Monday, March 31, 2014

Calvinball: The End.

As a runner moves ever closer to the finish line, she often encounters the Wall, a psychological block that can only be overcome by drawing on her dwindling reserves of persistence and mental strength. If she pushes through, she will cross that finish line.

A runner I am not.

Heck, I can't even play a decent month's worth of Calvinball from the chair at my desk!  I hit that wall pretty quickly after launching myself into the race, as this, that, and the other thing happened all at once (and don't forget about that other thing and then the thing after that), and then BOOM -- March 31st arrived. Race over!

Still, I had low expectations, so the fact that I made some progress is worth celebrating. Didn't I tell you that I am more tortoise than hare?

Here are my Calvinball totals for the month:
  • Layouts completed since March 1: 13 (13 points) 
  • Mini-album pages completed since March 1:  24 (12 points)
Actually, that's kind of a lot for me. That's a CRAZY lot for me.  Yay tortoise!

And there's more! Bonus points:
  • Plugging Calvinball (1 point) 
  • Blogging Calvinball updates (2 points) 
  • Taking the style quiz and posting the results (1 point)

  • Learning a new tool, medium, or technique (1 point)
  • Sorting and organizing a section of your scrap area (1 point)
  • Dressing you or others to match papers you will scrap with (1 point)
  • Not being intimidated by Calvinball guru Celeste (1 point)
  • Okay, that's a lie (-1 point)
  • Monochromatic green layout (1 point)
  • Organizing and photographing a still life scene for a layout (1 point)
  • Scrapbook with a product the first day you buy it (1 point)
  • Scrapbook a photo the same day you take it (1 point)
  • Using a really old tool (1 point)
  • Having your child scrapbook with you (1 point)
  • Use vintage on a page (1 point)
  • Scrappy care package for a friend (1 point)
So there you have it: a grand total of 40 points. I can live with that. Until next year, Calvinball. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Going Green

This has been a good week for those who love the color green, what with St. Patrick's Day and the first day of spring occurring within just a few days of each other. It's no wonder, then, that my challenge this week on the October Afternoon blog is to go green on a project, whether that means using the color, repurposing an item, using the word "green," or all of the above.  
I've been noticing a lot of handwriting-inspired and-calligraphy-inspired titles and fonts showing up in printables, in cut files, and in products lately, and I decided to take a DIY approach to the trend here, creating my own modified handwritten title. 
Using a craft marker on cardstock, I wrote the word "green," and then used watercolor pencils in various shades of green to write the word over and over (and over and over). I then cut out the title and smoothed a brush dipped in water across it, blending the colors. 

I used watercolor pencils elsewhere on the layout as well, along with a polka dot stencil and modeling paste. 
I *love* green. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Mixed Media" at Studio Calico

Studio Calico is offering a new workshop this spring, and it looks incredible!
I'm happy to share that I will be a contributor to the class, and will likely be sporting multicolored fingers for a few weeks as a result.  I'm thrilled to be joining a group that includes some of my scrappy heroes, such as Jen Kinkade, Kim Stewart, Natalia Elphinstone, Shanna Noel, Mel Blackburn, and more! 

The workshop will offer step-by-step tutorials, focusing on a variety of techniques using mixed media such as paint, glitter, mist, gel medium, and more. 
The cost is $19, which includes printables and cut files. 
Find out more at Studio Calico!  Registration closes on April 30. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mid-Month at JBS Mercantile

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of March, and that means it's time for the mid-month gallery reveal at JBS Mercantile!  The team has added a bunch of new projects to the March kit gallery. I have three contributions, all of which are reminders of a spring break spent happily scrapping. 
It's Girl Scout cookie season, and that means that unless I have a box of cookies in hand, I am going through some intense withdrawal. 
I documented this most wonderful and unhealthy (physically and mentally) time of year with some help from the Antiquarian kit, which contains a series of tickets that I stitched in a row. The numbers represent the number of boxes that I have consumed this year (nearly).  Sure, there's a lot of jesting going on here, but at the core of it is a dark, dark truth about the way the cookie crumbles. 
My second layout features layers of papers from the March Papercrafting kit, along with some stamped and stenciled images. 
I added the journaling on the labels found in the Historian kit, and arranged the labels vertically on the left side and right side of the page.
The plus-sign stencil and wood veneer and stencil actually inspired this page. Initially they brought to mind the plus signs found attached to grades, and that got me thinking about my daughter's current state of mind regarding school and college and the pressures that she must be feeling these days.  The journaling shifts the meaning of the plus signs by making them less about grades and more about positive thinking. 
There wasn't much left intact after I worked my way through the kits this month, but I did manage to create a colorful little gift album for my daughter using the Mini-Album kit and the remnants of the Papercrafting and Antiquarian kits. 
I'll have more album peeks to share this week on the JBS blog! 

Thanks for visiting! :) 

Friday, March 14, 2014


Happy Pi Day!

In honor of the occasion, my geek of a husband and my nerdlet daughter have determined that we need to be eating fifteen pies right about 9:26 a.m.  Well, maybe -- they're still debating whether a better time would be 4:22 p.m.  There's some zany mathematical reasoning behind the numbers. As for me, I'm just jonesing for PIE. The bigger debate is which type we'll need.  There is no way that I am springing for fifteen pies, so we'll have to settle on two. The contenders are macadamia nut cream pie (my favorite), apple pie (my daughter's favorite), and lemon meringue pie (my husband's favorite).

Speaking of pies...this is "Storytellers" week at Two Peas in a Bucket, and given that this month's theme is children, I collaborated with my daughter to create a layout that features a series of pie charts all about her.
I shared the process for creating the layout from start to finish in a video. I would definitely attempt a project like this again. The best part of it was working alongside my daughter and talking about what has been going on in her life and in her head.

(I did notice later that on the first pie chart there is an unlabeled section. Whoops!  It's supposed to read "web comics.")

I included only four charts on the page, but I have so many more ideas for other kinds of charts. Have I mentioned that my new dream job is working for the Pew Research Center?  :)

Have a terrific Pi Day!  I'm off to hunt for some mac nut goodness.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


The best thing about being on spring break is getting to spend lots of time with my dog. Sure, there are other perks, like sleeping in and staying up really late and not having to sit it traffic and being able  to scrapbook more than a page a week, but by far, the best thing about being at home all day is getting to hang out with my dog. 

Seeing her at her day job has been quite illuminating. She basically just sleeps.  All the time.  

With us at home during the break, though, her routines have changed somewhat. After I let her out for her morning romp, she wanders back inside leisurely, acknowledges the food in her bowl, and then heads back to bed -- my bed. She will sleep the entire day away there, unless my daughter and I decide to grab lunch somewhere, at which point the jangling of my keys prompts the dog to lose her mind. She comes barrellling down the hallway, her legs barely keeping up with the force of her desperation. Panting heavily, she studies our faces expectantly until one of us asks, "Buh-bye?"  Then she goes nuts, exploding into an uncontrolled series of twirls and leaps, until she is safely in the car.  
I attempted to capture her euphoria in this layout that I created for a sketch challenge on the October Afternoon blog last week.
She's such a silly mutt.  Of course, she's sleeping right now.  Maybe if I just jiggle my keys...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

JBS March Project Peeks

The mid-month gallery reveal at JBS Mercantile isn't until the fifteenth, but I do have a few peeks to share of some of the projects that I have been working on lately using the March kits.
I've been documenting Girl Scout cookie binge-season with some help from the March Antiquarian kit. 
I've also been sporting some inky and misty fingers, thanks to the stencil and stamp found in the Papercrafting kit. 

I always find that working with the JBS Mercantile kits is so liberating. I never find myself worrying about where a page is headed.  I just sort of fall into the process. There's no pressure -- just playfulness and exploration.  It makes it a lot easier to ensure that my heart is on the page. 

I'm excited to share that the folks at JBS Mercantile are gathering for an upcoming online crop. We always have so much fun when we get together! 
Hope to see you there! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Lately, I've been...

...watching True Detective. This show has me transfixed.  There's been a lot of buzz about Matthew McConaughey's performance, and I must say, there is something to that. When I watch him as Rust, all I see is Rust. I forget about the actor, and that's a true sign of great acting. I'm all caught up on back episodes, and can't wait to see what's next.

...reading Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence and Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. Why two books?  I left the first one in the car one night and picked up the second at my daughter's urging (as in, she left it on my pillow), and now I can't choose which one I'd rather be reading.  We'll see it how it plays out.

...eating way too many Samoas, supplied to me by the cutest crack dealers that ever were, the Girl Scouts of the USA.
...scrapbooking in between days, stealing time here and there in the midst of the end of the third quarter at school. There's much to be said about a mental health break. Now I can add more Calvinball points to the tally!

I put together a few "girly-girl" layouts for the Crate Paper blog, which has been featuring projects created with the new "Oh Darling" collection this week.  My first page is about my two girls:
The second one includes a photo of my daughter at her prom dress fitting. When I was generating ideas for the layout, I studied the photo in an effort to "listen" to what it was saying to me. I saw a girl in a dress -- but not just any girl, and not just any dress.  From there, the rest of the page followed.

and finally,

...starting spring break, at last! Woo hoo!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

In A Week's Time

It's been a whole week since I last posted. Gosh. Not only am I still under the weather (though I am feeling better, thankfully!), but the third quarter is also at an end, which means that it is crrrrazy right now on the work front. It's an exciting time, especially as the seniors can sense that graduation is getting closer by the day, but it's an exhausting one as well, with early onset senioritis making the rounds.

This past week I contributed a layout to the design team gallery at Two Peas in a Bucket. It was my first "Capture" layout of the year, and it builds on this month's "me" theme by responding to the challenge of incorporating "me" when scrapbooking the everyday.
I focused not just on the visual aspect of putting myself on the page, but also on the written aspect, making journaling a form of self-portraiture, in a sense.
This weekend the JBS Mercantile March kits were revealed, and they are really quite lovely. I created the following layout with the papercrafting kit and mini-album kit:
It was about time that I started making more progress on scrapping the photos from my fall trip to Oregon and Washington. I've created a few layouts here and there, but so many photos have remained neglected since I got back from the trip. I decided to scrap the highlights of a single day in Portland by compiling a grid of 24 photos.
Even with all of the variation in the colors of the photos, the papers in the papercrafting kit worked so well here. Who knew that I'd be scrapbooking October in March?

March. Yes, March. Already.
You know what that means: CALVINBALL!
My points so far: 3
Layouts completed since March 1: 2 (2 points)
Plugging Calvinball (1 point) 
(If you're wondering, "What the heck is Calvinball?" then see this post.) 

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great week!