Mojo Monday

 

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Aloha! I just realized that almost 2 months have gone by and I still have not posted about one of the craft and hobby industry’s biggest source of mojo! The CHA winter show was held for the last time ever in Anaheim, California this year from January 8-13th. This year the entire Clique Kits leadership team was able to attend, which was even more inspiring since we were able to combine our own company retreat with the industry’s largest trade show. What was even more inspiring to me than seeing all of the new products and all of the “celebrities” was just hanging out with and watching the Clique Kits leadership team in action! We have evolved into a well oiled machine over the past two years, and yet still continue to grow and improve!

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Here we are approaching the Anaheim Convention Center to get registered and then head out to Disneyland, California for some food, drinks, and heart to heart discussion of our progress and goals as individuals and as a company! Some people may not realize that the Clique Kits founders and leadership team work together from many different zip codes and time zones. How is that possible? We use the internet of course and video teleconferencing technology. So meeting up face to face to is a once a year opportunity!

 

One of the things I love about working with a team of girl bosses is that we started the company with the intention to empower each other, not have power over each other. Like any good team, with each player in the role where their strengths are used to the team advantage, everyone thrives! Sometimes stressful situations can pull even the best of friends apart. Basic tenets of communication and preventive maintenance are key in this situation. Some of the things the CK girls do to maximize team work are:

  1. Chat every day in our Clique Kits leadership chat group!
  2. Meet regularly starting with a monthly “check-in” just to update each other on life outside of the company!
  3. Back each other up. We are each able to step up to fill in for each other in any task if needed to help each other when we need to step away “offline” for family or personal situations. We give each other breaks-whenever asked!
  4. Communicate effectively. We know how to give and take constructive criticism. We are able to express ourselves freely with no fear of retribution. If anyone finds anyone else hard to take, we don’t ignore it. We clear the air right away!

Here we are at Downtown Disney- yummy macaroons for dessert!

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Back at our hotel suite-we had two adjoining rooms for the 5 of us. Sandy was our special guest as a design team member she was able to shoot lots of video for the Clique Kits and her personal You Tube channel covering the sights and activities we shared at CHA! Every night was basically a slumber party- we stocked the room with food & drinks and talked into the night making plans and going over the day’s events.

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Nicole took this picture of me because I have been kind of obsessed with Zebras lately. LOL

Echo Park company had a map to pin an Instax picture to your location on- I also loved this collection of all of the states-especially my favorite state- Hawaii.

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It was really neat to see the Altenew booth again-this year doubled in size! Last year we were so excited to order the stamp set we included in our Clique Cards Spring Edition 2015 and got to see the cards the Altenew owner created with the kit which featured the first My Mind’s Eye On Trend collection by Jen Allyson. We decided to do an encore performance and order the second On Trend (On Trend 2) for Clique Cards: Spring 2016 which is on sale now for pre-order! This time, we found another cute stamp from Hero Arts that coordinates with it perfectly! There are also NEW Altenew stamps available in the Clique Kits store, along with the amazing inks we tried out ourselves, and highly recommend for crisp,clean stamping perfection! (Ugh so many exclamation points- but I can’t help it.)

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Another product we will be bringing to The Clique this summer- possibly alone or in a kit, are these really cool watercolor powders which contain a mixture of colors by Cosmo Cricket. They were super fun to play with giving a multitude of cool effects!

Recently the Clique Kits leaders have opened up a heart to heart discussion about heading in a direction away from doing business with large monopoly corporations in the industry, and moving in a direction favoring working mostly with smaller companies with whom we have built trusting, mutually rewarding relationships in our first two years of business. We realize this is a major step, and may disappoint certain people who continue to covet the products controlled by certain conglomerates. On the other hand, with these products widely available elsewhere, skipping over them for Clique Kits would enable us to focus more on exclusive products, and again, allow us to network with and nurture our relationships with smaller companies and newer start up companies we could easily overlook otherwise. This is not to say we wish to boycott, or in any way put down large corporations in the craft and hobby industry. It is simply the topic of discussion and the Clique Kits leadership team is interested in hearing what other think. Clique Kits is still and always will be committed to supporting small businesses, indie artists (Etsy and handmade items,etc) and huge fans of fair trade sourcing products that give back to communities around the world! I would love to hear of sources to check out-so please feel free to make recommendations and comments!

-xo Gia

Sunday Funday

 

Aloha! I hope you are enjoying your Sunday and maybe even spending some time creating today! Today I challenged myself against every fiber of my colorful being to do a very simple and clean monochromatic Valentine layout  using my February Clique Kit Hot Mess.  This layout features a photo I just love of my oldest son with his girlfriend being playful. I am really excited to watch him graduate from law school this May.

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I am usually a very colorful scrapbooker, but sometimes the impact of black & white is irresistable, even when it requires a lot of restraint to execute! This kit is full of bright colors, and the elements all coordinate making it easy to create with. I had fun playing with this challenge today! What kinds of layouts are most challenging for you? I love to read your comments!

-xo Gia

 

Clique Kits February Pep Rally: Hot Mess!

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Yay for Pep Rally Day! For those of you who are new to the Clique or visiting for this blog hop, welcome and thanks so much for joining us! At Clique Kits our subscribers who blog together with the design team  are able to participate in the monthly blog share to show off the projects they have made with the kit. This event also signals the exciting reveal of the next month’s kit! The March Kit is called Hell Yeah and it is full of fresh, modern fun patterns and bright colors. It features the Goldie collection designed by Ashley Goldberg for 7 Paper Company and also has exclusive Clique Kits paper and die cuts! Hell Yeah!

Be sure to check out the Clique Kits website for subscription information, new store items, and information on how to win a kit participating in this blog share! Here is the lineup!

Clique Kits https://cliquekits.wordpress.com/
You Are Here——>  Gia Lau https://giaaloha.wordpress.com/
Erica Thompson https://ericarosecreates.wordpress.com/  <———Go Here Next
Melissa Vining http://yesterday2day4ever.blogspot.co.nz
*Candace Pearce http://findingeverydayperfection.com/
*Leeann Pearce http://thepaintbrushgoesspottie.blogspot.com.au/
*Carolina Schulz www.carolinaschulz.com
Kat Benjamin http://kraftykat9.blogspot.com
*Leigh Ann Odynksi http://www.artfulleighcreative.com/
Aliza Deutsch http://peopleofthescrapbook.blogspot.com
*Elisabetta Margini https://abcdeliblog.blogspot.com/
Marybeth Hancher http://marybethhancher.com/
Taina Cortes (Evi) http://lifewithevi.blogspot.com
*Kim Oedekoven http://krodesigns.blogspot.com/
Mariah Hechler www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Megan Blethen www.craftymeggy.com
Kim Allen http://kimsscrappyblog.blogspot.com/
Maryam Perez Osorio http://maryamperez.blogspot.com/
Renee Aslette www.reneeaslette.blogspot.com
Sandy Gonzalez http://craftythought.com

To create this layout I created a raised texture paste pineapple design on my background using a die and and some stencils. I added some color with watercolor paints.

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I created a frame of 3 pineapples 
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I store my stencils like this so they are easy to look through.
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I used removable tape to lightly tack this contraption down while spreading texture paste.

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I painted my pineapple background and other die cuts for a personalized touch.

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This photo gives a nicer view close up of the texture and true color
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This layout is about when my aunt and uncle stopped by on their cruise ship for a visit!
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This is an old school trick-hidden journaling LOL

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My aunt is my mother’s youngest sister and 14 years older than me. After I gave them a grand tour of Oahu we went out for a family dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant.That day with my Aunt and Uncle we made some goooood memories. Now I will always remember them!

Now let’s go enjoy the rest of the hop! I can’t wait to see what everyone created with the February kit!

-xo Gia

Trends to try!

 

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Hey, what’s up? I love this mug. I saw it at Target and it inspired the name of an upcoming Clique Kit…oops spoiler alert! One of the things I love to do on a bloggy catch-up weekend is grab my coffee and talk trends. So let’s do it!

Trend 1 Marbleized surfaces:

Marble and marbleized surface design on paper is a really really old technique. But it has re-surfaced as a modern pattern in everything from stationery to fashion to home decor. Italian bookmakers and handmade paper makers actually invented over a dozen specific patterns of marbleizing, but my favorite is freeform. I especially love when metallics like gold and copper are mixed in. I have seen more and more marbleized paper appearing in scrapbooking recently from patterned paper collections from Dear Lizzy to Crate Paper to Maggie Holmes and even a whole monochromatic marble line from Bazzill basics.  I think we will continue to see marbleized paper through several more seasons!

Trend 2 Plaid Patterns:

I think this trend was especially apparent at Christmas time when black and red and sometimes gold were very hot, but get ready for Spring when pastel colored plaids and tartans are going to be just as big a hit! I am especially enamored with some patterns I saw from Photoplay paper company and Lawn Fawn!

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Trend 3 Wild Things:

Animal Prints, animal faces, geometric animal illustrations, and more…we seem to have developed a fetish for our furry friends- whether wild or domesticated, cute and cuddly or not so much! Some trends have been around in fashion and have always made a bold statement, like giraffe print and zebra print. What kinds of wild looks do you like?

Pictured above is an ipad cover with a non traditional zebra print spotted at Target, a We Are Memory Keepers Clearly Posh acetate print in gold cheetah, and a cat face sweater!

Trend 4 Tassels and pom poms:

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I have been seeing tassels and pom poms everywhere. I don’t know about you. They started out as something I saw mostly as party decor-banners made up of fringy tassels made from crepe paper in pastel colors and even gold. Now I am seeing accesories and key chains and even techie gear like the item pictured made from classy leather tassels. Small tassels are pretty embellishments on mini albums and planners. I remember making pom poms in summer camp once- I never thought it was something I would look up again, but I couldn’t help myself. Here is a link to a super easy fork method of making pom poms and a tutorial to make this adorable and trendy pom pom bracelet!

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Trend 4 Brushstrokes and Painterly Effects

This is defined as patterns where the artist’s hand is visible in the strokes of paint-whether watercolor, ink, acrylic, or oil, or even splashes- there is evidence left behind of the process of the artist. We are loving this look lately-from monochromatic to bold splashes of colors- and even florals! There are some amazing collections that have come out incorporating this style for scrapbooking by designers like Dear Lizzy, Amy Tan, Ashley Goldberg, Paige Evans, Shanna Noel, and many more! I can’t wait to get these in my upcoming Clique Kits (oh no-more spoilers)

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Mariko Brushstroke Painterly Pencil Skirt

Trend 5 Geometrics

These designs are really popular right now and really make an impact on any space-like this bedroom wall. I love geometric patterns on paper and geometric renderings of animals likes bears and foxes. They look really cool in scrapbooking too. Keep an eye out for dies, stamps, wood and acrylic shapes, die cut pieces, and paper patterns incorporating geometric designs.

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Trend 6 Neon Pastels

This is more of a color palette trend but I have seen a lot of this especially in fashion and it also influences paper and embellishment collections in scrapbooking we like, planner colors along with accessories. I really like to add pops of neon and gold to my pastels-so feminine and pretty for Spring!

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Trend 7 Succulents

How about those cactuses (plural cacti?) And their cousins the succulents? These have become the houseplant to have lately, and naturally, images of them are a popular motif in stamping, cards, and paper patterns. I was given one as a gift and with my black thumb I managed to…never mind. It’s too sad. I do have a really nice thriving one outside on my front lanai.

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I probably missed some new popular trends, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind! I hope you enjoyed my trend talk- please let me know your thoughts!

-xo Aloha! Gia

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Clique Kits January Pep Rally: Happy!

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Aloha! I suppose it has been a while since I was able to participate in the Pep Rally and this poor little blog has been very neglected. But nevertheless-it’s a new year and no better time like the present to follow through with my biggest resolution of all- making time to be creative every day no matter what!

Here is today’s lineup of blogs. Clique Kits will give away a prize kit to one lucky blog share commenter and as always, there are product credits awarded to every Clique subscriber who participates in this hop! So please leave some love on every blog and share away on social media!

Clique Kits https://cliquekits.wordpress.com/
Me——>Gia Lau https://giaaloha.wordpress.com/
*Melissa Vining http:yesterday2day4ever.blogspot.co.nz   <————Next stop
*Candace http://findingeverydayperfection.com/
*Kat Benjamin http://kraftykat9.blogspot.com
*Leigh Ann http://www.artfulleighcreative.com/
*Aliza http://peopleofthescrapbook.blogspot.com
*Elisabetta https://abcdeliblog.blogspot.com/
Donna http://scrappydonna.blogspot.com/
Emma Pescott http://emslifedocumented.blogspot.co.nz
Sandy Gonzalez http://craftythought.com
Kim Allen kimsscrappyblog.blogspot.com/
Mariah Hecher http://www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Renee Aslette http://www.reneeaslette.blogspot.com
Kate Blue http://www.kateblue.blogspot.com
Megan Blethen www.craftymeggy.com
Kelly Baron kaybeetoo.blogspot.com
Bernie Miller http://weekendatberniis.blogspot.com.au/

Upcycling Christmas to Valentine’s Day

Today I am sharing a layout made from the January kit Alegria. This photo was taken at a fancy Christmas party and even though I have had it as the wallpaper  on my phone I wanted to scrap it because it captured my memory of a really special and fun night! I love that this kit name Alegria means happy and chose the die cut word Happy as my main title/journaling.

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One of the crafty things I did this weekend with my kids is make some Cupid’s arrows out of felt, paper straws, and washi tape.

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Paper patterns  used to cut the felt and straws leftover from Christmas.

I wrapped the straws in washi tape to update them from Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

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After making a few of these Cupid arrows I thought that it would be the perfect homemade embellishment to add to a layout! I have to show you the side view so that you can see the dimensional elements of the layout. Since the Cupid’s arrow is such a large piece, I wanted to keep the rest of the layout fairly simple.

And now I am totally in the mood to tear into my Clique Kits Valentine’s Day Kit called XOXO!  If you haven’t picked yours up yet, better hurry as they are going fast. I can’t wait to see what everyone else is sharing today using the January kit! There will be a special Valentine’s Day blog hop coming in February where the Clique Kits and Bella Blvd design teams pair up for twice as much fun! Make sure you follow the Clique Kits blog and social media for news of new product and kit releases as well as the Clique community Events!

xoxo

Gia

Clique Kits November Pep Rally

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Hi and welcome to the November Pep Rally! Here is the line-up for today!  This month so many people have been sharing their projects and layouts using this kit. It truly has been inspirational! I am really excited that next month’s kit reveal week is finally here. The December kit Girl Cave features one of my favorite brands-Pink Paislee- and the papers have a lovely pop of lavender to brighten any dreary winter day and refresh your own crafty space! Make sure you head over to the Clique Kits website to check out the December Kit today!

You came from here—>Clique Kits https://cliquekits.wordpress.com/
Gia http://www.giaaloha.wordpress.com/  <——You are here
Go here next—–> http://ericarosecreates.blogspot.com/
Kim* http://krodesigns.blogspot.com/
Justyna* http://made-by-justt.blogspot.com/
Kim Allen http://kimsscrappyblog.blogspot.com/
Candace* http://findingeverydayperfection.com/
Donna* http://scrappydonna.blogspot.com/
Marcia* http://onescrapatatime-bymumsie.blogspot.com/
Caroli* www.carolinaschulz.com
Aliza* http://peopleofthescrapbook.blogspot.com/
Janet Zeppa www.janetsjoy.ca
Leeann Pearce http://thepaintbrushgoesspottie.blogspot.com.au/
Melissa Vining http:yesterday2day4ever.blogspot.co.nz
Charity Feit http://scrapfaire.blogspot.com
Hannah Lemieux http://scrapbookpagesandcupcakes.com
Leigh http://www.artfulleighcreative.com
Evie http://lifewithevi.blogspot.com/
Emma Pescott http://emslifedocumented.blogspot.co.nz
Tarrah Mclean http://livetoscrapscraptolive.blospot.com.au/
Wendy Antenucci http://antenucci.blogspot.com

Today I am sharing a post about scrapping a special family photo of six of my children taken 3 years ago! I thought the colors in the photo would be perfect with the rich colors in the November kit. Whenever I have a special photo, I always feel it deserves “special” paper, and this collection definitely qualified!

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To begin this layout, I decided to create a sketch that would allow me to  use a variety of the beautiful patterned papers in the kit. IMG_1454

I don’t use sketches very often, but sometimes they come in handy. Again, when I have a special photo I feel more comfortable knowing I have a plan. With this sketch, I knew I was going to do some paint splatters in the upper corners. I used some navy blue paint watered down for this purpose.

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I kept my embellishments simple but chose the ones that added to the composition rather than detracting from the photo. I just love the little felt deer add on and the Lora Bailora exclusive flair included with the kit.

And now there is so much more to see, so let’s go hop!

-xoGia

Sunday Funday: A Halloween Mini Album

 

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To create this mini album I used some of the pieces found in my Day-of-the-Dead mini kit from Clique Kits such as the 2 canvas boards as my covers, the black chevron washi tape from We R Memory Keepers, the black leather tassel, the spider loteria card, and the black mini-clothespin. Did you know that the majority of this kit was made from authentic ephemera, as in recycled/re-purposed paper goods and found objects? Clique Kits is aiming to integrate greater sustainability and eco-conscious choices in with the rest of the alternatives we have to create with.

The rest of the patterned paper pieces were scraps from the Crate Paper Wonder collection, an add on paper pack in the store, and some of the stickers and embellishments from the Crate Paper Wonder collection and the Pinkfresh Studios collection in the October Funfetti kit. The only real “Halloween” themed additions to this mini album were the crocheted pumpkin from the Clique Kits store and the Halloween stamp I used from my stash! I used an orange colored gelato to create a wash background to stamp on. I kept this mini album simple and easy for little hands to manipulate knowing my youngest children would really enjoy looking at it and showing it to their best friends, who are also in the photos with them.

Holiday and seasonal themed supplies used to be a trigger for me to make many impulse buys I later regretted and had a hard time purging after they sat around year after year in my craft stash never getting used before they were no longer trendy and I was chasing the next hot collection the next year! As a former hoarder of scrapbooking supplies, especially patterned paper, I  finally learned that themed collections were one of my major pitfalls. In reality, any collection can be used for any occasion, with the addition of just a few choice embellishments. You can even make your own “themed” embellishments, dig into your stamps, dies, or search online for free printables and cut files. I hope this little project inspires you to free yourself to use your stash and your kit supplies to get your seasonal and holiday projects done. It will be easier on your budget and will also challenge you to think outside the box!  You can find some ideas for small, inexpensive yet unique touches for Halloween, fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in the Clique Kits store that won’t require you to spend a fortune or buy more than you need. There is also a coupon code for 25% off everything except new pre-subscriptions and pre-orders of holiday kits.Halloween Sale