Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Layout Love Linky - January 2013

January is coming to an end and that means it's time for another Layout Love Linky!

So, if you have been hanging around The Purple Mailbox for a bit, then you know what this is all about so... feel free to scroll on down and get the party started!

But, if you are new here and have no idea what this LLL is that I speak of...

Read on...

LLL is a bit like a virtual craft club... A show and tell of sorts.
We all (well, most of us) upload our projects to online galleries and/or blog about them.
But, they do tend to get lost in the shuffle sometimes, don't they?

One of my favorite parts of blogging is the sense of community within the scrapbooking world. I love this network of sharing ideas and inspiration, documenting our successes and failures, and commiserating with one another through our hobby.

One of the best ways to get to know a crafter is through what she is most proud of, yes?

Perhaps you did that one layout that just blew your socks off and you can't stop smiling at it.
Or maybe you tried something new and your project survived the process!
What if you only had time to scrapbook 1 page last month, but that is 1 more than usual?

So, you uploaded said project to an online gallery, or your blog, or both. And then....
Not much happened?

That doesn't mean anything, really!
There are SO many scrappers sharing their work every minute of the day.
This really is a great thing.
A good "problem" to have.
But, there are only so many hours in a day and well, things just get lost in the shuffle of cyberspace.

What am I getting at here?

It's show and tell time, that's what!!!!

THAT is the heart and soul behind Layout Love Linky.

Sharing, inspiring, learning, and growing our little scrappy cyberspace community. I just love it when I click on a link-up to leave some love and I see a comment that says, "I came over here from Layout Love and really enjoyed your layout!"

See? A virtual craft club!

Every month, a winner is drawn at random and will receive a fun scrappy prize and a little tag made by yours truly :)

Now, let's get this party under way! Here are some of my unblogged layouts. Apparently I was a scrapping mad woman over this past month because I had to edit this down as to not bore you with more than 35 layouts! Here are the ones that made the cut:

I did this one as part of a tutorial on using mixed media in your scrapping during Creative Christmas Calendar. If you missed it, check it out here.

I was also on a mission to finish up the last bits of some letters:

And I worked on some more intro pages for my albums:

And closing pages...

Some older sticker sheets were collaged up and die cut into butterflies:

And some challenges were done during CHA at 2Peas:

I finally broke out my somewhat hoarded Cashmere Dame collection:

And used one of my all time favorite sketches:
I also put some more of my page starters to good use:
And finally worked my way through the rest of my patterned paper kits that I compiled during May Flaum's Kittastic workshop:

I even took a little trip back in time...
And reflected on 2012:

And clearly... I just couldn't stop having scrappy fun!

Whew! What a month! 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.

I wasn't the only busy one last month. We had a record number of link-ups! LOVE IT! I do hope you remembered to stop by everyone's blogs and leave lots of comment love. And, if not... be sure to check them out!

Who is our lucky winner from the above group of awesomeness? Christy, that's who! I am so loving the way she worked a vertical and horizontal photo onto this layout:

Congrats Christy! I have emailed you for your details and will get your tag and FLAIR out to you soon! I can't wait to see what you do with that awesome set from A Flair For Buttons!


So, now it's your turn.
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!

What's the prize for the next winner? It's a surprise. But I have a feeling it will be lovely!

Oh, yeah - don't forget to check back all month long to leave comment love for our scrappy friends. Remember, just click the Layout Love Linky button up there on the right hand side bar and it will take you right to this month's post!

And if you tweet or share on Instagram, use #LLL for all things Layout Love :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Globs, Questions, and Answers...

Hi there! I have fun little Instagram photo here, along with a mix of October Afternoon, Crate Paper and Lily Bee papers, and a few globs of dried paint, so let's get to scrapping...

WAIT! WHAT?!?! Globs of dry paint? 
Let me explain....

If you subscribe to My Analog Life, you already know what a wonderfully creative and spontaneous scrapper Michelle Hernandez (aka WillieburgScrapper) is! And, if you don't.... well, you NEED to subscribe. It's never a dull read!

From the moment I saw this page of Michelle's:
And her lovely embellishment grouping of dried paint globs:
Well, I just knew I wanted to try that! It went into the vortex of my brain and simmered on the back burner...

Then, I was listening to the PRT episode where Jen Allyson, the designer behind MME, was talking about her wildly popular Enamel Dots and how they are a bit like dried paint globs. 
The wheels started turning...
So a bottle of old metallic craft paint that has been taking up valuable real estate in my mist caddy, got emptied out onto my craft matt likey so:
Not quite like the aforementioned enamel dots, but let's go with it!
And, guess what? These took a surprisingly LONG time to dry. Go figure.
But, that gave me lots of time to think.
How does one get to the point in the creative process that it actually occurs to them to cut out a glob of paint and stick it on a Wedding Layout in a perfectly elegant way?
I had already planned to, of course, link back to Michelle when I showed my page with these dried globs. But, I wanted to know more!
So, I asked her :)

I am pleased to report that Michelle graciously allowed me to pick her brain and took the time to answer my questions in her always entertaining and engaging writing style.

How about we take a trip into Michelle's creative mind while we wait for those globs to dry?

Michelle, I find your style to have such a wonderful mix of graphic lines and eclectic bits. I just love how your work echoes the urban environment you live in! Can you tell us what some of your consistent inspirations and motivations are?
- AWW!! Thank you so much! I actually really admire your work for similar reasons- there are so many visual connections being made in your pages that I wish I had made in mine! I really admire how you freely choose patterns and mix things up with your embellishments.
Regarding the urban focus of some of my work- I was actually thinking about this very issue recently. I follow a lot of crafters on Instagram and sometimes I feel envy when I see beautiful gardens (like yours!!), home renovations or large well-lit rooms and shopping trips to well stocked Target stores. I question my choice to stay in a large and very expensive city. There is a lot in suburban life that I am drawn to.
I live in a dark and tiny apartment in Brooklyn. The walls outside are full of colorful graffiti that I genuinely admire and look to for inspiration. My choices are to run around trying to imitate someone else’s lifestyle so I fit in better, or try to capture what I like about what’s around me right now.
Writers are told write what you know so that’s what I try to do. Subway stations, graffiti, manhole covers, water towers- the occasional goose in the park across the street. I don’t do it for every page but the pages others seem to respond to most include city elements. Right now I’m trying to find that happy place where I celebrate city life and show some of it’s less than perfect reality without falling into cliché or stereotype.

You have a wonderful spontaneity to your work...especially the addition of a dried paint glob! Can you tell us what made you think to include that on your page?
Seriously blushing over here. I over-think a LOT of things but when I’m scrapping there is very little thinking- I’m just making stuff up as I go along. Last year I promised myself I would start writing stuff down when I saw things in my work that I liked because I tend to freeze mid project and I could use these technique lists as a way to break out of the “now what?” moment. All my favorite scrappers (including you) have certain things they do over and over again. Those details become a unique style- a visual language of sorts that makes your work unique and authentic.
Sometimes I have weeks when I don’t do anything because I want to be “original” with each page. This is my mistake. If you have a formula to get you started USE IT- even if the page looks the same as one you did last time- working is better for flow and spontaneity than freezing up.
I love paint but using it on my pages scares the heck outta me. For this project, I tried dripping the gold paint on the page but it positively REFUSED to go on in a place I liked so I cut it out and stuck it onto another page. Problem solved. 90% of effective scrapbooking is problem solving. You try something: Plunk! It goes over like a lead balloon. So you fix it the best way you know how and BAM! GENIUS! Usually someone else tells you it’s genius- mostly I’m all- HUH? COOOOOOLLLL!!!!!
Just play- and keep playing- don’t give up! Or give up and come back to it later. I do that too. I put pages aside overnight and in the morning they magically put themselves together. I could be struggling over a page for 2 hours, give up, come back to it later and it gets finished in 20 minutes flat- FREAKY!

As a subscriber of your blog and a regular reader, I notice that you are on a constant exploration of techniques and your own personal creative journey. I find this very inspiring! Can you share with us a little bit of your creative journey.... how you got to this point and where you hope to get to in the future?
Wow this question is DEEP. Thank you for saying I’m inspiring- you have no idea how wonderful that is to hear- really, truly. I’m hugging you in my brain right now.
I have always taken photos and I have always dabbled in “scrapbooking” in some way. I have books of animal photos I pasted together when I was in 4th grade. I’m the only person in my family (sometimes it feels like I’m the only scrapper in New York City- especially when I talk to people who paint or knit- they have huge communities here) I had no idea there were professional designers making scrapbook specific products and I wish I had found my way earlier. It seems like things are winding down right now in the commercial side of scrapbooking. I really like the blogs, the DTs and the sharing we do. There is huge value to this community we’ve created and I really want it to keep going.
To answer your question- I started scrapbooking and shooting photos of my pages to put in galleries in 2009. I was pregnant with my first child. Right away I found out she was very sick and the doctors recommended that I terminate the pregnancy. In order to shut out all the anxiety I was feeling I started searching for bird stencils. I was going to have this baby and I was going to decorate her room myself. It started with stickers and collage and quickly moved on to scrapbook papers. Lola is fine- genetic disorders were strongly suspected but since no test was positive I decided I would handle whatever came my way. What came was awesome. I'm having the time of my life with my normal wall climbing, bed jumping, tomato chomping toddler- WINNING!
Before I had Lola, I was a photo editor so I use my visual story telling skills in my scrapbooking and the rest (blogging, graphic design rules, social media promotion) I’m learning as I go along.
Eventually, I want to teach and build a blog that is a valuable resource for the art and scrapbook community (which is one and the same to me by the way. That view sometimes gets me ridiculed but I’m not backing down- scrapbooking and the passion women show for it is inspiring and progressive- it’s art). I also want to find a way to join my finances with my creative pursuits- working to feed my creative soul not just pay the rent is my main goal.
Thanks for these great questions- I love talking about this stuff!

I love it too! Thank you so much Michelle! 

I can so relate to many of what she touched on, can't you?
Don't over think...
Be you, no one else...
Try, play, have fun....

So inspired!

And with that, we have completely dried globs! Let's get them scrapped!

I am not sure if it's the shape of the Instagram photo or the fact that scrappy cyberland seems to be flooded with Project Life pages these days, but I think I might work this up into a PL inspired grid design. After all, I really had fun the last time I tried my hand at that aesthetic...

First up, just a bit of playing with the layout. Move it to the left... move it to the right. Layer this... layer that....
Alright! The layering of all those papers went surprisingly fast. Last time it took forever. I think I was more confident this go around in this style, but I also didn't bother with the paper trimmer. Instead, I just used my scissors. Turns out corners can be rounded even if the papers aren't cut perfectly straight. Oh Happy Day!!!

As for the globs, I wanted a little more texture so I just ran them through my sewing machine:
 And then had fun layering them up:
Dried splashes of paint....
Yep, they are the coolest!
 And quite appropriate for a page about the coolest pool in the world!
Plenty of pattern, plenty of journaling, and plenty of the unexpected. Now, that's my kind of scrapping!

I just love this online community of art that we are all a part of. The exchange of ideas and inspiration in truly priceless! Thanks again for joining us Michelle. Thanks for your kind words and most of all thank you for sharing some of the genius in your scrappy brain!

My Stars...

It's all about stars this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

You can take this inspiration literally or you can instead focus on a ‘star’ supply that you couldn’t imagine crafting without. Some glitter that sparkles like a star could work, a punch, a sticker, some paper, or any way you so choose to interpret this challenge. Whether you’re inspired by the night sky, the sports all-star in your life, or the cute star stencil you just found - we can’t wait to see what shines in your project this week!

As for me, I decided this was the perfect time to scrap a bit about our Homeschool and my star students!

Here I have my photo along with a lovely selection of Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic papers. Which, by the way, are THE perfect papers for scrapping Homeschool with the subtle office theme mixed in with elements of house and home:
I like the idea of having this photo "clipped" on a clip board. My exacto should help out nicely with this:
After sprinkling some color shine about, I still feel like my background could use a bit of sparkle. After all, this week is all about the shine, right? Some playful swirls of glossy accents....
...covered in gorgeous glitter! I may or may not have dumped the entire contents of the bottle here...
Ah, but not to worry! Excess shaken off and back in the bottle and ta da!!!
So fun!
 Alrighty! I have cut some stars using my Sizzix and now the layering begins:
 Ooooooohhhhhhh, pretty!
 Wood Veneer? I thought you would never ask!
 Some shiny gold letters:
 And there we have it!
 A fun and sparkly page all about my star students!
How will you shine this week?

I can't wait to see!
Link up at Simon Says Stamp and Show for your chance at a $50 shopping spree from the ever generous

Care to try your hand at some of the above? A complete supply list is below: (affiliate links used)

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