Thursday, July 2, 2015


It appears that I have been slacking with regard to blog posts. A person on summer break really has no excuses, right? In truth, I've been doing some very un-fun but revelatory cleaning. Every time I approach my scrap stash to clean it, it just gets worse.  It's a systematic excavation, but it looks like I've been using dynamite.

The good thing about de-stashing is that I have a TON of stuff to give away, so if you haven't yet started the Ms. Pac-Man challenge, now's the time to play along!

I've also been willfully avoiding cleaning at times and have been working on my favorite kind of projects instead.
This past Monday, Monique Liedtke joined me for Pinterest Monday on the Scraptastic blog. We drew our inspiration from a patchwork quilt by Colette Copeland. On my week-in-the-life layout, I pulled together small photos in varying sizes and added some messy stitching to highlight a few of the photos.

Over the past week, I also took part in two sketch challenges on the October Afternoon blog. The first  layout is based on a sketch by Sasha Farina. It celebrates the moment my daughter received her high school diploma.
The second layout is based on a sketch that I created and shared on the OA blog today. It's also graduation-related, focusing on the centerpieces that my mom and I worked on for my daughter's graduation party.

I've been loving the yellow lately. Can you tell?

Back to cleaning...ugh...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

R & J

When creating a layout brings tears to my eyes, I know that I'm truly scrapping from the soul.

This mushy-gushy layout came about as a result of today's sketch post on the Scraptastic blog and the "Thinking Out Loud" kit and add-on. I'm a die-hard fan of the grid layout, so I had no problems getting on board with the grid sketch. I took a bit of a deconstructed approach, not worrying about perfect alignment of squares so that I could create more of a free-flowing page. I love how it turned out.
My favorite part is the journaling -- the part of the process that had me brushing tears from my eyes.
When I told my husband about how I cried while making this, I added, "...And you know I don't cry easily," to which he said, "Except during movies," and started chuckling. I'm pretty sure this is a reference to Inside Out, which we saw last week, and which had me bawling every ten minutes and revisiting places that would be considered familiar territory for Freud and Jung.  The end of the film nearly found me curled up in the fetal position.

Okay, fine. I cry at movies.

Maybe I shouldn't have told Rob that I cried as I wrote the journaling. Last night, as I was preparing dinner, Rob walked in the kitchen and opened the fridge behind me.

"Jill," he said, his voice serious.


"I cry for you, too."

Then he started laughing while I reached out to smack him. He's such a butt, that true love of mine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Challenge Layout #2

I did a bit more stash-chomping today, using the kit that I compiled for the Ms. Pac-Man challenge.
I struggled with my hoarding impulses, but I still managed to persuade myself to use this blueprint paper (from Jenni Bowlin, whose treasure-hunting gifts are unrivaled). It needed to be on this page with the Studio Calico "Phases of the Moon" Project Life card, by way of juxtaposition -- the idea of a specific plan alongside an image of constant change. 
I used one of my "lazy" (but lovely) techniques here, ripping out the pre-stitched buttons from a button card and using the line of buttons as is. 
It's difficult to describe how I feel about change, since it can be positive and negative. I tried my best.

One more layout to go...

It's been great to see the growing interest in the challenge, by the way! I've heard from people via this blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Get It Scrapped.  I can't wait to see the projects that everyone has been working on!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Challenge Layout #1

It's been 24 hours since I created my kit (see previous post), and I'm feeling psyched! There's nothing quite like a kit to get one's scrappy mojo flowing -- I already finished my first layout.
The layout focuses on my daughter's final choir concert. It was so emotional, as she knew it would be -- she told me in advance that this would be her "real graduation."
Music has been her passion for so many years. It has been unlike other subjects, and her choir director has been unlike other teachers. Z talked about her choir and music history classes incessantly, nearly out of breath as she recounted tales about composers and explained, in detail, the intricacies of the fifth movement of Symphonie Fantastique. To watch her choral performances was to watch someone fill with light, and share it.
It's been argued that music education can improve language and mathematics skills, but the kind of learning that my daughter has experienced goes far behind the kind reflected in multiple-choice exams.
We live at a time in which school districts are stripping away arts programs -- and, as a result, imagination itself. I am a strong supporter of arts education, and I am so grateful that my daughter was able to attend a school that sees the arts not as "extra," but as essential.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Up for a Stash-Busting Challenge and a Giveaway?

Anyone up for a stash-busting challenge?

I was going through older posts and came across one about the Ms. Pac-Man challenge from 2012.  I believe it was started by JBS team member and DT coordinator Doris Sander. The idea behind the challenge is to "chomp" away at your stash by compiling your own kit and using it to create three projects.

The old challenge required one layout and two cards, but I'm good with a minimum of three projects in general, with any combination of layouts and cards. 

I'm planning to stick to a similar list of kit contents used, with some changes here and there to account for the possibility that one might wish to create three layouts:
1. Eight pieces of patterned paper scraps and four specialty paper/"other" paper scraps -- no complete sheets allowed. 
2.  No more than one yard of trim, with no individual piece measuring more than 11" in length.
3. One sticker sheet, with a catch: at least one sticker must be missing from the sheet.
4. A pre-2013 alphabet set (the old challenge asked for a pre-2010 set, but I figure, three years have passed, so we can compensate for the time change).  If you don't have a set this old, aim for your oldest. 
5. One opened package/container of scrappy product.    
6.  One unopened package/container of scrappy product.
7. One roll of tape.   
8.  One item or package of product from a company that no longer makes scrappy products (the old challenge required a JBS product, which could still apply to this updated version). 
9.  Six journaling and/or Project Life cards (if you don't have individual cards, you can cut them from a journaling-card-style patterned sheet or use a printable, if you wish). 
10. Unlimited cardstock, adhesive, and "technique-type product" (e.g. stamps, stamping ink, paint, mist, stencils, embossing powder, etc.).     
I'm going to add a few more items:
11. A wild card item. Include anything you've been wanting to use (regardless of whether it is old or new, opened or unopened).  The time is now. 
12.  A nearby item. Grab something from your desk or craft area that is within arm's reach. This will be fairly easy to do if you are a mess-maker like me. If you are super-organized and have no items within reach, then head for the nearest drawer or bin, close your eyes, and reach blindly. The item that you retrieve will be the final addition to your kit. 
Once you've made your own kit, take a photo of it, and blog (and/or share via Instagram or some other form of social media) your list of kit items. 

Here's my kit: 
(1) Eight scraps of patterned paper: KI Memories, Love, Elsie, Bo Bunny, Sassafras, Studio Calico (clouds and numbers), and Daisy D's;  four pieces of specialty/other paper: blueprint paper and time card (from previous JBS kits), dictionary page, white vellum.
(2) Trim: Making Memories (planes), KI Memories (rainbows), Webster's Pages (lace), May Arts (hot pink) -- it all equals no more than 1 yard/36 inches. 
(3) Sticker sheet (with missing sticker): Hello Forever for Studio Calico.
(4) A pre-2013 alphabet:  Heidi Swapp chipboard letters (I went waaaaaay back). 
(5) Opened product: Seven Paper vellum hearts. 
(6) Unopened product: My Mind's Eye Lost and Found buttons. 
(7) One roll of tape: 7Gypsies linen tape (or was it Prima?)
(8) One item or package of product from a company that no longer makes scrappy products: Jenni Bowlin Studio metal flatbacks
(9) Six journaling and/or PL cards: all are from Studio Calico, with the exception of the lined card from Becky Higgins
(10) Unlimited cardstock, adhesive, and "technique-type product"  -- so far I've pulled three sheets of cardstock -- white, kraft, and metallic gray, and I have a few stencils and stamp sets at the ready. 
(11) A wild card item: printed chipboard circles from Studio Calico. 
(12) A nearby item: gold paper clips from American Crafts. 
Once you've compiled your kit, the real fun starts: begin creating! 

If you decide to participate, I'll sweeten the deal with a giveaway -- and yes, I do recognize the irony in challenging you to chomp through your stash only to accumulate more product. 

To be entered, share a link to your blog (or Flickr gallery, Instagram feed, etc.) in the comment section below, and I'll be sure to visit!   ETA: You can also post to a thread that I started at Get It Scrapped.  Your post(s) should contain the kit image as well as images of your three projects -- feel free to split up the posts. 

Let's aim for a July 20 deadline. That should give you a little over a month. Happy stash-busting! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Color Color Color

The other day I was looking through my gallery at, and I had to laugh -- everything is SO bright and colorful. I don't think I could create an understated layout if I tried.
Even if I'm using just two main colors, I still aim for that color-pop. 
You'd think that this would translate to all the colors of the rainbow in my closet or bold accent walls in my home, but only materializes in paper form...
and on Pinterest.
I love color.  :) 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

ICAD Continues!

This week's ICAD challenge focuses on using paint and draws upon seemingly food-inspired topics. I've been riffing on the color combos that they suggest.  

Day 9. Carrot and Lemon. 
I stamped a grid on the background and then filled in the squares with various patterns and gradations. I used a combination of watercolors, acrylic, and ink. 

Day 10. Eggplant and Ginger. 
I painted large watercolor circles on canvas paper and let the colors run.

Day 11. Lime and Mango. 
I folded an index card and dipped the creases in paint. I then flipped the card over and worked with the reverse side, adding teeny tiny hand-cut shapes (cut from painted paper) to each square. I stitched across each column and row. This reminds me of the old-school "complete the pattern" worksheets from grade school. 

Day 12. Parsnip and Kiwi. 
Before creating this card, I had no idea what color a parsnip was -- thank goodness for Google and Pantone! I drew a series of circles, painted the centers with watercolors, and included the closing lines from one of my favorite poems ever, Liz Rosenberg's "Susquehanna." 

Day 13. Blueberry and Plum. 
I worked on this one today, pulling together a combination of patterned papers (yay for saving scraps!) and painted papers and adding stitching. I don't usually work with this color combo, but it's making me crave fruit in a big way. It reminds me of Helen Chasin's "Plum."

I'm looking forward to making tomorrow's card -- the prompt is "salt and pepper." Fun!