August 17, 2017

Planning in the Summer?! And what happened after.


Today I have a blogpost for you that was published on the Cocoa Daisy blog in June. Now, why do I make you read (parts of) this post now? In the middle of August? Because it didn't stop there!

"It’s Simone again with a blogpost for you that is very near and dear to me. As you know, I love having a pretty planner but even more so, I want my planner to work for me. Last year I had my very first planner crisis during June when we had family visiting from Germany and the kids being home from school. I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to use my DaisyDori insert and so it was mostly blank. I started feeling guilty because I didn’t use it and then actually cancelled my subscription because of that."

"This year I wanted to approach things differently. I had already learned that what works perfectly well one month doesn’t necessarily work the next. Earlier this year I came to the insight that yes indeed, with a system as open as the Daisy Dori I do not have to plan the same each and every month. I can totally adapt the layout and setup of my pages as I need them to be. So for June I decided to completely abandon the daily planning in a personal size Daisy Dori and plan and journal in a standard Daisy Dori instead. I am using the first part of the DaisyDori with the sectioned grid pages for a calendar with one week on two pages. The rest of the Daisy Dori is left for journaling. If you want to see what I prepared beforehand here is my June Planner Setup on youtube."

"My plan was to fill the first part of the Daisy Dori with little snippets of life. So that’s what I did: with black ink and stamps I added in our plans for the day and then I used stickers and washi tape (mostly from the Planner kit, Planner Addon as well as the DITL kit) to embellish the day."



Since the weekly spreads take up part of the Daisy Dori, filling the rest of the insert wasn't as hard as it was before. In June I used the rest for the highlights of our time spent with my parents. It turned out so great, here is a link to the Journal Share.


In July I did the same thing as in June: weekly memory planner spreads. And the rest of the Daisy Dori was filled with prompts from challenges, lists, tidbits and our everyday summer life. I just finished it this weekend and will be sharing more next Tuesday on my youtube channel.


My original plan was to go back to my usual planning style in August, but I had so much fun with the weekly spreads that I decided to keep on making them. This has led to minimal decorating in my personal Daisy Dori which is absolutely great because I seem to be more productive with a very linear planning structure. I have already made a list on how I can optimize my planner even more in September and I am looking forward to all the weekly spreads I can decorate in the coming months. I just finished the first one for August, here is the process video.

August 11, 2017

"Tomato Sandwich" Stuck?! Sketches


You all know how I love a good sketch - I sometimes even use them in my Traveler's Notebook. Earlier this year when I did some research for my challenge for iNSD, I came across the Stuck?! Sketches blog and found that those sketches really appealed to me. So when I saw the Design Team Call this week, I knew I needed to try out. So here is one part of my application: I am using one of the August sketches and working with it.


I am still working with Amy Tangerine's "On A Whim" collection for my Scrap Friday series on youtube, there are several layouts left from my layout selection and these two photos were perfect for the sketch. Instead of cutting them apart, I left them right next to each other and just started working. As you can see from the sketch above I mirrored the sketch so that my son would look into the page.


I created three embellishment clusters as suggested in the sketch using flair buttons as the focal points in the clusters surrounding the photo. When creating clusters I try to repeat the different elements in each of the clusters. The three clusters help to guide the eye across the page. Starting at the top left hand corner, your eyes move across the photo.


And automatically stop at the heart flair. Can you see how my son seems to look at it? Yeah, I placed it there on purpose.


When I received the Thickers with the whole collection from April Lilli, I did not think the alphas would go well with the papers and was very reluctant to use them. I was wrong, I used them twice already and totally love how they work on this layout. And now, just in case you made it down to the end of this long blogpost, there is a process video on youtube, where I tell you more about my design choices.

August 7, 2017

Studio Tour No. 1: My Planner Station

In May I was on the Cocoa Daisy Blog with my take on a Studio Tour. Yes, it is not a real Studio Tour because I actually don't have my own designated studio space. The only thing that I have is part of our kitchen pantry, a raskog cart from IKEA and a wooden planner station in our family dining room. And this is exactly what I am going to share with you today!


When we first moved here I was very sad that I had to give up my studio: I had been sewing and crafting in there all day everyday for the past six years before the move and now I would only have a dining room table and all of my supplies stored in various places throughout the house. But after we had been here for several months and the boxes had been unpacked and this house had become more of a home I started to enjoy creating at the dining room table.


Over time, I was able to set up a raskog cart with all of my tools and items I need all the time. And just recently, I moved this unused wooden box that I brought from Germany and had been using for Project Life into the built in cabinet and set it up as a planner station. Right next to it, I also keep my journaling pouch that I set up for Doris Sander's Journaling Challenge as well as my pencil pouch.


When I plan or journal in my DaisyDori I often take the box and place it right in front of me on the table so I have all the gorgeous Cocoa Daisy planner items right there. I have a video for you where I walk you through the station and talk a bit more about my "studio space".



Finally, this is where I keep all of my scrapbooking and crafting supplies. The right side of the pantry is all mine: in the cabinets on the bottom I keep my papers and projects in IRIS containers and all of my stickers and embellishments in various containers. The top left cabinet houses all of my mixed media supplies and the top right cabinet is home to journals, inserts, my old camera and refills for my Canon Selphy. On the countertop, I store my current projects, my large guillotine trimmer, all of my stamps as well as an IKEA box (Tjena) with my DITL cards.



If you ask me now I will tell you that I really like my studio space just the way it is: I need to clean up after myself every time I create, so I will never have a desk that doesn't have space for me to be creative. And I also really like that I have to create project kits, this makes creating a project so much easier and faster. And lastly, as much as I was annoyed at my pantry space in the beginning, I really love that I can sneak in the pantry while cooking and work on a project.

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day and reading my little "I don't have a studio" story. Now, please share your studio setup in the comments below: Do you have your own space? Or do you also create in the family space? And do you like it? Or what would you love to change?

May 18, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Two layouts with Flora No. 1


Yes, I actually made two layouts about boys with the florally, girly collection "Flora No. 1" by Carta Bella. And I really love how they turned out! They are both similar in the way I use the papers: rough edges, different layers and some kind of mixed media.

This is the first one I made: I used white cardstock as a background and stamped the botanical background stamp with three or four different shades of purple and green. Then I started creating a photo mat using patterned papers and and pieces of the ephemera pack.


I was very inspired by a layout by Zoe Guest where she took one of the photo mats and completely crinkled the paper up and then flattened it back out. I really wanted to try that and I love the awesome texture it created. I then took ephemera pieces from the ephemera pack: I just cut them so that they would fit in as layers. There were several flags in the pack as well, but none of the patterns and colors fit the layout, so I just cut my own flags using one as a template.

I had my layers, I knew what the title was going to be but I realized that my whole design was too far to the right and too far down. The latter was easily solved by moving the complete photo mat up a bit. To balance the lopsided design I added two strips of the main papers and a border sticker from the sticker sheet. After I had added the journaling I felt that I needed a bit more black so I stamped the heart from the Simply Stated stamp set in three places on the layout.


The second layout started with a gessoed square on the Peony Posy Bunch pattern paper, for iNSD Beth Soler challenged us to create a layout that used paint in bold strokes and that's what I wanted to try. After the gesso had dried, I applied green acrylic paint and then I did not like the way the green paint looked against the brown background. Now what?


I tried all kinds of different things, until I finally came to the conclusion that this wasn't going to work, so I cut the brown background off (yes, I wasted a piece where I could have fussy cut those beautiful peonies, sigh). It still didn't look right, then my friend Anna suggested ripping the edges instead of cutting and that did the trick. I assume (no, I know now) that the rough strokes of the acrylic paint just didn't go well with clear cut, straight edges. Then I went into my paper stash and found the striped background paper by Maggie Holmes (it is from her Open Book collection), I really liked the way both pieces looked together. But it needed more: rough edges call for layers, so I layered several papers behind the center mat.

To make the green photos pop from the green background, I added the bold black stripes as layers behind as well as some of the ephemera pieces. I used the alpha stickers from the sticker sheet to create my title and then journaled directly on the paint using a Sharpie permanent marker pen. I'm really happy how this layout turned out because I really struggled with it for quite a while.

May 6, 2017

iNSD challenge: S T R E T C H your sketch


I am hosting a challenge for (inter) National Scrapbooking Day over on the Scrap Gals Community facebook group today. There is lots to participate: challenges every hour from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM CDT, lots of chit chat and scrapbooking and fun. Come over and join us! I love using sketches as a starting point for my layouts and so I thought it would be fun to use sketches for the challenge. Here is what I came up with!

Challenge: S T R E T C H your sketch


My challenge for you is to take a sketch and use it to create a layout in your Traveler's Notebook! That's all there is to it. Now, I know not everyone is as obsessed with Traveler's Notebooks as I am and that is why I challenge you to stretch your sketch in other ways:
In case you are a very literal scrapbooker stretching a sketch might simply mean to turn the sketch 90° to the left or the right or even flipping it upside down. Stretching your sketch could mean to transfer a rectangular 8.5x11 sketch to a 12x12 format or stretching it out onto a double page layout. It could also mean to use a sketch to create a journaling card or a greeting card. But what do you do if you find the perfect sketch in the perfect size and there is nothing to stretch? Well, then I invite you to stretch your sketch by limiting your supplies: use only journaling cards to create all the elements on the page, for example. Or do not use scissors and a paper trimmer if you are obsessed about straight edges and right angles. Add a challenging stretch to your sketch!


I hope this sounds like fun for you! I was so excited to create my very first Traveler's Notebook layout based on this sketch. And I even managed to create a card based on the same sketch. I filmed a video so if you want to scrap with me, let's do this together! I will be out at my sons' Baseball games today, but I hope to come back later this afternoon and try my hand at one or two of the ideas mentioned above.

Ressources: Where do I find sketches?

There are several ways to find sketches on the internet: pinterest is a great souce, then there are specific sketch websites that publish sketches. Kitclubs also often post sketches for their customers as well as online stores. I have gathered several websites for you to check out. Please note! This is not a complete list, just the sites I know from the top of my head.
I hope you join me in this fun challenge and play along! Please share your creations! I would love to see what you create and cheer you on along the way! There will be a special share thread in the Scrap Gals Community facebook group. But if you share elsewhere, leave a comment here with a link to your video or blogpost or tag me on instagram! Happy scrapping!

May 4, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Decorating a Traveler's Notebook insert


Yesterday Odessa showed her week in the life project on the April Lilli blog where she created a traveler's notebook insert using the Carta Bella collection Flora No. 1. If making a whole insert from scratch is intimidating to you, my idea might be just what you need.


I simply took a plain traveler's notebook insert and covered it with the Petunia Patch Garland paper, used a journaling card from the Rose Garden Journal Cards and some die cuts from the Ephemera Pack to decorate the cover. When I cover my inserts I usually cut two pieces of paper that are slightly smaller than the insert's width in order to leave a flexible spine. Then I glue the papers to the front and back and cover the gap at the spine with some washi tape. I have filmed a video where I show you my creative process:



I then went on to add some personality to the first page of my insert. It had the title "Bullet Journal" already printed inside and could definitely use a bit more decoration. So I used the Botanical A2 Background Stamp, inked it up partially and stamped it right underneath the title. It turned out exactly the way I had hoped for: no sharp edges, some parts darker and some parts lighter. I then added a little washi from my stash to layer one of the flower circles from the Ephemera Pack.

And voilà - I have my personalized insert that looks much more like me than the plain kraft cover and white title page.

April 20, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Some good advice.


Last time I told you that I was choosing only those photos that tell a story. Turns out, this month I also seem to have chosen some pictures with a high cuteness factor. I started this layout by adding some white gesso to my background paper called TRANCE. Then I used the packaging technique to add color. I used my new watercolor set for the very first time here. Then I added some more texture to the background using the washi stickers. And I also backed my photo with a scrap of patterned paper and green cardstock. Unconsciously, I started to place the embellishments sorted by colors. And I really liked how that turned out.


But what do you do when you don't really have a story to tell? I went through the ephemera pack and found some affirmations that I liked and that I wanted my son to read one day. So I took them all out and placed them on the layout. Again sorting them by color and placing them near their corresponding background. That looked ok but did not yet convince.


It was still a very random layout with little meaning to it. And I also hadn't used the puffy alphabet stickers, again! With this in mind, I decided to form full sentences, grabbing my stash of alphabet stickers and transforming the random affirmations into personal I-messages. I went for a visually pleasing effect which makes the message a little harder to read: "I love when you are dreaming with eyes wide open, I hope you will reach for the sky, take one step at a time, never forget to live for the moment." I just thought that I could add an "&" right above the "never" - it might help find the start for the last part of my motherly advice better and also make the whole sentence more fluent. I really love how the layout turned out.


After I finished, I felt that I needed some kind of border at the bottom. So I went into my small colored cardstock stash and looked for the most dominant colors in the layout and staggered smaller strips to form a line. I then added the rubber chip house and stamped two dates: when the photo was taken and when I created the layout.

The dream on collection by pinkfresh studio is 20% off for the whole month of April 2017 in the April Lilli shop!