Exploring the “Creative Block”

There was a time in my life where I worked solely from sketches because I felt like I wasn’t creative enough. Ever felt that way? Did it all seem so overwhelming to you that you either quit crafting, or swore over your dead body you’d never show anyone your work because everyone elses’ work was so much better than yours? I’ve been there, too.
I even scaled back from scrapbooking 12×12 layouts to 8.5×11 so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed by the big blank canvas in front of me. Eventually, I became more comfortable with the smaller page size- and some time after that, I began to feel like 8.5×11 was too cramped, so I expanded to 12×12. And, here I am! Eventually was a few years, by the way. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of pride swallowing and starting my own handmade business to bring me to the place I’m at now. I’ll be the first to tell you that you dont need to start a handmade business to build up your confidence and creative self esteem. Take a leap of faith- start creating and sharing, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You never know who you’ll inspire. I still feel self conscious- a lot– about my work, but I enjoy sharing it with you, so I continue to ignore the urge to keep it hidden.
Why did I feel like I wasn’t creative enough?
Sometimes, we get hung up on various parts of the creative process. Maybe it’s the size of the project we’re working on; other times it’s paper and embellishment placement or maybe it’s knowing what products to use and what would look good together. Sometimes its a mixture of everything I just mentioned. Each of these has stumped me. Sometimes it still does. Its important to remember that no matter how you place your embellishments or what papers you use, every piece of art you create is a masterpiece, whether you think so or not. What you’ve created is a masterpiece, and the audience you’ve created it for (your children, husband, aunt or uncle or your children’s children) will be blown away by your thoughtfulness and creativity. The time you took to preserve a memory or a book full of memories won’t be lost on them. Because of you, they’ll treasure it. So, try not to judge yourself too harshly on your level of expertise, because it doesnt matter. I know, it’s easier to say than to do. Been there, done that. It’s even harder when your own children tell you that your artwork isn’t pretty enough or glittery enough compared to their 4-almost-5-year-old-standards. I try to remember to take what they say with a grain of salt, even though I feel a bit deflated. One day, they’ll say “mom made this?!! She did an incredible job!” and “OMG she was obsessed with our baby feet?! That’s where I get that from. ..” When I’m old and can’t really remember what it was like having littles running around, all I’ll have to do is flip through a scrapbook album to jump start the memories. Is what kind of job my creating looks like now going to matter in another 30 years? I hardly think so.
So, let go and enjoy the creative process! Once you’ve embraced it and tried it, you’ll enjoy creating so much more!
So, I’m stumped and decided I’d use a sketch. What do I do now?
Great question! The sky’s the limit- anything goes! Start by finding a sketch that inspires you. Your inspiration could be anything- only you know what that is. It could be looking for a layout that uses only one picture, a certain size picture, certain colors, scallops or that adorable rosette. The possibilities are endless.
Next, start creating! Throw your uncertainties to the wind and do what feels good and right to you. Have a glass of wine while you create and play some music. Go for a bath and decompress before creating. Do whatever you need to get yourself into a creative frame of mind. I like getting my chores and responsibilities out of the way first, so I have nothing pressing on my mind while I scrap. I want to focus wholly on my creating.
Lastly, if you share any of your work in online forums or in a blog like I do, make sure you leave a note or link to whoever or wherever your inspiration came from. As in writing, plagiarism applies to the creative process as well! I promise the author of the original piece of art won’t mind that you scraplifted their work; they’ll be honored and ecstatic that they inspired you!
What is ‘scraplifted’?
It’s a fancy term for copying someone’s work. Also, it’s completely ok to copy someone’s work, you just need to say so! So, if you plan to submit your art work for publication or plan to blog about it, make sure you document where it came from! If you don’t know who the original source or author is, document it as well as you can! Most of my scraplifting will come from Pinterest, so I include the link to my Pinterest. I don’t worry about including the original source, because you’re almost always able to follow the links from Pinterest back to the original. If not, Pinterest is sufficient.

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Having said all that, here’s another sketch that inspired me. You’ll find it here on my Pinterest.  Here’s how this sketch inspired me:

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Instead of including one large (5×7 inch) horizontal photo, I broke it into two 4×6 inch pictures and placed them a little askew. Life with toddlers is never clean cut- why should my pictures of them be?! Also, I actually cropped the two pictures on the bottom to a 4×4 inch size. Both pictures had images in them that didn’t add to the overall story, so I cropped them out. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, as long as you don’t lose the main reason you’re scrapbooking them in the first place. If you’re scrapbooking a picture of your daughter and there’s a potted plant off to one edge of your photo (like mine), trim off the potted plant- it has nothing to do with your subject. Unless of course, your subject is playing with said potted plant.
I stayed fairly true to the sketchs’ design, but instead of layering a couple scalloped borders over the pennant, I enlarged the pennant so it matted the two 4×4 pictures. There’s a few other minor changes, but I just made it work around the pictures I’d wanted to use. Interpret your sketch or scraplift any way you like- there’s no right or wrong way to create. Just go with the flow!

Materials:

– CTMH Heartstrings patterned papers
– CTMH basics patterned paper
– CTMH chocolate card stock
– CTMH Exclusive Inks in Pear
– CTMH My Acrylix Family is Forever
– Recollections black, grey and white card stock
– Momenta patterned paper
– Cricut M44A93
– Cricut MC2191
– Cricut M3D307

Pathfinding Nap Time Layout

Did I mention suffering from creative block in a blog post recently? I’m sure I did…you’ll find it here. About the same time I wrote that blog post, I really was struggling with coming up with a page design I was happy with, so I turned to Pinterest for sketch inspiration. That would explain why I was inspired to share sketches with you. The sketch I chose to work with is one that I didn’t share in that particular post with you because I was saving it for today! (And now, that post seems so very long ago!!)

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You’ll find this sketch on my fave sketches board on Pinterest; there are lots more sketches in there that turned into favorites- one of them is bound to inspire you!

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I was inspired to cut tags for the right side of my page- the middle one was cut slightly larger than the other two, in an attempt to highlight the title. How adorable is the nap time die cut?!  To keep with the sleepy time theme, I found a star and cloud, as well as a teddy bear to further embellish my page. I used CTMH teal glitter paper to coordinate with the rest of the color scheme.

Did you know- this layout was made entirely with Close to My Hearts’ Pathfinding paper packet! (There’s a single sheet of Jillibean Soup patterned paper; everything else is CTMH).

This paper packet is still available for purchase, as is the teal glitter paper! To order this for yourself, visit me here! If you’ve got any questions,  you can leave a comment on this post or email me at theeverydayscrapbooker@gmail.com.

Materials:

– CTMH Pathfinding paper packet
– CTMH Glitter paper in teal
– CTMH gold polka dot washi
– Jillibean Soup patterned paper
– Cricut M46F85
– Cricut M46A96
– Cricut M3E605

The Visual Triangle Demystified

I used a lot of layers in today’s fun layout. I mentioned a few posts back, that I saved the negative portion of a die cut for another project. This is the project i referred to!
To start, I adhered three sheets of 6×6 patterned papers, creating a quilted patchwork look. Next, I layered the card stock I cut the original image from for the layout I shared two posts ago. Upon that, I layered the photo and a few patterned paper scraps. I didn’t want to cover too much of the ‘hole’ where the patterned paper peeks through, so I adhered the photo and scraps slightly to the side, layering the embellishments over and to one side of the photo, pulling your eye further towards the right side of the page.

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I struggled with the direction I wanted to take the theme of this page, until I found the how special you are die cut. I had also recently acquired December’s Close to My Heart Stamp of the Month (Cutie Pie), so I wanted to incorporate that into this project, as well. Above the photo, on the left, the stamped quote should say hey there cupcake, but the cupcake part didn’t quite fit with my theme, so I changed it by layering a different sentiment overtop that says …my little cutie pie. It sounds more like something I’d say to her.
Lastly, I layered the red scalloped semi circle underneath the photo to create my “visual triangle”. You’ve heard me refer to this often, if you read my blog regularly. Do you know what it means?

What does visual triangle mean?

Visual triangle is the fancy way to describe using embellishments or arranging elements on a page in a particular way that resembles a triangle. Using the layout I’m sharing above as an example, the banners, matted sentiment in the lower right and the dark red scalloped semi circle and stamped cupcakes all recreate the shape of a triangle. If you drew a line between all three of these embellishments, you’d draw a triangle! The elements are placed in a triangular shape.

Why do this?

Simply, it’s a design technique that every person finds aesthetically pleasing to their eye (including the use of embellishing in threes)– whether they realize it or not. It adds a complete feeling to your project! It helps guide the eye around the page, so your attention is kept focused on the story you’re telling; it holds your interest. If there’s nothing there to absorb you and tell you the entire visual story, your eye will slide off the page and you’ll quickly forget about it. Nothing about it interested you enough to soak it all in. Think of it as the hook in a story that grabs your attention and intrigues you to read more (or the whole thing). If your book doesn’t have a great story line, chances are you wont read it! Neat trick, hey?!

Materials:

– MME (My Minds Eye) 6×6 Reunion patterned papers
– MME 6×6 Love Me patterned papers
– Recollections patterned papers
– SU (Stampin’ Up) patterned papers
– Momenta 6×6 patterned papers
– Memento Dew Drops ink in Rhubarb Stalk
– Cricut M46364
– Cricut M461EB
– CTMH Cutie Pie SOTM (Stamp of the Month)
– CTMH Exclusives ink in Lagoon
– CTMH Exclusives ink in Bamboo
– CTMH Exclusives ink in Barn Red
– misc. wood mounted stamp

An Exercise in Positivity

It was a great day for exercising my one little word, positivity, yesterday. We had growing concerns that our kitty was diabetic- or, at the very least, something was amiss. He peed a number of times around the house; I caught him in the act once, and he filled his litter unreasonably fast on a regular basis. I shouldn’t have to completely empty and refill it after two mere days.
My husband brought kitty to the vet on Monday, and the vet quickly ruled out diabetes. Fewf. But then what could it be? Drinking more water, because we’re cutting back on how much he eats, and so there’s a higher volume of output?
No.
It turns out, in kitty’s old age, his renal function has become unsatisfactory. It’s slowly failing. Luckily, we caught it early, and can give him medication to help improve his quality of life. It’ll mean a total diet change, as well. Not only have we cut back on his consumption, he also needs to eat food thats low in protein. The good news is that he could have a few more years for us to pester and annoy love and enjoy him. Here’s hoping!
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As promised on Monday, here’s a small tutorial using the water droplet technique- it’s really easy and fun! First, gather the materials you’ll need: card stock, acrylic stamping block, ink(s), stamp spritzer or spray bottle, scrubbing pad (for cleaning stamping block), stamps.

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In the first step, fill your acrylic stamping block with ink. If you’re using multiple colors, like I’ve done, start with the lightest first, then move to the darkest.

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Once the surface is covered in ink, give it a quick spray with your stamp cleaner (spritzer) or spray bottle. Ensure your spray bottle nozzle is set to a fine mist. (In the picture below, my stamp block has just been sprayed with my stamp cleaner.)

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Stamp onto your card stock like a regular stamp! Stamp in any pattern you like, using as many or as little colors as you please; repeat steps 1 to 3 for every successive color (with cleaning in between).

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Set aside to dry. Once your ink and card stock is dry, you’re ready to stamp on top, if you so desire. Choose a complimentary ink, or stick with an ink you just used. Fill stamp as usual and stamp away, in any pattern you choose. I chose something that reflects my one little word and theme for 2015: positive. The adjective that particularly caught my eye was grateful. This will be going into my gratitude journal next week!

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(For a little extra oomph, ink your stamp in multiple colors for an ombre look, like I did here!)
And, to sign off, I’ll leave you with last weeks’ gratitude journal entries:

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Mixing it Up with Stamping Techniques

Ever use an embellishment or sheet of card stock that just doesn’t work with your project? And, after you realize it’s that the color is all wrong, how do you alter it so it works with your color scheme?
I experienced that exact problem with this layout. I used white card stock to mat the photo and title on- pulling the white from the background patterned paper, but realized as I worked, that the whiteness of the card stock was too bright. I didn’t want to cut another circle with my cricut because it was too much work. Yeah, I was feeling lazy. Ha! Instead, a technique I’d seen used before, but that I’d never tried, popped into my brain. It was the perfect opportunity to try something new! There are a few variations of this technique; the one I employed was simple and straight forward. I’m thinking I’ll share a tutorial in tomorrow’s blog post- as it relates to this blog post. You won’t want to miss it!
The technique I used is called the water droplet technique. It mimics water being spilled on paper or paper being rained on. When inks and colors run after a mishap with liquid is the look we’re going for. Did any of that make sense? Here’s a visual:

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You’ll see this technique on the heart in the upper left, on the photo and title mat and lastly on the embellishment cluster in the lower right.
Now that I think about it, I used a few different stamping/paper techniques on this page. I’ve already shared the water droplet technique. The second one I used is wrapping washi tape around the scallops on the circle. At first, I tried wrapping the scalloped circle with pink embroidery floss, but I wound up tearing the scallops. I do plan using this technique again in the future; when I do, I’ll remember to make sure the element I’m wrapping is sturdy and thick, such as poster board or cardboard. (I’ve also heard of cutting the element multiple times to create thickness if there’s nothing thicker in your stash). That’s the reason the paper tore; it was too thin. So, I cut it with my Cricut again, and instead used up the better part of an hour to wrap the scallops in pink washi tape. It was using this technique that made me realize the white of the white card stock was too bright! Sometimes, mistakes are happy accidents!
The third technique I used was dry embossing. I placed the title (sweet) diagonally inside the Tim Holtz embossing folder I chose, and ran it through my Cuttlebug. This is a quick and super easy technique- and I love using it! A girl can never have too many embossing folders. (And, this girl doesn’t have enough!! I’m always on the look out for pretty, unique patterns.)

Materials:

– CTMH card stock
– CTMH Basics patterned paper
– CTMH Wood grain washi tape
– CTMH Blush Exclusives Ink
– CTMH Amour My Acrylix stamps
– CTMH Cloud Nine My Acrylix stamps
– Cricut M3CCCF
– Cricut M470D7
– Cricut M46C2C
– Tim Holtz A2 Embossing Folder
– misc. pink washi tape
– misc. gold polka dot washi tape

Stretching Your Stash

I seem to remember mentioning in the past, that I’m not much of a double page scrapbooker, but I will do the odd double page if I have enough pictures of one subject. Sometimes I’ll split those pictures up if there’s more than one topic I want to explore. Such as the pictures I’m scrapbooking of my in laws visit at the end of December 2011. My MIL helped me spruce up my home at the same time we celebrated a belated Christmas with them. Today’s double page spread focuses on celebrating with them- spoiling my kids. My kids were absolutely spoiled at Christmas time, so I tried sticking with that particular theme here.

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I cut the title, tag and bathroom people with my Cricut, using glitter, stamping and washi tape to punch them up; the rest of the embellishing was stamped and fussy cut! 
First, the crown portion of the title was cut twice, so to give it some depth, I used my Martha Stewart glitter again. I also used 3D square adhesives to pop it up a bit. The jewel, which you see layered underneath the “s” of spoiled, I pieced together after cutting with my Cricut. I also gave it the “sparkle” treatment, by covering it CTMH’s Liquid Glass. It seems a little flat, and it’s hard to see in the picture, but it is glossy.
Next, I had fun covering the bathroom people (is there another proper term for these people?? This is what I’ve always called them! Ha!) I used pink washi tape that I had in my stash, and painstakingly layered washi over them for more visual interest. (I also used my negative portion in one of my gratitude journal pages. Week 4, I do believe. To see for yourself, go here.
Lastly, I stamped the rest of the embellishments using CTMH inks and stamps.  The this week star burst circle was also fussy cut and adhered using 3D pop dots. To complete the embellishment cluster in the upper right corner of page 2, I added a bit of journalling.
A little tip to remember to stretch out the usage of a single piece of patterned paper or card stock, is to cut it in half (or smaller!) See the green pieces of patterned paper on each end of my double page spread? I had only one 6×6 sheet of that particular paper left, and I wanted to use it in both pages, to keep my color theme coordinated. To solve that problem, I cut it in half and adhered each half at either end of my spread. And actually, the same is true of the white heart patterned paper on the far left and far right edges of each page in this spread, too! Can you think of other ways to stretch your stash?

Materials:

– SU patterned paper
– MME (My Minds Eye) patterned paper
– Momenta 6×6 patterned paper
– CTMH White card stock
– CTMH True to Life My Acrylix stamps
– CTMH Smokey Plum Exclusive Ink
– Cricut M446D2
– Cricut MFC5CA
– Cricut M41E72
– Misc. Pink washi
– Martha Stewart glitter in Charoite 

Family Layout

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I realized while I was writing the journalling on a layout that I’ll show you in a future post, that at the point in our lives that I’m currently scrapbooking, we had been in our current house for just a mere three months. We bought our house in October of 2011, so it now makes sense why most of our family was at our house over the holiday season: they wanted to check out our new digs, especially since it was the first time in a few years they’d been affordably able to visit us. Prior to this point, we were 800 kilometers from our families, so this was a big deal.
I wanted to scrapbook these photos- especially the one on the right, because of the goofy shenanigans my husband was up to. (Sorry my watermark obscures it!!) My MIL had no idea- and actually, looking back on it, my husband wonders “what the hell was [I] up to?!” I don’t know, but it makes me giggle!
There’s a few things to note about this layout. First, I created the title block totally with my Cricut. The family die was cut twice- once in pink and a second time in Grey.  To give it a more dramatic effect, I used my Martha Stewart glitter to fill in the Grey portion of family. My CTMH Liquid Glass works phenomenally well as an adhesive. As always, make sure you set it aside with ample of time to dry. The less liquid glass that’s used, the sooner it dries.  I also added some rhinestones and fussy cut flowers- I used simple things that reminds of my MIL. (The flowers highlight her love of gardening). I also doodled around the title block in white pencil crayon (yes, of all things, a pencil crayon. My sewing kit never gets used. At least the marking pencil inside it is useful, even if it’s for the wrong application!!) I think it finishes it off quite nicely.
Secondly, I included hidden journalling. The pink tag is an entity entirely unto itself. I stamped on it, border punched it, die cut it using my Cricut and wrote on it. It’s almost a mini masterpiece. Leave nothing half done. Go big, or go home!
Lastly, I really want to create a layout using every single color found in the embellishment cluster in the upper left corner of my layout. The white, teal, Glacier (ink color in the little arrow), Grey and pink is purely heavenly! Looking at it inspires me!
What unexpected color schemes inspire you?

Materials:
– CTMH Glacier Exclusive Inks
– CTMH Glacier Card stock
– CTMH Fundamentals Card stock
– CTMH Magical Moments My Acrylix Stamps
– CTMH Ivy Lane My Acrylix stamps
– CTMH Have a Happy Day
–  CTMH Heartstrings
– CTMH Liquid Glass (as adhesive)
– Recollections white, black, green, grey and pink card stock
– Misc. washi tape
-misc. rhinestones
– Fiskars scallop border punch
– SU ribbon
– Martha Stewart border punch
– Martha Stewart glitter in Silver
– Cricut M46C1F
– Cricut M46CDF
– Cricut M45113
  

Creating Meaning and Purpose- on Purpose!

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EXACTLY!

The events that occurred in the past recent months has affected me in a deep and fundamental way. Realizing how detrimental and destructive my personal thought life was, and futile, I was brought to my knees. It was incredibly negative and wasn’t helping anyone, least of all me.
At the time, a lot of people were talking about their one little word– the word they focus on through the year, in an attempt to shape it and mold it around personal improvement and self betterment, creating meaning in their lives, giving them purpose. It came up in my blog feeds and across various Facebook posts. The idea of it spoke to me. It all began with one simple post by Canadian Scrapbooker. I’m fairly certain even they didn’t know what a profound influence it would have on their fans- this one in particular. 
I was reminded again today, of my own journey to self betterment and making my life meaningful and purposeful- beginning with positivity. A blog I’ve started to follow within the last day, has chosen positivity as her one little word, too. In one little blog post, I was reaffirmed in my decision to do this and encouraged to keep going. Because,

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I haven’t been posting the last few weeks of my gratitude journal here, and I have no reasonable explanation why. I am sharing it to my Facebook page, as well as my scrapbook.com account, but not here.  I’m missing out on a chance to encourage you and the rest of the world wide Web at large. How dare I?! Fail.
But, not really. I’m succeeding because I’m learning in between all the bumps and hiccups, and they’re bound to happen. It’s like a law of nature, right? So, to catch you up to speed, here’s the last few weeks of what I’m grateful for:

Week 1:

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Week 2:

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Week 3:

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Week 4:

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I included the page for week 5 as well, because looking forward is positive, too. I have a lot to look forward to this year!
In addition to creating my Gratitude Journal, I created a new board on my Pinterest to inspire me and keep me encouraged if I’m feeling discouraged and down. Right now, it’s just got positive quotes in it, but it may eventually include anything that’s positive- images, quotes, links and otherwise! Find it Here.
What’s encouraging to you?

Love Those Baby Feet

I’m being all sneaky like right now, hiding in my haven trying to pound out as much of this blog post as I can, before a certain little someone gets sick to her stomach again. Between both kids, we’ve been battling flus and head colds since last Saturday. Starting at 4 this morning, it was sweet Miss A’s turn for the stomach bug. She’s got it worse than Miss M had it last weekend. I hope it doesn’t last too long, and I hope I don’t come down with it- or the head cold they both battled, as well, this week!

I am so excited to finally share with you every last detail pertaining to the layouts I make- what products, what images, what die cuts- the whole nine yards. Any Close to My Heart product that is mentioned from here on out, is available for purchase (though only for a limited time- that is, until the new catalog comes out. But, that won’t be for a while, yet). You can contact me if you’re interested in purchasing any of those products you like, or you can visit me on my CTMH website. Everything else, you’ll be able to find at your LSS (local scrapbook store), Scrapbook.com, or your favourite craft store (Michaels, for example). I feel like this whole experience is a little more well rounded, now.

Babies- their tiny diapered bums are too cute not to pinch or pat, and their tiny little feet are cute enough to be eaten up kissed. Who would agree with me? Even though my children were toddlers in the layout I’m about to share with you, I was still obsessed with their sweet little baby toes. And, in some ways, I still think they have cute little ‘baby bums’, even for nearly-five-year-olds.

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I started using the delicious Heartstrings patterned papers from Close to My Heart on this project. It came with my last order, and I couldn’t wait to start playing with it! The red on the “A” side of the patterned paper sets the perfect mood for romance, which is probably why its so perfect for projects of love! (Valentines happens to be around the corner, too. If you follow a few blogs, you may notice valentines themed projects hitting the internets). I personally plan to use the paper packet to design a mini album for a very dear friend as a wedding gift for her. A group of 10 of us went to Las Vegas in November to help them celebrate their nuptials, and I wanted to use this collection to design it with! That will be coming (hopefully) in the very near future! I paired some Skylark patterned paper and also some Scaredy Cat patterned paper (all from CTMH) for a unique mixture of patterns and colours. And, just so the eye isn’t too overwhelmed by the colours and patterns, I used some kraft card stock to let the eye rest a bit.

I used my Cricut to cut the title for this layout as well as the heart embellishment on the bottom left of my page. Lastly, I included some stamping, using the Amour stamp set, as well as an Ivy Lane stamp set (in Chocolate and Autumn Terra Cotta).

Materials

– CTMH Skylark patterned paper
– CTMH Heart Strings patterned paper
– CTMH Scaredy Cat patterned paper
– CTMH Autumn Terra Cotta Exclusive Inks
– CTMH Amour My Acrylix stamps
– CTMH Chocolate Exclusive Inks
– CTMH Ivy Lane My Acrylix Stamps
– Cricut Explore M3F002 (baby feet)
– Cricut M44998 (love)
– Cricut M42014 (baby)
– Cricut M45BEB (CTMH Art Philosophy- heart tag)
– Cricut M47409 (“those”)
– Kraft card stock scraps (yay!!)
– Martha Stewart border punch
– Misc. orange alpha stickers
– Misc. pink rhinestone

Sketch-piration

Working strictly with 4×6 and 6×4 inch photos is fun and challenging. Sometimes, it’s so challenging, and challenging for so long, I develop crafters’ block. Ever had it? A cousin to writers’ block, coming up with any sort of plot or creative ideas is stumpifying and always a nuisance. I just want to craft! Come on, what gives?!
When my brain runs dry and refuses to cooperate, I turn to my most trusted sites of inspiration and pinspiration– my home made inspiration binder (all those scrappy magazines I buy- if pictures of layouts and cards look like something I could tackle in the future, I tear them out and add them to my inspiration binder. For future reference!) Pinterest is my other go-to, and it’s actually the site I turn to first.
Since my brain is on creative hiatus, I turned to Pinterest to jump start the creative process yesterday. I snuck in about 45 minutes to play after doing my household chores and before my mommy coffee date (which I’m grateful for today. More on that at the end of this post).
Why am I so stumped?

Using 6×4 and 4×6 inch photos is challenging. Depending on the amount of photos you use, space is limited due to the photos’ size. A mixture of sizes rakes most of the design guesswork out, but even that has its challenges. More often than not, creative block happens when you’ve run out of creative steam, pure and simple.

If I need inspiration, maybe you do too! So, I’ve compiled a small gallery of both 8.5×11 inch layouts using 4×6 pictures, and 12×12 inch layouts featuring 4×6 photos. A few of these I have used in the past, and others are new to me. I will most likely use one or all of these sketches- now, or in the future! To view a comprehensive list of all my “to scraplifts”, visit me here,  here, here, and here. For a list of my favourite tried sketches, go here.

8.5×11 inch layouts

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12×12 inch layouts

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There are more layout sizes than just 8.5×11 and 12×12; there’s also 6×6 and 8×8.  I chose the most common scrapbook page sizes for simplicity, but you’ll find that any of these sketches can be adjusted to fit any size layout. You’ll also notice from some of the sketches I posted here, that there’s space for smaller sized photos. They don’t have to be there- use your imagination! Learn to be a kid again, and think abstractly and outside the box. Line embellishments in those places, fit one larger picture in there, add squares of card stock or patterned paper, add your title in that spot, or leave it empty. There’s lots of options and none of them are wrong!
I nearly forgot about telling you why I’m grateful for a mommy coffee date yesterday. Well, I don’t want to tell you why I’m grateful for it (because there’s no need or reason to); I did want to share with you that I’m still going strong in my gratitude journal.  I’m currently working on day 22!
What’s a gratitude journal? And, why?! You’ll find the answers to both questions in this blog post. In short, why not? I’m implementing a positive mindset for this year, and this is a way to partly put my plan into action. In a tangible sort of way. You can also find a photo gallery of each completed page on my Facebook page. I hope you’ll come check it out. If you do, say hello, let me know you’ve dropped by!