Monday, January 28, 2013

project life: update

i started project life on my 29th birthday and i thought the half year mark would be a good time to share some thoughts on this new (to me!) style of scrapbooking. i talked a little about it back in this post but basically, project life is a scrapbooking method developed by becky higgins. it's meant to encourage the documentation of everyday life and to simplify scrapbooking. the best part is that it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

getting started
i started off with a three ring binder by we r memory keepers, a big variety pack of page protectors and the amber core kit which i had won from a giveaway hosted by paislee press. my plan was to keep it simple and stick to the kit...

where it all went wrong...
by the time i hit the six month mark, i just wasn't feeling it. i wanted project life to be a big journal but it was becoming a lot of work and more of a "i have to do it" than a "i want to do it". i missed my old journal. then i saw this blog post by document life workshop on why she "failed" at project life 2012 and suddenly, everything became crystal clear.

the amber core kit is great but there were a few problems for me. i like softer colors, blues, neutrals and simple designs so the amber kit just didn't feel quite right. there also weren't any horizontal 3x4 cards or vertical 4x6 cards so when i need these (or was looking for my fave colors), i tried to make my own or print freebies. this led to stress and a jumbled hodge podge look to my album which led to more stress.

there are so many great project lifers out there. it's easy to get distracted by what they create and think, "ohhh i should totally do that too!" some people can design layouts for every 4x6 and 3x4 pocket and it looks incredible. but that's just not for me. this is meant to be my journal where i save photos, hoard bits and pieces, doodle and write about "dear diary" moments. it takes me AGES create one 12x12 layout and trying to make a layout for 16 little boxes a week will destroy me and make me forget about my doodles and "dear diaries".

how i'll make it right again
for christmas, my sister got me the seafoam core kit. she didn't know that i had decided to stop with project life but that's okay because this kit changed my mind in an instant. it's everything i've wanted in project life and more. i love the colors (really, these are my favorite colors) and the design feels so right. all the cards are reversible so that they can be use vertically or horizontally, as a journaling card or a filler card. woohoo!!

 front and backs of the cards. pretty! lighting. not so pretty!

the matching vertical version is on the reverse side

i still would recommend project life to anyone whose looking for a way to document their life. it's a simple concept that can be adapted to whatever you want and need it to be.

i'm determined to use up the rest of my amber kit on the remainder of this year. why waste a good kit? then in june when i turn 30, i'll bust out the seafoam and start fresh. go project life!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

a quilt for little lottie

hello and happy new year! my, i was gone for awhile wasn't i? it's been a busy year. i took on a second part time job and then the holidays hit and the next thing you know, bam! it's 2013. i haven't been too crafty lately but there was a big project that i took me about ten months to complete and i wanted to share it with you.

last winter, i threw my sister a baby shower and one of the activities was to design a quilt square. i pre-cut several cotton squares (and sealed the edges with a fray check) and provided permanent fabric markers for guests to doodle on or write messages to my growing neice.

once they were done, it was time to take the squares home and sew them together, cut the batting and backing, and bind it all together.


and that's where it usually goes downhill for me. bindings are my weakness, my achilles heel. but this time i was determined to do it well. so i did a lot of research on youtube and discovered that there are a million ways to bind a quilt. i found this video by HeirloomCreations to be incredibly helpful in learning how to make your own binding, mitered corners and pockets.

i was so proud of my first mitered corner! they're so tidy and satisfying and surprising easy to make. i used a premade binding since i'm lazy but in the future i think i'll make my own.

then came the time for some hand stitching to secure the binding to the backing of the quilt. more youtube research led me to the ladder stitch. this little stitch is amazing. it's so easy (almost therapeutic) and results in a beautifully finished binding! hand stitching the binding is now easily my favorite part of quilt making.

 and here is the finished quilt! it took about eight months longer than i had hoped (sewing a quilt in a steamy hot summer apartment is not my idea of a fun time) but it's done! i'm quite proud of the results and am a lot more confident of my sewing/quilting skills now. i hope little lottie likes it too <3 br="br">

Thursday, September 6, 2012

new supplies

last weekend, i went to michaels looking for some replacement blades for my cricut (was there a national shortage of cricut blades?? it took months to find a store that had them in stock) and i came out with a bunch of new crafty things to play with and i thought i'd share my finds.

i stepped into an aisle and found myself looking at a wall of washi tape. holy guacamole! michaels' brand, recollections, makes washi tape in a huge variety of styles and for really great prices. this is going to be dangerous.

 i find it hard to resist anything travel themed.

crocheted flowers. not something i usually use in my scrapbooks but these were in the clearance section and i love the colors. i suppose i could make them myself but i feel like crocheting with thread would make me go blind(er).

i love new supplies and how they inspire me to try something new. woo!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

luau for little miss d

my friend mrs. pk has the most gorgeous baby girl who is just about to turn one! sadly, i couldn't make to the party since we live on opposite sides of the country... *tear*. i sent them a special gift though! it's more for my friend than little miss d since it's a huge choking hazard. she had been looking for cake toppers to go with the party's luau theme so i decided to paint her some as a surprise gift.

sorry! these photos really aren't the best (i took them when we were getting some much needed rain here in boston). the greatest challenge was figuring out how to make an aloha shirt on something so small! the answer was lots of dots using the smallest paint brush i could find. and little miss d's dress went through a few revisions. it started as a plain pink dress but the result wasn't special enough. i found a photo from their recent trip to hawaii in which she was wearing a super cute white dress with eyelet lace and a pink flower in her hair so i designed version 3.0 using that as a model. one of the great things about working with these dolls is that if you make a mistake or change your mind, a bit of sandpaper gives you a clean slate to start all over with. so don't be intimidated!

i purchased the unpainted dolls from goose grease undone, the same place where i got the dolls for our wedding cake topper. i really do love their customer service and products. i had actually purchased two larger adult dolls that once i had in my hands, were huge in comparison to the baby doll. the ratio was a bit too much for what i had in mind. thankfully, goose grease undone had included a free sample of their fair trade columbian dolls which were a bit smaller than the regular adult dolls and a perfect fit for what i was looking for. the wood is gorgeous and i'll definitely be ordering more in the future. to learn more about their fair trade agreement with a little columbian carpentry shop, visit their website. and be sure to check out their video to see how a doll is made! i love it when cuteness does good in the world :)

happy, happy birthday to little miss d! and mrs. pk, i cannot wait to see photos of the party. i know it's going to be amazing. little miss d is so lucky to have you as her mommy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

paper presentation

a few weeks ago, we took a trip to new york for a wedding. i managed to find a few spare moments to check out paper presentation in the flatiron district. they have a ton of cool stuff though i didn't take any photos of the interior because their staff have a bit of a reputation and i was kind of intimidated going in. it's a large store with a fantastic selection of gifts, card/invitation making supplies, art supplies and scrapbooking goodies.

once i found the scrapbooking section i was terrible... i lost all self control and went on a shopping spree. they had so many of the brands that i've been eyeing lately and i couldn't help myself even though their prices were a little on the high side.

love these dear lizzy fabric papers by american crafts.

amy tangerine papers by american crafts. look at all those bright and juicy colors!

i don't have a plan for this one but i couldn't resist this sashiko-like paper by pebbles.

papers by kaiser craft, hello summer by echo park, dear lizzy neapolitan and i do both by american crafts. i'm totally giving into the trendy chevrons.

amy tan(gerine) did a recent post about hoarding pretty papers. i'm definitely guilty of that. i save papers because they're too pretty to use and then years go by until they're no longer in style or my tastes have changed. such a waste! so my goal is to use these all up this summer and enjoy seeing them in my layouts rather than in my box of papers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

nail art

i have a friend, let's call her elle l. cool jam, who is a nail art extraordinaire. this past weekend, all the boyfriends and husbands were gone for a bachelor party so elle invited the girls over for a little nail art party. of course we all said, "heck yes!" i am terrible at painting my own nails (the last attempt took two days and the results were questionable) so any time that i can get my nails done is a real treat.

so many colors to choose from

elle has the sweetest, friendliest kitties in the world. they hung out with us and kept us company.

 nebula! so gorgeous.

 the artist at work

 omg. robot nails! aren't they cute??

 and my tuxedo nail! the little bow tie just kills me. seeing it just makes me all happy and smiley. i can feel a new addiction growing. it doesn't help that pinterest is filled with amazing inspiration. i totally have my eye on this design.

elle, thanks so much for such a great girls' night! you are super talented and i can't wait to see what you come up with next.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

i heart boston

an americorps VISTA friend is leaving boston for grad school in new york. it's always so sad to say farewell to a friend but i'm thankful that she'll still be on the east coast and just a bus ride away. as a good luck gift, i made her a little canvas to remind her of her years in boston. i used my cricut to cut the shape of massachusetts from a map showing her neighborhood. a little red heart marks boston and the edges i painted yellow which is her favorite color. the edges were a little rough so i'll have to experiment some more on future projects.

good luck and visit us soon ash!