March 30, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Mixed Media Bookmarks.

The Lovely Day "tag paper" called to me all month long. I wanted to make bookmarks but wondered what I would do with eight of them. Then I had the idea to make them and send them out to my friends, some new and some old friends. After knowing that they wouldn't go to waste I started and went all in: gesso, structure paste, stencils, stamps, neocolor crayons, washi tape, stickers, die cuts, everything I had in my stash was put to use. I have never done art journaling and mixed media and just wanted to try and play. These bookmarks seemed to be a great way to start without being overwhelming. I totally love how they turned out!

There are still two days left in March, so go ahead and get some or all of the Lovely Day collection in the April Lilli Shop where it is this month's featured collection and 20% off. There is a video on youtube where I show you what I made this month and also how much there is still left. Hope you go and check it out: Dear Lizzy: Lovely Day - projects and kill-a-kit!

March 23, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Santa Cruz Selfies.

When I am done with my two projects for the month and I still have photos and material left from the featured collection, I love to experiment. This is exactly what I did here. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do: the pink ledger paper from the Dear Lizzy Lovely Day collection went so well with the pink jacket I wore in the pictures. Then I saw the numbers from the embellishment pack and started to play.

When I started out, the photos were still collaged on one 4x6 photo, I went ahead and cut them apart. Now I had four small ones to work with. Should I group them together? Layer papers behind them? If I placed them on four different spots on the paper, then I would need something to justify the place they would go. So I went with the trusty tickets and added one number. To ground them I added the washi tape behind the photos. I really liked how that looked so far.

Now: what about a title and where would the journaling go? I had this long sentence in my head: "The day we went to Santa Cruz and took so many selfies and not a single one turned out nice." What if I made that my title? That would spread out in between the photos, highlighting different words? That would actually fill the paper and give me a chance to balance the layout. I used the thickers from Crate Paper's Heart Day collection because I didn't want to add more color.

After adding the title there was some awkward space left that was ideal for some larger embellishments, so I fussy cut some of the flowers from the color me pretty paper. This way I was able to repeat the flowers from the washi tape and connect the different layers. After this base was done, I went a little crazy with the ephemera and puffy stickers. And there you have it - done.

Don't forget to grab your favorite pieces from the Dear Lizzy Lovely Day collection in the April Lilli shop, it is 20% off for the month of March 2017.

March 18, 2017

Cocoa Daisy Saturday Seminar: A5 sticker sheet.

Today for our Saturday Seminars in the Cocoa Daisy Planner Fans group, we talked about the A5 sticker sheet. This is a tricky sheet for me both in size and in the way I use it: the size only fits into my standard size traveler's notebook if I cut or fold it in half. I usually fold it right underneath the tab stickers, then I'll only have to use one sticker right away and there is no damage happening to any other stickers. The stickers itself are a mixture of both: functional stickers and pretty stickers. And this is where the problem occurs, I usually use the functional stickers very quickly but have a hard time using the pretty stickers. I tend to hoard pretty things instead of using them and have just recently started to force myself to use all the things. In my opinion, I have been doing very good so far in March, there are a lot of stickers already used. But there have been months where I haven't used a single sticker.

I'll start with showing you how I used the two top stickers: they are always to rectangular stickers, one with the month printed on it and one label. Putting the monthly label on the cover of my insert is something I have been doing almost every time I got my hands on this sticker sheet. The clear label I used this month to note my stats for youtube and instagram on the first. I also used one of the little hearts right next to the label to emphasize the milestone. Yes, I have actually reached 1000 youtube-subscribers at the end of February!

These next to photos show how I often use the tab stickers - for decoration on my pages. I hate it when my tabs are too floppy which is often the case with these sticker labels. So I tend to use them for decorating and layering. For this I cut them apart in the middle. In both cases here, I actually added text into the tab, but there have been numerous times when I simply covered the tab with a die cut or another sticker. In the right photo you can also see two more stickers from this sticker sheet: I added the small arrow from the "flag and arrow" stickers to the tab embellishment cluster making it quite clear that it was Theo's birthday. And since this is indeed a very important day, I also used the corresponding sticker at the top of the page.

Every month the sticker shapes are the same on this sticker sheet but the design and the words are different. In the past I have really struggled when I tried to use these quarter circle stickers on my pages. But this month they fit perfectly as appointment reminders. I hope to use the rest of them as well and try to keep going in April. The flags from the "flag and arrows" were equally hard for me to use: I always need some kind of edge to place them and never thought outside the box enough. So -in my mind- I only had the top of the page and they never worked there. But by simply drawing a box or a line or adding some washi for the sticker to rest, I can now place this sticker anywhere on the page.
This month the arrows were stickers indicating a specific event like the start of daylight savings time or St. Patrick's Day. In the right photo you can see how I used the "hop forward" sticker on March, 12 and then also used the tiny arrows to add the tasks for that day.

Are you using your stickers? Or are you a hoarder like me? After trying really hard to use my stickers and not hoard them since the start of March, I can tell you: it is far more satisfying to use all the things instead of having a growing stash and a slight feeling of guilt. And using pretty things makes me happy!

March 17, 2017

Cocoa Daisy: April Planner Kits and TOP 5

When my package from Cocoa Daisy arrived at my house on Wednesday, I filmed an unboxing video and then arranged all of the items from the kits on my white foam core for some pictures. Theo -my youngest- was home with me and pointed out the different things he liked and was generally very interested in all of the pretty planner things, that I had the idea of a new little series: every month Theo and I will pick our TOP 5 items from the kits and share them.

Theo's choices are dominated by the pretty butterflies, he picked those first and then he also chose the washi tape and the week on one page from the personal planner pages. I totally understand why: the stripes perfectly represent the color scheme of the month and are always an eye catcher. Then his and circled above the die cuts once more and the minute he read: "Today will be a good day!" he dove down and made his last pick.

I leaned towards the clouds this month: I chose the puffy cloud paper clip as well as the cloud sticker sheet. I love the patterns on the clouds and I cannot wait to use them. Then I chose the journaling card which not only includes my favorite pattern from the patterned papers but also this quote from Shakespeare. And even though I don't use the tab die cuts very often, I love them non the less and this one has a raindrop pattern! Lastly I chose these two dandelion die cuts which are by far my most favorite item in the whole kit. I just LOVE dandelions.

March 15, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Poser

Here is my next layout that I made for April Lilli. I don't really know what made me go this direction with the layout but for me, the whimsical feel of the papers and embellishments made me think of Shimelle Laine and her style of scrapbooking. I love her Glitter Girl videos and watched them all in the beginning stages of my scrapbooking. She is such a great teacher of basic concepts and I definitely learned a lot from her. I had just watched Glitter Girl episode #146 when I pulled the papers and photos and maybe it was the red paper in both layouts that made me want to scraplift her design. So that is what I did.

I took a screenshot of the layout and then drew a rough sketch on paper marking where the patterned papers would go and where her embellishment clusters went. And then I started myself. I can't say much more about the layout except that her style doesn't come naturally to me. But having the sketch really helped a lot. I never thought I could make that fox paper as a background work so nicely. I love how this turned out!

There is a full process video on my youtube channel, where I tell you more about my thought process. Don't forget to get your share of the Dear Lizzy Lovely Day collection for 20% off in the April Lilli shop during March 2017.

March 11, 2017

Cocoa Daisy Saturday Seminar: Functional Sticker Sheet.

In the Cocoa Daisy Planner Fans group on facebook we are starting a new series: the Saturday Seminars. In these we are trying to show ways on how we use the product that come in the Cocoa Daisy Planner kits and add-ons. This week we are concentrating on the functional sticker sheet. Lindsey from the planner team has actually listed all the different stickers on her blog, there are 110 stickers on this sheet. I have taken some pictures on how I use them in my planner.

Let's start with a sticker that I had neglected previously: the skinny arrows. There are 8 arrows on the sticker sheet in two color ways. This month I have been using them as arrows to point at important things throughout the day. When I had a list of things I used it to highlight the most important task by highlighting it. I really love that it is so skinny - it doesn't take up too much space which means that the line spacing stays the same. And line spacing is important to this nerdy person.

Moving on to the bullet flags. Four of them are included on every sheet. I use them to make lists, they fit perfectly on the grid section in the inserts and each bullet lines up nicely. Most days my to do list includes more items than four, so I use it on days where I know I can only handle four tasks because the rest of the day is so busy. Or I might divide my tasks into different topics and then use one for chores or video making or kids. This particular day even a sticker didn't help me to get things done, I had to move all four tasks to the next day. Ooops.
Here you can also see how I used the arrow (or as I call them house) stickers. For the afternoon, I marked the two most important things with them. They helped me to space the activities out nicely on the paper. I really am a sucker for a well designed layout - right now, I am using my DaisyDori insert as a daily planner, so each page is one day. The days do not have to be cohesive in their layout but each day's layout needs to be "pleasing to my eye" to work for me. I will do a whole blogpost on how this new setup is working for me, if you are interested, just leave a comment below!

This is another one of the arrows, they differ slightly from the ones above and are included in two sizes on the sticker sheet. You get eight narrow and four wide arrows. I use them very similarly to the arrows above. They would also work well with some writing on them. What I didn't know about them, until just recently, is the fact that they were specifically designed to fit into the date flag stickers. You could mark work days (and hours) or days off or a vacation or other special days like that.

Here is an example on how I used the circle stickers from the sticker sheet. They come in three different sizes, the middle and large circles are two colored. There are six large, six middle and sixteen circles in total. I often use the smallest size to mark out different activities or appointments that I have to remember. But I haven't really used the other two sizes, so I tried to use them and here are two examples. In the photo above I used the circle sticker to highlight a stamp. I partially stamped onto the circle. This way the stamp was more visible and prominent on the page. I also used it to note my stats and fit the word "STATS" into the circle.

I mostly struggle with the word stickers, there are thirteen on the sheet and they all have different words on them. I have only used two of them this month. One can be found in the picture above: I used it to mark the start of the weekend and simply added "Yay, it's the" in my handwriting. The other one was used to mark grocery shopping - one picture above this one. I guess, I need to be a little more creative next week to get them used up by the end of the month!

Yes, I really do want to use up most of my kits every month, I am trying very hard to use the things I love instead of hoarding them. I am a hoarder by nature, always thinking there might be a better opportunity to use a sticker, paper or embellishment. It might sound strange but this for me is "living in the now". Enjoying pretty (and functional) planner things now and not waiting for the perfect moment. It is a very satisfying feeling when I put these things to good use and I love it!

March 9, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Blindfisch

April has teamed up with Victoria Marie to bring sketches to her facebook group and blog. There will be two sketches each month; one of them offered on the first and one on the fifteenth. If you share your take on the sketch in the April Lilly Scrapbook Chat facebook group, you will be eligible to win a Dear Lizzy Lovely Day collection kit. Here is my take on the sketch.

As you can see - the sketch was my jumping off point but I tweaked it to suit my needs and my style. The first thing I did: I turned it upside down. Why? Because I wanted to use the black and white stripe and I wanted it to be the smaller wide stripe. But if I had placed it on top, it wouldn't have worked because it is such a bold and heavy patterned paper. This (in my opinion) is a paper that always needs to be on or near the ground when used in such large quantities.

I moved the title to the bottom of the photo because the word was too long for the top right and the photo needed some shelf to sit on due to the strange photo. I tried to use the same type of embellishment in each of the clusters. I had a strange gap between the small cluster on the left and the stripes behind the photo. So I tuck two more tags in there and it looked much better, so I actually had a great space for my journaling.

Don't forget to head over to the April Lilli shop where you can find this month's featured collection for 20% off.

March 7, 2017

Cocoa Daisy Planner Team: Introduction

Each member of the Cocoa Daisy Planner Team is introducing themselves in the Cocoa Daisy Planner Fans facebook group this month. Today is my turn to introduce myself but I feel like I have so much to tell. I hope you'll make it to the end. My name is Simone, I am German living in the Bay Area with my husband and three sons. We moved here only 1.5 years ago, but have adjusted pretty well.

I have been crafting ever since I was little because my mom was/is a very talented crafter, there are photos where I am weaving, trying to crochet and sew. I collected stationery items when I was in my preteens and I still have that collection. As a paper nerd I had a list book where I would list my favorite foods, my friends, the boys I had a crush on, animals I wanted to have and so on.

I then forgot about my paper obsession for about 10 years when I moved on to fabric and sewed mostly clothing for my sons and me. I returned to paper crafting when I found Project Life in 2014 and then started to watch youtube videos in bulk. And this is how I came across Doris Sander​'s videos where she shared the DaisyDori. I bought a leftover Dori from a previous month to try and then immediately subscribed.

In August 2016 I actually cancelled my Dori subscription because I felt so guilty not using all the pages and tried different kinds of layouts for planning in a midori insert. Just when I thought I figured it all out, my system started to fall apart and I needed to adjust.

March 2017 is the first month that I am back in a DaisyDori for my planner. I changed to daily pages (so I will definitely use all the pages) which gives me enough room for all my plans, afternoon activities and thoughts. My planning style could be described as functional first, then pretty. I want my planner to work for me first, then I will pretty it up. I am trying to use all the stickers that come in the kit and they help me to visualize more important tasks and create a "layout that is pleasing to the eye."

In January I started to journal/memory keep/scrapbook in a DaisyDori as well. I affectionately call it smashdori (which is a word by Arleigh, the designer of the pretty planner things from Cocoa Daisy) because it reminds me so much of smashbooking. I thought this was something new, but I just pulled out my old journal from 1991 (that is 26 years ago) and it looks less colorful but the tendencies are there. So maybe this is something that is very natural to me.

See, I told you this was going to be long. But I still want to add three random facts about me:
1. I am the oldest of five children.
2. After I became obsessed with sewing, my mom got back into this hobby as well and actually opened a fabric store several years ago at age 58.
3. My husband and I are high school sweethearts and have been together for 21 years.

My social media:

March 2, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: You are braver than you believe.

I have put off writing about this layout until the very last minute because I really don't know where to start and what to tell. Maybe if I start this way:

For my April Lilli projects I have been going back to the very first photos that are on my computer (yes, all other digital photos have been lost). They are sorted by year and month and for my March projects I look through March of 2010 to 2013 and mark all photos as favorites that spark some kind of story or resonate with me. From these photos I then choose the ones that go with the color scheme of this month's collection and which stories feel most important to me. Most of the times I end up with 5 stories. This gives me a good start. I can play with five different options and showcase two of them as my monthly design team projects. If I have time, energy and motivation left, I can still work on the others, if I don't, I'll at least have two older stories more in the books. I chose the photo of this mirror selfie because then I took them almost daily.

I had planned to make a page about the many mirror selfies I took during that time to share my outfit of the day on instagram. But when I had the photo in my hand it was too big, there was too much background noise on the photo and having one photo as a representation of the many mirror selfies I took just didn't feel right as well. I would rather prefer having a collage of many for that story.

So I looked at the papers again and the die cuts that came in the kit and then these thoughts ran through my mind: "I really should challenge myself to use that paper as a background!" - "Yes, what is the point of saving things you love rather than using them?" - "I wonder if I can fussy cut these houses as a strip and use them at the bottom of a layout." - "But what story would you tell? And where would the photo go?" - "Ok, this really does look good, it needs grounding but other than that ..." - "What if I cut myself out of that photo and then tuck it behind the houses? Then nobody would notice that I don't have feet in that picture. Haha, this looks just like a giant in a tiny world."

"Ok, this is complete nonsense, what is the story here?" - "Do I always need a story?" - "Well, you usually do!" (Muffles the sound of this other inner voice. It's just so much fun!) "Let's look at the die cuts, maybe I can ... oh! Those circles have affirmations on them ... maybe I can add them to embellishment clusters close to the photo. And then look for a quote that reinforces these affirmations. That is it! It is an image of growing out of your black and white world, growing taller than you ever believed you could. Perfect!"

Then everything came together quite easily: I decided to stamp the quote to the background using an elle's studio alpha stamp set and add even more embellishments in a vertical strip to balance the horizontal strip of the houses and give the quote an nice frame. And there's that! I am absolutely in love with this layout!

The Lovely Day collection by Dear Lizzy is 20% off for the whole month of March 2017 in the April Lilli shop!