Clique Kits September Pep Rally featuring Capture

Pep Rally-Sept

Welcome to my Clique Kits September Pep Rally post! You should have come from the Clique Kits blog, and our Design Team leader Nicole Martel had something wonderful to share I am sure! Here is the complete September line up just in case!

Clique Kits 
Gia   <<—– Here
Go here next——->>Erica
Sandy G.* 
Hanna Lemieux 
Charity Feit 
Emma Pescott 
Kim Allen 

Today I am sharing a layout process post! I scrap traditional layouts of many sizes. The reason is, I love to start with a blank page. It makes me feel most creative! From there, I always choose my focal point photo. The photo contains all of the information I need to determine what kind of layout I will make. What is the memory? What emotion does it evoke? And most of all, what colors do I want to design with? Yes, I am a big time COLOR scrapper. I love to work with color palettes. I even organize my leftover kit embellishments by color! Let’s take a look!

Here is my finished layout!


Here is the photo and items I wanted to use from the September Clique Kit Capture. I have already done a lot of layouts and projects with this kit, so I was picking through some scraps actually. This black and white flower paper was one of my favorite patterned papers in the kit. I keep going back to it over and over! I had fussy cut many of the flowers and had some left to use. This photo is of my three all grown up step daughters from when they came to visit us this summer.



I started with a simple ink splash background using some Tim Holtz distress ink in broken china. It is one of favorite ocean colors. Next I decided on my color palette. I thought I would create a little vignette of some embellishments floating around those black and white flowers. The pinks in the cocoa vanilla scraps would look great complemented by some peachy yellow-oranges adding a soft , warm sunny tone to the page.

Here is my tower of embellishments organized by colors. It doesn’t look like a lot because it isn’t. I get overwhelmed by too much stuff- so I thin it out often! If I haven’t used something in six month or longer-I probably won’t ever! So out it goes!
I pulled out some items I loved with the cocoa vanilla florals. That feather I actually made by dipping the tip in paint and glitter. The vellum ephemera were from a previous kit or add on. That butterfly is actually ancient, but I held on to it because I love butterflies- they always get used eventually.

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My last step was just to frame the whole page and for this I chose something with a lot of contrast -the narrow black and white stripe paper left from my Clique into Color kit (Bella Blvd’s Just Add Color collection) And that’s my process! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me and my scrappy style today! What’s your process?

Join the Clique today and be part of the learning and sharing every day in our interactive community on the world wide web. We welcome all to our Facebook group (email for an invite) and hold online crops and challenges with prizes and giveaways. Subscriptions which have been by waitlist are soon opening up -we are optimistic for CHA-W 2016 to be able to get everyone in who wishes to be a subbie! Stay tuned for more info. Comment on this blog share to enter to win a kit! Subscribers who participate in the Pep Rally are entered to win extra store credit and earn product credit just for doing what they love. September was an awesome month, but the October Kit Funfetti is going to be another one to kill! Yay!

Enjoy the rest of the fun today! I know I can’t wait!


#Sakuralala Haul


Hey! Let’s go shopping, shall we? I’m super excited about this haul I just got from my friend Eri’s really special little Honolulu based online shop called Sakuralala! I met Eri at last years CHA when she was helping “Mommy” ( Amy Tan’s mom who likes and follows everyone on Instagram with such authenticity it is truly a gift of love) and we were like (whoah- insert surprise emoji here) it’s you the Sakuralala girl- it’s you all the Clique Kits girls:-) gotta love it! In the mean time Eri is the one rubbing elbows with Amy Tan and Kelly Purkey and bringing them to teach amaze balls workshops in Honolulu! Wow! A lot has happened in the past year! These workshops were grade A++ quality in every category from what I have heard- the environment, the kits, and of course the company. There will be another one with Kelly Purkey in November! I’m on it!

Now back to the business of showing you what is in my Sakuralala shopping cart. I’m not gonna lie- I picked this stuff out like Sunday night- and it arrived already yesterday! Lightening fast for us locals.


Sakuralala is a shop that takes advantage of the owner’s ability to do commerce with Japan and the U.S. in order to carry the best quality of washi tapes out there. Yes washi tape has been discovered and imitated by many manufacturers now and there are great designs out there- but it is hard to find the proper wispy translucent quality and let’s not forget the stick! Tape is supposed to stick people! So if you are a washi tape fan, you will love the selection of quality washi brands she carries like MT tapes, Nami nami, Icco nico, and some I have only recently learned about.

Here are some of the items I purchased:

Washi tapes:

This one is called “To Do” and comes in different sized boxes and in crayon or pencil outlines. Perfect for planners to add lists! I bought the smallest size in both pencil and crayon.
This wide MT wash tape with a Hawaii theme is going to be perfect for me. I love all of the Honolulu city landmarks and icons.
These happy clouds are so adorable. I also picked up some hedgehogs in the same style.

Coleto Limited Edition Pen Set in Marine

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This pen set is really neat. I chose the design with the little beach designs and sea life on it. The pen holds 4 refill inks and the set comes with the whole set of 10 different colors to choose from. The best part is, they write in a smooth gel ink and the colors are sooooo pretty.

Last but not least, I bought some Frixion self-inking stamps. These stamps are very small and come in fun, bright colors perfect for planners. I fell in love with the heart, sun, and other adorable designs.


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The store also carries some products from Hero Arts and American Crafts and does carry bigger ticket tools like stamp sets and dies. I really love Sakuralala! I also saw on Instagram that Sakuralala is looking for a design team!

Hope you are inspired to check out Sakuralala!


Tuesday’s Topic: Capture


One Kit Three Ways

Today I posted the kickoff post on the Clique Kits blog to start off the month of September featuring the newest kit Capture. The designer collection in the spotlight this month is by Cocoa Vanilla Studio called Hello Lovely and it is beautiful. I always love working with pretty patterns like florals, stripes, and polka dots and love the brushtroke look and watercolor look so this kit was easy for me to kill. Here are the three different layouts I showed today to demonstrate using one kit three ways!




Sometimes I want to whip out a layout really fast but still have it look on trend- scrapbooking kits are great for that! Design right out of the box and you know everything will coordinate together! No fuss and no mess! Sometimes I have a ton of pictures- and some people do pocket page scrapbooking which would work equally well-for style #2 where I did a double page spread. And sometimes I go back to my traditional style and get artsy with mixed media and lots of layers.   The best part is- these are not three different kits- these are from just one kit. I love that.

Thanks for letting me brag a little about the Clique today! There is a waitlist right now, but as soon as we can get enough product from manufacturers for upcoming kits we are increasing our numbers, which will be soon! So, we expect very soon that everyone who wants to get in, will be able to! Happy dance!


Mojo Monday: Things Inspiring Me Lately


Eyes: Windows to the Soul

I spotted this article and project by Alexandra Michiardi called Crete Travel Journal in my current copy of Somerset Memories magazine and I loved the somewhat randomness of the eye stamp and how it really stood out on the page.

I am a huge fan of Alexandra’s illustrations and I have bought many of her stamps in her Etsy store known as byMeli-Melo. I learn so much from her blog and the work her creative team did with her past stamp set releases. I highly recommend following her blog and Instagram for some awesome mojo!

eye stamp

I believe that eyes are going to be an up and coming icon trend. Here is an example of an eye I saw on a pair of sweatpants by Roxy brand clothing company:

I am seeing eyes popping up on flat design graphics and I will be honest with you- I saw them in Starbucks on some coffee mugs last holiday season and I was a fan right off the bat. I don’t know why- they appeal to me. But like when they saw fruit patterns and pineapples in designs at first and some other recent trends my friends are telling me they are “creeped out” by them. Okay. I’ll just wait 6 months and ask them again. In the mean time, I am inspired to dig in to this Basic Grey paper line called Barista which is available from Clique Kits. Yes of course I will show you what I end up making with it!


Paper Catalogs

Published August 1st ( annually on my birthday) the Close to My Heart Catalog and Idea Book

I always love CTMH stamps and I am impressed with the way the company has kept up with the industry. They now carry many embellishments like washi tape, enamel dots, project life style card sets, and even 4 x 4 style Instagram albums and page protectors with 2x 2 divided pockets.  I have many friends who are still consultants and I hope this company sticks around.  In a digital world, there is something heavenly to me about a paper catalog. It always brings me good mojo. And whether it’s CTMH or Stampin’ Up or any other direct sales product- if you send me the catty- I will order. We are tactile-visual people after all, aren’t we? Otherwise, why would we be so attracted to paper-crafting?

George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and the HBO television series ( can’t wait for the final season although many of my favorite characters have been killed off) You can now watch some of the seasons by internet streaming- I think its Hulu or Netflix. (Make sure no one under 18 or who passes out at the sight of blood is in the room if you do watch it though. It contains everything listed under adult content and then some-nudity-okay flat out sex-sometimes disturbing-violence, blood, gore,etc)

In one of the earlier seasons Khal Drogo and Khaleesi use these terms of endearment for each other (the Khaleesi also eats a horse’s heart in a ceremony for her love) and well if that isn’t love I don’t know what is. I have been inspired to use them in some designs lately and sent some sketches over to the Clique Kits graphic designer!  I have seen jewelry popping up with a his and hers stamped message: She says, “My sun and stars” to which he replies, “Moon of my life” You don’t even have to be a fan of Game of Thrones to appreciate the romance of it. I am kind of over “I love you to the moon and back” now so this is going to be the next big moon reference. I.M.O.

sun and moon bracelets

Origami and Kawaii Art


As if little illustrated cute things weren’t cute enough like bunnies and kitties, put a really really cute smiley face on them and you have something kawaii which means cute in Japanese.  I mean, it’s just sooooo cute. This wood veneer rabbit is actually a box which I will use as a gift card holder for a baby shower. Lately, even food and drinks have to have a smiley face-as do plants and weather, like suns and clouds. I went out for sushi the other night, and was afraid my California roll was going to smile up at me.

Origami is another thing. I never really got into it- the actual paper folding part. But flatten the designs and turn it into stamps and die cuts and patterned paper and I’m all in. I love these earrings though. Handmade and for sale at a local Japanese market in Honolulu.

I am pretty sure we will continue to see kawaii illustration, origami, and sumi-e style chinese painting styles with ink and watercolors continuing to be very popular. Any patterns where the artist’s hand and brushstroke visible in the pattern is going to be in style!


And that concludes this week’s episode of Mojo Monday! I hope you enjoyed it! I would love to hear what is is inspiring you lately. I am always on the lookout for ideas!

Clique Kits Gallery

Throwback ThursdayI love subscribing to a papercrafting kit club. About a year ago I created a graphic to share my top ten reasons why it is such a great way to meet my creative needs and goals. Since this is a new blog, I thought I would post it again here, and then share with you one of my favorite layouts from just about every Clique Kit since the club began! It was a little but difficult to narrow it down to just one layout from each kit because I averaged about 5-6 layouts or spreads and lots of other little projects like project life spreads and cards and mini albums on top of that each month out of just one box including the digital products and sometimes something here and there from my stash. But here we go…



  1. April 2014: Debutante featuring Amy Tangerine
  2. May 2014: Field Trip featuring Fancy Pants Designs
  3. Clique into Summer LE Kit: Simple Stories
  4. July 2014: Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring Allison Kreft
  5. August 2014: Glam Camp featuring MME Jen Allyson
  6. September 2014: Study Abroad featuring Studio Tekturek
  7. October 2014: Masquerade featuring Kelly Purkey/Basic Grey
  8. + 9. November 2014: Homecoming featuring Lemon Owl


  1. March 2015: J’Adore featuring WRMK Love Notes
  2. August 2014: Glam Camp and exclusive digitals
  3. March 2015: Another J’Adore
  4. + 5. April 2015: Happy Everything (Anniversary Kit) featuring Pinkfresh Studio Up in the Clouds
  5.  June 2015: Carpe Diem featuring Chickaniddy Crafts
  6. August 2015: Ambrosia featuring Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss
  7. September 2014: Study Abroad (studio Tekturek)
  8. +9. September 2015: Capture featuring Cocoa Vanilla Studios

It was really fun to look back over the past year and reminisce about all of the great kits we have created with together. I am so excited to be the Watergirl for another phenomenal Varsity design team term starting in about a month and am looking forward to the amazing inspiration they will provide for using future kits. I am also so excited to see where the trends will be heading in the next year and how this will affect our art and the way we use supplies. Organizing and simplifying has become a new favorite sport of mine-using planners and related stationery supplies to help make it pretty while staying focused on my priorities is a real goal for me this year. These are some of the fun things I’ll be talking about on this blog, so please come back real soon!

-x Gia

Clique Kits August Pep Rally: Featuring Ambrosia


Hi friends! I am very excited to particpate in this month’s Pep Rally! This month’s Clique kit Ambrosia featured the Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss collection and so much more! This kit was so inspiring to me to get started creating again and I have been working on this mini-album documenting my recent long weekend in Kauai. You should have come from the Clique Kits Blog. Here is the full line-up:

Clique Kits

Erica <—Next
Sandy G.* 
Emma Prescott 
Kim Allen 
Evi Ortes 

So I have written a lot so far about this mini album and today’s post for the Pep Rally will be a continuation of the series. Since this is a brand new blog it isn’t too hard to find the last two posts if you are interested 🙂

For today’s post, I decided to show you a watercolor technique to make a multicolored or ombre colored pineapple with a diamond cross hatch pattern much like the pineapple design in the Pink Paislee collection. I used this technique to create a personalized layout in my mini album featuring a photo of my son Jesse.

Here we go!







And now let’s head over to see what great project Erica has today!


Documenting Snorkeling Na Pali Coast


The beautiful Na Pali Coastline of Kauai is one of the most amazing pristine places to snorkel and observe the gorgeous tropical fish and other sea life along a living reef. It is only accessible by boat or by air. We were lucky enough to take a cruise on a 65 foot catamaran called the Blue Dolphin II. I wanted to create a special interactive layout that my son would appreciate when he looks at this album and remembers our snorkeling experience in Kauai.

LittleBtropical fish

I started with a package of tropical fish embellishments from Little B. I felt like these stickers were exactly the fish we saw underwater! Perfect! In order to create the transparent watery effect I was looking for, I left them attached to the clear plastic backing in the packaging. I cut them apart in random shapes and dipped the plastic in some paint from Jillibean Soup that came with my Clique into Color kit.




Once I had the fish inside the pocket I used my fingers to smoosh the paint around a little until I was happy with the appearance. You do have to be careful not to use too much paint or it will ooze all over the front of the fish.I used some sequins and enamel dots for finishing touches.

And here is how I made the adjacent page







Documenting My Trip to Kauai with Clique Kits

This project consists of multiple parts, so I am going to divide it into more than one post. In this post I will give an overview of the project!

For my birthday weekend I had a chance to go to a neighbor island with my husband Joel and my youngest son Jesse, age 7 1/2. It is really rare that we get to spend quality time with any one of the children, let alone with each other. Needless to say, this was a really special treat! The stars just happened to align that weekend for us, so off we went to Kauai. I have been keeping a travel album of our visits to all of the other Hawaiian islands, but I was so blown away by the beauty of Kauai I had to make a special album just to dedicate to this trip.


I started the album with an empty 3-ring binder we had a very limited quantity of in the Clique Kits store way back when. I loved it for the gold debossed flamingos on the outside cover and the lovely salmon color. I started filling the album with cardstock, watercolor paper, acetate, and some Simple Stories pocket pages trimmed down by one column.





I decided that I would keep repeating certain motifs throughout the album, so that even though it is a very eclectic album, certain themes are coherent. Some of the repeated items are pineapples, watermelons and other fruit from the Ambrosia kit (I especially loved the artwork by Lacey Gasper for this project), flamingos, and Palm fronds. The colors are all in keeping with the colors from the Ambrosia kit palette, which included salmon, pinks, aquas, greens, yellows, and orange. The add on paper pack from Kesi Art with a Hawaiian theme was perfect for this project, and so were the little pineapple and watermelon dies.

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In the next post, I will show you how I used some watercolors and other paints to personalize my album by creating some one-of-a-kind artwork for some of the layouts in the album.


E Komo mai! Welcome to my new blog!

August is my birthday month, so I decided it is the perfect month to make a fresh start on a brand new blog. I will save the story of why I have been too busy to blog for another day and get right to my first project. I already shared this layout on the Clique Kits Instagram, so it isn’t brand new. I need to open a new personal Instagram also, to go along with this new blog. Baby steps, right?



This layout was made with my August kit Ambrosia. It was love at first sight for me and this pair of Vans tennis shoes. Now we go everywhere together. This kit featured the Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss collection. I have been spying the trend of what I have called the Neo-Lily Pulitzer trend in scrapbooking this year for a really, really long time. If any of you were followers of my old blog, you know I used to write a column all about trends, and I predicted we would be falling in love with fruit, especially pineapples, as well as things like flamingos for quite some time now! Speaking of trends, I LOVE to follow the trends in paper patterns and embellishments as much if not more than I love to follow trends in fashion. How about you? I would love to know if you would be interested in my starting another column about trends on THIS blog. Let me know in the comments please!