Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Paper Arts In Atlanta - Class Day

Paper rafting was on my agenda today at CHA's Paper Arts show in Atlanta.  Yes, had trouble falling asleep last night and had to get up way too early for the start of class day today. I did not get everything done in classes. My arm problems really are a problem if I do too much. The first class was fine and I got most everything done and my third class I got help. I did a bit in the other two and think I'll enjoy finishing up at home.
So, what exactly did I do?
First class was Pack Your Bag's!  from Bo Bunny taught by Liz Welch and Vicki Bentley.. First they featured  a tag made using Bo Bunny's new multi media products. The products worked great and were a glimmer spray, a pearlescent medium , stencils and ink pads. One product that not only worked well but that was new to me and quite frankly, one that I loved, Glitter Paste. Just take a little out of the jar and spread thinly over a stencil onto the project. Ooh La La! Dries very fast with a beautiful effect. Bo Bunny next had us make a scrapbook page using the new Souvenir line. Uses Classic Bo Bunny colors in their primary color palette so will co-ordinate well with those treasured older lines of Bo Bunny you may have around. The layout used lots of layering of products so you know I liked that and they also had a little "suitcase" project that held an accordion photo banner for ones vacation pics. I'll post photos in Facebook and add some pics to this post when I get home at the end of the week. This is a retro vintage travel themed line with a mix of vintage graphics like game cards, posters and school book pictures of  means of transportation and maps and air mail edging.
The second class was a  Graphic 45 project. It was a Double Page layout that also was part shadow box taught by Jeff Filimoehala designed by Annette Green. Very lovely.  Now clearly these first two projects suggest some trends, vintage travel and an emphasis on multimedia Maker crafting. The graphic 45 project involves a fair bit of cutting, they had done a lot of it to get it done in two hours but still more than I was up to doing. I did take photos of the final project as I think it will make a cute gift. It really was not difficult and is a very forgiving design meaning most everyone who attempted the project would be happy with the results. Graphic 45 used their Come Away With Me collection. This featured old maps, their classic vintage man and woman, globes, keys, spool buttons, and posters. The color palette is browns, pinks, green and blue and turquoise. It takes ink well. I found some paper did not cut quite like I hoped, it seemed a bit rough at the edge and it was a new trimmer blade. In a project I was distressing it was not a significant problem but I'd be sure to make a couple of passes with my trimmer, just to be sure, if a crisp edge was essential. The paper has a good acceptance of ink for distressing so trade offs to consider here. I heard many of the participants later in the day saying this Graphic 45 project was one of their favorites of the day.
After lunch it was a Sizzix class with Stephanie Barnard. She showcased her new designs in three gorgeous cards. I like my Big Shot but  don't do much at one time, I may need to get aVagabond machine if I start getting into cards, I guess. A delightful woman named Joyce was a most helpful partner and all went well in the class. That Sizzix adhesive paper certainly helps with some of the little detailed die shapes. All participants left the class with not only the adorable three cards we made but also with the Sizzix Stamper's Secret Weapon which is an excellent stamping surface and it has a handily piercer tool to help with the detailed die cuts. We also got one of Stephanie's new die sets for making folded cards.
My last class of the day was great messy artsy fun! Stamps duos had Fran Seldord teach us avMixed Media Beauty Journal.We used the Creative Palette from Stampedous with bracers and acrylic paint the make gorgeous multicolored textural backgrounds. Next the Blossom Beauty face stamp and template were used to make faces and Fran taught us some great tips about painting hair. We learned a simple way to create a beautiful textured, layered card with a background we made a flower stamp repeated and the cut with various size dies. Embellishing and journaling encourages and then we learned a simple and pretty ribbon binding for our little books. 
CHA then welcomed us with a very nice reception sponsored by Anna Griffin. We got a quick view of the show which is very small but well done. I hope there will be a number of make and takes to explore the products, not sure. Now I did have wine so I do not feel ready to comment on Paper Arts, except to say it was small. I think the show in Utah had an effect on this one which is unfortunate for the buyers who could only choose this one. Despite the small size though Mu overall impression is that the exhibitors are getting serious buyer attention which is a good thing for the industry.
So, photos on Facebook for now (shortly, as I'll post this before I head to FB) and I'll post more photos to this blog post when I'm home.
Be sure to leave a comment if you have a product question.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Here in Atlanta for Paper Arts

 I took the red-eye to Charlotte and then got into Atlanta in the late morning. My room wasn't ready yet and registration for this CHA event wasn't open until 3 pm so I went off and had a shampoo and blow dry and got my nails dome at the mall next door. Not much of a mall, more a food court with services and a few shops. Happy with the work I had done, checked in and got registered. Classes scheduled all day tomorrow with a reception in the evening. It looks like the small show that was advertised. A number of the non American Crafts (or shall I say in a humorous vein, the not yet American Crafts) companies are here. Sizzix and Spellbinders are the main sponsors of the event. Some nice SWAG in the welcome package bag. A nice D-Lites Embellishment die from Spellbinders featuring butterflies. I think we can safely say butterflies are a staple in the paper crafts industry. A BiC 4 color pen which has already proven itself useful as I mark up my program. Hot Off the Press attached a darling sheet of Dazzles Gingerbread Stickers to their catalog. Crafter's Essentials included a container of  their Fingertip Grip Enhancer. I tested it and it really works and does not make the fingers feel sticky. I can really see how this can be helpful, especially with tiny things like beads. Fab Scraps included some chipboard word art. Little B put an intricately edged note pad with an offer of a make and take at their booth. Some advertising of other products included. Will check things out as the show goes on. A bit windy though it does keep the weather from being too hot and humid here, not that I expect to be out of the conference area much. Well, not much sleep last night and I'm due to be at a class early so will wind this post up for now. More later.
I could not figure how to add my iPhone photo here so posted it to Facebook. Will try to figure that out.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why Critique a Scrapbook Page

 As many of you know, I am on the creative team at Get It Scrapped/ Masterful Scrapbook Design. The site is devoted to education about scrapbook pages.
Now, some people are saying but your philosophy is that scrapbooking is all about your own fun, Karen. Why would you care how "good" your pages are?
Actually, I think most pages are good enough, but I do enjoy the process of creating nice things. Many times at the site we discuss pages and tell folk that there is nothing they need to change at all but suggestions are made to make the deign stronger or the story more effective.
It's always one's own design and story; so, dictating that it be a certain way is not the point. Many times completely opposite from one another suggestions are given. What those of us, who enjoy the critique classes, like is reviewing the process of giving ourselves a better eye and voice, to learn what others like about our pages and sometimes, to understand what can be done to tell our story better.
Here's a recent page I made and the version I did after the critique session.

Just little changes; but, ones that strengthen my page.

TDF65: quirkyheart - everydaybouquet (kit), dunia - saysomething (alpha), xm2 -xoxo (alpha); PCO Go Bold (alpha); fonts - Garamond, Arial; shadow actions - One Little Bird

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bookends of the Family

Bookends of the family is an unusual thought but it was one I had yesterday. I was feeling a bit down, missing my Mom and then I thought of my daughter, Jeannette who died in 1982. I had been finishing up the obituary for my Mom and editing the photos to be included.
I chose a photo of Mom when she was a young woman and a more recent photo. It came to me then that these photos represented bookends on her life. I reflected that my Mom and little girl were bookends to mine. Unfortunately, Jennie had only a brief time on earth, but her profound spirit of love was a major support; Mom was pretty fragile at her end these last couple of years; but, also a wall of love.
I felt a bit bereft at that point. I do have special friends and family members to help keep me stable on the shelf of life but it was this thought of a disconnect from the edges of my own life that made me sad.
My niece, Danielle, has been a godsend to help in the rough times of moving Mom last year and settling things on her death. Aunt Fran and Aunt Virginia have both been sweet and encouraging, too.
They are the female bookends of my extended family.
My cousin, Aimee, currently in Australia has been so helpful to me. She edited the obituary, correcting my USA spelling to Canadian and, thanks to Facebook, has been a great comfort, despite the miles. My realization was that I am the eldest cousin and Aimee the youngest female cousin. In our own way, we are the female bookends of our generation.
Just some thoughts that were a comfort to me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Digital Scrapbook Crop

I'm digi scrapbooking these days and even getting LO's done at an on-line crop. It's an event at Debbie Hodge's site at least every other month, sometimes more often. Cool to interact with folk around the globe in a hobby we all love, some paper (or "lumpy" as a medical colleague, George, would say), some digi and some hybrid scrappers. It got pretty quiet late in the day we were all either tired or busy trying to get something done to show for all the time we spent. It's a nice community.

When I went to Victoria, BC I was able to take some great night photos and that inspired this LO.

TDF65: QWS Alchemy, J Labre Somethingness, T Martin Missing You; Karla Dudley Kit for Scrapaneers; Pixels and Co. Dream Kit, Fonts: Zapfino, Avenir

My grandson is always an inspiration and this cute kit made documenting this very easy.

Kit from TDF63 Juno We are family Brush Karla Dudley for Scrapaneers Fonts: Times New Roman, CK Disco, Template Donna Jannuzzi BPC Sketch Solutions

I was willing to share my screen during the Get It Scrapped Get It Scrapped/Masterful Scrapbook Design crop and I'm sure I made it clear that building a page does not happen neatly and cleanly for me. I always envy how easy Debbie Hodge makes it seem.
Still, I have a plan for what I put on a page. Almost always photo, journaling and a bold or multi-font title. I love patterned paper and usually want to use several patterns. In digi, vellum overlays are nice. I like fiber either in string, ribbon or stitching. Texture and dimension are important and I try to make sure there is often some shine as Lisa Dickinson advises in her essential steps for a page. (I like how she revisits old pages and gives them a redesign. It's very inspiring.)
Even when using a template, like I did in Seeing the world through the eyes of Donovan layout, there are a lot of choices to make. Once, I would have just clipped all the photos and papers into the assigned spots and looked for templates with embellishment clusters to help me organize my embellishments. I'm getting pretty confident about editing photos these days, adding strokes and shadows and placing my elements. Odd, how with paper it all seems easier. Of course, I cannot change the size of physical products vs digital's versatility so options are clearer. The character panel is another part of Photoshop that I've been using often, too. Maybe a font class is in my future? 
I'm comfortable with opacity changes but am just getting starting to get familiar with brushes, blend modes and masks. I am a fan of a clean or slightly grungy look but it's always fun to experiment. So, maybe I'll be trying a few of those artsy brushwork pages soon? Then, again,  there is all that paper product to dive into...

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Grape Course for Bloggers

Sacramento Bloggers is a group I’ve been interested in for a while. I’ve not been able to attend any of the events until recently. 

On June 21, Mirassou hosted an event for Sacramento Bloggers at the Hilton Doubletree, not far from my house. That particular evening, fortunately, I could attend. The menu was a bit dairy intensive; but, we do know how well wine pairs with cheese. The wine suggestions,though, extended to a a comprehensive menu. 

David Mirassou was at the event to impart information on the history of the Mirassou vineyard and give us a good grounding in wine and food pairings.

Now my “crafty” friends The Craft Ladies, would tell me that wine pairs with anything and especially crafts. Check the link to their site if you like a little humor and a focus on wine, above all else, in process videos. I'd have to say the process is mostly getting tipsy. (“Karen” and “Jane” you are invited to come along to any future wine tastings I attend or host). As usual, I’ve wandered off topic, sorry folks.

Back to the event - Mirassou has an area on their website with great tools for an at home wine tasting. The education section features delcious recipes, and printables featuring an informative place mat, a wine pairing chart, and wine tasting scoring sheets.
Look for this great info on their site at http://www.mirassou.com/education/

The photos are of the event and note that they did eventually get some Pinot Noir into that empty glass in front of me. Their Pinot is very popular. High ratings and a very reasonable price are likely the reasons for Mirassou Pinot Noir’s success. I liked all the wines we were served. The tasting was the excellent Pinot, a fine Chardonnay, a very palatable blend called Sunset Red and a delightful Moscato. I thought all were very good and I also enjoyed a  lovely Riesling with my cheesecake dessert. 

The evening also was highlighted with excellent blogging education provided by The SITSgirls. It was a mini version of their “Women Get Social” event. Do visit their site for lots of good tips, if you are a blogger, too.

With all the great information on blogging, meeting other bloggers, and having been well wined and dined, you know I will be looking to attend the next Sacramento Bloggers event. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Double Page Layout Template for you

Double page layout templates, I know a lot of scrapbook makers are always looking for these digi templates or sketches for their pages.
I, also, know that many scrapbookers have a lot of digi or pocket page cards (Project Life, WRMK, etc.) in their stash and not all of them do much pocket page scrapping.
I, too, am one of those so I came up with this grid using a number of cards I had from a mini kit of pocket cards.  I use Kim Watson for inspiration on placing my embellishments. Please check Kim out at http://www.pinterest.com/KimWatson/
Just love Kim!
I decided to make a layered template of my page for any of you who are inspired to try this.
Here is a downloadable file for your pleasure. I had planned to perfect this template to get the card sizes a bit better but unfortunately my mother unexpectedly died this week and I have been a bit overwhelmed. Still, I have used this template and liked the LO I made with it. Click photo below for full image. Click link for file.


You can see here my original double page paper layout as featured at Get It Scrapped http://debbiehodge.co

I have had fun using my template with digi pocket card kits. Because of digi scrap TOA restrictions, I've not posted any of them here on my site but will put the LO's into galleries where there are no ads. Not all cards will fit as clipped images without slight adjustments, so just use them like you clip paper scraps and enlarge or shrink as needed. For some of you that may be a mild annoyance, but just remember I'm providing the template for free and I did this for fun! I did not find anything too annoying when I was using it. Then again, I'm pretty much a digi scrap newbie.  Obviously, I made a paper page in the original design and adapted it as a layered template as an educational experience.
You all know how much I love learning new stuff! Playing with things like templates gave me excuses to go shopping for some of those pocket card kits and other collections. That's a fun thing, too!