Back in the saddle!

Once upon a time, a young and foolish me thought “oh just charge forward! Never stop! Just keep at it!” Now there is something said for being tenacious and honing your craft – but sometimes a pause is a better choice!

If you’ve been following along my blog journey, you know this space used to be used multiple times a week. Based on feedback, my own priorities, and watching what is working I’ve determined that instead of blogging all projects I will save this space for when I have something to type, something that makes the most sense in this format.

Today I just wanted to hop on and encourage this one simple message: Go ahead and just stop!

Sometimes we get to doing things one way for so long we just think “this is how it is” – and a pause can give us a moment to take a look and ask if that’s what works, or if that’s how you want it. From changing scrapbook methods to altering your diet or shifting your daily work routines – it can be really helpful to stop and check yourself. Take a break from the routine.

Lately I’ve been privileged to have a friend allowing me to hop on her horses and I have to tell you – I’ve got muscles screaming and sore that I haven’t used in 20+ years.

And that feels so very good. Being outside more, being active, not chaining myself to the computer daily because I should.

Things are definitely shifting around here- and I’m really excited. If you ever have any craft questions you know where to find me and that I always welcome your emails. Want to see the daily details and crafts? Social media! You can find links at the top of my blog.

Have a wonderful week!

Scrapbooking: Hamilton Ephemera

Last year Becca and I had a deal – if she could keep up with entering the lottery, I’d take her to Hamilton if we won.

For MONTHS (7? 9?) she asked me each week for available days, and entered. Then on Christmas Eve her iPad pinged “you win”. We didn’t just win – the seats ended up together, second row, dead center!

So the question becomes: HOW do you scrapbook such an extraordinary event? My answer is actually quite simple: you KEEP IT SIMPLE.

While the temptation would be to go wild with tons of flashy (and expensive) embellishments, the truth of this story is extraordinary enough to not need it. AND we have a playbill and tickets that we can utilize for our flash.

When in doubt, ephemera and ‘life’ stuff always wins over stickers and scrapbook extras!

I printed a photo collage including a screen shot of the ‘winner’ notice, and I let the story tell itself. You can treat ephemera (tickets, paper type items) just as you would any other paper and utilize! Cut it in pieces, leave it whole – whatever feels right and works for you. There is NO wrong way!

I hope that I’ve inspired you to just simply tell a story. The only scrapbook supply here? The piece of cardstock this is all on!

This page is actually the start of a project I’m working on – two actually! I’m writing an ebook with video (class! coming soon!) AND I’m writing up an article about how I’m organizing and making plans to effectively get a few past years scrapbooked!

What are you crafting these days?

ScanNCutDX: Spring Round-up

If you’re looking for my projects, be sure to follow me on YouTube, Instagram, and/or Facebook! I’m sharing new tutorials every week, but as I change up how I blog (a much less frequent than before formula)- you won’t always see the projects here.

One of the things I’m using a lot of? My ScanNCutDX! The usual disclaimer here that I am a paid consultant, however all ideas and opinions are my own. Today I want to share with you a few favorite projects that I’ve done lately.

Every month I create a video tutorial for Brother ScanNCut blog – and the newest is up now! This butterfly was a blast to create, and you can find the how-to here.

While we are months from summer – is it ever too early for an apron project? Here’s a fun one complete with video tutorial.

You will also find monthly videos featuring the ScanNcut on my YouTube channel! Find all of my DX videos here.

The ScanNCut is so awesome for many projects. On my spring to-make list?

  • Lucky Charm pencil toppers & gift tags
  • Floral garland for the studio
  • Add custom vinyl to suitcase/garment bag for school trip
  • Scrapbook Titles and accents
  • Mother’s Day cards
  • Easter goodies tags

Time flies – and I know I’ll be needing all these projects and more. Stay tuned, and don’t hesitate to request more! I love hearing requests for specific videos and I’m always happy to answer questions. Below you’ll see a peek at my next project going on Cutting Corner (the ScanNCut blog).

Have a happy crafty week!

Diamond Dotz on Demand

Diamond Dotz contacted me and asked if they could send me their new customized product, and I said absolutely! I was excited to see how this would turn out, and as it turns out – it is fantastic! Diamond Dotz on Demand is now available and they will send you everything you need to create your own custom work of art once you upload your photograph. Rebecca and I love putting all the little stones in their places and I thought it would be fun to see how it all worked out.

The premise is pretty simple. You’ll upload a photo to their website and select a size. The one we worked on is 15 1/2″ (approx) square and the perfect size and detail for my photo. You’ll want to keep in mind for more fine detail and small elements you’ll want to go bigger, as the effect will be pixelated in a sense due to the diamond dotz.

We used this photo of Scrappy and Bandit (cuties!) in the back yard and the process of filling up the Diamond Dotz took us a few weeks working about 15-20 minutes a day each. Some days we worked more, some days we didn’t spend time on it. But it is a really fun craft and a great way to relax and unwind as well.

My tip if this is something you are interested in creating your own custom design would be to remember that the image will be ‘pixelated’ so to speak, so either pick a simpler image or get a much larger scale. Don’t know what I mean? Zoom in on a photo on your computer until it looks blocky or pixelated. Essentially, your image will to some degree have this effect so you will want to select an appropriate size, or a more simple image.

I would also recommend that you think about the background and how that will look, and really select a photo that will translate well. Simple is better than busy, contrasting colors are excellent, and a clear subject and good photo composition all will assist as well. Here is a link to my YouTube video where I talk more about this, and go into the process and show you over time how we brought this to life – and where it hangs in my studio now!

My thanks again to Diamond Dotz for providing this fun craft and memorable portrait of our beloved dogs. If you have any questions, or if you would like to see a future article on photo tips or anything related do let me know!

Ready, Set, Holiday Craft!

It’s early November, and to some well organized crafters and those who participate in craft fairs – well they’ve been ready for weeks if not months for the holiday season. But how about the rest of us who just starting to think about holiday crafting?

Today I’ve got some tips to share and my own plans for this holiday season!

There’s no such thing as too early, first of all. Every major project and every deadline I am up against other things try to get in the way, someone gets sick, or I get busy and then blink – the holiday is here and I’m either done weeks ago and thrilled, or scrambling and stressed. Which would I rather be? Prepared, of course!

So as soon as you are thinking about what you might like to do, or what craft projects you might like to take on go ahead and get started!

Don’t over-buy. This one is key and I’ve gotten better about it over the years but the thing is, you don’t want to have 30 extra ornaments or 5 extra rolls of kraft paper hanging out cluttering up your place because you either wildly overestimated your crafting time or thought you needed WAY more than what you do. How to best avoid this problem?

Make a plan and keep a list or three. Having both a clear craft plan and lists (who you need to make for, what things are done, how many cards you’re making, etc) will not only help keep you on track and answer that question “what do I craft now?” but it will also help you avoid over shopping, buying too much (if you’re making 20 cards, you don’t need supplies for 100!), and help keep order to what can be a chaotic season.

Keep goals and expectations real. The facts are that I will make handcrafted fun (in-depth projects) up until about the 5th of December, and then starting back up again on Christmas Eve. There are a few exceptions, but overall if I want to hand craft gift card holders, customize gifts, or make things for people it happens primarily in November. So in making my plans and goals for the season I know that other than some light wrapping or a tag or two – early is the way it happens in this house.

Along these lines, I also encourage you to craft what makes YOU happy. Utilizing very simple wrapping, skipping cards, purchasing pre-made things – there is no shame in any of this! In fact some years, I skip mailing gifts or cards or scale WAY back and other years I go wild. It all depends on how my life is looking, and what works for me. I think it is important especially at a time when it is easy to get wrapped up in what you think you “should” do that you can just keep things very simple!

This year I will be making a few (maybe 6) cards, doing as always a few fancy packages (but not all!), and crafting some ornaments and small easy DIY gifts. I will be sharing tutorials with you this month (so you’ve got time to craft as well!) as well as doing a few round-up posts. What specifically do I have planned? Felt will play a big part – I’m making some ornaments, coffee cup holders (already did one – love it!) and I will also be doing some gift card holders for teens, decorating a few boxes, and really just leaning into the LOVE I have of craft.

Some of the years that things have been simple and small are the most satisfying craft wise, so I intend to just play, enjoy, and see where the season takes me. A wild idea (like the 150 or so hour bigger than life scrappy pillow gift…) could take hold. You never know!

That was a LOT of fun to make and actually ended up being a rare December holiday crafted item. I think because I was able to do it in the car waiting for kids, appointments, etc. and it was so portable. I will tell you I notoriously write my Christmas cards that way – so that I them using the time I have wisely.

Stay tuned – the video tutorials start up Nov 4 on YouTube (link at top of blog), and I will be back to post here on my blog round-up of favorite tutorials, shopping ideas, and much more! But first: time for me to go make my holiday lists!