Pink & Rose Gold: Friends

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I love that the Riga kit has such a pretty soft color palette with pink and coral and really soft blue-green shades. I decided to use some rose gold paint to alter a formerly black foam word from an older kit (Pebbles: Girl Squad Thickers) and I loved the way it came out! I watered down the same paint for some rose gold splatters on my background. The photo doesn’t really show off how much sparkle and glisten is really there but if you try some of the rose gold embellishments or media options in the Clique Kits shop you will find out for yourself!

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How cute are those little yarn tassels? You get 2 of them in the Main kit and they are also available as an add on if you want more! Thanks so much for stopping by today!ACS_0184

-xGia

May Clique Kits: Breaking a New Kit

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Aloha Friday everyone! Today I am talking about my first layout using a brand new kit that arrived to brighten a very blah week. Why was this week blah? Well, nothing specific- just everyday “adulting” and 3 little letters: I R S. I don’t know anyone who feels excited to be alive on tax day, do you? Even those people getting money back have to face the reality of how much of their hard earned money was sucked up by Uncle Sam over the past year. Anyway, as one of my BFF’s Lacey said the other day, and this quote should really go down in history: “When one is feeling anxious, one should scrapbook I think.”  So true Lacey, so true!

Do you have a routine when a new kit first arrives to “break” the kit by creating your first project with it? I always have a hard time with this. Once I go through everything and sniff that new paper smell and drool over all the pretty stuff I have a hard time deciding what to do first. The arrival of the May Clique Kits Riga kit was no different.

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The Riga kit contains a beautiful selection of papers and they are actually from multiple collections each with its own concept. Even though the papers coordinate with each other the details behind the little phrases give away that they each have something a little different to offer. For example, the papers and embellishments from the Pinkfresh Studio Case of the Blah’s collection are all about being real and expressing the vulnerability we all know is there in being authentic and documenting even when we didn’t wake up and “be amazing.” So it was the concept of this collection that spoke to me the most and I decided to do my first layout focusing on how I was really feeling that day. I had a selfie which was the perfect photo for this layout.

My plan was to use a simple mask/stencil stripe pattern (Stampin’ Up) to create a bold black painted foreground to layer over the gorgeous gray wonky grid like patterned paper that I chose as a background.

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Whenever I get something new, I seem to always want to use it right away and this Wild Hibiscus stamp (Altenew) was on my desk. I stamped a bunch of flowers on some watercolor paper and then used my Kuretake paints to add some of the color palette in Riga so they would work with whatever other embellishments I decided to pull out of the kit. I adhered them in layers at different heights for depth and texture.

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The fabric die cuts included in the kit are really nice- I love having texture but not bulk!

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Now that I completed my first layout, I am feeling inspired to go ahead and kill this kit this month! And I hope that by documenting this selfie with these messages someday my girls will see this and remember they are enough and beautiful as they are, no apologies for imperfections and flaws, and no shame in an ordinary life well lived.

-xGia

 

 

#The 100 Day Project

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Step 1: Choose an action and commit to doing it every day for 100 days.

I am choosing creative play with mixed media/collage as my action. I will be working on 4 x 4 index cards but in some cases may adhere other surfaces to them if needed to support my media. 

Step 2: Share your projects on social media with the hashtag #the100dayproject and your own unique hashtag.

My hashtag will be “Gia’s Creative Play”  #giascreativeplay

Step 3: Don’t focus on quality- be as free as possible to experiment and learn. Watch the projects pile up!

I plan to blog a recap for every 10 days of the project! Therefore there will be 10 posts (I don’t want to make it boring- the posting part) Here is my first installation. Notice there are not 10 cards done- well actually there are but I am only sharing some of my favorites. 

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Dragonfly collage: gesso, acrylic paints (Pebeo), white Posco pen, black sharpie, gold and patterned cardstock from Pretty Little Studio. Mandala wood block fabric stamp
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Pineapple collage: Stickers from Amy Tangerine , pattern making stamps from Ashley Goldberg, acrylic paints (Pebeo), stencils (honeycomb and round sequin waste)
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Textural Pineapple: Glass bead gel medium, gesso, watercolor wash, pineapple stencil, washi tape from American Crafts Crate Paper Maggie Holmes
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Honu Collage: Gesso, Shimmerz vibez mist sprays, patterned papers Crate Paper Oasis, texture paste, Mandala wood block fabric stamp, black sharpie
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Illustrated Girl: Cut from a piece of Kaisercraft cardstock, layered on top of colored vellum, background is acrylic paints (Pebeo) and  same old mandala stamp but used with gelli plate to create a monoprint instead of a stamp.
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Triangle Abstract collage: Triangles cut from a Hawaiian postcard, same background as the previous project.

 

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Hibiscus: Sparse acrylic paint spread without gesso and using a brayer. Hibiscus stenciled in acrylic paint and then embossing powder.

This project would not be possible if I did not commit to waking up 1 hour earlier each morning to dedicate the time. After only one week I already feel better in so many ways. There is no such thing as finding time to create, there is only making time to create. I am blessed to have supplies, space, and a supportive family. See you again soon!

-xGia

Maggie Holmes Flourish Cards

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The April 2018 Clique Kits “Winter Park” kits featuring Maggie Holmes Flourish collection is so pretty and versatile for any project. I am not usually a card maker, but April is the month my mother and grandmother both celebrate their birthdays, so I was inspired to use scraps from my kits to whip up some fast cards.

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I was a little disappointed though that the photos do not do justice to the texture of the backgrounds which I embossed! The bird card is for my grandmother who turns 100 tomorrow! Wow! 100 years- is amazing. I hope I have her genes.

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This bunny is for my Mom, whose birthday is the 28th.

If you look closely you can see a doily pattern on one and a swiss dots pattern on the other very faintly. I used ephemera from my kit to embellish scraps of paper that I had die cut some leaves out of. I never like to waste paper, so I used both the leaves and the negative space left behind after cutting on my Big Shot, only I used them on a different set of cards-the one shown below as an example!

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This Spring card shows how I used the Maggie Holmes acetate specialty paper as a backing for the geometric planter. I also used those adorable vintage music paper butterfly confetti from the Clique Kits shop.

Here are the other products I used:

The Hero Arts Terrarium Die:

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Kesi-Art Metaliks Leafy:

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It figures that in 2018 after finally giving myself permission to NOT have to make handmade cards (even though I have enough supplies to make cards for the rest of my life) what do I do- I start whipping out some cards. Next I am going to give myself permission to NOT have to lose 10 pounds and see how that works for me.

-xGia

 

 

Take 5 Challenge for Traveler’s Notebook Layouts

Hi everybody! Today I am channeling my inner minimalist in my traveler’s notebook and wanted to share with you my take on a challenge I saw online somewhere-only instead of using it for full size layouts I am applying it to my recent traveler’s notebook spreads. You are probably familiar with some variation of the concept of selecting a handful of things from a list and limiting yourself to just those items in a layout. Yeah…that’s the one. Here are the 5 items I chose!

  1. Ephemera
  2. Washi Tape
  3. Stickers
  4. Stamp Sets
  5. Patterned paper pads

I did not “count” things that I consider to be staple supplies like something to write with, adhesive, and ink for the stamp sets, but otherwise I was fully compliant!

So first up I have a “divider” spread where I used washi tape to add a vellum page to serve as my marker for a new section ( and also because of its general prettiness.)

 

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I tend to be all over the spectrum from minimalist to maximalist in style depending on the day and the mood on my layouts but it never ceases to amaze me that when I do the simplest things to just get the memory documented I realize how much time is spent adding extra stuff to the essentials- a great photo, a caption or title, and a little bit of color to make it pop.

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This spread is shown pre- handwritten journaling- and did not end up quite this sparse but almost.

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And this last one only uses paper and one sticker, and yet I still love how it looks and how it conveys the memory perfectly. I mean, I will always know who, what, and when this memory happened. And that is the truly the essential part of scrapbooking.

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My overall assessment of this challenge and what I learned:

I love to strip back to the essentials sometimes because it gives me a chance to really focus on the overall design of the layout. You know those elements and principles of design we use all the time but sometimes we are not as intentional about?  Thinking about things like unity, rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and movement. Simple exercises like this help to practice, practice practice design.

I learned that sometimes I am so focused on how a page looks that I forget to record the crucial little details that will prompt the memory 10 or 20 years from now. (Trust me, I thought I would not need those things until I started looking back at layouts from 20 years ago and really wanted to kick myself!)

So what’s the down side? At this rate I will never go through even a tiny fraction of my stash by the end of the year. How will I possibly justify buying all the new pretty stuff that comes out? First world problems, I know.

-xGia

 

 

Chatting About One Little Word

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Don’t laugh, but I finally got caught up on One Little Word. I completed the March lesson exactly one year late and right on time! I signed up for this iconic Ali Edwards course in 2017 with the best of intentions. I have posted my January lesson here. Luckily, when I checked social media for March 2018 inspiration, I found that the assignment was similar enough in its essence- which was to create a vision board for your word and for your intentions using it. In the videos Ali has mentioned that she has done wall canvas sized vision boards and also has incorporated her “board” into some pocket pages. I decided that the latter would work for me using the items I had cut out because they resonated with me and my word.

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My 2017 word was ‘Simplify” and I have to say I did a better job using the word and my intentions than I did actually completing the course or the album last year. But ironically, I was keeping life simpler for myself by purging a lot of “have to” and “shoulds” which always tend to stifle my creativity. In terms of my vision for the future- I really, really want to manifest more travel in my life! Besides my kids and family, and this hobby of scrapbooking, travel is at the top of my list of things that I want to be doing. It ties to simplifying my life because it is too easy for it to pushed aside by the clutter of other things in life that interfere with saving and planning for trips. By keeping this front and center I remind myself that it won’t happen unless I make it happen. I have learned that living an intentional life of my own design is as much about what I say no to as it is about what I say yes to. Doing this project sealed the deal for me to start all of the planning and budgeting to make a trip happen probably during the summer of 2019. I would like to go to Europe where I have not been since 1995. It will be costly and require a lot of planning especially to bring my kids- but they will be at a wonderful age to get a lot out of touring Europe’s highlights.  By maintaining a modest minimalist home, wardrobe, and lifestyle we are fortunate enough to focus on experiences rather than things. And that is the why behind my word.

-xGia

April Kits Combined= Lovely

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Hi there! I have another layout to share using the April Winter Park Clique Kits and this time I used both the main kit and actually mostly the Travelers Notebook kit together. I personally use them together more often than not. And its not because I couldn’t easily knock out five or six layouts with either one kit by itself. It is more because I love the way the products complement one another. For April, both kits featured the same collection which is often the case. But not true of every single month for variety- and sometimes due to product availability there are months where the TN kit features a completely different collection. Nonetheless I love using them together as they always work so well this way for  me.

This time I have beautiful Maui photo taken last summer and I searched the Silhouette Design store for a cut file with a Hawaiian motif. This hibiscus cluster outline was just right!

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This layout is also shared on the Clique Kits blog and I hope you will stop by there too as there is always fresh inspiration daily from the wonderful Clique Kits design team!

-Gia