Oh Snap! [mini]

[click photos to enlarge]

I will admit that I was very skeptical about how "fabulous" the Silhouette machines were.  I used to be a Cricut owner and if I tell you that I probably used it a handful of times, that would be an exaggeration of the truth.  lol.  I sold my cricut 2 years ago and was content with not having an electronic diecutting machine.

Until last month...

My husband and I (in conversation), were discussing things that had been on my "Wish List" for a while now and he brought up the Silhouette.  It WAS on my list of things I wanted a year ago, but then got taken off because of doubt.  Curiousity struck and I was intrigued to learn more about this machine that everyone kept raving about.  After about 2 youtube video tutorials I was hooked.  I knew I needed to have one, even if just for the print & cut feature!

I did research and found the Silhouette Portrait for a great price online.  I purchased it and right away I set it up and got to cutting.  I couldn't believe HOW EASY & FUN it was to make my own embellies.  To create my own files and cut them.  This machine has not only helped me in my personal crafting, but also cut down the time it takes to fill customer orders from my shop in HALF!

Today I want to share with you a new project I created using my Portrait machine.  I gave up making mini albums because they seemed to be so bulky and too complicated.  But I fell in love with this design in the Silhouette store.  And for 50% off, I couldn't resist.

It took less than 3 hours to create (from start to finish), and I am absolutely in love with how it looks.  I used one of the collections I've been hoarding for over a year by Glitz Designs called "Hello Friend", and added a few of my own embellies from my stash.

I hope this inspires you to pull out your Silhouette machines and get to cutting.  It's amazing how many pretty things you can create!

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Project Life [DIY style]

Weeks 6, 7 & 8 have been shared on my instagram already, but I'm trying to make time for blogging my project life pages as well.

It's been months since I colored with my copic markers, made a card or even smashed a page.  Life became a little more busy the moment I decided to start living it the way it was intended.  But I have kept up with my weekly documenting.  Shocker!

The only thing left to do is journal in some areas.

Week 6 was my birthday week and I wanted it to be different. Playful & fun (like me).  Most of the cards used were from the Maggie Holmes Edition.  I used wood veneers, enamel dots, word stickers and washi tape to embellish.  I also used a few touches of Heidi Swapp and Chic Tags.

Here's a close up of a card to show you a different type of embellishing.
In the hopes of trying to conserve as much waste possible, I added the negative part of these Jenni Bowlin alpha stickers and stapled over them.  There are 3 pieces on the lower left and 1 on the top right.

Week 7 was Valentine week.  I wanted to use the traditional red & pink colors, but needed a bold contrast color.  I think it looks vibrant, sexy and very different.  I inquired the help of Chic Tags and Crate Paper for many of the embellishments used and even made my own.  The big "SELFIE" was cut on my silhouette.

"Selfie" was kinda blending into the background and becoming dark, so I grabbed my favorite white gel pen (UniBall Signo) and got to doodling.  Instead of dots to break up the lines, I used hearts.  
It was Valentine's week, after all. 

These 1" epoxy clear stickers are very affordable on eBay.
I simply punched the design I wanted and placed the clear epoxy over. 

I had a tough start with week 8.  
Unlike the past, my desire lately has been to use the new goodies I buy instead of hoarding them ...
(because they're just too darn cute to use up!)... 
Amy Tangerine's new "Plus One" collection is filled with such crisp and vibrant colors,
that it's easy to fall in love and get taken back to childhood memories of 1983.

The part I struggled with was embellishing.
I had ordered some of the collection long before I worked on week 8,
and once I received it I fell so much in love that I ordered more of it,
so it was a mental battle of
"do I wait 2-3 wks til I receive my new stuff to complete this layout,
or finish it off with whatever is in my current stash?"

What pushed me over was wanting to keep up to date.  
And the fact that I can always work with the collection again.

And the fact that I can make my own embellies with stamps and matching inks!

I was playful with week 8, also using some of Amy's prior collections (because the colors are similar),
and incorporating stamps, October Afternoon embellies, Silhouette diecuts and more!

One of my new favorite ways to add embellishing is with die cuts made with my silhouette portrait.  It wasn't until hubby brought it up a couple of weeks ago that I even considered getting one.  The idea that it would collect dust on my IKEA desk (like my cricut did), tortured me into never getting another machine again.  
But after watching a few YouTube videos I was convinced I needed it.

I have used it for personal and professional reasons, and it has yet to let me down.  
Even my husband is utterly impressed with the capabilities.  
He's even jealous, and had used it himself once or twice.

Creating my own personal touches makes me happy.  
And these 2 sneaks to week 9 will show you exactly what I mean.

That bow is so adorable!

In the photo below you will see a black doily on the top right section (behind my mother-in-law and niece), and also a "this" arrow diecut in the lower left portion of the photo.  
All made with my Silhouette Portrait... or how I like to call her, Portia.  lol.

Weeks 9 & 10 are already done.  I recorded the process video for week 9, but have yet to even look at it.  I am fearing the quality won't be up to par, so I have to wait til I get to that project to share the rest.

In the meantime, I hope you were inspired and are ready to tackle that hoarded stash of yummy craft goodies.

Better use it now, that you still love it!

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Project Life [my way]

It wasn't until the middle of working on my December Daily, that I realized how much I did enjoy the plastic pocket system of documenting life.  I tried it before in a smashbook-style binder, and didn't enjoy it.

However, the idea of documenting your weekly life really appealed to me.  Why?  Because it would mean I would only have to really scrapbook once a week.  I would be working on the week prior's photos and journaling.  It seemed easy and doable.  Plus, the fact that I would be doing a lot of purging and downsizing of my craftroom, I knew I'd have the time & motivation to get it done.

Early January, our church did a 21 day fast to which we participated in.  You can read about it here if you are interested.  In any case, I knew I'd be behind a few weeks if I decided to start PL, but I didn't think it would be a problem.

My "Studio D" dehoardification is not yet complete, but in the photo below you can see how I store my PL cards.  I have a few partial kits that fit perfectly inside the Alex drawer units by IKEA, along with the very cool wood organizers that I found at JoAnn.com the end of last year.

The photo below shows how I used to store those white cubbies on top of my desk.
But it looked too cluttered and messy.

Project Life is meant to simplify your life by printing out 3x4 & 4x6 photos, inserting journal cards into the pockets and writing down a little something about the photos.
However, I'm a true scrapbooker / smashbooker at heart, and I love to embellish, add pops of color, use stamps, wood veneers and anything to add dimension to pages.

So for week one, I tapped into that theory a little and crated a fun page.  

Weeks 2 & 3 were more calm and generic, but I really did it up big for week 4...
which you can see below.

I used a lot of fun bright colors, mostly from an old Amy Tangerine line, and added pops of other designers like Heidi Swapp, October Afternoon & Studio Calico.  You can even find some Recollections brand touches.

Here's a close up that I shared on my instagram of how I altered the wood polaroid frames.
I purchased these at Michaels.

Since I knew I'd be using October Afternoon's "Midway" Collection for the right side of week 5, I wanted to make sure that I incorporated fun/matching colors & embellishments on the left side also.

(these photos were taken without the journaling) 

I see each PL card as it's own smashbook page.
I like to add many layers, fun shapes and focus on making at least 1 thing pop on each card.

I'm still not done with my title page, but here's a sneak at what it's looking like.
I started this about 2 weeks ago and still have not had the desire to finish it.

There's no pressure to document your life weekly, especially if all you do is work long hours and only have time for fun things on weekends, you can make it a monthly project to work on.  Whatever best suits your life.

It's adjustable, and fun!

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Craftroom Revamping.

I'd like to think I don't have the messiest craftroom in the world, but it certainly does compete with many of the rooms you see on Hoarders, lol.  It's been 3+ years since we moved into this 3-story townhouse and I have changed the look of my craftroom around so many times, but each time it hasn't been exactly how I've wanted it.  And if we move this year, (which I think will happen because the place we rent is in foreclosure), I'll have to do this all over again... OY!  lol

On 12/8/12, I woke up with the unsettling desire to completely redo and revamp my craftroom.  I owe the sudden motivation to all the ladies in the Smashaholics Group on Facebook, that were sharing photos of their craftrooms. So if you were one of them, and you're reading this now, I dedicate this blog to you.

Thank you.

Here are photos I took in 2012 of the CHAOS I had with moving things around,
and with selling items from my stash.

The desk on the left is where I do my die-cutting.
The desk on the right is where I do my altered projects and mixed media.
(and for the month of December, where I do my December Daily)...

This corner of the room was dedicated to Smashbooks, Layouts, Cards and basic scrapbooking.

This is my "business" area, where I do my blogging, social media, shipping, etc.

All through 2013 I was on a "HOARD FREE IN 2013" kick.  Everything that was not being utilized was either tossed, sold or donated.  The closet in Gio's room had the most drastic change of all.  And even though I sold plenty of boxes and things, I still had too much.  The layout of my craftroom changed about 3 times in 2013, and yet I'm STILL not content with the functionality.

I don't know how it got to be this much.  I guess the shopaholic and hoarder in me figured I would SOMEHOW catch up to all the projects I put on my To-Do List.  29 mini albums, 20 smashbooks, 52 layouts a year, 52 cards a year, and more.  Isn't that insanity?

By the end of 2013 I knew I needed to downsize even more, but it wasn't until this week that I realized HOW MUCH more needs to go.

My ultimate desire is to be clutter free.  To only keep things that I absolutely know I will use soon and things that I use weekly.   I'm trying to be smart about it, not selling ink pads that I will regret later.  So it's been a real process.  A year long process.

And today, as I sit here looking at 8 empty cubbies that I sold (see pic below), I have the urge to just move everything out of my craftroom to the hallway.  Bring in the furniture and slowly add supplies.  Whatever is left is what I'll be getting rid of somehow.  That's my desire.

But realistically I have to wait.  My plan is to get different storage units and reorganize.  This is just the start of a huge project.  And the fact that we'll possibly be moving doesn't alleviate the time crunch I'm feeling.

I'll be sure to post more about this process, but in the meantime, you can check out my new Instagram Profile for weekly photos of projects I've been creating.

The girl who said she'd NEVER get into Project Life is now working on week 5.  I'm totally behind (due to the 21 day fast I had), but I'm totally fine with it.

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