Documenting Covid: Mask mandates

I’m on a journey this year to get more stories in my covid album. I started this album during a Crop & Create event class where we created pocket pages using a calendar set up to document an entire year. I knew that this would be perfect for covid! I did purchase a second set of kit supplies since I knew that covid would last longer than a year!

The most details are outlined in this video

Here is a quick look at the base of my album.

I do have a few independent 12×12 pages in there already. In fact I have this t-page spread about when the mask mandates ended in 2021.

And those pages lead right into this new layout about how the mask mandates returned just a couple of months after ending thanks to the delta variant.

The key to this layout was using newspaper (can they really be called newspapers anymore??) headlines from the internet. I took screen shots of the headlines, sized them all the same and then printed them out on photo paper. I was sure to record the news source and the date as part of the layout flow.

The other piece to this layout was the title I created in Cricut using some of the newest features in the software. One of my biggest complaints about the Cricut has been the wimpy features in the software. Well, that seems to be changing! Here is a tutorial on how I created this title.

As always, I hope this gave you some ideas for your own scrappy life!

Interactive Layout: Lift-a-flap

I was inspired by 1) the sheet of paper from Pinkfresh studio pictured below and 2) a prompt from the LOAD challenge to tell a story about community. Those two prompts came together to create a very fun interactive layout!

PinkFresh Studio, Life Right Now Collection, “Weekend”

All the little locations on that map paper reminded me of favorite spots in my own town that I wanted to document. I knew I wanted to add lots of little photos to each of those spots. But I didn’t want to cover up all of the fun map paper. What to do?? Create 15 flaps on the page to open up to reveal the photo beneath!

All the details are easiest to see in this video. But I do have some still shots to follow that I try to explain the process.

Page with flaps closed
Page with flaps open

I used a square punch to create a template to trace on my layout. I cut only around three sides of each square to create all the flaps. Once I cut those flaps through my pattern paper I did have to back it with another sheet of paper. That way I would have somewhere to glue my photos and not just lots of holes through my paper! In the process I sandwiched a binding strip in between those papers. This strip has holes punched in it to fit into a ringed album, and it is thick/sturdy enough to stand up to plenty of touching. Since this layout is so very interactive, it can’t slide into a page protector! You can get a better look at the binding strip here.

On the back of the layout I created a pocket with vellum to tuck in about 3 pages of journaling! Yes, I can get wordy, but this IS a layout about an entire town over 20 years of experience!

I hope this project inspired you in some way to tell more stories in your life. If it did spark an idea, leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Forgery on the Fourth, April ’22

As a design team member over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge group I play along with as many of our monthly inspiration challenges as I can. The FOF — Forgery on the 4th — project is definitely one I enjoy! So let’s go ahead and dive in to what I have for you this month.

We are inspired by this kit from Scrapbook Doodle from back in 2015. The kit focuses on Bo Bunny’s Sweet Life collection.

Diving deeper into the embellishment pack, I was drawn to the butterflies, especially the white on craft and the text print ones.

I pulled out my butterfly die set and got to work. As you’ll see from the below photos I went a bit wild with creating… not only butterflies but other shapes as well. See the whole process on YouTube, or keep reading for the short version.

Of course the CKC blog has more forgery examples to check out. I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can create forgeries of your favorite products with supplies you already have on hand. Don’t forget to show off your stuff over on the CKC Facebook group, or tag us on Instagram @counterfeitkitchallenge or use #counterfeitkitchallenge.

Washi Tape review

I was contacted by a company called Grabie.cc with an opportunity to review washi tape for them. They discovered me via my YouTube channel and reached out to me as a way to help promote their young company. After looking over their website I decided I would do the review for them. The did send me a free pack of washi to use for the review; though I will readily admit that the several hours it took me to create and then edit the video comes no where near to actual compensation! I did it because the company claims some philosophy that resonated with me: art as therapy, production of produsts with a zero waste mindset and connecting community. I know anyone can say anything they want on the internet, so I hope these philosophies hold true.

I’ll give you just the gist here, but the video goes into more details. I was generally satisfied with my product thought there was some stickiness inconsistency. Really that is the whole story! So take a look at some photos of everything.

When using this washi as I normally would it all worked out nicely. It was easy to lift and move early on in creating (there was some residue left if I waited until later to move it). I was able to write on it. I could punch through it to create embellishments. All in all it was nice to work with. And the patterns on some of the pieces were designed to line up so that you could get continuous pattern if you applied the tape in adjacent rows. Nice!

Grabbie has some other interesting products that I’m going to check out. Perhaps you want to check them out as well.

Forgery on the Fourth, April ’22

As a design team member over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge group I play along with as many of our monthly inspiration challenges as I can. The FOF — Forgery on the Fourth — project is definitely one I enjoy! I like getting creative to create my own embellishments. So let’s go ahead and dive in to what I have for you this month.

We are working with this kit from Papers and Beyond called Follow Your Bliss as our inspiration.

Did you notice the wood rimmed button flair in that kit? Well that is where I got my idea.

You can see how I went about creating my forgery in video form, or keep reading for the quick photo version.

I’ve done this technique before in this DIY embellishment video, but at the time I was mimicking metal brad flairs. That technique totally translated into this technique. I used a 1/2 inch punch and a 3/4 inch punch to create rings. The top layer is the decorative layer and the three solid colors are the thickness/filler layers to create depth and texture. Finally, the large punch was used to create solid base circles. With the smaller punch I punched images out of scraps of patterned paper. Then it was just a matter of layering them all up.

I did choose to top them off with a layer of Nuvo drops in clear for that domed flair effect, but that is optional. If you do the Nuvo, let them dry over night.

That is it! While it took a little bit of time, it wasn’t hard to create these little embellishments. Next time I may speed up the process by creating cut files in the Cricut to do all the circle & ring cutting for me. That way I could also get thinner rings as well. That would make them more button-like. So, while these aren’t exact replicas of wood button flair, I really like how the came out!

Of course the CKC blog has more forgery examples to check out. I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can create forgeries of your favorite products with supplies you already have on hand. Don’t forget to show off your stuff over on the CKC Facebook group, or tag us on Instagram @counterfeitkitchallenge or use #counterfeitkitchallenge.

Forgery on the Fourth, March ’22

As a design team member over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge group I play along with as many of our monthly inspiration challenges as I can. The FOF—or Forgery on the Fourth—project is definitely one I enjoy! So let’s go ahead and dive in to what I have for you this month.

We are working with this kit from Citrus Twist, called Life Crafted “Weekender” as our inspiration. The second photo shows a close up of the daisy embellishments sprinkled in the kit. I decided I needed to create forgeries of those!

I started with a PinkFresh stencil that is actually designed for slimline cards. It is a multilayer stencil that adds lots of details.

I didn’t need the full stencil, just individual flowers. Looking at the packaging I noticed 4 flowers total that had that classic daisy shape. So I located those on my stencil and marked them with some flags of Post-It Notes.

Using a small blending brush from Gina K and 4 inks, two in yellow and two in browns (various manufactures!) I proceeded to blend JUST the main flower heads. That meant I did not need to use two of the stencils from the set since those were for the leaves/stems. Two of the stencils were for flower petal details and two were for flower center details. Once done I had this sheet of flowers.

The mess on the right side of the paper is me testing inks and cleaning my brush to switch colors. The pencil tick marks are there to help me line up the 4 different stencils in the correct place each time. I did one pass with the stencil, then shifted it over on my paper and did one more pass. Then I rotated the stencil 90 degrees and did two more passes that direction for a total of 16 flowers. Since the flowers are small it didn’t take long at all. A little bit of fussy cutting and I have myself a pile of pretty petals to play with!

Hope this helps you look at your stencils in a new light. They don’t have to be used “as is” and can be shifted to your needs!

Of course the CKC blog has more forgery examples to check out. I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can create forgeries of your favorite products with supplies you already have on hand. Don’t forget to show off your stuff over on the CKC Facebook group, or tag us on Instagram @counterfeitkitchallenge or use #counterfeitkitchallenge.

Forgery on the Fourth, Feb ’22

As a design team member over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge group I play along with as many of our monthly inspiration challenges as I can. The FOF project is definitely one I enjoy! So let’s go ahead and dive in to what I have for you this month.

We are working with this kit from Coca Daisy and is called Denim & Blush from Feb 2021 as our inspiration.

Did you notice the the small tickets tucked behind the enamel dots, or the leafy die cuts/stamped images up near the top of that kit? Well that is where I got my ideas for this month’s forgeries.

You can see how I went about creating my forgeries in video form where I highlight a couple of tips for bulk stamping & die cutting for mass embellishment or card piece production.

Here is just a quick peek at how my items turned out. The tickets were really easy to make. I bet the picture will give you enough info on how it worked out. The greenery was stamped and die cut on solid cardstock and on lightly painted watercolor paper. I will add more color when I get to using those.

Stamp & die sets used:

  • Avery Elle: Sending Flowers stamp & die
  • Photoplay Paper: Exclusive from an online class

Of course the CKC blog has more forgery examples to check out. I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can create forgeries of your favorite products with supplies you already have on hand. Don’t forget to show off your stuff over on the CKC Facebook group, or tag us on Instagram @counterfeitkitchallenge or use #counterfeitkitchallenge.

What is hybrid scrapbooking?

For 2022 I’m starting on a once a month adventure of incorporating more hybrid scrapbooking into my memory keeping. So what exactly is hybrid scrapbooking? It is the process of using digital scrapbooking supplies to turn them into physical items and then using them to complete a physical layout. If you do a photo collage in an app and then print and use that photo collage as in on a layout, technically you are hybrid scrapbooking. Even using a cut file on your electronic die cutting machine could be considered hybrid as well. My intentions are to use the collection of digital scrapbook kits that I have purchased over the years. I have a backlog of these files because I thought I would turn into a mainly digital scrapbooker at some point. However, the need to use physical items matters so much to my experience of creating art that I can’t go fully digi. However, I can get some of the benefits of digi and use them in my physical layouts.

I’ll start you off with the layout process video I created this month.

In the video I mention the benefits of hybrid as I create. Here I can just easily list them.

  1. You don’t have to have lots of space to store a ton of supplies! You just need a stack of paper and a printer to turn the digi items into physical items. (An electronic die cutter is super helpful, but I’ll cover that in a bit.)
  2. You can use only the pieces of an embellishment pack that you actually like. No leftover unwanted bits.
  3. You can resize items to a smaller size if you like (going larger usually doesn’t work well due to the pixel nature of digital graphics.)
  4. You can duplicate and create as many of the same element that you love.
  5. If you mess up an item, you can always print a new one!

While there are real good things about using digital elements, there are some cons as well.

  1. If you are a 12×12 scrapper, an investment in a 12×12 printer OR the flexibility to design 12×12 layouts using 8.5×11 papers is critical.
  2. It takes more time to select and then print your products as opposed to just pulling out some items and getting to work.
  3. If you want to create embellishments, an electronic die cutter is going to be a life saver. Otherwise you are going to become the fussy cutting champ of all time. A machine is yet another money, time and tech know-how investment.

I’m hear to help with that last point! I have a tutorial for you on one way to use your Cricut machine to take some digital scrapbook die cuts and create physical die cuts.

And here is a look at the final result.

What do you think? Can you tell that I printed most of these products myself?

Let me know what you think about hybrid scrapping!

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 Forgeries

I admit that I am a forger. Luckily since it is just craft supplies that I forge, I am innocent of any crimes! Take a look at the items I was inspired by. The kit inspiration we are using this month over at CKC is the “Vivid” kit by {Not} Just for Boys kit club from September 2020.

Here you can see the whole kit plus two close-ups. Notice all the frames? And how about those three little tassels? I’m going to recreate those and it is easy. Check out the whole process on YouTube. That is the best way to see everything, including how to use the Frame Punch Board to create frames. For photo tutorial on the tassels, keep reading.

You can follow along on this photo tutorial to create simple little tassels. I used literal bakers twine here from the kitchen section of my grocer, but any light weight twine or embroidery floss will work.

The punch board pictured far left is a tool made by We R Memory keepers and it is one of my favorites in my stash. It eliminates most :thinking” needed to cut simple frames. Learning to use it is not too hard, but you do have to pay attention to the steps, so checking out my video above is the best way.

Now go forge some craft supplies. But if you get arrested, don’t mention my name 😉