Saturday, December 27, 2014

Interesting New Scrap Stuff

Something lovely I'm finding in the new releases, for the upcoming Craft and Hobby Association show in Anaheim, are Prima's color bloom sprays in delightful new shades of Impress Gold, Berry Wine, Boysenberry, Deep Teal and Yellow Mustard.
The Pima markers look intriguing, too. It will be interesting to see how they compare with alcohol markers currently popular in the market.
In fact, all of Prima's mixed Media products look very beautiful and intriguing and will surely merit a stop at their booth at CHA.
Today I purchased a set of papers from Studio Calico. Looks like they will be diving into Digi products full force. It will be interesting to see what develops in the digital scrapbook market this next year. I'm sure there will be lots to discuss on The Digiscrap Geek Podcast !
Christmas Day and Boxing Day were delightful fun with family and friends. Today is going to be quiet. So nice to look around on this third day of Christmas to a clean and decorated home and a peaceful weekend. I'll be getting the craft room in order and doing some financial year end matters and some relaxing.
Hope you are enjoying your end of the Christmas season. Thinking about resolutions for the New Year yet? Any new products or lines of craft products that have you intrigued?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Just 12 Days scrap designs and a little art

Some Pocket Cards for a "Just 12 Days" Project

I'm pretty new to designing but I did want to play a little. The cards use the deep colors of the palette I chose. I am putting into play some of what I learned from Danielle Young's Pocket Pops 2 Adobe Illustrator Class and Pocket Pops 1 Adobe Illustrator Class at Scrapaneers. If I have time, I'll make a few more cards using more white with these colors as accents. It was a fun exercise. They are available as a free download at the link I've provided above.

It's been a great adventure over the past couple of years to begin to learn art and art new media. I've a long way to go in the process but I do enjoy exploring art and design. I overdid the last few months and my body is telling me to moderate my activity. It's been very enjoyable, nonetheless.

Here is the Dia de Los Muertos shrine project I made. I'm pretty proud of this and plan to learn more ceramics. I need help carrying the heavy pieces but find my fellow students and teacher willing to help. I like the way work can evolve slowly. I've found the loss of control a bit daunting. Clay and glazes do what they want. In student classes, things get broken, glazes drip on other pieces, colors do not turn out as expected. Happy accidents happen, too. This piece fortunately did come out as I envisioned it and I'm delighted to have it. I wish the colors of the glazes showed up better. This was a friend's cell phone photo. I'll see if I can get a better photo now that the piece is at home. I'll try to take photos of some of my other completed art and post that, too.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. Try not to overdo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Some idea prompts for "Just 12 Days"

Just a quick post to let you know that I have been developing my seasonal album idea. I think I shall devote some time this coming year to put it all together in a package for next year. Meantime, I hope some of my brainstorming gives you some good ideas for making your own album. Remember you can go to places like The Graphics Fairy to get free clip art for your pages, as I did above.
Here are a list of 12 topics you might use for your album inspiration.
A Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Solstice memory

Just 12 Days:

New Year Resolutions
Seasonal Parties outside of home or special events like concerts attended
Special recipes
Holiday Decor
The weather
Family Traditions remembered and why I do or do not continue these
My favorite holiday book, song, movie, etc.
The news headlines this past year
Messages to a family member or members of to the world at large
Something I made - a craft project or art or a sweater I knit
A story about a special gift I gave or received

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Best Laid Plans

 Robbie Burns said:
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!"
Like the poet says my plans do go astray. In this case, no grief and pain. Actually, a fair bit of joy!
 I took a little time to travel to Stockton on Saturday to check out a new craft product with Marion Smith. Spent time with Cal and enjoyed the winters landscape. 
Today I met with long time friends for lunch. The two couples, long time friends, have homes outside the state but also have places here and were in town. So, a spontaneous lunch date was planned. It was a wonderful time.
Still, a lot got done at my home with my son's help and I am feeling more prepared for Christmas. Not so sure that I am prepared for the big storm that is supposed to hit mid week. I hope no power outages. We do have a generator, just in case; but, really, Mother Nature, folk have plans!
I am busy with art but can only do so much. Too much and the pain is just too much; so, maybe a good thing that my routine was disrupted, though I'd planned a Crocker Museum visit today. Will need to get my visit there in before the storm.
No Scrapbooking nor designing and no progress in my Just 12 Days project. On the other hand, it is important to make the memories to record. I can always get to the project later and the advantage of just 12 Days is that "catching up" is no big deal.
Hope you are also busy making significant memories and that all nasty weather passes you by.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Correct Analysis

Marsala is the color of the year for 2015. It was fun to see the guesses but my money was on Marsala all along. I did have the advantage of listening to the Pantone webinar when they released the palettes for the coming year.
I saw that Marsala, Toasted Almond and Classic Blue were the only colors shared in all three palettes - men's, women's and home decor.
The webinar referred to blue as a companion color and one that tinted other colors. Almond just seemed to be a nice neutral filling the bill, along with Glacier Gray, for an ethereal neutral, but did not embody the rich earthiness and warmth that Pantone felt was the direction of color.
So, Marsala was my prediction.
How do I feel about this color? I like it. It has been the brunt of many jokes because it can be associated with dried blood, overdone pasta sauce, and "wino"s. A similar hue which was more saturated and less shaded was popular about 25 years ago. By now, some of those vintage items might be faded and work pretty well. Bad jokes and vintage revival aside, I do like the color. It is a red with a lot of yellow in it and black (as it is a shade). Since black and yellow make green, the compliment to red, it does end up a bit muddy. That terra cotta feel though, is what the color experts were after.
Fashion wise, it's a great color for brunettes and gingers, not that blondes cannot wear it, it's just more dramatic with deeper hair coloring. It should "work well with others" so I think most people will find that Marsala colored items will fit well in their homes and in their wardrobes. it's nice to have a shaded color after years of so many bright hues.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Just 12 Days

 It's the third of December today and I know many of you had thought to do a daily album in December and are saying, "Darn! I'm already behind." My answer is a "Just 12 Days album" copyright Karen Poirier-Brode 2014. It does not have to be Dec 25 to Jan 5 traditional 12 days of Christmas album at all. In fact, just pick any 12 days from Thanksgiving to Jan 7. Why the 7th of January? Orthodox Christmas could be a part of the mix too. This means those of you who celebrate other holidays like Kwanzaa, Solstice and Hanukah, as well as those who have no faith tradition, but celebrate the New Year and the change of seasons and celebration of love need not feel excluded from this custom of documenting the end of one year and/or the start of the next. Another option is to take 12 days in which you celebrate 12 things. I'll discuss that more in a future post. The purpose of a time frame is to focus on this end of the year and start of the next. One of the things that folk who do document in December like is taking out several years albums and seeing the consistencies and changes over time.

Now, to the nitty-gritty. Will I do videos of the process? Maybe. I do plan photos and idea prompts.

My first suggestion for those who are feeling overwhelmed but want to be a part of the annual documentation is to either purchase a mini album or make a simple ring bound album.
Here's a nice mini album at Basic Grey 8x8 album. Other sizes of minibooks or a Smash Book are options. For those who celebrate a traditional Christmas, here's a quick and inexpensive Smash book option at Smash Holiday Journal Bundle

Making your own album is a very easy and inexpensive option and lets you work on that stash of yours. A simple ring bound album needs relatively sturdy covers like cardstock covered cardboard and the pages could be patterned paper but I'm going to suggest cardstock, the idea once again is sturdiness. You can, of course, cover or embellish the papers with patterned paper. Punch holes that you align on the left side of the closed assembled book and add rings. One to three rings should work. I'd suggest more rings if you plan a lot more than 12 pages. Here are some rings that would work well (and come in red, too!) Binding rings at
Add some bright ribbons with beads and charms to the rings if you wish.

If you decide to make your own album in 8.5 x 11 you can include standard card pocket pages if you want to include lots of photos. That's another inexpensive variation. I've found these on-line Coupon pocket pages and a large selection at baseball card protector pages. Most craft and hobby or office supply stores will have these, too.

You can see a color scheme I've chosen for this album above. It does not include the gold that is popular right now but I think gold accents could be added to the mix easily and would work.

Here is some information for those who want to know more about my color choices. I've picked a true red and true pink. The green I've chosen is a shade of green that's a bit on the yellow-green side of the spectrum, what I think of as a nice evergreen. A warm silver/grey, a warm brown and a raspberry round out my choices. The raspberry is a not too deep shade of red with just the slightest move to the red-violet part of the color wheel. By shades, I do mean a color with a bit of black. Those of you who have played with mixing colors will understand these terms. If you have questions about color theory, you can google the topic and here is a site with some good basic definitions and explanations Color Properties at

I hope to work on my album this weekend and will be back with some photos, page suggestions and more through the month.

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...