Clique Kits This is Us Layout

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This layout was inspired by one of the Clique Kits design team members Rachel Lowe! I loved how she used the pink sloth die cut and the iridescent acrylic piece “fun” paired with the black and white palm tree patterned paper in one of her layouts. So I started by pulling those items out of my This is Us kit and  just started to play. I took a scrap of deli paper and ran it through the big shot with a palm leaf pattern embossing folder. I used pink chalk ink over the embossed surface and used it as a backdrop for the focal point of my composition.

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I love how light and airy the pastel colors and the translucent layers look together.

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I used a somewhat overexposed Instax photo on this layout in keeping with the dreamy, airy feel and was happy with how quickly and easily the layout came together.

I hope you like it! There are just one or two of the full kits left so hurry over to Clique Kits and use my code GIA10 to get your hands on one. In case you do miss out, you can also purchase the paper pack, add on flair set, or the digital kit which included printable die cuts.

-xGia

Clique Kits International Scrapbooking Day Kit

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This past weekend there was an online crop filled with challenges and inspiration over in the Clique facebook group. Unfortunately I was working so I have not yet linked up any of the challenges. But I was lucky enough to have had Erica send me some bits and pieces from the kit featuring the Jillibean Soup Bohemian Brew collection. I managed to pull off a couple of travelers notebook layouts. Unfortunately I just realized that this kit is sold out.

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For this layout I used some of the really fun strips and a Kesi-Art stamp from the Clique Kits shop. It’s called Wild & Free and is one of my most used stamps ever. Save 10% using my code GIA10 if you want to pick it up!

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In this layout I used the flower letters from the exclusive designs in the NSD kit and a couple of the die cuts.

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The exclusive sheet flowers were fun to layer to add some dimension and I absolutely love the caption stickers from the Jillibean Soup collection!

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Here is my last layout using the kit and especially the exclusive designs that come with it. They coordinated very well together for layering.

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Thanks for stopping in today! I hope you will head over to facebook and join the event in the Clique. If you are not a group member, email or message info@cliquekits.com. The challenges will be open until the end of the month. You do NOT need to make a purchase or have a kit to participate- the Clique Kits worldwide online community is open to all!

-xGia

#The 100 Day Project Vol. 2

 

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This is the second installation of my posts about the 100 day project which started in the beginning of April. Rather than sharing every single day, I decided to only post every 10 days selections of my faves. You can also find more posts on this topic on my instagram account @giaaloha. I hope you will follow me here on the blog and also on my Instagram if you interested in all things paper craft and mixed media.

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USArt Quest Mica Colors watercolor palette. Here I am playing with these pigment watercolor cakes containing mica for lots of pretty shimmer! These are also interference paints, which means they do show on dark paper, if you are into that. I have both the pastel and the metallic palettes and I love them both. 
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This is another sample using the mica colors in the more muted colors which are not usually my first choice. I experimented with adding some marks with pattern/texture stamps on the top layer, and finally added a paper word.
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This is a very simple watercolor sketch of a pear. I have a hard time with not over working my watercolors and this pear was an attempt for me to show restraint. Unfortunately I felt it came out looking more like a potato than a pear. But thats okay- its practice.
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This was a little study comparing translucent effects of some watercolors in an abstract background with the more opaque colors and how they work in layers. 
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I just felt like using my favorite pink color when I painted this fantasy wildflower. This is a color that always makes me happy.

 

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More simple pink wildflowers
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Abstract blue butterfly
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And now back to pink

One of the experiences that I have had in doing this project so far is that it has stirred up a lot of emotions that I was not expecting. I feel as if I have unplugged some blocked energy inside my self and in doing so there was a clearing of sorts that has been taking place. One of the emotions is a feeling of loss that has to do with all of the time and energy that I spend in life doing things that are not art. I feel a profound loss that life is passing by, and so much has to be done for survival and to honor responsibilities that naturally eclipses creative time. But I also acknowledge that if I was suddenly able to spend 100% of my time creating I would inevitably have moments of creative block, boredom, and frustration for other reasons, the most salient one that comes to mind being deprivation in other areas. Maybe it would be in relationships or maybe in material things. I don’t know. But I am wise enough to realize that grass is greener fantasies are pretty useless.

Another emotion I have to describe as frustration with not being able to do things as well as I wish I could, which has a lot to do with not having as much time to dedicate to practice as I would like. But, perhaps, if I was able to spend a lot more time practicing  I would still feel inadequate. The feelings of inadequacy are probably always there under the surface. Lastly, I think that I have been experiencing a profound search for meaning. When I am mindfully focused on doing something with my hands like painting, I feel at peace and I feel relaxed and I recharge my batteries. I feel connected with my soul. The only other time I usually feel exuberant is when I am having a spiritual experience which sometimes happens to me during prayer or other times while enjoying nature such as the beautiful beaches on Maui.

I am going to keep plugging away at this project if for no other reason than that it has been motivating me to go to my little art space on a daily basis and while I am there I linger and tinker on lots of different projects, not just this one. I think I am waiting for an epiphany of some sort that will lead me to making some revolutionary change in my life. But instead I just take one step at a time and keep living one day at a time.

I wonder if others participating in this project are experiencing a similar emotional roller coaster or a clearing in a similar way. I would love to find them if they are out there.

-xGia

DIY Watercolor Embellishments with The Ink Road Stamps

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Hi guys. Today I am sharing another traveler’s notebook spread using my Clique Kits Riga Traveler’s Notebook and Main kits and a little bit of my process using a new stamp set from The Ink Road to create some watercolored embellishments. I actually did this because I had mixed some watercolors to use on a scrapbooking layout which I shared here and had leftover paint, which of course must never go to waste.

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I started with a blank sheet of hot press watercolor paper. Some people ask what the difference is between cold press and hot press watercolor paper and it has to do with the process of how it is made, and the outcome in terms of the texture or “tooth” of the paper. Cold press watercolor paper is the most commonly used and has a bumpy texture. This paper tolerates lots of water as is needed for doing washes. Hot press, on the other hand, is a nice, plump, thick absorbent paper that is smooth and therefore is very practical for drawing or stamping in combination with watercolor paint, mists, inks, or other wet media.  133755_x

So there you have it-if you enjoy using mixed media on your layouts or in your journals, I highly recommend keeping some hot press watercolor paper in your stash. My favorite is Fluid: an economical brand that is not as expensive as a brand like Arches but for my purpose is high quality enough. It also comes in square as well as rectangular shaped pads! So you can buy 12 x 12 for layout backgrounds, and you can also buy 8×8 which you can turn into traveler’s notebook pages, and even 6×6 pads.

Another important pearl of wisdom for combining stamping with watercoloring is that you have to remember to use permanent, waterproof ink such as Ranger Archival ink. If you use regular water base dye ink your stamped design will certainly smear when you add any water media.

Once I added fun color to my stamped phrases and designs I fussy cut them with a small scissors. I also used a scrap of the painted black stripe paper that I had used in the previous layout, again waste not want not.

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Finally, I wanted to use a couple of houseplant embellishments from my Riga kits because they were gold foiled and added a little pizzaz to an otherwise very simple layout.

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Thanks for stopping by today I hope you will come back soon or better yet follow me.

-xGia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to another Saturday Morning Art Kids post!

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In this episode I am sharing my experience of documenting in traveler’s notebooks with my 12 year old daughter Gigi.  Out of seven kids, I was bound to have one (maybe? possibly?) who enjoys scrapbooking like her Mom. She has watched me do many TN layouts before and then she helped me make this video of how I set up my latest TN’s.

 

 

I am using two TN’s at the moment. One contains inserts for painting and sketching and more mixed media. The Clique Kits shop carries some specialty TN inserts (watercolor and mixed media) as well as lots of cute exclusive inserts with bright white paper inside. I am grateful to my friend Lacey for sending me a handmade palette of peerless watercolor swatches. These are perfect for keeping in a travelers notebook! You can find TN covers and inserts in the Clique Kits shop “Basics” section and also in the new products right now. The other TN I set up is for my traditional memory keeping- which will hopefully remain “clean” to protect my photos.

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When Gigi asked me if she could “set up” one of my older TN’s for herself  of course how could I resist! We ended up spending a couple of hours together working on our projects.  This is Gigi’s TN

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Here is Gigi and our other guests- some Sloths…and here are Gigi’s layouts:

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These unicorn clips from Shimelle Glitter Girl collection (last year’s October Clique Kit) were right up her alley!

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I love this page with the photo taken in McDonalds because she color coordinated the washi tape and hearts with the Ronald McDonald colors. She also picked out the french fries embellishment- very apropros. Aww- she even made a page about me. So cute.

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While looking through my stash for supplies for Gigi to use for her TN I discovered that it was about time for me to thin out my stash of embellishments and ephemera, which I organize by color. When my stash gets too crowded I have a much harder time using it. So I took the opportunity to pull out lots of items for her to “shop” from for her own stash, and all of the leftovers will likely appear in my Etsy shop pretty soon!

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I think that if you are lucky enough to get any of the youngsters in your life whether kids or grandkids or pupils in Sunday school interested in scrapbooking I have a few tips to offer from this experience:

  1. Traveler’s Notebooks are a relatively inexpensive way to get them started. Most inserts run under $5. They can also easily be handmade using plain white copy paper and a patterned paper cover. There are many tutorials on You Tube and Pinterest for DIY inserts.
  2. Some simple “design” tricks they can easily learn as soon as they are old enough to know their colors are how to pick out colors in the photos to coordinate with the layout supplies and embellishments. You can also ask them to describe the memory in their own words, which can prompt ideas for them to choose a title or theme for the page.
  3. Tape runners and glue sticks are easy for little people to use and non-toxic as adhesives. For larger items like flair or wood veneers, glue dots in different sizes work well.
  4. Some supplies are so abundant that chances are you wouldn’t mind sharing. For me, washi tape is one supply I love to collect but have so much more than I will ever use.

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I just want to make the experience of scrapbooking with my daughter one that will be enjoyable and not stressful for both of us. After all, we have an obligation to leave our legacy by creating the next generation of scrapbookers!

-xGia

Riga in my Traveler’s Notebook

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I sometimes struggle with wanting to make my layouts in my travelers notebook as rich and textured as my regular layouts but don’t want to damage the already “exposed” pages by making them lumpy and bumpy which can indent or even rip the paper over time.  Stencils and masks on a background is a great way to create the illusion of layering and depth while keeping it flat.

 

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The layered floral dies from Altenew are another way to include lots of variety and pops of color from my patterned papers in a small space! The one I used is called Fantasy Floral 3D 

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I think die sets are pricey and therefore an “investment” I try not to make impulsively. This die set is one that I know I will be able to use over and over and every flower can be completely unique!

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I hope there was a tip or two in this post that you find useful especially if you are feeling your way forward in the Travelers notebook genre like I am !

-xGia

Clique Kits Cut Files

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For this layout I used a Clique Kits cut file called “Keyhole Floral” available in the shop for under a dollar.

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There are so many options now to find inexpensive cut files for instant download and the Clique Kits shop has an ever growing collection of them. Free cut files is one of the perks that comes with a subscription, but there are many freebies also. Don’t forget to use my code GIA10 to save 10% anytime in the entire Clique Kits shop.

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I made this layout of me and my man on a lunch date because I wanted to document that feeling of just knowing someone is your rock and it is the best feeling in the world to have a strong, solid, secure shoulder to lean on. That piece of ephemera that says, “Real is rare” took the words right out of my mouth. As a title it is  subtle in form but the significance is profound.

-xGia