Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our Christmas Heritage... A Beginning...

Hi there! When we last left off, I was Preparing to Journal Our Christmas Heritage
With my supplies all gathered, and my plan in place...

Let's decorate the cover of the album!
I want my decorations and embellishments to be sturdy and strong. I also want to do some stitching. And since that would be a bit tricky through the cover itself, I am going to build all of my decorations onto a sheet of kraft card stock:
 Layering up the tape:
 Figuring out some embellishment placement:
 Now we stitch!
 Building it up:
 Some red stitching for contrast:
 Now, I need a bit more of that kraft to build onto:
 Flowers are stapled in place:
Sticking it all down... Glossy Accents played a major role in this... this stuff isn't going anywhere!
 Writing out the title:
 Working out the placement:
 And there we go! Once everything was glued down, I just fussy cut around the entire cluster.
 Some brad action:
All in place! I used a very healthy amount of Glossy Accents to get this all adhered. It is STUCK there! And then I dabbed on a bit of Picket Fence Distress Stain in opposite corners to complete the look:
Our Christmas Heritage...
 All ready to be journaled:
But first...
Remember this? All that gorgeous paper! Well, I figured it would be a bit time consuming to go through this stack with each page I scrapped...
So, I went through the album and pulled out each heritage photo that I had already placed in the page protectors. Then, I asked myself if I thought the photo would look better on a blue, red, green, or neutral background. I then pulled paper as a background for each page protector and corresponding photo. If a complimentary paper grabbed my eye, that went in there too...
 This leaves me with a VERY basic foundation and starting point for each page.
After completing that exercise, I really only have about 15 or 20 sheets left from the above mentioned "kit." That is what I will pull from as I scrap each page and add more complimentary patterns.
With that all set, I was too excited to hold off, so I went ahead and started playing with a title page. I couldn't resist taking a blank page protector, stitching a giant Christmas Tree shape, and then filling it with confetti! YAY! Fun!
A little cluster of goodies completes the look. Behind this first page, is a lovely and OLD Hambly transparency with a giant wood snowflake attached. I chopped the edge off of the page protector and just stitched that to the transparency... basically giving it a way to go in the album, but still having the texture of the wood snowflake totally exposed. Below this sheet is the lovely gold dot vellum from Dear Lizzy Fifth and Frolic peeking through:
And, now it sits and waits patiently  for December 1, when the first Journal Your Christmas prompt will arrive from Shimelle in my inbox and provide some much needed direction for this project.
I am so looking forward to reflecting...
On all the traditions... past and present.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preparing to Journal...

A few months ago, I was blessed to receive boxes and boxes FULL of old family photo albums. As I poured through these memories, it brought to mind how many things stay the same, or are simply modernized versions of what they once were. In many ways, my family is so very similar to the families that came before. And at the same time, there are some big differences. So fascinating, don't you agree?

It's no secret that I am huge fan of Shimelle's scrapbooking approach. This time last year, I was just discovering her online classes and scrappy goodness. So, as usual I was a bit late to that party and didn't arrive in time for Journal Your Christmas.

Well, I am not going to miss it this year!

You see, I know there are lots of great stories to tell, but I must admit thinking of how to get it all out of my brain is a little overwhelming. And really, there are so many stories that can be told from one old photo. So, I figure if I combine her fabulous journaling prompts with my memories of Christmas past, I will have a bit of direction and can complete an album of Our Christmas Heritage - an album for my family all about why we do what we do at this special time of year.

Now, seeing as I have never taken this class and only have access to past year's materials... I am hoping this will work out!

At any rate, I figure I have the most chance of succeeding if I am well prepared.

I have fussy cut papers, punched shapes, and gathered embellishments:
 Pulled die cuts and journaling cards from my stash:
 I even had a little fun with some napkins from Target:
Wondering about alphas? I didn't have it in me to try and find all the letters I would need out of coordinating Thickers or sticker sheets. And purchasing enough of the same stickers to do titles on every page was not in the holiday budget planning. I might handwrite the titles, I might just pull stickers here and there from my stash. We'll see :)

OK, moving on!

I have made tissue paper rosettes...
And wax paper Christmas trees, thanks to this fabulous idea from Julie:
 I punched Vellum snowflakes...
And made confetti:
I have gathered washi, glitter tape, flowers, and thread. Have you noticed my color pallet yet? Aqua, Red, Black, White, Grey. With a bit of green, yellow, and pink thrown in too. Yeah, I know... that is most every color. I just can't help myself!
I have pulled stamps from my stash:
 And some Chic Tags awesomeness:
And I organized my pattern papers by color. Most of these were from my stash and aren't specifically Christmas themed. I did order a handful of Basic Grey, Studio Calico, and Crate Paper from their Christmas lines to complete this collection:
I then inserted my heritage photos into their page protectors...
 They are loosely arranged by previous year's prompts from Shimelle's class...
My plan is to combine modern day photos with those of Christmas past to tell the complete story of Our Christmas Heritage.

All in this gorgeous album:

See, it doesn't even have one of those annoying windows cut into the front! It's like they knew I would be embarking on this adventure. Thank you Crate Paper!

I know what you are thinking... a full 12x12 album, Ashli?!? In one month? During the busiest time of the year????


Don't worry, I do have a few reasons for the insanity:

- I am not thinking of this so much as a daily. This is to scrap the story of Our Christmas Heritage.
- This will be a one time adventure. Next year, I will likely do the more common mini book style of a daily.
- I am not doing this date-wise. There will not be page numbers. I am approaching this in a more topic driven way. This is all to say that I will not necessarily be scrapping a page a day.
- This will be the bulk of my crafty focus for the month of December. My desk does look so lovely with all of those little bits all over it :)
- I wanted the full real estate of a 12x12 page to be able to showcase the heritage photo along with the current photo, with plenty of room left for creative play - AND writing. Lots of writing to tell all those stories!
- And, well.... I just love scrapping 12x12.

Speaking of my love for 12x12 scrapping, I also love the feel of a mini. The random bits, tags, and twine peeking out from the side, the textures of the pages not behind a sheet of plastic. I want the best of both! So, I will be approaching this as such. 

My plan is to incorporate the page protectors into the design as much as possible. This means I will think of the pages living permanently in their spot. In other words, they will not be able to be removed from the page protectors because I plan to do fun things like, stitch, staple and cut the protectors right along with the pages inside them. A bit of an experiment, but it should be fun! Don't worry, I have a digital backup of the heritage photos :)

So, I will see you next time to show that album cover all decorated up, my title page, and the way I have chosen to do "foundation pages," a.k.a. how am I going to divvy up all that patterned paper? 

I will be working on this all December and I hope you will join me as I attempt to scrap Our Christmas Heritage.

See you soon!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Layout Love Linky - November 2012

Hello, Hello! Welcome to the November edition of Layout Love Linky.
What's this you say?
Basically, this is a place where you get to link-up things that you are proud of, want to show off, and perhaps need a little extra love.
For me, this is the time where I show all of my un-blogged layouts from the month.
You know, so they don't feel left out :)

But, anything goes here!
Layouts, cards, altered art, art journals, mini books.
If you love it and want to show it off to a few more like-minded crafty peeps, link-it-up!
Oh yeah, and if you want to be entered into the giveaway, all you have to do is be sure to mention in your post or gallery entry that you are linking up here.
Also, please link up the direct URL to your post so that when people click the thumbnail to view your fabulousness, they can find it.
That's it!
Easy peasy!

Every month, I draw a random winner to receive some surprise RAK and a little tag crafted from yours truly. Did you win last month? You will have to scroll down to see.

This month, I had the pleasure of Guest Designing over at Love My Tapes. That was fun! So, the first four layouts and the random card are from that. Please check out this post and this one for more info. 

Here goes:

As usual, many of these layouts were done for various challenges, classes, or sketches. You can click on "soapHOUSEscraps" over there in the right to view my online gallery for all the details on each layout.

Now, did you have a chance to check out all the awesome link-ups from last month? You guys are seriously talented and I love visiting all of your blogs and soaking up the inspiration! I hope your projects all received some love :)
So, who is our winner? MAURA! Yay! Her fabulous Smash Book is shown front and center in the above collage, but you will want to make sure and visit her blog for more pictures and details. I love what she did with it!

Maura, you will be getting this fabulous Christmas Flair from Chic Tags! I have emailed you for your address :)
And, thanks to the generosity of Veronica at Chic Tags, you will also get this whole lot:
Thanks Veronica for sending all of this!
And, thank you all for playing along with our little virtual craft club :)

I can't wait to see what you will link up this month!
Oh, and because it will be Christmas time when the next winner is drawn, I do think an extra special RAK is in order. 

After all, next month will mark a full year of Layout Love Linky. Fun!

So, how about a $25 Gift Card to Two Peas In A Bucket?

Link-up for your chance to win!

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