Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Project Life Like Kit That's Good Enough to Eat!!


I love getting happy mail.  I love, love the anticipation of waiting for goodies I know are is the only time in my life I have patience. I love, love, love  how on trend the supplies are; it makes my "job" so much easier.   I really love to see the ingenuity of people like Sarah at The Paper Bakery who come up with these amazing kits each and every month. 

 Honestly, kits of the month dumbfound me (not hard right??).  I feel like I know this industry fairly well, but the idea of putting together a kit of the month totally leaves me with that "stoooopid" look on my face and a completely empty head (BE NICE!).  So each time I get a kit like this in the mail, I want to hug it and squeeze it and name it George!  As soon as the package is in my hands, I lovingly pull out each item and give it what might be considered a pretty sick pat down.  Yeah, I smell it (judgement free remember) and leave no piece of it untouched (dang, this blog just went all 50 Shades!!), all with a huge smile on my face.  When I am done, I put it all back in the box, only to do it again when the hunger hits to touch paper (about an hour later :)) .  I can only tell you this because if you are reading my blog, you too are a paper "HO"arder and lover of all that our paper needs to make it pretty.  

I really, really, really, really want to join Sarah's Main Kit over at Paper Bakery too because I think her kits offer the most bang for the buck, but this girl is trying to budget and Big Poppa might lose his understanding, sweet nature if one more "of the month" anything gets delivered to this house.  While I love doing Project Life Like, I have been having a blast doing some 12x12 layouts too. And 5 PLL kits a month might be a tad over the top (ya think??).  Studio Calico may just have to go bye-bye so that I can do Sarah's  Main Kit.  In the grand scheme of things, SC's kits just don't have that attention to detail and they are seriously lacking in the customer service that Sarah offers without fail each and every month. I have heard a lot of the same rumblings among people who are also addicted to kit clubs.  If you are on the fence about joining, I really encourage you to look at smaller kit businesses like The Paper Bakery. 

Want to see why?  I cannot be blamed for all the enabling that is about to happen up in here!  If you are easily swayed and feeling weak, you may just want to stop reading right.......NOW.  But just in case, here is the address of The Paper Bakery: Tell Sarah I said HI!!

A bowl full of happiness!  This is the unboxed know once it has been all fondled and petted.  I keep this bowl out on my work table and work through it each month.  You know you want to touch it!  Go one is watching.
I know right?  Not pieces of a 6x6 but an entire, beautiful, newly released 6x6 paper pad!  SQUEEEEEEE!!  The colors are swoon worthy and my terrible photography doesn't even do this collection justice.  6x6 Paper pads are so perfect for Project Life Like (and HELLO affordable) and an absolute must for this scrap happy girl.
Do we ever have enough Alphas?  NEVER I say, NEVER!  The more the merrier in my humble opinion.  And these?  Sarah couldn't have done a better job of matching them up with the sweet paper pad.  The awesomeness is that these ABCs are of the size that can be used for both PLL and for 12x12 scrapping too.

OH yeah, worst photography ever seen on a blog!  My apologies ya'll.  I love my Samsung Note II but dang the camera is touchy.  Anywho, these are a few of the sweet embellishments.  I HEART enamel dots and flair too, especially for PLL.  And how adorbs are those paper clips?  I have never seen any quite so tiny but so completely bursting with CUTENESS.  Once again, perfect match ups for the paper pad and PLL cards.

This might be my favorite part of the kit (or I might just say that about every part of the kit).  I am so excited and inspired by the colors but also by the blank canvas that the grid cards offer.  While I love my PLL for being quick and easy, what I am really jonesing to do is create some of my own cards.  This kit is perfect for that; the blanks and the 6x6 pad are just screaming. "PUT ME TOGETHER!!"

Did you notice anything else on this stamp set BUT the push pin?  I know, me too!  That stamp set could have said just about anything and I would not have cared as long as that adorable push pin was in my hot little hands.  I do love the whole set and am thrilled for its versatility for PLL.

Don't know if I have ever mentioned my penchant for hoarding stamps.  They do make me get all fidgety and hyperventilate.  For health reasons (bwhahahahahaha), I had to add this on to my kit this month.  It was some crazy price (way under $5 I think) and that whole "what HAPPENED?" stamp is the story of my life!

Do I even need to say it?  Girl, you know what I will be doing INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!  I have a bajillion  pics to scrap and stuff to put away from my last retreat (oh and I have to get ready for my next retreat),  but those blank cards are calling me.  Creativity, for me, is like exercise:  I must do it each day in order to be a happier, healthier person.  The laundry?  Not so much.  I will be rolling around nekked  I will be playing with my Paper Bakery kit today INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!  And I hope to have some amazeballs PLL handmade cards to show you soon.  What are you going to do today INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY?  And the bathrooms or the bedrooms is not an answer!!

Sarah has lots of kits, not just the Capture 365 one, so please go show her some love.  She can also be found on Facebook and Instagram!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Scrapbook Retreat and Back to School Mode...nuf said!

A short, tiny, itty bitty little blog post is better than no blog post at all right?
Because in this house?  We are in back to school craziness and scrapbook retreat overload and it is all I can do to just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

This is my office.  It has been taken over by a force to be reckoned with (AKA my sixth grader) who needed every school supply ever sold at  of Target...ever!  You see those pretties lining the counters?  No, of course you don't because of the disaster.  Have I mentioned yet that this kind of disorderly disaster drives me insane?  It gives me hives and makes me itch.  Have I mentioned that tomorrow is the first day of school?  SQUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!  I mean, I will miss this mess  my daughter terribly.
AND REMEMBER!  This is a judgement free zone my friends!

IF you have been following my blog (hehehheehehe, yeah right!), you might remember the pics I showed awhile ago.  Remember that beautifully organized, clean, light filled room?  This?!?!? This is not it.  This too gives me hives and makes me itch.  I don't work well in chaos Sam I Am.  I need neat and tidy to make me happy and productive.  This?!?!?!?!?!? This is not it.  All the stuff you see EVERYWHERE are the supplies I am working on for my scrapbook retreat (yeah...if you are new, I am a vendor at NC Scrapbook Crops and Retreats.  I have my own small, burgeoning business called "sweet 'bellies" in which I sell embellishments of the vintage and non-vintage variety).  I am not even close to finishing and am in major panic mode.  This mess gives me hives and makes me itch...just sayin'.
So while I usually try and provide you with what I have been doing  INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY, I can't even begin to think about laundry at this moment.  I am drowning in a sea of scrapbook retreat goodies and school supplies.  For most of you who read this, that might sound heavenly.  For me?  The only thing I am doing INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY right now is scratchin'!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another Project Life Like Time Waster!

Pic Monkey Photo Editor (FREE AND FABULOUS) for PLL or 12x12s

First of all before you get all Miss Huffypants about me combining the PLL with the "Time Waster," take a breath, and read it again.  Notice I DID NOT say waste of time!  RIGHT? RIGHT?  It is okay, I forgive you. This post is all about another thing I have added to the repertoire (what?  I just spelled that without the help of the spell check...I am on tonight!) of my Project Life Like love and obsession thanks to a recently watched You Tube video that has me playing more and more with my photos (which means washing less and less of Big Papa's drawers...WINNER!)  And YES!  This fab finding will also work on those naughty (well, not like naughty rated R naughty, but like breaking the rules naughty) 12x12 layouts too.  

And I realize I might be sooooo late to the parade that I am seeing the tail end of those elderly gentlemen in the funny hats driving the tiny cars, but I figure I am not the only person new to PLL.  On the Facebook groups I belong to regarding PLL, people ask questions about this same topic almost daily. Therefor this is totally an after-school special, a public service announcement of sorts, on the ways of changing your photos from 4x6 pictures to photo collages of two 3x4s and ways to decorate your photos before they are ever processed!  
Hmmmm, me thinks I should probably have mentioned that this video is about turning your 4x6 pictures to photo collages of two 3x4s and ways to decorate your photos before they are ever processed in the first sentence (why do that when I can just repeat it over and over??).

Okay, the video that led to my further demise into time waste management and also taught me how to turn my  4x6 pictures to photo collages of two 3x4s and ways to decorate my photos before they are ever processed (bwhahahahahaha! Yes, I am amused!) is based on the free photo editing site called Pic Monkey  It is absolutely free (unless you want to upgrade which is totally not necessary to waste tons of time) and well worth every penny you don't spend.  I can testify that I didn't upgrade and was still able to do everything I wanted to do.  The BEST part of Pic Monkey is that you don't print your pics with them.  You save your pictures to your computer and are therefor able to print from home or from Snapfish, or from your fave send out and pick up place (ANYWHERE PEEPS, YOU CAN PRINT OUT YOUR PICS ANYWHERE YOU CHOOSE BECAUSE YOU SAVE THE PICS THAT YOU HAVE EDITED TO YOUR COMPUTER...just sayin'). I will also say that you don't need any of the fancy Photoshops or other programs to do the Pic Monkey (sounds like a dance all them youngsters are doing now days).

Here is the link to the video that (heheheheheheheeh) taught me how to turn my 4x6 pictures into photo collages of two 3x4s and ways to decorate my photos before they are ever processed:

 There are a ton of Pic Monkey tutes out there but this is the only one I watched so I can't attest to how good or bad the othser are.  BUT if you find some good ones, please hook a sister up!  I know that if you follow her directions, you will be succcessful in editing and collaging (HA! You thought I was going to say "in turning your 4x6 pictures into photo collages of two 3x4s and decorating your photos before they are ever processed" but I DIDN'T!!)

So I have some edited 4x6 photos (and if Big Papa knew I was putting some of these up there, he would be looking for revenge all Real Househubs of Guilford County like) to show off first and then I will get to the 3x4 collages.  I print out my photos at Walgreen's.  I followed the directions on the YT vids to the letter and it worked like a charm.  The only one that didn't work very well was altering a 4x6 to look like a Polaroid (which is an option Pic Monkey gives you).  It could have been operator error because I am not very computer savvy (as can be seen by my lack of blog prettiness...I need some serious help with that!).

Big Poppa and I just went on a quick little vacay to New Bern, NC.  We took a lesson in stand up paddleboarding because we hope to one day put paddleboards on our sailboat to use to get around when we sail.  In the top picture you will notice NOTHING!  Except of course my handsome hubs!!  But in the bottom picture, at the bottom left I added a banner and, on top of the banner, the location and date of our trip!  It was so easy and took no time...even for this dummy!
SHHHHHHHHH! Don't tell because this is totally the one he will bust me for!  The top picture is just a standard man know how they always manage to pull some random studly stance out just as you are about to snap the pic?  This is the classic "2 Gun Salute."  Pic Monkey let me add the 'stache, the hat and the caption.  My daughter and I found it wildly hysterical to add little hats to Big Poppa's head.  Him? Not so much.

And this?  This is where Pic Monkey comes in handy for my thighs (and does the whole 4x6 collagey thing allowing you to get two 3x4s).  I look much skinnier when shrunk down to a little 3x4!  I really SHOULD NOT mention that Pic Monkey also has a Weight Loss edit that it will apply to your photo.  I tried it and saw no change which left me utterly depressed.  I don't take photos for this reason...I like to imagine I look a lot different in my head and 4x6s disprove that whole theory.  But 3x4s on the otherhand....

This one helps me to look a lush because, much like my ass (pictured above), it shrunk down the size of my drinks.  One good tip...rotate your picture when you are putting it in the collage until you like what you see. Some orientations look better once rotated.  I like the way this orientation looked when placed the wrong way because it had that kind of artsy not alcoholic vibe.    And I am sorry you are having to turn your face sideways...I swear I saved it the right way.  It seems Blogger has other ideas.

You know when you go somewhere and you get all picture happy just imagining what lovely layouts you will make?  I got all kinds of pic goofy when I saw these painted bears that can be found all over New Bern.  But really??  What the hell am I going to do with a bajillion 4x6 photos of bears?  Nothing.  Shrink them down to a smaller, more manageable 3x4s and what am I going to do with them?  Well probably still nothing but I do much prefer these smaller sizes just in case!

THAT'S a SMOOTHIE!  Just in case you were forgetting our blog reading pact of this being a judgment free zone. The picture on the left was taken when my daughter and her bestie where sitting out of the pool because it was adult swim.  The blurry edges aren't because YOU have been drinking (or me either) but yet another cool effect on Pic Monkey. I am telling you there are sooooooo many options to play with!  The ummmm "smoothie" has an added arrow at the top left, a heart and a caption (soooo many fonts, so little time!)

There are just so many things you can do with this photo editing site and lots of time you can spend on altering your photos INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!  It doesn't replace my stamps and stickers (because if it did, Big Poppa would be ALLLLLL over it and forbid me to buy another embellishment EVER) because it doesn't feed my creative beast like they do.  I wouldn't recommend editing or altering every photo either because your pictures do tell a story all on their own.  BUT if you need something to do INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY or if you are trying to look all modern and hip AKA Shimelle Laine or Kerri Bradford, then by all means, give it a try!

As always, thanks for reading my blog!  And give a scrappy sister a holla if you find some amazing way of turning Project Life Like and scrapbooking into more of Time Waster than I already have!  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Cardinal Sin of Project Life (Like)

Don't even begin to think that I was slack on my Tuesday blog schedule.  For your inf-0-mation, I did write this post on Tuesday.  We entertained last night and I didn't get a chance to post it.  However I did get up bright and early and, after my walk, I got right on my blog duties this rainy Wednesday morning.  Not to mention, I did throw in an extra bloggy post this weekend (I am soooo trying to convince myself  I wasn't a slacker yesterday...can you tell??), so THERE!

Call me the Lady Gaga, all dressed in her meat suit, of the Project Life Like (easy BH, I know the drill) phenomenon
Consider me the Miley Cyrus, with her hair all cut off, looking like a Q-tip and her body tatted and pierced making her dad get  Achy and Breaky all over again, of this pocket page style of scrapping.
Watch me NOT CARE just like Martha as she walked out of prison in that gorgeous sweater she spent her days knitting instead of playin' in the "yard" like every one else.

Oh yeah, I am totally doing it (and thanks for not laughing at my somewhat dated pop references...I don't watch television or read the rag mags so I am kind of an old fart) and I don't care what peeps think.  It may not be what  she who shan't be named (AKA BH) or any of the Garden Girls might do, but dang it, I am a Project Life Like Rebel and I LOVE to color outside the lines!

What am I doing that is so daring and spontaneous and just plain bad ass (yeah not really, but what old fart wouldn't want to be called "bad ass" just once) that I dare to blog about it?  Remember last week, we discussed our blog meetings being much like those in Weight Watchers...judgement free.

I am mixing it up!  Oh yeah, I am going out of the box (literally, thanks to BH and her magical Plans A, B, C etc etc etc) and putting some 12x12 LAYOUTS up in here!  BH is choking on an overpriced page divider right now (because I love myself enough to believe that EVERYONE reads my blog...bwhahahahahah).  "Why, why, why!!!???" you cry dramatically.  "Why not" is my emphatic reply.

Why must we have 2 separate albums taking up that much more space on our already overcrowded shelves?  Why give in to the man and spend gobs of money on  2 separate albums (as if the page protectors you lovingly covet won't fit into both D ring albums)?  Why separate the two types of story telling as if they don't both encompass your daily life?  Granted I don't PL in the way that a lot do (meaning every day...kill me now...just sayin').  I tend to work it by the month or by the event.  Still, why wouldn't your album flow just as nicely with a 12x12 of the special events thrown chronologically in the mix.  Mine does (in my mind at least) and I like not having to show 2 different albums to my friends who come over for a visit and BEG to see my scrap albums (sarcasm is sooo my "thang.")

And I know.  Your next argument is somewhat legit....the thickness of your specific PL album and wanting to only use possibly one album per year.  I will concede that fact, but once again I am all about the "flow." and so my rebellion continues; it is Project Life Like pocket pages mixed with 12x12 layouts for this old fart.  BECAUSE I CAN.  BECAUSE I LIKEY.  And maybe, just maybe, because I take really bad pictures that look better when shrunk to fit inside the 3x4 pockets all covered in sequins, journaling stickers and wood veneers (but I will never admit it--just like Martha won't admit that her cell mate knitted that damn sweater :))

I can't really show you my flow so to speak, but I can show you some of my pages, 12x12 and otherwise, (and those 12x12s don't come easy since I have not traditionally scrapped in over 10 years) And in the meantime, I will continue to obsess between working on those adorable pocket pages and downloading page sketches INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!

This is the beginning of the "cover:" pages for my album.  It isn't your usual Project Life Like cover page, but I didn't want to start with typical.  Prepare yourself because there is another 12x12 layout on the other side and then a traditional PLL cover page.
Here is the other side of that first cover page.  What better way to start an album that tells your story than to include a picture of your home??    And then the traditional PL intro spread is pictured to your right..  See, I still gots FLOW!

Here is a typical "A" spread from PLL all kinds of mixed up in there.  This shows a day spent at Donna Downey's studio. Once again, I am scrapping events and months and daily life stuff too.  Generally the pictures dictate whether I am going to do a 12x12 or a PLL spread...the amount, the quality etc, etc.

Oh no she didn't!!  Oh yes, yes I did.  Not only did I throw some 12x12 in the mix but I also got all kinds of cray and threw in some 6x12 spreads too (page to your left).  And, as you can see, I am not sticking to one PLL page protector plan.  OH YEAH, total  badassness.  The pic below is just another example of a mix of pages.  And you can also see the randomness of what I scrap...what is making me happy at the moment, what we consider our signs of summer, volleyball camps, and visits with puppies...REAL LIFE!!

This is one of the last 12x12s because I have lots to add in PLL from before this layout is included.  It is another volleyball camp layout (what our life has consisted of for  most of the summer), but these pics deserved better than just a PLL spread.  It will be placed chronologically in with the rest of my album.

Woo Hoo!  Today is a rainy day which in my world means its a total excuse to craft.  The kiddo has volleyball camp in the morning and I will head to get my microderm on while she is doing that (ugggg, having kids really wreaks havoc on every part of you), then home for school work AND THEN CRAFTING can ensue!  And you know I will totally be scrapping INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!  Won't you join is a rainy day (here anyways....just sayin')?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Paper Bakery Sketch Challenge

Oh Lordy, has it been awhile!
And working on scrapbook layouts IS NOT like riding a bike. A bike really doesn't change much over the years...not so much for scrapbooking.  Project Life Like has been such a fun thing to start, so I decided why not try a 12x12 layout or two (and because I DO vendor at scrapbook retreats I had better appear legit!).

Since the scrapbook world has come so far since Mrs. Grossman's stickers and circle cut photographs, I decided I needed a sketch to help me out.  What better place to find one than my favorite kit club, The Paper Bakery (   They are hosting a sketch challenge which can be found here:  until August 9th.  Here is a picture of the sketch I used:

Granted,  I am a member of their fabulous Capture 365 kit club, but I did order an an add-on recently that included more things for actual scrapbook layouts (it was the June Scrapbook kit, Bayside High...loved it!). Hopefully you can see some of the items I used from the kit on my layout in all the goodies shown below.

I am new to using kits so I included a lot of other things (I really need to work on getting better at using these kits and have since dedicated my LIFE :) to watching You Tube videos with the hopes of doing just that...mercytiara--I heart her!).  I think I am supposed to keep a list or something of all the things I used, but since I am sooooo super new to this whole idea of a kit, I am feigning ignorance and will pull my blonde card if need be.  I have never done a challenge before either; look at me getting my feet all kinds of wet!  I hope I did Sarah and the rest of the girls at The Paper Bakery justice.  The good in it all is that I had a blast doing the layout.  I loved getting my hands dirty with something other than altered items and "example" items of the classes I teach at the LSS.
Yeah, I am totally rambling so that I prolong the inevitable...showing my layout.  I haven't exactly built up my confidence yet so this feels somewhat like looking in the mirror while wearing a bikini that is 4 sizes too small after eating a huge pizza lunch complete with beer and dessert on a day when my body parts haven't seen the sun in months.  You know, one of those moments in which you wish your contacts would fail or that the department store would somehow lose electricity.  Okay, gentle (and squint...squinting helps!).

And yeah, I got all "gansta rap" on my child's layout, but I am okay with that.  And guess what else?  I totally did this layout INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!  I am okay with that too :).  Thanks for checking this out and go try the challenge at The Paper Bakery too...INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!