Saturday, April 21, 2018

Still Here

Can you tell it's the fourth quarter of the school year? Every year around this time, the days become indistinct, as does my sense of order and time. The other day, my daughter asked me for the date, and I said, "I think it's the 15th -- oh, wait, the 16th."  It was the 19th.

So you will forgive me if I have been a stranger for the past few weeks. The consolation is that this means that my unshared Hip Kit Club pages have been accumulating, so I have lots to share.

My first layout was for a product feature using lemons, which are in no short supply lately in scrapbooking collections, in the HKC March or April kits, or in my home, given my husband's legit lemon addiction. He craves them constantly, in iced tea, in water, and, as evidenced below, straight from the peel.
Bizarre, right? I have no idea what a lemon craving might mean. I've googled it, but none of the explanations I've read about seem likely. I have found that acidic foods are bad for tooth enamel, a fact that does not seem to deter our resident lemon junkie. Regardless of the reason for his cravings, it made the lemon-centered product challenge easy for me! 

My second layout is my attempt to make the most of the leftover pieces from my March HKC kits before moving on to the April kits. 
This photo cracks me up. It's a scene we don't see too often, as Mazie, the dog on the left, enforces her need for personal space quite often with growling and abrupt relocation, despite the fact that touchy-feely Linus, the dog on the right, loves her so much and just wants to fulfill his dream of being part of a puppy pile -- thus the title.

My third layout was created based on this week's HKC sketch and the April moodboard (both found in the HKC Member Forum on FB), and uses the April kits.
The directional arrow cut file is the first I created for HKC, which was a little nerve-wracking, but I like the way that it turned out. It can be used in lots of ways. The arrows can be removed to create a simple circle background, and the arrows can be used on another project. I kept a few of the arrows on this page, but also opted to remove a few and used the negative space to reveal some messy machine stitching.

Even though this is a busybusybusy time, I'm looking forward to National Scrapbook Day in a few weeks. There's a lot going on in the HKC Member Forum from May 4-6. I hope you can join in the fun!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Until Next Year, Calvinball.

The 2018 Calvinball season is now at an end. I am finishing with 361.5 points, more than I have ever earned in any round of Calvinball I've ever played, and the most refreshing aspect of that is that the points really don't mean anything -- this past month has really just been all about the thrill of it all.

Here is one of the last layouts that I made, pulling together older supplies and newer ones.
I'm not just going to miss the crafty marathons -- I'm also really going to miss the camaraderie and community. I'm already looking forward to next year.  

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lately-ing

Lately, I have been

...watching Netflix's Queer Eye reboot and alternately laughing and crying through practically every episode. I love every member of the Fab Five and am endlessly inspired by them. I don't necessarily have a favorite, but...if Matt Bomer and John Mayer had a love child who could cook and loved reading and had amazing taste in t-shirts...umm.

...loving the March Hip Kit Club kits! They have such range, as evidenced by this page about my grandmother (pic circa 1940) with a vintage, homespun feel...
and this colorful and funky month-in-review page. Both incorporate elements from the March kits, with different results.

...making the most of the last days of Calvinball.  It was supposed to end today, but it's been extended until April 4. Yay! I have a new layout in the making, plus I added a new challenge to the forum, based on an idea my husband came up with last night: have someone else choose the supplies for your next layout. This "someone" cannot be well-versed in how to select scrappy supplies, and must choose FIVE items for you to use. You can work in other items, but those five must be included visibly somehow.  I'm still awaiting my final five, and I'm both excited and terrified to see what they'll be. 

...reading Neil Shusterman's Scythe. 
  
Wow! What a book! I am almost done with it, and I can't wait to pick up the next one. While it may fit into the category of dystopian (utopian?) fiction pretty easily, it is a story that feels fresh and compelling to me, prompting deep thought and edge-of-my-seat engagement at the same time. It kind of reminds me of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," with elements of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World thrown in. 

...telling everyone I know to go to the movies to see Ready Player One. This, too, fits easily into the category of dystopian lit.  It isn't a perfect film -- for instance, it does not probe real-world aspects and consequences enough for me, and by all accounts, the female lead is far more "worthy" than the male lead and should be the designated hero (maybe it just goes to show that sexism within gamer culture is forecast to continue in the future). Nevertheless, the film is pretty spectacular, and likely won't translate to the small screen as effectively. It is absorbing and entertaining (sometimes jaw-droppingly so), with tons of 80's references to boot, and for that, I say, go see it before it leaves theaters. 

...realizing that Easter is just a few hours away, and I have two cartons of eggs to dye and zero chocolate in the house to see me through that process! If you celebrate Easter, have a great one! 
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Last Days of Calvinball

Calvinball ends on March 31, and while it is a scrappy marathon of sorts, I'm not tired in the least! Yesterday, I attempted the 30-Minute Challenge again, and racked up more points (though not nearly enough to make it to the leaderboard). Here's the result:

I started by reaching for a sheet of patterned paper from the new Crate Paper Flourish line and some scraps (including the last of this colorful circle pattern from KI Memories -- more, please!), and then grabbed a tray that contained some new embellishments from Crate Paper (I looooove the Here + There collection!), Pinkfresh Studio, Studio Calico, and Pretty Little Studio. On my desk, I had a cluster of floral die-cuts (from a Hip Kit Club cut file), and I pulled them together and just started layering away and building the layout around the "core" flower layers. The journaling is tucked into the yellow CP envelope.

March has been a high-productivity, high-creativity month, and as it comes to an end, I know I won't be able to maintain that energy (not without another spring break and two three-day weekends, but I had so much fun while it lasted.

Maybe I'll bring back the Stash-Busting Challenge soon just to keep the adrenaline rush going!  If you played along last time (or wanted to), which month would work best for you? I usually wait until the summer to start -- maybe June? We can always do kit assembly in May and then make the deadline for the projects in June.  Hmm...I'd be curious to hear your thoughts, if you're interested in playing along this time around. Let me know what you think!
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Saturday, March 24, 2018

One More Day!

There's one more day to be entered to win the Pretty Little Studio giveaway (see previous post). You can enter by leaving a comment below and/or through Instagram.

I have a few more layouts to share that I created for PLS. The first documents a recent business trip my husband took to Portland that culminated in a sweet surprise.
The second is of my first 2018 month-in-review layout. I decided to continue the practice after trying it for a year in 2017. It's a manageable way of documenting the highlights of each month that may not always make it into individual layouts.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway if you haven't yet done so. Good luck! 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Pretty Little Studio Giveaway! (Giveaway CLOSED; Updated with Winner)

Today is the last day of my guest designer stint at Pretty Little Studio.  Today on the PLS blog, this mini-album is being featured...
along with a giveaway of five of my favorite PLS products: 
Just leave a comment below to be entered to win! The giveaway is open to everyone. I'll pick a winner a week from today!

UPDATED: Congratulations to Christie! I'll be in touch!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Calvinball Continues

It's mid-March, and we are two weeks into Calvinball.  So far, we are up to 50 "rules," with point perks for each one, and some leeway for those who like to bend the rules, since the basic rule for Calvinball is that there really aren't rules. The rules aren't the point anyway -- Calvinball is really just a fun way to expend creative energies and to rack up the projects by March's end. It's messy and all over the place and kind of brilliant, really.
You don't even have to understand it to jump in the game. It's not too late to join in, as the festivities continue all month long -- as a perk, anyone who starts after March 15th earns a "late bird" point.

It's week two, and I'm up to 124 points, which is far more than I imagined I would have.  Luckily, this week coincided with my spring break, which gave me free time, and my guest designer spot at Pretty Little Studio, which gave me the opportunity to create four projects. Here's the first of the lot, which was featured on the PLS blog yesterday:
I'm pretty sure that this was my first time using Pretty Little Studio's papers. Why did it take me so long? It's possibly because I am heavily kit-dependent, and the papers are 8x8, which may have been why I never encountered them in a kit before. The size wasn't an obstacle for me, though, as I always end up cutting up larger papers into smaller pieces anyway. The papers have an amazing, nearly-glossy-smooth texture and they are color-rich, and the designs come with options: paper, vellum, or clear. Even though my guest stint will come to end in a couple of days, this won't be the last time that I include PLS on my projects (I wasn't asked to plug the products, by the way -- I genuinely do like them!).

I've also been spending lots of quality time with the Hip Kit Club March kits. I combined the main kit and the color kit (which features watercolors!) to create this layout:
We've had a profusion of caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies in our yard over the past few weeks, and I love it. It makes me feel like a grade-school kid again, studying the life cycle of butterflies or reading Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It feels magical -- hence the title. 
More details about this page can be found on the Hip Kit Club blog.

I also created a layout with the Hip Kit Club kits for the March 9 sketch feature, using the HKC February kit (and earning some major Calvinball points in the process). It's one of many projects that I've been working on to help my daughter document her travels abroad last semester.
 
Now it's back to Calvinball for me. I'm hoping to finish a couple more projects before my break ends. Wish me luck!