Gramercy Road layout

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Do you love the Gramercy Road line from Gossamer Blue like I do? It is such a beautiful collection. The colors and elements are geared more towards the fall season, but I think it can work beautifully with other seasons as well.

I really wanted to use this line for a page, but I didn’t have any fall themed photos to work on. So I decided I would make it work for a summer layout.

The pale pinks, blues and greens in this line work so beautifully for other seasons too. Even though some of the elements are fall themed, there are plenty of others that work for any occasion.

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I especially love the chipboard shapes and the ephemera that comes with this line. There are lots of fun phrases and icons to work with. Here I used a camera, some phrase die cuts, and s couple of the stamps from this collection.

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The Gramercy Road collection does come with a pink rose foil alphabet sticker set. But I chose to use a black sticker alphabet here. Here you can also see more of the chipboard shapes, a leaf die cut, a label sticker, and some of the fabulous enamel dots.

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More chipboard shapes and enamel dots.

I’m making it quick today. I’m off to shop for clothes for my two sons who will be away all week next week for a student convention. Every time I blink they are a few inches taller, it seems. Lord, help me. My wallet can’t take too much of this! Haha! Anyone who thinks parenting is a breeze must not ever have tried keeping teenage boys in clothes that fit! I am thankful, though, that my oldest has grown a pant size since last year. Finding size 27″ waist in the stores is virtually impossible.

Wish me luck!

 

 

One Little Word update

Now that we’re nearing the end of March and we’re almost a quarter of the way through the year, I thought it would be a great time to give an update on my One Little Word, or word of the year, progress.

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If you’ve chosen a word for this year, are you still keeping it at the forefront of your mind? Or has it kind of slipped away in all the business of life? Maybe it was just a fun thing to do at the beginning of the year, because everybody was doing it. I know those things we plan and promise at the beginning of a new year have a tendency to slide to the background of our minds where they remain as a distant thought.

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I really didn’t want that to happen to me with my One Little Word project. After all, it seems like a silly waste of time and energy to come up with a word to define our year and serve as a guide or inspiration point if we’re never going to so much as give it a second thought once February rolls around. It’s pointless to do it just because everyone else is.

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But, as I said in my previous blog post, we’ve gone through a very busy and stressful season in our lives, and I felt like I was not able to focus on my word for the year (I chose the word Cultivate, for those of you who may not know). With my schedule stretching me to my limit, barely finding time to do everything i needed to, much less to do the things I wanted to. It was challenging enough to find the time to cultivate my relationship with the Lord. Almost impossible to cultivate any creative areas in my life. I felt like I was just hanging on.

IMG_0042But, the cool thing about creating an album like this for myself is that it gives me a place to record my thoughts about the cultivating process. And as I began to sit down and really think about the last few months I realized there indeed was some cultivating going on that I hadn’t really been aware of.

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In my Bible study I was learning about cultivating an ear that can hear the words of the Lord. Along with that comes cultivating an obedient heart. Because it’s not enough to have a listening ear. One must have an obedient heart to be willing to follow what the Lord tells us to do.

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Our Bible study is a study of the life of King David and how he had a heart after God’s own. It was good to dig deeper and take a closer look at the heart of David. By studying the Word of God and digging deeper into a man who loved the Lord so passionately I am also learning to cultivate a listening ear and an obedient heart.

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Not only was the Bible study a great way to grow in my walk with the Lord, but it has helped me to learn to know some other women better. Hearing their hearts and listening to them, learning from them, has developed a closer relationship with other women, some of which I hadn’t really known before. Cultivating relationships like that is definitely on my list of things to cultivate this year.

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So, looking back over the first few months of the year, when i thought to much cultivating has been going on, I realized I indeed was cultivating areas in my life. Specifically the following:

Cultivating faith: Through the Bible study and more in depth study of His Word, in praying over specific needs in our lives and watching God move and provide in those areas, in spending time in worship (even if it’s just during my time in the car), in choosing to allow God to work in my heart and make it more like His.

Cultivating friendships: I’ve had many opportunities to connect with beautiful, special friends over the last few months. Some fun days of spending time with girlfriends. But also, having a schedule that was full made it possible to interact with others more and get to know some wonderful women better than I did before. I feel blessed to have gotten the the chance to know them better. If my schedule would have been routine, I would have spent lots more time at home alone. That full schedule was a blessing in disguise when I look at how I was able to connect with others because of it.

Cultivating hospitality: In spite of my busy schedule, I was able to cultivate hospitality a time or two. I hope to be able to do that more as the weather turns warmer, but I was glad to look back and feel like it hadn’t been entirely neglected.

Cultivating trust: There were some opportunities in the past few months where we just had to learn to trust. That everything would work out. And if it didn’t, that God knew what He was doing. That He is good, no matter what.

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There are a few other ways I’ve found myself cultivating the other areas I’ve wanted to focus on, some in small ways. But I was encouraged to feel like all had not been lost. In looking back I felt I was able to see specific ways that the Lord has been working on me when i wasn’t really aware. Isn’t that often how it is?

I had to think that perhaps the cultivating process goes through seasons too, just like everything else in life. And sometimes we can’t control what season we are in. I’d like it to always be the season for cultivating my creativity, but maybe sometimes we need to put some things aside so that other areas can receive the attention they need.

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Maybe we won’t know what cultivating has been going on until sometime later. In the middle of a really tough time it may feel like there is no cultivating, just ugly weeds spring up all around us. It may look like our lives are being destroyed. But even in those season there is an opportunity for cultivation. Faith, hope, courage, trust, dependence on the Lord, humility, patience. The tough times are prime times for cultivating those kinds of things in our lives. It’s important to remain focused on God and allow Him to work in us, no matter what the season.

Thanks for joining me today! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what God has been doing in your life. Or your progress on your One Little Word and how it has impacted you so far this year. Or anything else you’d like to share or any questions you may have about this post. I love reading your comments and hearing from my readers!

 

Make Your Own Pocket Page Scrapbooking Cards

Hey guys! I shared this post over on the Gossamer Blue blog yesterday. But in case you missed it, I’m sharing it here as well.

Pocket Page scrapbooking is a really big deal these days. And each month you can get your own exclusive Gossamer Blue pocket page scrapbooking card inserts with our Life Pages kits and add-ons.

But what about the times when you just don’t have the right one in your stash that you’re looking for? Well, it’s very simple and easy to whip up your own in no time at all. I’m going to share some fun and easy ways to create your own Life Pages cards to perfectly coordinate with the theme and /or color scheme of your page.

Stamps:

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Each month the Gossamer Blue kits include an exclusive stamp set. And many times these are perfect for making Life Pages cards.
Here I used just one of the stamps from the Life Pages kit stamp set and stamped it multiple times to cover my entire card. I use a different color ink on two lines for a little interest and added some cute little enamel hearts. Easy peasy, right? This is a great way to stretch those smaller stamps a little further too. This is only one of the stamps from the set, so you could repeat this idea with all the other stamps in the set, or come up with other ways to use them on your life Pages cards.

Watercolor:

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This is probably my very favorite way to make my own Life Pages cards. I love watercoloring, and making a fun watercolor card to add to your album is so simple and fun.
I pressed an ink pad onto my acrylic stamping block, then used a wet paint brush to brush it onto a 3”x4” piece of watercolor paper that I had already made wet with my paint brush. You can watercolor onto a dry piece of paper, but I wanted an ombre look, and the wet paper helps the watercolors to move across the paper better.

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After my watercolors were dry, I added a little stamping on the lighter section of the card.

But don’t waste the excess ink you have on your acrylic block! All that wet, blotchy ink is perfect for smooshing onto another card to make another water color effect.

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Make sure the inks are nice and wet. Spritz your block with a little more water if you need to. The more water you use, the less vibrant your inks will be. But don’t use too much, or you’ll just have a wet mess. You want just enough water to cause the inks to be able to move around on the paper. You can also dry the paper with your heat gun and then smoosh it into the ink again. Do it as many times as you like until you achieve the desired results. The fun thing about this effect is that you really have no idea how it will turn out. It’s always a surprise.

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Handwriting:

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Pull out some of your large brush or calligraphy pens and hand write the perfect phrase on your Life Pages card. You may want to practice first on a scrap piece of paper, but this is a fun way to add a personal and unique element to your album.

Confetti cards:

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I love confetti and shaker cards in my albums! They are just so much fun! And this month there were some fantastic sequins included in the Bits & Pieces kit, which were just perfect for making a sequin shaker card. I pulled out some printed vellum from a previous kit, and some plain vellum from my stash. I stitched the two pieces of vellum together on three side, added my sequins, then stitched the fourth side shut.

Layers:

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I tend to like to keep my pocket page scrapbooking cards a little more on the simple side, but if that’s not your thing, feel free to add lots of layers.
Here I added a few pieces of patterned paper, a cork tag, a die cut heart, some enamel shapes, and a tiny tag from the On My Desk collection. The cool thing about making your own Life Pages cards is that you can make them as simple or complex as you desire.

Die cuts:

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Our Gossamer Blue kits come with a fantastic selection of exclusive die cut files each month. The little cards included with the March cut files are just perfect for creating your own die cut Life Pages cards. It doesn’t get an easier than this! I simply cut mine out and layered it over another piece of card stock. You could also add some embellishments, but I chose not to.

I added all my cards to my Word of the Year album. I plan to use them here and there throughout my album as I see fit. Here’s a look at them all together.

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See how easy it is to create your own Life Pages cards to add to your albums and other projects? I hope you’ll have fun making some unique and interesting Life Pages cards of your own. I’d love to hear which technique you’d most like to try.

One cut file, two ways

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Hello! Welcome to the Gossamer Blue Design team Inspiration Blog Hop for the month of April. We bring you these blog hops to give you even more inspiring ideas for using your kits, just as they are arriving at your door.

Today I thought it would be fun to share a couple of ways to use some of the exclusive cut files that come with a Gossamer Blue subscription. There are some really great cut files and printables available to subscribers each month, and I thought it would be fun to take just one of those cut files and create two projects from it.

One is a scrapbook layout, and the other is a card. But they both use the same cut file and the same basic layout.  I wanted to show you how one cut file can be used in different ways to achieve different results.

Sparkle and Shine card:

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I used the cut file that’s like a Life Pages card with the holes cut out. I love that one. I enlarged it enough to cover the front of a card and cut it from some of the patterned paper from the Bella Rouge collection from pink paisley. This one is from the 6″x 6″ paper pad that comes in the Bits & Pieces kit.

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I adhered the cut out design to my card using foam adhesive to give it dimension. Then I tucked some small embellishments from my kits into the circular openings. I also added a sparkle and shine sticker, also from Pink Paislee), and then added some silver paint splatters over the entire card.

For the scrapbook page,  I enlarged the cut file to about 11 1/2″ on the longest side and cut it from a sheet of card stock.

Sweet & beautiful scrapbook page:

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You can see I used the same layout design on the page as I did on the card. The photos take the place of the sticker sentiment on the card.

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I also tucked some smaller embellishments into the cut out circles, like I did on the card.

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This was a fun way to use up some of the smaller embellishments.

Isn’t it fun to see how different the cut file looks, just by changing the size? This is just one way to stretch out the use of your exclusive designs each month.

So, here’s a challenge for you. Find at least two ways to use the same digital exclusive. Either a cut file or a printable design. If you do, I’d love for you to share your results with me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below and I’ll chose one random person to receive a small package of paper crafting goodies.

Be sure to check out everyone else’s blogs for more inspiration. And thanks for joining me today!

Anabelle O’Malley
Beshka Kueser
Brenda Weaver– you are here!
Caylee Grey
Cindy Liebel
Danielle Flanders
Diane Payne
Emily Spahn
Erin Taylor
Eunyoung Lee
Heather Leopard
Jessica Lohof
Jill Keller
Joy Taylor
Katie Ehmann
Laura Crosby
Mel Blackburn
Rebecca Luminarias
Sabrina Alery
Tara Anderson
Yana Smakula

Color Theory- Primary colors + Impasto

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We’re knee-deep in snow around here, and the kids are off from school for the third day in a row. I write this as Nerf bullets zip past my head and the kids scream in my ear. But at least they’re doing something other than letting their brains turn to mush in front of a screen, since that’s been a source of contention around here during the last few days.

I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. I love the snow. I enjoy snow days. I’m not tired of winter yet. I get so much joy looking out my window at the gorgeous scenery outside. I know spring will come in due time. But I know many people struggle this time of year. The cold weather gets harder to endure. You hate to have to travel the snowy roads yet again. The warmth of sunshine on your shoulders seems so far removed and makes you heartsick. You think if you have to endure one more winter storm, or one more day inside with unruly kids, you will go stir crazy.

I’m here to bring you a little sunshine. It’s not the real thing, of course. But these photos of my little girl splashing in the pool are the closest thing I could get. Maybe these photos will help you to remember what summer days feel like, and you can remind yourself that summer days will surely come again. Just hold on a little longer!

I made this page as part of an assignment for the Color Theory class with Wilna Furstenburg over at Studio Calico. We’re focusing on primary colors, plus an Impasto technique for our first session.

Let me just say this. I am NOT a primary colors girl! I might use primary colors here and there as an accent. But having to choose just one primary color to work with on a page was really hard for me. I chose to use red, since it seemed to work best for the photos and supplies I had on hand to work with. Red is probably my least favorite of the primary colors. I prefer to use it sparingly. So this was a bit of a challenge. But that’s the whole point, right?

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I used Impasto in two different ways on this page, although it’s probably very difficult for you to see on your screen. Since my photos were pretty busy, I wanted to keep my background a little less cluttered. I opted to add a layer of thick, white gesso to my background paper before adding my die cut flower background. I didn’t use adhesive for the die cut background, but just pushed it into the gesso while it was still wet.

The other way I used Impasto is on my die cut title. I brushed on a thick layer of red paint, leaving lots of brush strokes.

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The background is subtle and really hard to see on the photos, but I like the white on white look in real life. I felt it was the best way to not overwhelm my photos. I could have just skipped the white gesso, but it does add a subtle hint of texture to the page that I really enjoy.

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When I began searching through my stash to find as many red embellishments as I could, I found that I didn’t have very many at all. Pink, yes! But not red. In fact, many of these red embellishments are some I’ve had for years and years. I just rarely buy anything red.

But it was such a fun exercise to dig through my stuff and pull out stuff in one color, and then figure out how to incorporate them onto my page. I think I would like to do that more often. Chose a color scheme to challenge myself to use, and then pull out everything I can find with that color scheme. If nothing else, it helps to find to more about my purchasing tendencies and my color preferences.

Are you taking Wilna’s class? I’d love to hear your thoughts on primary colors and/or the Impasto technique.

Hoping you have a beautiful, warm, cozy, and sunshine-y day!

This Was Fun

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Oh hey! How are you guys? It’s been a week since my last post. How does that happen?

In that week we had Valentine’s Day. And I didn’t make any Valentine’s day crafts, except for the treats my daughter helped me make to share with her class. The ones we finished up the night before (as usual) and I didn’t take the time to photograph (as usual), except for a quick shot that I posted to Instagram.

We’ve had a couple of snow delays in the past week, which always messes up my schedule somewhat. Sleeping in a little is nice, but trying to catch up all day long isn’t so much fun. Today is a snow day for my kids. The two youngest are out shoveling and playing. It’s bitter cold, so we’ll see how long they actually last. Hot cocoa may be in order.

This scrapbook page is one I completed at the scrapbook retreat a few weeks ago. You may have caught a sneak peek at it, if you follow me on Instagram.

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I used a combination of products, some of which are fairly new, and some I’ve had for a while. That pocket page “Life is good” card and the flair are from Kelly Purkey Second City collection. The wood grain alphabet stickers are old ones from Studio Calico. the wood veneer stars and red paper clip are from my stash. I think the paper clip may have come from an old Studio Calico kit. I have no idea where that die cut tree card came from, but I love it. I think it came with an ephemera pack. Probably American Crafts. It looks like it could be a Dear Lizzie product, but I can’t remember.

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I also added some stamping. I like stamping thiose little phrases off a few times. It makes a bigger impact. Pus I just like the way it looks.

These photos are of my second son, taken several years ago. He was having fun in an inflatable jump house. He looks happy (and sweaty) doesn’t he?

I’m still working at scrapbooking old photos and filling in the gaps in my scrapbooks. It’s taking me a long time, since I don’t have as much time to dedicate to it as I’d like. But I’ll keep plugging away. Scrapbooking my photos is becoming more and more important to me.

Another things I’ve been plugging away at is my craft space. I shared with you guys that I moved my craft area from the basement to my second story. I began that process in late November/early December. Not the best time to make that move. But I’m happy to say that it is nearly finished. I have a few more final touches to make yet, and then I’ll be ready to share it with you guys. I’m really happy with how it turned out. Especially since it’s such a small space. But I think that’s one of the reasons I love it. It’s a very cozy and welcoming space. I’ll be sure to share more soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! For those of you who left comments last week, I apologize for not responding. I promise I will respond, even though it’s been a while. I love and appreciate you all and the times you stop by to say hello and share your thoughts.

I hope you have a happy day!

 

a scrapbook page and a winner!

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Last weekend I attended a scrapbook retreat by the Chesapeake Bay. It was great to get away for some uninterrupted crafty time. Not to mention that having my meals and clean up all taken care of by others for a few days was bliss!

This page was one I completed over the weekend. I used the On My Desk collection from Gossamer Blue with just a few extra things added.

The photos are ones of my daughter when she was two. Those pudgy cheeks and pigtails are killing me! It doesn’t feel that long ago that she looked that way. (sigh)

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That bicycle flair was one I got in one of my Gossamer Blue kits. I thought it was a perfect fit.

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The little bicycle flash card was one I’ve had a long time. I believe it came in an ephemera kit. From October Afternoon, possibly? Besides the flash card and flair, everything is from Gossamer Blue, On My Desk. I love that collection so much!

I added just a touch of stitching here and there when I got home.

And now for the winner!

I said I’d choose one person who commented on my Gossamer Blue January Inspiration blog hop post to win a package of goodies. Sorry it’s taken me so long, but the winner of the prize package is:

Anna Cate who said:

“Love the bubbles!”

Congrats, Anna Cate!! Please contact me with your mailing address so I can send you your package of fun!

Thanks so much to all of you for commenting! Giving away prize packages is fun, so maybe I’ll do it next time too. :)