S.M.A.K: Acrylic Paint Pouring

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Hello hello! It’s Saturday and I am actually posting this edition of S.M.A.K a week after we actually did this project because I have had a LOT going on and this blog always seems to be the thing to be last priority on my list. I honestly think social media is ruining it for us creatives- I mean who wants to spend more time glued to a screen than they do getting their hands messy with paint? That’s why I love doing art with my kids. Kids just want to make stuff and show people what they made. Is that so hard?

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Acrylic paint pouring is usually done on canvases on a bigger scale, but for this project we are making small art pieces on wood rounds with a plan to use them in a R.A.K. project. (More on that later.)

Here is a little background, which I will try to keep as brief as possible about acrylic paint pouring itself. You take acrylic paint of any kind, add pouring medium (there are many brands) and after mixing literally pour from a disposable cup of some kind on to your surface. There are infinite ways to pour, blend, create special effects (like “cells”), and add sparkle! There are no rules really, except that the intent is to NOT manipulate the paint with brushes very much and the result is abstract and process oriented. It is anything goes really- but there are definite techniques and additives that result in specific outcomes. Here is a link to someone who knows hella more than I do. The site is an Amazon affiliate and has a lot of “ads” within the content but there is a lot of good info there.

We are using inexpensive, non-toxic paints from Target and using recycled plastic condiment cups to mix and pour. In my house we save plastic packaging of all kinds- tubs from yogurt, etc. Lots of stuff most people throw away we can re-use in the studio. If you use anything toxic- you would want to wear gloves. You also want to protect from splashes and splatters when doing anything on a larger scale.

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Amy Tangerine wrote this blog post about using a kit from American Crafts brand. In the kit, you get pre-mixed colors (paint + pour medium) and things for set up. This is the least expensive brand of pour medium (from Deco Art) if you already have paint and want to mix your own:

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So my R.A.K. idea (random act of kindness) is to write little messages on the back of these pieces and have the kids leave them for people to find who might need to have a little pick me up. People have done this with random pieces of art and also with little rocks and I think it’s such a nice idea. What do you think?

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-xGia

Ghosts of Christmas Past, failures, and lessons learned

 

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Throwback Thursday you guys…for today’s edition I am sharing an overview of some of my December documented albums from past years. Before I begin, let me just provide a little background. Most people are aware of the December Daily® phenomenon started by Ali Edwards and from which she grew a multi-million dollar brand. I get it. It’s brilliant. And it’s meaningful. And popular. My history of  being an EPIC FAILURE on the other hand at a Day/Week in the Life ®, One Little Word®, and of course DD haunts me to this day.

So I promise you that this year I will NOT promise to do anything in the month of December, and more than likely I will never again promise to try to do anything daily ever. But that doesn’t mean I did not have tons of fun buying cute Christmas paper crafting supplies in anticipation of December scrapbooking. And yep…I did it again this year. So what could possibly go wrong?

Well, I’ll tell you what.

  1. I could start the season with the best of intentions and then blink and it’s already New Years and everyone has moved on from December documenting to picking out a word and buying organizing stuff from Target. Then it’s time to pack up all the pretty Christmas stuff in one of those organizing things until next year when…holy smokies there is so much NEW cute stuff again and the cycle continues.
  2.  I could dedicate several crafty binges to assembling foundation pages only to get sick of the project by the time I start “living” the days I planned to document on them. So I set it aside waiting for my mojo to return and before I know it I have a pile of half done “foundations” with no photos in them.
  3. I could struggle to take interesting pictures because none of the photo prompts I am trying to follow apply to  when you live in Hawaii and they are all geared to cold climates and white Christmases.
  4. I could take so many pictures and realize I don’t really have a plan for my album and get overwhelmed because I don’t know where to begin.

I am totally speaking from experience as these are all scenarios from my Christmas’ pasts attempting a December Daily album. Ya feel me?

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This one is from 2013- do any of you remember that clipboard album from Maggie Holmes? This was the year I realized that Crate Paper Christmas collections are always going to be my favorites.

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A few of the inside pages. Since this was my first album, I did number the pages by days and tried to use one “story” a day from Christmas shopping, to ornaments, to haircut day,etc It is definitely my favorite that I have done and completed.

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2014 I used the first Clique into the Holidays Limited Edition kit in a 6×8 album. This time, I had made the so-called foundation pages ahead of time and ….WOOPS…did not actually insert any photos until (gasp) 2018. Yes- like a month ago. But at least I did eventually get it done!

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This little guy is a handmade Instax photo album. I used an XL size Sizzix die by Eileen Hull  called Passport designed to make the framework for a mini album. I used recycled chipboard and red and black buffalo plaid fabric from Wal Mart. This album has a definite junk journal feel to it. I used my Instax printer to print out mini polaroid style photos daily. I kept it simple- just a snapshot from my Instagram account each day. This was my attempt at following a photo prompt a day format.

At some point I will probably photograph and post the inside if anyone is interested. It definitely is less popular with the kids because the photos are more of “stuff” than of them.

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I also have an aqua Simple Stories Snap album in 6×8 that I believe was from 2016 to show you which I will save for another day. I am sorry to be the deliverer of Bah Humbug, but yeah.  This year, while not doing december daily, I think I am going to use my Clique Kits Hipster Holiday kit and other Christmas products in my 3 x8 binder from Ali Edwards. I am going to have a plan- which is to do the whole album on New Year’s Day this year. I will limit my supplies to one kit and my favorite stamps. I will create a sketch outline and rotate 4-6 page designs through the album. Repetition creates unity and cohesion. I will take pictures organically during the month of December and only think about enjoying the moment until Dday. I’ll let you know how it goes–(and maybe I’ll run into you at Target) LOL.

-xGia

 

 

November Weekend Layout

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Buenos dias amigas! Today I have a 12 x 12 layout using the November Clique Kits Main Kit Seneca Falls and the November kit cut file “Weekend” designed by Clique Kits creative team graphic designer Cecily Moore- Cecily The Paper Curator! I really enjoyed creating this layout and made a process video if you would like to watch it start to finish!

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Once again, go check out the video on the Clique Kits You Tube channel! Please like and subscribe to Clique Kits on You Tube and follow the amazing Clique Kits design team on the Clique Kits blog and on You Tube and follow me right here!

-xo Gia

 

 

What’s on my desk Wednesday: Gratitude Journaling 2018

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My top 3 reasons to start a gratitude journal this year:

  1. November is of course known for its association with gratitude because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.
  2. #30daysofgratitude is a thing
  3. The Healthy Lifestyle Plan I have been following called “Bright Line Eating”  makes keeping a journal-preferably a gratitude journal– mandatory to the program

I found Susan Pierce Thompson’s book “Happy, Thin, and Free” by accident in my library and did her 14 day challenge last year in January. In the first month I dropped 10 pounds and then was able to lower my cholesterol and decrease some chronic pain in my back and legs. So I kept going, and by the summer had lost a total of 25 pounds. Since July, I have been maintaining and holding steady. But I have gradually started to…well Halloween candy. Enough said!

In order to re-zoom and re-boot Dr. Thompson recommends going back to basics -commiting your food choices in advance and writing them down, journaling, weighing and measuring food, and the hardest ones: no sugar or flour AT ALL.  These are the so-called bright lines that keep things very black and white and straightforward, reducing the number of decisions your brain is taxed with making every day.

It is hard enough to deal with every other kind of stress and decision, which is the main source of erosion of willpower, Dr. Thompson explains. Further, sugar and flour are not foods they are actually drugs. When removed from the natural, fiber lattice framework they grow in, grains and carbohydrates in the form of any kind of sweetening substance are highly concentrated and highly addictive! Of course, everyone has their drug of choice and not everyone is equally susceptible to every illicit substance– which includes those in processed food.

That is the very quick and dirty summary of the science behind the program. It also explains the rationale for the bright lines and how they restore your brain to its healthy, natural state when it comes to eating behavior, appetite, craving, and physical well being.

So, even though this is not a health or lifestyle blog but a scrapbooking, mixed media, and paper crafts blog I thought it might pique the interest of some of my friends and worth sharing!

ACS_0807One of my favorite mixed media techniques is to collage my backgrounds. I save magazine clippings of fun sayings and pictures which is a great way to also recycle!

Here are some pages I made shown “before the pen.” I used one of the Artsy Traveler’s Notebook Kits in my Etsy shop. I also used some scraps from my stash and some Tim Holtz distress oxide inks.

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You can pick up the exclusive Clique Kits Travelers Notebook Insert that I designed last November here in the Clique Kits shop while supplies last- on sale for only $2.99.

Use my code GIA15 FOR AN ADDITIONAL 15% OFF YOUR PURCHASE!

-x Gia

 

 

 

Scrapbooking Trends Top 10

TrendsTrends in scrapbooking are something I have always had an interest in following. I have been told that I kind of have a knack for recognizing and even predicting the biggest trends that will go viral in the scrapbooking world. This being the case, I thought I would start doing more trend posts on this blog for all of my scrappy crafty friends! So here we go…

Number 10:

Swans are in. Also spotted but completely unrelated are Peacocks and Flamingos. Especially in scrapbooking if you work for Crate Paper and your name rhymes with Baggie Gomes.

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Number 9:

More random animals of a furry rather than feathered variety such as llamas, giraffes, and my personal favorite the sloth.

 

Giraffes have recently been spotted in the newest Dear Lizzy collection from American Crafts!

Number 8:

Boho style and anything with Tassels or Pom Poms! They just give everything a pop of color and je ne sais quoi ! Tassels are also still trending !

Number 7:

Mandalas have been making more appearances such as in collections by Jillibean Soup and in digital die cutting files!

 

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ooooooooh! Pretty!

Number 6:

Black backgrounds! Everybody loves a pretty floral, but a pretty floral on a black background…now that is something else all together!  In scrapbooking, look out for layouts on a black background also.  Amy Tangerine’s latest Shine On collection is one to look for where black is definitely the new black!

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Number 5:

Holographic materials. These have started showing up in everything from alphabets to accents on embellishments and papers. I’m thinking about Shimelle’s recent collections!

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Number 4: The colors blue and purple and especially blue and purple together! Pinkfresh Studios Indigo Hills 2 and recent Cocoa Vanilla collections illustrate this trend perfectly.

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Number 3:

Modern slang phrases! Here are some I love–

cool AF (where AF means As F@*&$)

Lit up = awesome

Low Key = Kind of sorta

FOMO = Fear of missing out

I know sometimes it’s like a foreign language but it isn’t just for teenagers and snapchat, unless you’re a total NOOB ( that means beginner or newcomer)

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Number 2:

Hand lettering and calligraphy. You don’t even have to be that good at it- thanks to lettering stamps, outline hacks, and kind of cool markers.

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Number 1:

Buffalo Checks/Plaids! And they are not just for Christmas anymore. Thank you Joanna and Chip for this Magnolia/Fixer Upper  trend which seems to really, really be sticking around!

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Now it’s your turn to tell me what you think of these trends! Please comment and share your likes/dislikes and any trends I have missed!

-xGia

Mixed Media Monday

Today I have a simple and sweet mixed media layout to share using the November 2018 Clique Color Kit. You can watch how I made the background and also how I put together the layout in two short videos on the Clique Kits You Tube channel here and here.

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As a scrapbooker who frequently uses mixed media on my layouts I am so thrilled that Clique Kits is now providing this option as an add on to the monthly kits. You can pick up this month’s kit right here.

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November Kits “Seneca Falls” are shipping now to subscribers. This kit features the Amy Tangerine Shine On collection. I really love this kit and how versatile it is. You definitely can use it for fall photos, gratitude journaling, cards or other projects. Pick up the kit a la carte here.

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I will leave you with a close up of my layout. Please head over to You Tube to check out the videos and leave a comment! If you have not subscribed to the Clique Kits You Tube Channel you don’t know what you are missing. The You Tube design team is so awesome and will help you get the most out of your kits and stash!

 

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-xGia

Dog Mom Mini kit

 

I have a few traveler notebook spreads using the Dog Mom mini kit in my Etsy shop right now! This kit is designed with the travelers notebook in mind with papers pre-cut and ready to go and is a great value for the price of only $5.95 plus shipping! The main papers featured are from Simple Stories Life is Ruff and there is plenty there to use for multiple layouts or projects!

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For this next spread I used some papers from my stash of Gelli-Arts prints as a fun background. These prints were pulled after using acrylic paints with a stencil.

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I have some of the Freckled Fawn traveler’s notebook page protector inserts and they provide protection for your pages if you are like me and worry about having your pages exposed to the elements over time. If you are looking for some cute inserts for starting a traveler’s notebook you can find some cute ones in the Clique Kits shop here.

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-xGia

Football Mini Album

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Hi friends! Don’t you love it when something that almost ended up in the rubbish can (and subsequently the landfill) finds a new life in a DIY project? I do! That’s why I was so happy when I realized that the football banner I had used for my son’s flag football team end of season potluck would make the perfect cover set for a little mini album! Oddly, the string the banner came on was glued kind of poorly to the back of the footballs so I had to rip it off and then punch my own holes in the covers with my Cropodile. The spot where the adhesive was left a mark so I did cover the backs with patterned papers.

These football sequins are from the Clique Kits shop and are currently on clearance for $.99!

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I used a couple of papers in my stash from the Doodlebug Designs Touchdown collection. I also used up some random stickers!

 

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The name of Jesse’s team this year was the “Hard Naks” which in Hawaiian pidgin’ is an alternate spelling of “Hard Knocks”

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My son really loved his little mini and I was pleased that it: 1. Used upcycled materials 2. Used up stash and 3. Was made in about 20 minutes.

-xGia

 

Clique Kits October TN Kit & Exclusives

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As the month of October comes to a close I thought I would share one more layout using my October Clique Kits Gather. Every month each one of the kits includes a cut-it-yourself page of exclusive designs. For this layout, the TN exclusive inspired me to make a page of my son’s “Top 3” this month–his birthday month. It has adorable little number banners and lots of little journaling spots which I used for my story.

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Even though it is called the “traveler’s notebook” kit, this monthly subscription kit with a slightly lower price point and smaller scale is totally usable for any kind of project- including 12 x 12 layouts.

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Another fun thing I made for this layout is a sequin shaker out of some ephemera leftover from my main kit. Shakers are a great way to recycle the plastic packaging from supplies.

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The washi tape and the botanical ephemera pieces were in the TN kit, while the sequin mixture and the tiny paper clips were an add on this month. You wont run out of supplies all month long with either one of Clique Kits’ subscriptions but if you are like me and a sucker for saving $ on shipping it really pays to check out the Monthly Releases each time a new kit is revealed.

-xGia

Halloween Layout

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This is a Halloween layout using the Halloween sampler kit from my Etsy shop.  A sampler kit is like a bag of swag from a variety of collections that work well together and are an economical way to supplement your stash with theme supplies without breaking the bank or ending up with way more than you need. The Halloween papers are from Paperhouse productions  and American Crafts products. The common theme is plaids combined with bold and modern black and white Halloween patterns. My favorite is the cut apart journaling cards from Pebbles Midnight Haunting. The kit also includes paper and ephemera from the brand new Pebbles collection Spooky Boo.

 

Here you can see how I used the spider web doilies in the kit as you would use a cut file! This was kind of a time saving hack for this layout if I’m being honest!

Here are some more closeups:

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I had so much fun putting together some of my recent Halloween faves and I hope you have a blast celebrating Halloween!

-xGia