a few natural fibers and some alphas and that topped off my kit.

With this lighter, brighter take on this inspiration that clings to the remnants of summer, I’m calling this kit Last Hurrah.

Be sure to check out all the fun over at the Counterfeit Kit Club blog for challenges and inspiration to build and use your kit. Don’t forget to see the other design team members’ takes on this months inspiration. Be sure to leave extra love for Tori for being our guest designer this time around.

For the love of kits

It is no secret that I am a fan of crafty kits. I have subscribed to various kits over the years, largely scrapbooking. But I always end up cancelling. This is often for three reasons:

  1. On ongoing spending commitment. Many scrapbooking kits clock in anywhere from &25-40 per month.
  2. Stash overwhelm. I found I wasn’t using everything from those big kits every month.
  3. Shipping. Many boxes containing 12×12 papers cost $8-10 to ship. Imagine what I could by with the money spent on shipping.

And yet I still WANT the kits. I want the surprise. I want to try new things. I love getting goodies in the mail. I love digging into a fresh set of supplies and the inspiration that sparks excitement.

So what is a crafter to do when the pros and cons collide? I went on a search for smaller scrappy kits and couldn’t find what I was looking. Then somehow I realized that the SCT Sampler kit, put out by Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine, was right under my nose. (And just to get this clear right now I do not in any way work for SCT. I simply use their kits and am happy to share my love of them.) The kits are packed with fun at a fair price point, between $14-17 per month including shipping. Longer commitment = lowers price. Yes there is still a commitment but that is why I like to show these kits off so you can decide if they are right for you.

Look at the goodies that come in a typical kit! Like the name implies these are samples of supplies. You get 6×6 papers cut down from 12×12 (no shipping fee on the “large” item boxes!). You get partial packs of die cuts, stickers enamel dots and other items from two different paper collections. You get a theme word embellishment (currently a chunky acrylic word). Plus there is a long-term reusable item that is often a stamp set but may otherwise be a stencil, storage pouch or other item to keep.

You can see the full unboxing on my YouTube channel. I even have a playlist of previous kits so you can see the things to expect from these kits.

When you watch my unboxing I also do a project to show you that these kits can pack plenty of possibilities. For this episode I created a Christmas layout using summer products!

SCT Sampler Kit Unboxing

It is surprise time of the month. I love getting my little goody box in the mail. I alway squish the package to try and feel/guess what is inside. I know, it is usually a stamp. But there are days when I do get surprised! Like this time we got a cute little storage pouch from Scrapbook.com. You can see all the goodies packed in this little power package on my YouTube unboxing. And if you know my unboxings, you know I always have a project included. So don’t miss it.

And if you want a quick look at the project, you can take a gander.

If you want more info on these affordable little packs (as low as $14 per month, INCLUDING shipping), head over to the SCT site.

CKC Kit Reveal & Blog Hop, July 2021

I am thrilled to say that this is my first official blog hop as part of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge design team! And I am raring to go so let’s dive in.

First off, YouTube is my favorite platform so I will always start you off with a link to my “live” look at my kit build.

And for those of you who prefer text and photos, I have you covered too! First off lets take a look at the inspiration for this months kit. We are working from The Paper Person April 2021 kit called New Episode.

I always start by taking a good look at the kit and any close up photos I can find. This time around I noticed that Obed Marshall’s Buenos Dias collection plays a big role in this kit. That is going to make me dive a bit deeper, which we’ll get to. First I notice that this kit is on the smaller side, strongly features blue & green with orange pops, has a stamp set and enamel dots. Those are all things I can work with. But like I said, I have that Buenos Dias collection rattling around in my brain so I just have to go look more at that.

So what am I going to pick up from this bit of inspiration? Just that map print. I say “just” but that rainbow map is swoon worthy.

My final paper choices ended up including blues and greens but I subbed in red instead of orange as my accent color. I used the confetti kit paper as inspiration for my blue confetti paper choice on the left. I have a green map print there in the middle. That map included florals so I pulled the blue floral next. And the final three papers include my pops of red. That last paper also catches some of the artful energy of the Obed Marshall line.

Embellishments are up next. the inspiration piece had cut-aparts, labels, enamel dots, some die cut ephemera, and a stamp set. I included all of those elements. Plus I added some clear Nuvo drops in case I want to create more custom enamel style elements. I know the Obed Marshall enamels are more artistic, so I could get creative if I want. There was no alpha in the inspiration kit but I gotta have alpha, so I just picked colors I know I like. And then I threw in a few more bits of paper in my color palette that will be good for layering embellishment clusters.

So that is my base kit. The team has a tradition of naming their kits so I’m calling this one Chasing Blues. However, the kit is just shy of complete. CKC has a project called Forgery on the 4th. So I’ll be back in a couple of days to add a bit more into my kit. Any guesses as to what I’ll be forging?? Here is a hint… I like to do a bit of painting now and again. Join me on the 4th to see what I end up doing.

And don’t forget this is a hop. Go see what direction the other team members went with their kits. And a special shout out to the guest designer for this month, Antonia!

Be sure to share up your kit build with us. There are a couple of ways to play along…

• Join the CKC Facebook group
• Use Instagram to tags us @counterfeitkitchallenge or #counterfeitkitchallenge

June week 1 update

The time is just marching along. I’ve been busy already in June creating projects. At the beginning of the month, as is typical for me, I create my scrapbook kit for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. Normally I will also play along with the Best of Both worlds kit but since my CKC kit ended up so big, I decided I had enough to play with!

You can quickly see what I’ve got going on in this kit. The watercolor cards were a product of what CKC calls Forgery on the 4th. I’ve got one video of my kit build and one process video of my watercolor forgeries, so I hope you check out both of those. And keep reading to see the projects I’ve created so far with this kit.


Then I got to work with my kit and did two layout process videos using these supplies. As you can see I have enough variety of items in my kit to get different moods of projects!

You can see my processes in action in these videos. The Feline Chat layout involved some design helpers using my Cricut, if you like to see ways to put your electronic die cutters to use.

I hope you enjoyed a look at what has kept me busy so far this month. I’ll be back in a couple of days with a DIY organizational project, so do come back!

April 5-9 Update

The beginning of a month is kit building time and my two typical kits are waiting for me to create with them. Normally I would have a third video project for the week. However, I got my second dose of the covid vaccine and I must say it knocked me out. So I will get that video up as soon as I can. Let me just say as a sneak that it will be sparkly! If you want to see my whole monthly schedule you can check out my schedule page.

So… Let’s take a look at these kit builds shall we?


Kit #1: BOBW

I created my Best of Both Worlds kit first this month, even though the video is posted second. The reasoning why is boring calendar reasons that I don’t need to go into. Why did I even mention it then? Since I had created this kit first it impacted my creation of my second kit. And this project came first since I had the inspiration to build it first!

The products Shimelle chose for her BOBW kit included spring vibes in a variety of styles and the pieces from Simple Stories Vintage Cottage collection caught my attention the strongest. So I chose 6 sheets from that collection, added in other Simple Stories woodgrain papers, and a few sheets of color supporting cardstock and called my paper selections good.

For embellishments and alphas I bought the Cottage collection 12×12 sticker sheet and sticker book. The book has several alphas in there for flexibility. I added to my kit from my stash cork tags and neutral twine for rustic feel. Enamel products in blue glitter dots and liquid Nuvo drops were also a part of this kit. And then since it is Easter time I did add one Easter product (stamp & die set). Finally a floral stamp and die set is in there for creating dimensional flowers.


Kit #2: Counterfeit Kit

I really love playing along with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. While we all start with the same inspiration kit, all our builds can go in their own direction. I love seeing how everyone interprets the same images and makes it their own! And speaking of making it my own… The inspiration for CKC this month featured the same color palette as the BOBW kit. Since I already used that color palette, I was wanting something different. So I chose to keep the spring, outdoorsy vibe but take it in a purple and green color palette. Normally I will build the CKC kits from my stash but I don’t have many products in those colors in my supplies so I went shopping. And it so happened that I was in a nearby town that has an actual brick-and-mortar scrapbook store! It was a double win. I got new goodies and I got to support my “local” store.

You can see the purple and green coming through. Even the multicolor prints have elements of purple and green. But using the multicolor prints as well it will keep my layouts from feeling to “samey”. Now paper alone does not make for a kit. I also bought purple glitter Nuvo drops, green enamel dots and a purple alpha. Then from my stash I threw in tiny paper clips, buttons, twine, stencils, punches and more alphas that all nature elements. I will be playing with gesso in this kit as well. The last detail of this kit is hard to see in the photo but I created some faux acrylic word embellishments. The video details that process if you want to know more!


Scrapbook Kit Builds

New month. New kits! I love the beginning of a month because it means I get to pull out scrappy products – either brand new, or more often hidden gems from my stash – and get to work putting them together in pretty kits to play with for the month. By the beginning of the month I’ve played with my previous kits enough that I am tired of them and ready for something new. So the energy from putting together a new kit is a nice refresh at the start of the month.

I don’t build a kit from nowhere. I usually take inspiration from something to get me going. Right now I am playing along with two kit projects to draw my inspiration. So let’s take a look at each.

Shimelle Laine’s Best of Both Worlds kit
While she provides a kit that you can buy outright, she also has the flexibility to do it your way. Here is how it works. Visit her shopping list at Scrapbook.com. Add the items on her shopping list to your shopping cart. Leave off any items you already have or don’t like. Add in any extras that you need for your craft supply (it is a full service paper crafty website after all). Boom. Done. Scrapbooking kit created by a designer to coordinate nicely, no commitments to subscription programs and flexibility to make it your own.

But I rarely follow the basics. I just have to be a rebel and go my own way. That usually means looking at her kit, finding what inspires me – perhaps icons, or a color pallet or a certain mood – and then I build my own kit. Often I do this from supplies I already own since I have plenty. But this month I was inspired by a color pallet that isn’t in my stash so I shopped very specifically for those supplies (and Shimelle still gets credit as an affiliate!). See where my brain took me this month.

I started with navy and coral colors, added in yellow and then build out the kit with embellishments featuring circles, flowers and gold. See my whole process in the video below.



Counterfeit Kit Challenge
This group offers a blog and facebook group to bring you an actually scrapbook kit as inspiration that you can then mimic, or as the title suggests, counterfeit. This means that you can completely use supplies you already own. And the group offer community, design team inspiration and challenges through the month to get you scrapping.

I did have a face-palm moment when I realized I didn’t include an alphabet in this kit. But since i have a good stash of those I will just go to my supply when I need something. That will give me a little more flexibility on each layout. In fact I created this page with my kit right away and grabbed the alpha out of last month’s kit. It was running low on letters so I couldn’t make the full title I wanted, but getting more of the supply used up makes me feel less guilty when I have to throw away unused letters and number.

If you’d like to see my whole build process you can check out this video.

Do you like to build kits? What is it about the process you enjoy? Or do you struggle? What makes it hard for you? Leave me comments and we can talk about kit building.

What is a scrapbook kit club?

I recently got a comment on one of my YouTube videos asking questions about scrapbooking kits and I thought I would answer that question here with more detail than is practical for YouTube comment.

Some people prefer scrapbooking on the fly where they choose each element to their page as they go. And some people prefer to have a set of supplies ready to go to make the page creating process smoother. That is where kits come in. Scrapbook kits are a selection of supplies that coordinate well together to create a number of scrapbook pages. I create a lot of my own kits from supplies I’ve been collecting over the years. In my scrapbook kit I always add the following:

  • Scrapbook papers and/or cardstock: 3-10 depending on the size of kit I’m after
  • An alphabet set: 1-2 (I often choose 1 large font and one smaller font in different colors)
  • Large embellishments items: 1-2 packs, such as die cuts, chipboard pieces or sticker sheet/set
  • Smaller embellishments items: 1-2 packs, such as enamel dots, sequins, buttons or smaller stickers
  • Texture items, optional: things like ribbons/twine, puffy or foam word & phrases, paper flowers and so on. The items listed above can also do this job.

If you want to give this a try. but need help guiding you in product selections, the Counterfeit Kit Challenge is a group who does just that. Once a month an inspiration kit is chosen and you can choose items from your own supplies that match, mimic or are simply inspired by the pieces in the inspiration kit. If you already have supplies sitting around, this is a great way to learn to build kits. The group offers lots of examples and has an active Facebook group for community. I share my kit building thought process each month.

Now if you don’t want to build your own kits, you can buy pre-made kits. Several monthly kit clubs exist and I don’t have experience with all of them. But I will link you up to some options and you can see what they have to offer. Most clubs are subscriptions with minimum membership requirements and purchase levels and then offer extras on top of that as well. Some clubs let you buy their kits (assuming they haven’t sold out) at a higher price without having to commit to a subscription.

  • Best of Both Worlds by Shimelle Laine: This is not a typical kit “club”. You are not a member. Instead you follow her shopping list at Scrapbook.com (which is updated once a month) and add all the shopping items to your cart. What makes this the best of both worlds is that you can buy coordinated items without thinking about it, and yet if there is something you don’t like you can delete it from your cart. In addition if there are a few other things you need you can add them into your cart since this kit is offered through a full paper crafting online retailer. See my January take on her kit (I build from my own supplies.)
  • Hip Kit Club: This is a typical 12×12 scrapbooking kit club where you get a kit shipped to you once a month. They coordinate a beautiful kit of all the latest scrapbook lines and the kits have a seasonal theme to them most of the year. They also offer large add-on kits of extra products (and cost!). You can also order products without subscribing they just cost more. I’ve used and loved Hip Kit. (See my playlist for unboxings.) But if you are on a budget, this can be expensive. Shipping alone is $9 per month. See a typical kit.
  • The Scrap Room: Is a 12×12 monthly subscription with lots of add ons at lower price points. They use popular new scrapbooking products. Their main kit is called the “Flavors of the Month kit” and they actually send you 4 mini-kits each month. Each small kit is enough to create a couple of scrapbook layouts depending on your layering style. This seems to be the best priced full-size scrapping kit around.
  • Felicity Jane: I don’t know much about this club but they do offer a 12×12 kit and their products are exclusive to their company. You can also order products without subscribing; they just cost more.
  • SCT Sampler Kit: This kit is put out by the Scrapbook and Cards Today – thus, SCT – magazine. This is a kit of samples of current market supplies. You get about 12 6×6 sheets of paper, partial packs of embellishments and one re-useable supply such as a stamp set or an embossing folder. This kit is great for card makers, travelers notebooks, pocket pages, daily journals and scrapbookers. They have 3-, 6-, or 12-month options with the latter being only $14 a month including shipping. This is a huge bargain. But, if you are a 12×12 scrapper you will need some tips on converting 6×6 papers to large size. I offer tips on how to do that on my YouTube playlist for these kits. I love these and would recommend them. I think they are also great for new crafters to help build up a supply of products. Keep in mind though, if you don’t have some common craft items already like stamping inks and especially a manual die cut machine (needed for embossing folders and metal dies) then the extra re-useable item may not be useful to you.

There are certainly other paper crafting kits out there. Since I am a 12×12 scrapper that is the realm I know the most about. The 12×12 size has been joined by other sizes & styles such a pocket pages and travelers notebooks. Kits for those sizes have become more popular for several reasons that I won’t go into detail about. But one of the reasons is smaller sized product means easier shipping & lower shipping costs.

So that is my quick take on scrapbook kits. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you!