Saturday, August 15, 2015

Well, Hello There.

Weeks of no blogging? Where have I been? Isn't it obvious?

School's back in session, and teacher brain has taken over.  Scrapper brain doesn't stand a chance against it, at least not until the adrenaline rush ends and I start getting more than four hours of sleep a night again.

I guess that means I'll see you in June.


Nah, things will return to some version of normal soon enough. They always do.

In the meantime, I actually have some layouts to share from the days before my teacher self suppressed my scrapper self.

The first I created for a Scraptastic Club sketch challenge. I adapted a 12x12 sketch by Susan Stringfellow to create an 8.5 x 11 page. The page mixes past and present, documenting a Facebook conversation that three of my cousins had about an old photo that one of them posted.

The second layout was also created for Scraptastic Club, based on a challenge to use two main kits from different months on a layout. I used July's "True Colors" kit and August's "Elastic Heart" kit.

The "Elastic Heart" kit contains lots of gold accents, which were perfect for this layout celebrating my cousin's recent nuptials.

Before the back-to-madness began and scrappy amnesia set in, I also made a few layouts for Elle's Studio. The first is all about one of my favorite foods ever, bacon-wrapped jalapeños. 
The second looks back at one of our summer vacation destinations, Universal Studios, home of the once-terrifying, now-disappointing Jaws attraction. 
I'm hoping to set aside some time tonight to reinvigorate the scrappy mojo. We'll see what happens! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015


I say, "summer," you say, "beach!" That's pretty much how it works around here. Of course, here in Hawai'i, I say "winter," and you also say "beach!" So it goes on an island.

Sad, but true: I rarely go to the beach. I should get my resident status revoked, I know. I actually love the beach and spent a lot of time there as a child, but now I'm too sun-sensitive and can never stay shore-side for long. Still, when I say "summer..."
This is my most recent layout for October Afternoon, documenting the one -- yes, ONE -- day that we spent at the beach this summer.
Hopefully we'll make it back before the summer ends...but even if we don't, there's always some beach somewhere on this island to visit, regardless of the time of year.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Killing the Kit

What does it really mean to "kill" a kit? The verb choice is pretty violent, setting up the kit as adversary. One imagines the crafter-as-psychopath, intent on annihilating every last bit of a kit, laughing gleefully all the while, or the crafter-as-epic hero, facing down the monster and reveling in the glory of doing so.

I've killed kits before, and the last layout is always the most difficult one to manage. At that point, the kit is comprised of small scraps that don't seem like they could translate to a unified page, there aren't enough letters to spell out the title you want, you've used up most of the accents, and you aren't sure whether to just call it or push through.

I pushed through with this layout, using the "Thinking Out Loud" kit from Scraptastic.
The idea behind the page is the hypothetical "fire" test. If you saw Leap Year, you know which test I mean. If you woke to your house on fire, and you had 60 seconds to grab something before leaving the house, what would you take with you?  This page is my answer.

On a recent Scraptastic blog post, I wrote about the process of putting this together.  My favorite part of the page occurred somewhat unintentionally -- after I added the stitching, I realized that it resembled a pathway similar to that seen on a fire escape plan.

So I killed the kit. I didn't feel like a psychopath or an epic hero, but I did feel a sense of liberation. Facing a kit when it is fully intact is so different from facing a kit when there's hardly a kit left. When you're down to the dregs of a kit, anything goes, and that's when your creativity kicks in, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Me Likey: Chalk Ink

Recently, I have discovered the wonder that is white chalk ink. About a month ago, I watched a video in which Kelly Purkey demonstrates how she uses the ink on a large photo (start watching around 0:30), and I decided to try it out. On Kelly's recommendation, I bought VersaMagic chalk ink.
I used it for the first time on an Elle's Studio DT layout. 
I painted some cardstock using Studio Calico Color Theory paints, and when it dried, I cut a large strip and stamped over it using white chalk ink and the Elle's Studio July stamp set.
I love that the ink creates an effect similar to that of a resist technique, without all of the extra effort involved.   
It's going to be a scrappy staple for me from now on!  

The next step for me is to try stamping on photos like Kelly does in the video. I'll summon my bravery and give it a try. 

Have you used chalk ink on any of your projects? What do you think of it? Link me up to your projects if you have used it. I'd love to see them! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Brights

For the past few days, I've been working/playing with the "True Colors" kit and add-on from Scraptastic Club. All of the July kits are summery and bright, but the color pop in "True Colors" was irresistible to me when picking which kit I wanted to use this month.
It turns out that the kit was perfect for my Disneyland vacation pics. I already shared one layout a few posts back. Here's another: 
The title is what we told my husband after the ride. The journaling explains the rest. :) 

The kit contains an exclusive stencil, which I used to create the backdrop for the title. I misted over the stencil multiple times in multiple colors on a sheet of white cardstock, cut the cardstock into strips and blocks, and layered the pieces. 

I do so love the misting, but my favorite part of the page is the little banner that I created from the kit accents and one of the strings from a tag. 
I don't often use orange on layouts, but this kit has me embracing it full force! 
The true/false card prompted an approach to journaling that I'd never tried before. I included a series of true statements followed by a series of false ones, all pertaining to my behavior and history "at the wheel." 
I couldn't resist doing my favorite thing to black cardstock: writing on it with white pen. I love the effect. I also dig how the black cardstock makes the colors stand out even more. 

(By the way, that photo of me is so totally staged :) I wouldn't snap a selfie like that while driving -- I'm not THAT crazy. I was in a parking lot waiting for my daughter, and I got a little too bored.)

I have another to share soon, based on a sketch that will go live on the Scraptastic blog on July 30. I'm so happy about how that one turned out! 

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Ms. Pac-Man Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to EVERYONE who joined me over the past month in attempting the Ms. Pac-Man challenge. I loved seeing everyone's kits, and I marveled at all the different ways those kits could be used to make wonderful, colorful, creative pages. Well done, you!

If you'd like to see the many projects that came about as a result of the challenge (and leave some love), check out the comment thread on the original Ms. Pac-Man challenge post.

On to the giveaway: I know I said that I would choose a giveaway winner,  but there is way too much stuff to fit in just one box, so I will be sending out TWO packages this week.

I've put all of the names of those who submitted kit pics plus three (or more -- you overachievers, you!) layouts together, and picked two random winners. They are...


Congratulations, Helen and Susan!  Could you email your shipping info to me at

Thanks again, everyone! Let's do this again, soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Challenge Layout #3

Woo hoo! I just finished my final layout for the Ms. Pac-Man challenge. 
This one's about my fear of flying, which always intensifies just before a trip and dissipates once I am safely back home.

I live in Hawaii, which means that the closest land-based destination outside of the archipelago is about five hours away. I dread flying across the massive expanse of the Pacific Ocean, with no nearby airports in sight just in case an engine fails or the cabin fills with smoke or the pilot realizes that we have run out of gas or the aircraft overheats or the entire crew comes down with food poisoning or a crazed idiot throws open one of the doors or a sudden storm appears or the plane simply becomes like a Looney Tunes character -- in realizing that it is hovering in midair, it suddenly drops out of the sky.

I'm a reasonably intelligent being (despite the madness you just read in the previous paragraph), and I do understand that this thing called Science keeps the plane up in the sky, but I'm also somewhat of a fatalist and a worrier and a nutcase, so my faith in Science tends to waver when faced with the prospect of being on a plane.

Still, even though that fear takes hold of my mind, I won't let it rule me. I want to travel, and I will. I don't want to be that person who won't let herself experience life because of the daunting What If.

So I get on the plane. I pray. I study the flight crew's expressions. I hold my husband's hand and bury my face in his shoulder. I shake my head at my daughter, who thinks flying is "fun." I pretty much dehydrate myself, so that I won't have to get up to use the restroom mid-flight, drinking water only during the last hour. I try to sleep, though that's impossible for me (why can't I sleep upright? WHY?). I settle for controlling my breathing. Noise cancellation headphones help -- a lot -- even though the playlist that my daughter made for me for our recent trip has led me to notice that way too many songs contain the words "crash" and "burn."

Even though I'm sure that I'll always be afraid of flying, I'm going to keep flying. I will do the thing that scares me, because on the other side of that is wonder and discovery and learning and growth. Dealing with my fear is the only way I'll learn to be brave.