Thursday, October 23, 2008

My retreat

It was a great retreat! One of the hardest things about moving is not knowing anyone when you get to the new place. Because we always move for my husband's job, he gets to meet all the people, and I get stuck at home by myself until I get a job or find new people to scrapbook with. I made up for all my missed social time by absorbing it all at the retreat.

A friend of mine who lives on the other side of the state invited me to this retreat. She's been telling them about me for months, so they felt like they knew me a bit already. They were so welcoming, and after just a few hours I was really a part of the group (with teasing and everything).

I was very impressed with the work and style these ladies have when they scrap. It was inspiring to watch them finish page after page of beautiful perfection!

Since I spent much time being a social butterfly (and a nosy scraplifter!), I didn't get as much done as I would've liked. I also brought WAY too much stuff and spent too much time searching for materials and setting up for the projects. I did manage to get 18 calendar pages done (6 of each, Jan, Feb, and March -- see below), several components of my Christmas cards, 2 pages, and 3 cards. I also borrowed my friend's cricut expression machine and cartridges to cut out several pieces for other calendar pages. Hopefully, all that work will make everything else flow smoothly and quickly. So, while I didn't come home with as many different completed projects as I would like, I did come home with a lot ready to go and some stored up social time to last me for a little while.

So, now -- here are some great pictures of the campground where the retreat was located:

Sunrise -- yes, I got up that early the first morning!

Moon over my cabin

Autumn on the lake

Chirpy the chipmonk -- such a camera flirt!

March Calendar pages

Here are my March Calendar pages from last year and this year.

This is last year's calendar page. 4 smaller photos can be matted on the 4 parts of the kite, or one big picture can be placed there. It's hard to see in the photo, but the words in the bottom left say "fly a kite." The "fly a" is in orange, in a cursive style font, in case you can't make that out in the photo. This was a great way to get rid of scrap paper and ribbon.

This calendar page is even better for using up scraps of paper. Photos can be placed in the upper left, over the rainbow, or in the same pocket as the gold.

So, those are the pages that are done so far. I'm going to skip April because I'm still deciding on the design for that one. I'm down to 2 options. One I think is prettier than the other, but will take a lot longer. The other one will be easy, but messier (uses lots of paint). So, I'll probably save April until the end when I can decide if I'm running out of time. Just wanted you to be aware that the next month I post will be May instead! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

February Calendar Pages

So here are February's pages!

This is last year's page. One of the black frames is a pocket to insert a photo.

This year's page is a great way to use up some supplies. The "wrapper" on each chocolate is made from brown mulberry paper. Each chocolate has been decorated with either glitterglue or with the foil and rub set I bought a long time ago. There's a great big space on the top left to put a photo. They could also put a little photo over one of the chocolates.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Calendar projects

Last year, I made calendars as gifts for family members. They seemed to be the perfect thing. No "junk" that would clutter people's homes, not a huge amount of money spent (I used up a lot of items in my stash that I needed to clear out), a handmade item that doesn't need to be a major addition to someone's decor. Just a wall calendar. But it was set up to be a Scrapbook, too. Anyone who wanted to add photos could slide the pages into a 12x12 album, and ta-da! -- a finished album.

This year, I've had many scrapping friends tell me they're thinking about making calendars, too, and would I be willing to share what I've done.

So, I'm going to post my calendar pages here on the blog, one month at a time. I'll show both last year's example, and this year's example.

In my designs, I try to set up the page so that it can be "just a calendar," but also have room to add photos if they choose. I make 6 of these, so it's a long, complicated process. I think I'm getting better at it this year.

So here's January from last year. I suggested that photos could be placed over the poem (automatic photo matting) or above the poem or above the little tags.

Now here's this year's calendar. The hat is actually a pocket -- the photo can slide right behind the hatband. Or a photo could be placed on the cheek of the snowman.

Lots of people ask where I get my ideas for these. I really try to make my calendar pages more of a "paper piecing art" than a scrapbook layout, so I look at Ebay for paper piecings (search the premade pages and sort by highest to lowest price -- you'll find the really good ones) or greeting card fronts work well. This calendar page's inspiration was actually from a garden flag.

Hope you enjoyed the January editions. I'll be posting more sooon because I finished through march at the retreat -- but I've got to run and pick up my husband now.

If you're looking for a great group that does paper piecings, check out this blog: They do amazing paper piecings and auction them on Ebay. I got some great ideas from them for the October page. If you're a blogger, check out their contest, too! Great prizes for adding a link to their blog!

BTW -- the retreat was EXCELLENT!! What a great group of women! They did some amazing work, and were so much fun to spend time with. I hope to see a few of them here on the blog, since they wanted to see the rest of the months that I didn't finish yet, too! I'll post more and add pictures in the next couple days.

Happy Scrapping!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Off to the retreat!

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go.... can't you just hear the song in your head?

Well, in my head, the remainder of the song's words have changed.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go.
Bringin' too much stuff -- the car is full.
Already I'm so panicked I could cry

Cuz I'm going
off to Scrap Camp
Don't forget to grab
the Ott-lamp

Oh geez, what have I forgot....

Ok -- enough music. Checklist:
Clothes -- check
Toiletries -- check
Sleeping bag and pillow-- check
food -- check
Scrapbook supplies -- check (I think I've got everything I'll need)
Knitting -- check
Computer -- as soon as I post this, it's going in the bag!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'm pretty sure I will!

I promise lots of posts of completed projects when I get back!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall at its finest -- Just had to share some pics

I had to share some pictures of fall from Michigan.
The colors here are BEAUTIFUL!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sneak Peek Christmas Card

So, the photo doesn't do it justice... The gifts are done in 3 dimentional stencil paste, the mat for the sentiment is mulberry paper. But, this is the basic design for this year's card. I'll be making at least 60 of them this weekend. (I decided this year to keep it relatively flat and lightweight after last year's torn envelope catastrophe and the previous year's extra postage difficulties.)

(This is my sample card -- the actual cards will have the gifts further to the left.)

Finally ready to show you

I've finally finished reorganizing my scrapping space and am ready to show you the pictures! Well, ok, I have one stack of stuff that still needs to get put into my ScrapRack, but the rest is done. And really... I will take care of that stack, now that I have a clear desk to use and have found my extra ScrapRack organizing pages.

See, my bookshelf is so organized,
there's actually EXTRA SPACE on it!!!
That's my 1st ScrapRack on the top -- what a lifesaver.
Want your own? Go to

Here's my supply corner.

Notice the 2nd ScrapRack.

That's the one that's got room to spare,

and I need to add that small stack of stuff I told you about.

Just LOOK at my desk!! You can SEE it!!!

Next, I need to spend the next 3 days packing for my retreat! Now that things are where they're supposed to be, I'll be able to find them to pack them.

Organization is so important. It helps me see what I have so I don't get duplicates and as well as remind me what I have so I can use it!!

For now, though, it's time to clean the rest of the house before my coffee wears off!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Look at this mess!

So, I've been doing a lot of quick challenges, as well as preplanning for a retreat I'm attending next week. All this has left a giant mess in my craft "command central." It's so bad, that I'm stuck in my tracks trying to get ready for the retreat. Just looking that direction overwhelms me. So, it's time to clean up. Everything back in it's place. Then I'll be able to find it so I can use it -- isn't that the point of all that organizational equipment I bought?

I thought maybe if I posted on my blog the "before" pictures, that I'd be more motivated to get it done so I can post the "after" pics.

So, here ya go:

My desk before:

My supply area before:

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

World Card Making Day

Whew -- just under the wire! It's 11:45 as I type this. I did make a card today for WCMD. It was quick and simple, but cute, nonetheless. I'm really trying to get rid of stuff I've had sitting in my collection for years. So here you find the 5+ year old "Boo," the 5+ year old confetti, the 5+ year old embossing powder (to make the web) all on scraps of black and orange from my scrap binder. Talk about prudent! Not a dime spent, no supplies to replace (except 5 glue dots and about 3 inches of adhesive tape, but that doesn't count).
I would've done more card making today, but we spent the afternoon getting new cell phones. I played most of the evening with all the new features. So much fun!!! It's got all kinds of new bells and whistles... Maybe I'll take a page from Angela's scrapbook over at Fiskateers and give my new phone a name. Any suggestions?

Hope you a great WCMD!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Power of One

Yesterday, I had the incredible opportunity to witness history in the making. I got to witness the man I hope will soon be president speak to a crowd in my new city. It was a very inspiring speech. And it reminded me to get out there and start doing things for my community, my country, my world.

So today, I'm going to ask everyone reading -- are you registered to vote? If not, HURRY -- time is almost up in most states! You can't make a difference if you don't participate. And this is a year to participate. This is the year that it WILL matter whether or not you went to the polls and marked, punched, checked, poked, or otherwise indicated your choice. Because this year, it's not just about who wins the election. It's about what the people of this country do from the bottom up. It's time to get the American voting public active and energized. We've got to change this attitude that someone else will do it. I know you're only one vote. But they all add up, darling! And even if my vote can't singlehandedly change the outcome, they'll know where I stand.

And yes, this year, I think I'm going to scrapbook the experience. I'll make sure I get that little sticker that says "I voted," and I'm going to journal my reasons for my choice. Hmmm... off to look for page ideas on that one...

In the meantime, enjoy a few musical selections, designed to get you up and moving!