Pieces of My Life

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Stuck on U Sketches Project Life Challenge Reveal: Twine

Hi all!

Hope you are enjoying these last few weeks of Summer.  This week Stuck on U Sketches has a challenge for us Project Lifers.  We are to use Twine in our layouts.  I love using twine, string, yarn, anything that is thin, easily manipulated and serves a purpose is a great addition to any project life page.


I decided to use a bow for my ice cream bar.  It just gave it that decorated look.  I also edged the bar in stickles to give it a little more of an icy look.  Twine and Washi makes a great banner that is really quick to make. I also photographed my husband and I waiting for the AC in my car to be fixed. I went two weeks without it and decided I was melting.  You can see the pic of me and my flat hair to prove it was true. That was after driving to the shop after work.  It gets hot here in Carolina.  It was a priority that my dh fixed.  It was also our anniversary this week, and though no photos were taken, I did write a small journalling tag and tucked it behind a decorative tag.  I also used twine to hold the larger tag in place. I just mini stapled in on each end. Easy Peasy!!! The decorative tag can be removed to read the journal tag that was pasted below to keep it's layered place. I also commemorated some bucket list sewing projects I accomplished lately,( ergo no posts in a while). I made an embroidered peasant blouse.  It has ivory stitching on a peachy pink.  (My colors)  I also tackled making my own custom fitted bra.  I am going to make a ton of them.  It is like wearing pajamas.  Had to take a photo of my first for I was really proud that I could do it. It looks great on...something I never expected.

Head over to the SOU blog and see what the other lifers are doing with their twine.  Grab an old mop and see all you can do on your projects too.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Making Dots...

I found a post on Pinterest that really thrilled me. I went straight to Walmart to buy Pony Beads (found in Kids Crafts)  I LOVE dots, but they are pricey.  $3.99 seems to be the going price for about 20.  I spent about $16 and will have almost a 1,000 of them in all sorts of sizes and mediums.  I now have pearly dots, bright dots, clear pastel dots and strange black with metallic abstract dots.

Recipe:
   Preheat oven to 400 degrees

   Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet


   Place beads on the cookie sheet at 1 inch apart.

   Bake for 15-20 minutes.


   Pull sheet out of oven and pull paper off to cool




   Wait one or two minutes to let them cool and pop them into your container.



Here is what I learned making mine:

1) The first batch takes 20 minutes....the rest about 3- 5 minutes

2) The longer they are in the oven, the more oval they get...so watch them. The oval ones look like drops of
     nail polish

3) The longer they are in the oven the more muted the color becomes.  White becomes ivory.

4) The Metallic beads do not melt  as gold and silver. They melt as black with metallic spots.  They also take      a lot longer to go flat.  I haven't found the average time yet.

5) You can get a divided bead case for $3.97, but  you can get a Divided fishing lure case for $1.49 in the sporting goods department

Monday, August 11, 2014

SOUS Project Life Challenge Reveal

Hi all!

Hope you are all doing well.  This week, Stuck on U Sketches has a Project Life Challenge I just loved.  You are to use a quote card on your PL spread. There are so many of them out there that are pre-made, but you can also use die cuts, stamps and even your old fashioned typewriter to make these, and they can have such an impact on your page.  I grabbed a spread I made several weeks ago that had one on it, but you will usually find them on all of my Project Life spreads. I like to think my future generations will pause and take the wisdom those quotes have in them.  Live Love Laugh is one of my favorite bits of advise for everyone. I find it to be the perfect recipe for happiness.


The cards were made using a bit of paint, some cards from the April and January Project Life kits I got from Studio Calico.  I also used a template design they had one month I chose blue and yellow as my theme for that week, but the dirt in the pics really created a call for peach too. So I put pink digital paper in the template and added a peach colored heart I die cut using the same paper on a larger scale which I could do with the silhouette.  I added one more picture from week 20 to this page though the majority of the page is for week 21.  The sky was so awesome when we were getting tornado warnings that I just wanted to add it to the book even though there was no room on the previous page.  I am going in consecutive order but every now and then you just have to stray for the sake of art.  

Well head on over the Stuck On U Sketches to see what other words of wisdom the other designers have to offer.  It not inspired in project life, you may even find your mantra for happiness.   Tootles for now!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vintage Storage

Hi everyone. I am sorry I have not been able to post in a while.We have had a bit of a family crisis that has been taking up a lot of my free time.  I haven't made anything recently and really miss it.  I thought Iwould share some vintage with you and show you how I store my stamps. You can get these soda bottle crates for next to nothing at flea markets and they house my wooden stamps well.
I have other vintage items that I use for storage as well.  Coke crates, vintage bowls, tiered candy plates, etc. So the next time you pass a flea market, turn around and see what treasures you can find!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Stuck on U Sketches Project Life Challenge: Glitter Glue -> Sparkle!

This week, Stuck on U Sketches has a Project Life Challenge.  You are to use Glitter Glue on  your projects.  I used to buy the name brand but am finding the $1 spent for twice as much at Walmart works just as well.  I love sparkly emebellies, so this project was really fun!  My dd has never taken a great school picture, so when I saw her graduation picture, where the photographer snapped it when her hat was falling off I found that to be the ultimate bad school picture.  Life is funny.  I also added some projects that I had made, one of which was a favorite fo the month and the other a digital one I made while taking the Studio Calico Digital 2.0 Class.
To photograph this, I left the pages out of the pockets, so the glitter would show better. With the exception of a Studio Calico and Becky Higgins PL  card, I made all of the others using digital stamps from Studio Calico. I am really liking the creativity and flexibility they give me in design, color choice and placement of where I want to journal.

So head over to the SOU Blog to see what other sparkly goodness the other designers came up with. Maybe you too will dust of your old bottles of glitter glue!

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Little Sister

I just love Rhylen's face in this picture of him and his new sister,  It was like months and months of waiting for
her finally came to an end and he really liked how she turned out. I also think there is a bit of pride in the fact that Mom let him hold her too, and maybe even a little nervousness.  That look just said so much.
I got the template in the Digital Class I am taking at Studio Calico.  I love what I am learning and really liking the options you get when going digital. I can leave it as is, or separate them and cut them with my Silhouette to make a hybrid.  I can change the tones of papers to make them match and resize things to just the way they need to be.  There are no mistakes,..only do overs. :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stuck on U Sketches PL Challenge Reveal: Texture

Who can resist the appeal of different textures on a page?  Not me? I used to be quite content with glueing flat paper to a page in different shapes and places and then think my page was done.  Then I started looking at other pages in all of the on line galleries and pondered on why other's pages turned out so much better than mine.  After all we were all using paper....right? In fact, we were. As I delved further into my study of galleries,  I found texture was what made them so different and that  there are all sorts of ways to create texture on a page.

This week's Stuck on U Sketches Challenge has a Project Life challenge.  We are to make a card using texture.  Here is my overall project...

Now you may be saying, Holly, where is your fabric, your ribbon, your corrugated paper etc.  Yes those are definitely things that make a great textured page.  However, with project life, you have the challenge of creating textured elements while still keeping the book flat so it will close.  Ad 52 pages of that stuff and you will have a circle for a book at the end of the year, not to mention torn pockets.  So these are ideas that I use to create dimension and texture without adding more than a centimeter or two on the cards.

Paints and Inks

I used a little mist and a lot of water to give that background its mottled effect.  I used an embossing folder, then brushed the tag lightly with my ink pad to color the raised surface so it would show better.  The flower is flat, but stacked and with interesting textured elements to it like the stamen and leaf....all flat.

Embossing Folders, Strings, Edgy Punches


I like to use these sparingly in project life because they do plump up the pockets. Sometimes you just gotta! This flower would look rather stark if left in its mere two dimensions.  I left it monotone to highlight the background texture of painted Gesso better.  I also could have just used a round punch, but I found the Stamping up Scalloped 1" circle gave the card more texture than a plain circle/  String is another way to add texture while keeping your pages thin. There are a lot of deals out there on twine and in my opinion, for PL the thinner the better. You can wrap it around a card, or an element as I have done here and it sort of ties the design together in a nice little bow.  (Couldn't resist the pun)  if you need a certain something something, to create balance,.string can be a great help.  It also makes great textured, but flat flowers.

Letter Press or Fake Letter Press


I love Letter Pressed stationary. There is something that just makes it so much more special than just stamped wording and images.  There are a lot of gadgets out there that will allow you to do this and even some made for personal and non-professional use.  When I started adding up the costs of the inks, the special dies and tools, I saw this is really another hobby altogether.  So I started watching some U Tubes and found videos on how to use an embossing folder as a letter press.  Granted it may not be as pristine as the tools that are built for it, but for my purposes I think that is a great idea. What you do is ink the folder itself on the raised design of the folder then run it through your Sizzix, Cuttlebug or what ever manual die cut machine you have.  This was my first attempt at it.  You can see I used too much ink and the wrong kind of ink. I think an alcohol based ink may work better than the pigment based I used.  But what I liked about it is that  got a dimensional journal card to highlight my favorite pic of the week on the overall page.  A friend of my daughters posted a  pic from when they were in Middle School.  It was a nice treat to run across a photo that I have never seen, 15 years later.

So the net/net of what I learned while going through the galleries is that texture and dimension are what give a design interest.  Sometimes it is raised, impressed or painted and sometimes it is glossy, slick and golden. It is definitely something to consider as you scrap. I know my pages are done when I put them in my folder and I want to run my hand across all of the pockets.  What...is it just  me that does that?

I have had a few sneak peaks. you may want to head over to the SOU site and look how the other designers added texture to their pages.  There are even more ideas for you to see.