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

 

 

 

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

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

Clique Kits September Pep Rally and a Winner!

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This month the Clique Kits Pep Rally is taking place over on Instagram! There is a great lineup of inspiration using the September Kits (Farmhouse) and you can find them using the following hashtags: #click_create_connect #ckpeprally #cliquekits #ckseptember2018 and #ckfarmhouse. You can find mine too @giaaloha. In addition to my layout I also promised to announce the winner of my first Instagram giveaway!

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The winner of the Maggie Holmes Willow Lane Bundle is @piros01 (Czako-Radvanyi Piroska)

She commented that her favorite thing about fall is “all the beautiful colors.” If you are she please email  info@cliquekits.com as I will need your shipping address! This announcement will also be posted on Instagram in case you missed it here!

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And now a little bit more about this layout!

I started with the stencil that came in the Farmhouse travelers notebook kit and had fun creating a messy background for my first layer of the layout.

I used the patterned papers in the Magnolia Moments add on paper pad to back the Autumn Wreath cut file from Clique Kits.

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Here is a close up- lots of ephemera and bits and pieces from my main and travelers notebook kits were filled in over and under the wreath to create lots of layering and different textures. The finishing touch- that adorable deer– was a leftover from a previous kit that had featured the Maggie Holmes Flourish collection. We often see deer families running through our yard so it was the perfect embellishment for this photo of my daughter in our backyard at our lemon tree.

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Thanks so much for visiting- I hope you will head over to Instagram and comment on all of the stops along the hop!IG Hop participants as there is a chance to win a prize from Clique Kits:

@Giaaloha (me)
@sara.scraps
@paper_glitter
@rachellowe____
@dandalion2002
@Nupur2728
@heartpeonies
@cheekypapercreations
@cristina__sales
@iampinay25
@larkindesigntm
@khristinasorge

-Hugs, Gia

Multi-Photo Layout using Farmhouse

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Today I am sharing a layout using my September Clique Kits Farmhouse kit (Main Kit). I have found that there are two main ways to incorporate a large number of photos on a single page layout. The first way is to create a grid design with photos of a uniform size. The second way is to use a cut file where the design includes frames suitable for multiple photos.  For this layout, I obviously chose the latter technique.

I customized this cut file by duplicating it and then making the duplicate a mirror image just below it on the 12 x 12 cutting space. cut file

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This file had an additional layer which I cut from a different contrasting color pattern paper. It was interesting to use a vector file that was designed to use in laser cutting wood- for my purpose it worked well for paper too!

First I created a simple background with just a little bit of the black and white papers in the kit keeping it simple stitching triangular shaped borders at the top and bottom of the page. Then I used some gesso and acrylic paint to create a distressed painted background. I wanted to tie together the blue-grey siding on my parent’s house which shows in most of the photos because they were taken on the front porch.

I printed all of my photos on one page by creating a collage of different sized and shaped photos to be cropped as closely as possible to the dimensions in the frame. They did not need to be exact because I was able to trim them when backing the cut file to just the right size.

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I loved the black word/phrase stickers in the kit because they allowed me to use them for journaling without distracting from a layout where there is already quite a bit going on. This family reunion was the first time in years that my siblings and I were all together with our children and my parents had almost all of their grandchildren in the house at the same time! Actually, 3 out of 17 were missing, which is pretty amazing considering we live all around the world and came together for just 1 week around my father’s birthday. I will probably make a mini album using all of the candid photos from the reunion but wanted to include a 12 x 12 layout with these special “posed” pictures to document all of the cousins together at this once in a lifetime event.

I feel like the September Farmhouse kit was perfect for this layout because it is totally a kit that is all about family and home and simple pleasures of loved ones gathering together.  If you are not a Clique Kits subscriber you can pick up one of the Farmhouse kits a la carte but in order to ensure you get a kit every month the best way is to become a subscriber!

-xGia

 

 

A Mini Album using the Meadow Kit

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Aloha everyone…today I am sharing a teeny tiny mini mini album that I made officially killing my Clique Kits August Meadow kit. At least I do not think I can squeeze out anymore projects but you never know- I still might. LOL. I really don’t want to say goodbye to summer, do you?

For this project I used the little glassine bags that kit contents are sometimes packaged in as a base for the album. I stacked them on top of eachother alternating which end is the open end and then stitched straight down the middle at the fold. The bags were 2.5 x 4 inches I think so the final album measured 2 x 2.5 inches- so cute and teeny tiny!

The embellishments basically all came from the exclusive cut apart sheet included in the  Meadow kit (and might look familiar to you since it consists of my designs some of which I have shared on this blog) I love that these exclusive print and cut sheets are included in kits now and do not require you to download and print anything (I almost never have enough color ink to do them justice)

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I also used what remained of the die cut ephemera in the kit which included all of the title phrases I used on my album pages. By using this sheet and the matching ephemera it kept the mini album simple and cohesive. Here it is:

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In each of the pockets I was able to tuck in a small card with additional photos and journaling to complete my album. I tied it closed with a natural jute ribbon and tucked it inside a small canvas bag for safe keeping. The photos I used for this mini were all from the month of August and reflected nature in our environment. It’s good to slow down and notice things like wildflowers and little creatures living all around us.

-xGia

 

August Pep Rally

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Welcome to my blog and the Clique Kits August Pep Rally. Here is the lineup of talent for you to be inspired by in this hop!

—-> You came from here Clique Kits – (http://cliquekitsblog.weebly.com/)
Gia Lau – (https://giaaloha.com/) <—- You are here
Go here next!—->Lacey Gasper – (https://www.laceyann.com/)
Donna Espiritu – (https://scrappydonna.blogspot.com/)
Nupur Patel – (http://nupurpatel27.blogspot.com/)
Rachel Lowe – (http://inmyworld-scrapbookingourjourney.blogspot.com/)
Jasmin Paar – (https://www.paperandglitter.net/)
Heather Doolittle – (http://craftyscrapbooker.blogspot.com/)
Jackie Howell – (https://www.instagram.com/cheekypapercreations/)
Cristina Sales – (https://larcadellastellapiumata.blogspot.com/)

And don’t forget to search our hashtags on Instagram also for even more great projects!

#CliqueKits

#CKPepRally

#CKMeadow

#CKAugust2018

 #Click_connect_create

My project today is a 4×4 mini album using the August Meadow Travelers Notebook Kit. I wanted to create a special memory book to document my family’s recent trip to New York City. This kit was perfect!

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The little black and white pockets in the kit were perfect for holding tickets and other memorabilia from the trip. The only additional supplies used were the album itself from Close to My Heart and the black and white acetate squares also from CTMH. I have had them in my stash just waiting for the perfect project! My favorite part of the TN kit this month were the black and white Crate Paper Here and There puffy stickers. I was inspired by the B & W theme to create some stamped backgrounds also using a painterly pattern making stamp by Ashley Goldberg.

Leave some love on all the blogs for a chance to win a prize from Clique Kits! And don’t forget to check out the release of the September kit: Farmhouse happening today!

-xGia

 

Using a Sketch

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This layout is based on a sketch of the month from Clique Kits several months back:

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It was the perfect design for me to use this wreath paper in the August Main kit Meadow. To add more depth to the wreath, I layered some of the twigs from the August cut file:

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Here is a close up showing how this looks.

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Its hard to see in this photo but I used some copper embossing powder to coat one of the wood veneer butterflies in the kit. As opposed to most kits where I use white cardstock as a background and then do lots of cutting with patterned papers in the kit, this kit inspired me to use almost every paper as a background base.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have not used this sketch yet give it a try!

-xGia