October 22, 2018

"He is a Reader now" Layout | Shimmerz Education

This month the Shimmerz team chose one color to use on their project and I picked Shimmerz Coffee. I love the hue of this brown, sparkly shimmerz and since I already knew the photo I wanted to document I also knew this color would be a perfect fit. Somehow my project ended up being a layout in colors very suitable for the season but not at all revolving around the typical Fall topics. And I'll tell you that I couldn't be happier about it! It turned out perfectly!

I used various different free cut files from the Paper Issues store and only cut the pieces that I liked most. I resized, turned and cut pieces out of the files. I also placed different patterned papers on my cutting mat - all of this was a first for me and not everything turned out the way I envisioned it. But what I noticed again and again, if you never try you won't find out if you would actually be successful. This was a great start. I cut leaves from white cardstock as well as patterned paper. The white leaves were then colored using the Shimmerz Coffee as well as some other Shimmerz colors but spreading the color onto some packaging an dipping the leaves in the paint. I absolutely love how they turned out. If you have never tried this, I highly recommend the technique. It is very easy and since the color doesn't cover all parts equally you already have a great color variation just like that!

I then layered some paper at the top, placed my photo and created two vines of leaves coming off both sides of the photo. The open space that I created with these branches, I then used for my long title as well as my journaling. Before I added the vines and the title I added paint splatters to the background, it felt very odd to have a plain white background with piles of mixed media leaves and torn paper stacked on top. The splatters made it look messier and therefore it all blended well together.

Here is a link to my process video on youtube. If you place an order in the Shimmerz Store, don't forget to mention my name Simone in the comments at checkout to receive a free mini surprise product! Thanks for stopping by today!

Shimmerz - COFFEE, So Sappy, Wisteria Lane, Pink-O de Mayo
Inklingz - Miner, Miner 49er, French Twist

October 20, 2018

Cut files in a Traveler's Notebook | Scale it down

These past two Scale it down episodes, Suzanna and I looked at ways to incorporate digital cut files into Traveler's Notebooks. Here are two spreads that I created using free files from Paige Evans.

I resized the summer file to about 2.5 x 2.5 inches and it still cut out well. I am in love with using full page photos in my spreads lately and so the sun worked perfectly in the sky part of my photo. It didn't cover up any important details and it also helped to increase the contrast between the background and the color of the sun. You can see in the video (click here to watch) how the visibility of the sun changes when placed on the left side of the spread on a white background. I then just added a little bit of journaling and some embellishments to the left side of the spread.

Can you see the shimmer of the paint in the background? This spread or actually the mixed media in the background was inspired completely by accident when I spilled this paint onto the page while creating another spread. But I absolutely love that the accident resulted in this spread.

The cut file is part of an 8.5 x 11 inch background and I only used two rows of clouds. I didn't resize anything, cut the original file, used some mixed media in the background, again used another full size photo and then added only a tiny bit of journaling to the left side of the spread, right above the clouds. In the video you will see how I go back and forth between using more of the clouds on the left side and then ultimately deciding on using these two rows in order not to compete with the photo and leave it as the focus of the spread.

Thanks so much for stopping in today! I hope you were inspired to create some simple spreads documenting your favorite memories!

August 27, 2018

"Einzigartig" Layout | Shimmerz Education Team

This layout was inspired by the "love you to the moon" free cut file by Paige Evans and was perfectly complemented with the colors of the August Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping kits and the dark blue and purple mists from the Shimmerzpaints store. I have slowly been collecting these amazing dark colors like the new Coloringz Ahoy Matey or the lovely Vibez Grape Soda and Blue Jeans. With all the white that was contrasting the dark colors it was so easy to use them. If you watch the video you will see, that there is no perfect formula for adding the colors onto the gessoed background. It's misting packaging with color, then smudging the color onto the paper and repeat until you feel you have ruined your paper. Which is usually the point where you will then check back with the photo and additional items and realize that you will cover all the color and you will need to cover even more of the background in color.

This closeup shows how well the blues, purples and teals work together and create a dark but still very colorful background. I added in several gold accents using gold alpha stickers, blue denim die cuts that I colored with a mixture of Grape Soda and Ahoy Matey and gold splatters using Vibez Glorious Days and Inklinz Miner, Miner 49er.

The dramatic background didn't need very much else, so I simply backed my photo with white cardstock and layered several die cuts around the photo. I tried to add gold thread but that was a disaster - I don't know if I'm just not capable to form a thread ball that looks appealing or if it's the special metallic gold thread.

Here is a link to my process video on youtube. If you place an order in the Shimmerz Store, don't forget to mention my name Simone in the comments at checkout to receive a free mini surprise product! Thanks for stopping by today!

Vibez - Jeni B Blue, Grape Soda, Blue Jeans< Glorious Days
Coloringz - Ahoy Matey
Inklingz - Miner, Miner 49er

August 15, 2018

Catching up on Project Life. 5 tips to get you started in the right direction.

Today I am sharing some of the insights that I gained while trying to catch up on my Project Life 2016. Those might be helpful for you when you are trying to decide whether or not to take on such a big ongoing project and also when you want to start tackling one of you unfinished projects. So let's dive into my five tips.

Before you start with the creative process, I encourage you to spend some time editing and printing your photos. This might sound like a very daunting task, but having everything ready to go when you have some spare time to work on a spread is so helpful! If you are working with a double spread there are 16 pockets so I suggest you choose between 8-12 photos per week. Once you have them printed, sort them by week in envelopes so you can grab them when you want to create a spread.

While you are choosing your photos keep a notebook where you add a note for each photo you choose. This way you remember why you chose the photo to be documented and what you wanted to say about it. It is also very helpful to add the week number and date range for each week, then you have one specific place you'll find that information once you start your creative process.

When you try to catch up on a big project like Project Life it is better to limit the configuration of your pocket style page protectors, the most common one is Design A. and I highly recommend this configuration due to its popularity. You will find the most inspiration for this style of page protector. It eliminates a whole step in the decision making process while printing photos: all vertical photos get printed in 3x4 and all horizontal ones in 4x6. You will also find that when you progress, you get more comfortable with this one specific style and you start to develop a routine.

Instead of using everything you have available to you in your stash try to limit your supplies: either use a special pocket kit like the Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping Pocket kit or create your own kits from your stash. By limiting your supplies you will find that you can create a lot faster because you will not spend hours looking for the right card, the perfect sticker or the best stamp. Getting new supplies every month or rotating through your stash also keeps things fresh and interesting.

Lastly, don't force it. What does that mean? If you want to also work on other projects during this time set your monthly goals low. Commit to one or two weekly spread per month. Even if that means you will be working on this project for quite a while to come, don't let a "catching up project" overwhelm you and burn you out. And if you are done and there is just no way you see yourself ever finishing this project? Then give yourself some grace: decide to leave a gap in your album and call it finished. Remove the visible gap and don't look at the weeks you didn't finish. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder and see all the amazing things that you did manage to document! You rock!

I hope these five tips were helpful and you can incorporate them in you creative process! Here is my process video for Week 36/2016 that I am slowly catching up on. I use my Cocoa Daisy kits each month to create one week this leaves me enough time to work on so many other projects. I have everything already printed and my promots for each week in my notebook so I can take as much time as I need.

Thanks so much for stopping in today!

July 15, 2018

Neighborhood Swatch | Shimmerz Education

Even though I am not an art journaler I love watching other artist share their journaling process on youtube. This is how I found this idea that I had to try when I recently received a small package full of Creameez and Shimmerz. As I told you in my very first blogpost for Shimmerz in the beginning of the year, I am still new to mixed media and all the beautiful products Shimmerz offers and so I wanted to test out these paints before adding more of them to my stash. And let me just tell you, I'm in love!

Instead of swatching my paints on a piece of paper, I followed an idea that I saw James Burke do in one of his recent videos. He jokingly called it "Neighborhood Swatch Tutorial". The rectangular swatches are arranged horizontally across your paper and colors are repeated, then using a pen, all you do is draw quirky houses on top of the rectangles. And that is basically it!

If you have ever watched from the sidelines (like me) when others just do and create beautiful artwork and itched to try but never knew how and where to start, this is another way of dipping your toes. You do not need a lot of supplies: use paints you have on hand, mists like the Vibes and Coloringz or paints like the Creameez, Shimmerz or Inklingz work perfectly fine for this. You only need three of four different colors, a paint brush and paper and a pen. I, again, used what I had on hand, a black Sharpie Pen.

After my first try in the sketch book that I usually use to swatch paints which I was basically doing as well, I decided that I loved this so much, I would do another set of houses in my weekly traveler's notebook insert. I cannot wait to share this page with you on instagram once it is finished!

Here is a link to my process video on youtube. If you place an order in the Shimmerz Store, don't forget to mention my name Simone in the comments at checkout to receive a free mini surprise product! Thanks for stopping by today!
Creameez - Ride the Tide, Boogie Boardin' Blue, Daffodil, 1 Hot Mama
Shimmerz - Key Lime

March 26, 2018

Layered stamping with the NEW Stampz | Shimmerz Education Team

Have you seen it yet? Shimmerz Paints is coming out with stamps! I was so lucky to play with some of the before the release date. This layered flower stamp set called "Fresh Start" was very intriguing: I had never tried my hand at layered stamping. Have you? What should I do? Go ahead and try, of course! So I grabbed the next piece of paper which happened to be a graph paper, some ink and a stamping block and tried. And it worked. And I really loved the texture. So I decided to try some more and create a journaling background for my weekly traveler's notebook spread.

I stamped more flowers on the graph paper and then used my scissors to fussy cut the flowers and leaves. Then I used some Inklingz to add color to the background before adding the flowers to my pages. I simply adhered them with glue after the paint was dry. I had found a cute tea tag that read "The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement" and I thought it would go perfectly with all the pretty flowers, so I added that to the bottom cluster.

Here is a closer look at the top cluster. If you are afraid your ink will bleed through the pages or are concerned of messing up your pages, it is always a great idea to stamp your images on an extra sheet of paper. It is also easier to change your design and create more dimension. By using a patterned background for the stamping like I did when using graph paper, you can even add more texture to the spread.

After I was done creating the background, I went ahead and added my journaling. There are lots of different ways you can do this and there is no right or wrong way. I had just read a quote by Stephen Hawking who had passed the day before, so I chose to feature it prominently in the middle of my page and arrange my journaling around it. I added some things in a list format. I wrote whole sentences and little paragraphs for other snippets of my life. Some of the things are deep and meaningful and some are the mundane, routine tasks of everyday life.

Here is a link to my process video on youtube. If you place an order in the Shimmerz Store, don't forget to mention my name Simone in the comments at checkout to receive a free mini surprise product! Thanks for stopping by today!
Inlingz - Green Goddess, Beets Me, French Kiss
Stampz - Fresh Start

March 15, 2018

"Lucky You"- Stuck?! Sketches

I cannot believe that this is already my last layout for the Stuck?! Sketches Design Team. Time sure has flown by! Here is the March 15 sketch that Laura Whitaker created. During the past 6 months I usually started looking for photos and stories that would suit the sketch. Asking questions like: How many photos do I need to tell this story? Can I use several smaller ones or should I use one large photo? After finding the right photos I then built a page kit around those always checking back with the sketch. Laura's sketches are very detailed and (if you choose to read them like that) even suggest the volume of each paper.

After I had assembled my page kits, I then went to create and most of my layouts came together so quickly. Except for when I chose to use mixed media. Which to my surprise I used fairly often with these sketches. One reason could be that I felt secure knowing the layout would come together due to the sketch and so I could focus all my energy on trying out new techniques with mixed media. For this layout I used my Distress Oxide inks and stencils and started adding some texture to the background. Unfortunately, most of it got hidden by the embellishments I added later on. And then I built my layers according to the sketch.

When I started embellishing I went all out. And I loved adding all of the different die cuts and chipboard pieces everywhere. Sometimes I have such a hard time just placing one die cut and finding the perfect spot for it, trying it in so many different places. But this time, I went with quick decisions and stuck them down as soon as I thought it would look nice. And I love the how much dimension the many embellishments add to the layout.

The original title placement is to the bottom left of the photo cluster. I chose the top right instead for two different reasons: the title was quite large and bold and would have put too much weight to the bottom of my layout and with the added journaling the layout wouldn't have been balanced properly. The other reason was a lot more practical since the chipboard banner made it quite hard to place a title there nicely without a lot of adjusting and tweaking.

Here is a link to my video on youtube where you can see how this layout came together. Please make sure to check out the Stuck?! Sketches blog and have a look at all the other layouts by the Design Team. We would love for you to play along and link your layout to the link up to win some lovely prizes!
Thank you so much, Laura for having me on your team, I had such a great time in the past six month and find I created some of the best layouts with the help of your amazing sketches. I'm so sad my term is already over!