Clique Kits Limited Edition: This is Us

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Today I am really excited to share the Clique Kits Limited Edition “This is Us” kit and collection designed by yours truly! This kit features a combination of bold black and white patterns juxtaposed with fun, eclectic, pastel colored designs. Of course there are some cute elements like the sweetest little sloth and a happy bunny and lots of pretty doodled hearts! The pastel color range includes the Clique Kits brand colors in various shades and tints plus bits of green, pink, and peach.  Why a sloth, you ask? I say…why not a sloth? Sloths are totally my spirit animal! Is there anything better than chilling all day in a tree branch? The bold black stripes and other B & W patterns are designed with Erica in mind though I know there are many, many fans of this pattern. But did they paint it on a wall in their kitchen, like Erica? (LOL- yes Erica recently had an accent wall in her kitchen painted in black and white stripes and I love it!) Like Clique Kits style, there are elements that are bold, colorful, cute, fun, eclectic, sweet, pretty, and trendy.

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This collection is available in the shop as a limited edition physical kit, a digital collection, and a physical paper pack. The kit includes a few surprises not shown in the photos here but we know you will love them as much as we do. The kits includes some exclusive flair and an add on flair set is also available!

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This sleek polka dot washi tape and adorable sloth felty are included in the physical kit along with an exclusive color cast designs acrylic piece!

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Here is a my very first layout using only the digital designs printed on my home printer. I added a couple of vellum ephemera from Cocoa Vanilla Studios Bohemian Dream collection which were in the past January Clique Kit called Rhapsody (unfortunately sold out) and a lavender colored acrylic piece from my stash that coordinated perfectly! I fussy cut the watercolor wreath  and splattered some black ink and some watered down Shimmerz Dazzlers I Lilac You paint available in the shop (Hint: This color is perfect with this kit!). I used some of the pastel patterned papers to back my photo as well as a tag that I monoprinted using a stencil, acrylic paint, and my Gelli Arts gelli plate.

I will save that process and tutorial for another day. For now, I hope you like this layout! And I hope you will head over to Clique Kits to pick up some of this collection. Use my coupon code GIA10 to save 10% on your purchase!

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-xGia

 

But first coffee…chatting about cultivating daily habits

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I like to write posts sometimes about different eclectic topics and I think of them as time to chat with a friend over a cup of coffee. That is why I call these posts “But first coffee…” I don’t know what I would do without this scrapbooking community and I wish you guys really could stop by for a cup of joe someday! That would be awesome. Anyway…

I shared this layout last week on the Clique Kits blog. My post was all about how I got it scrapped in 15 minutes! That doesn’t happen every day. I have been trying to build creating into my daily routine though so that even when I don’t start and finish a layout a day I still put that 15 minutes in just as surely as I brush my teeth. This is a concept I learned from listening to the Scrap Gals podcast conversation with Becky Higgins. Now I will let you in on a little secret…sometimes when I am at work in my office doing paperwork I put my headphones on and listen to scrapbooking podcasts. It’s called multi-tasking and we women do it extremely well!

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Here is a close up of another die cut on my page (sorry for the weird angle) because I wanted to make a point that I have a pile of cut files on my desk that I cut during my daily craft time but didn’t necessarily get to use. I just liked them and thought I would probably find a use for them someday and I usually do!

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This is the Clique Kits main kit for April which I used to create this layout. It features the Crate Paper Maggie Holmes Flourish collection! I also used one of the monthly cut files available for subscribers designed by Maryam Perez this month.

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Having a kit delivered to my door every month does make it easier to follow through with my goal of establishing a daily creating habit. On weekends it is not as much of a problem and I remain flexible about when I fit it in depending on the family schedule. But weekdays I have found that I have to go straight to my craft room right after work and use my 15 minutes. Whatever I get done before dinner is what I get done. This means starting some cut files, picking out papers that go with my photo, and sometimes just organizing  so that my next 15 minutes is even more productive.

I also established a rule for myself that my daily 15 has to be hands on creating time. Scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest don’t count. Don’t get me wrong- just like listening to Podcasts or watching you tube videos, these inspiration seeking activities have their own value. But if I fit them in to my day it has to be after my hands on time.  After all, I have spent many years of my life thinking about, hoarding and shopping for supplies, and talking about scrapbooking more than actually doing it.

Another epiphany for me that has helped immensely has to do with some of the things I have decided to let go of. I have definitely purged a lot in the past 5 years.  I am finally at a point where I know exactly what I have, where it is, and why I am keeping it. Using the Konmari method of figuring out what sparks joy for me has helped quite a bit. But I have also let go of the need to try to do every possible genre of papercrafting. I am not a project life documenter, I am not a card maker, and I don’t decorate my planner. I love doing layouts. It doesn’t matter if they are in 8 1/2 x 11, 12 x 12, or travelers notebook format. Layouts work for me because I need the freedom to document memories out of order and depending on what my priorities are at the time. If I were to try to keep up with daily or even weekly life it would become a chore for me.  Letting go of what doesn’t work for me is incredibly freeing and also limits the impact of impulse shopping especially every time new fads arise.

I know a lot of people are on their own journey sorting through these things too. Definitely hit me up with any comments or just to chat about your own creative journey!

-xGia

 

S.M.A.K.

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I am not going to lie. I really don’t like sharing my art supplies with my kids. That’s why many years back I started Saturday Morning Art Kids or S.M.A.K. Sometimes we get on a roll and do a project every weekend and other times I slack off and space them out a bit more. But by setting aside this dedicated time  to do an arts and crafts project with as many of the kids as choose to participate it prevents them from invading my space and messing with my stuff when left to their own devices and Im not around. They know that when it’s time for S.M.A.K. they will get a chance to play with all that tempting, colorful, and pretty stuff I hoard in my crafty hideaway. I even keep several storage bins of paints, markers, crayons, and scraps of paper and embellishments that are just for them. I’m a firm believer in controlled chaos.

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Last week’s activity was kind of a no brainer since it is almost Easter. Instead of dying Easter eggs I decided to let them play with some acrylic paints from my collection of Spring colors from Target. They even have pretty metallics like gold and rose gold. Obviously, these are not artist quality paints and they are pretty cheap so they could go ahead and have at it!

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These eggs are plastic ones. Acrylic paint should not be used on real eggs meant for eating of course. My kids still love to do egg hunts even though I think they are getting kind of old for it. How about you? Do you have any Easter traditions? Do you allow your kids to craft with you? That’s all for now!

-xGia

Using Tim Holtz Dies on a Layout

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Have you noticed that even with the popularity of electronic/digital die cutting machines and software like Silhouette there are still so many gorgeous dies being created by more and more new companies? Even the oldest company that I am aware of making dies- Sizzix- continues to evolve with the trends producing more interesting dies all the time. I used to think that dies were something used more by card makers than scrapbookers only because the scale of dies is smaller.

For this layout about our outing to a beautiful lavender farm on Maui I picked out this Tim Holtz wildflower die set.  When I went to look for a link for you I realized it was on sale on Amazon for only $11.99.

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Another tidbit about this layout…I had already pretty much killed my March kit from Clique Kits but decided to use the Traveler’s Notebook kit to create this layout. While the papers are from the same collection, I used the 6×6 pad and things like washi tape and rub ons from the TN kit on this layout. The versatility of both kits is something I truly love!

-Gia

Paige Evans Pick Me Up Paper 22

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One of the adventures I have wanted to do since living in Hawaii was to go on a whale watching cruise. Here on Maui they are really easy to see, just from the coast if you have binoculars. The humpback whales come to Hawaii to mate and have babies and in February and March there are literally thousands of mother-baby whale pairs swimming together. Unfortunately, I did not have a telephoto lens or even a decent camera to get good photographs, but that did not stop me from documenting this day. I still used one snapshot I got of a whale surfacing and a photo taken of me taking a photo of the sunset we also enjoyed on the cruise. This paper pieced humpback whale was made with a file I downloaded from Etsy.  The Paige Evans paper #22 from the Pick Me Up collection which was in the Clique Kits March 2018 Malama Kit was absolutely perfect for this layout! Here are a couple of close ups!

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I loved the way this layout turned out. It was a little time consuming to put all of the paper pieces together like a puzzle, but worth the effort.

-XGia

Using a cut file to frame a photo

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In this layout I used one of the add on cut files I designed for the Clique Kits March 2018 kits. The CK Malama kits feature the Paige Evans Pick Me Up collection for Pink Paislee and the color palette in this collection reminded me of the colorful scenery in Thailand when I took my trip there in 2016.  If you missed it, I shared this layout also about my trip to Phuket, Thailand.

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I separated the inner and outer circles after cutting the file so that I could use the large one to frame my photo of the view of the countryside and ocean on the Phuket coast,  which was an enlargement.  I challenged myself to do some hand stitching using the embroidery thread that came in the main kit. As it turns out, I am not good at stitching. But I do like the texture it added to the layout even though it was pretty crappy looking embroidery.

I found this Kesi-Art stamp in the Clique Kits shop and it is going to show up a lot on my travel layouts! You can download this cut file right here! Use my coupon code to save 10% GIA10.

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Happy Home Layout

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To create this look I used gelato water soluble pigment crayons with a waterbrush to get a watercolor wash effect. Then I used a fringe scissors on strips of paper from the Paige Evans Pick Me Up 6×6 patterned paper pad and stitched them down vertically. This layout was the perfect place for the mini weaving embellishment from the Clique Kits February release. If you would like to pick one up, use my code to save 10% GIA10

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I am really glad that I finally have a layout about one of my happy places in life- my comfy bed. Have you made any layouts about your home sweet home?

-XGia