Are you putting in the time?

Recently my local scrapbook store (sign up for classes here!) asked me to teach a series of art journaling workshops. Ladies and gents – this is going to be BIG fun and I am super excited.

Oh but this post isn’t an advertisement for those or anything – no. This post is about what happened to me when I got home and went to create samples. Short version: I choked

Not a permanent freeze, nothing so terrible. But had I given up after the first hour, day, even 5 days I would have assumed I could not do anymore, that I had no talent, that my ideas were dried up and gone.

I am sharing this with you because it takes courage to keep going, you must keep showing up and putting in the hours if you want to get to a place where creativity freely flows and you feel like you are just magically making. Well, at least I do. I haven’t been playing in my art journal lately so of course it took a while to gather myself. OF COURSE a few pages were rough and a few ideas didn’t work! When it comes to creativity where you’re going from your own head (no outline or structure given):

  1. You will need to have those mental muscles well used in order to just start running! If it’s been a while, be gentle with yourself and just relax into the process.
  2. Tell yourself you’re going to make some ugly art. Then do that. WHY!? Because it takes the pressure off to make anything good.
  3. 10 minutes is all you need each day on any given craft to add up to an hour a week. An hour a week is my minimum for any craft to feel “in the zone”
  4. Don’t stop for long if you want to get to a better place- effort is needed.

I’m not going to make the mistake of letting supplies gather dust again, well yes I will. BUT if I do, I’ll understand I need a few days to warm back up, a few hours practice before things are going at the speed they should when I’m in the zone.

If I’m not putting in the time, I won’t be able to simply ‘whip up’ projects at a moment’s notice. Nothing wrong with that – I just need to be aware of my expectation vs reality!

Art Journaling for me is a way to be fluid in many formats of creativity all at once. I use the techniques elsewhere, and I really enjoy having samples of techniques and my own ideas in a journal to flip through when stuck.

Oh yes, and if ever really, truly, I just don’t know what to do stuck? Just start throwing color (yes literally) on paper and see what sparks. Sometimes you’ll fail sure – but that’s just a part of the process. The failures are the only way to get through to the success and the “I love that I made this!” wins.

Happy Crafting!

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!