Maggie Holmes Flourish Cards

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The April 2018 Clique Kits “Winter Park” kits featuring Maggie Holmes Flourish collection is so pretty and versatile for any project. I am not usually a card maker, but April is the month my mother and grandmother both celebrate their birthdays, so I was inspired to use scraps from my kits to whip up some fast cards.

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I was a little disappointed though that the photos do not do justice to the texture of the backgrounds which I embossed! The bird card is for my grandmother who turns 100 tomorrow! Wow! 100 years- is amazing. I hope I have her genes.

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This bunny is for my Mom, whose birthday is the 28th.

If you look closely you can see a doily pattern on one and a swiss dots pattern on the other very faintly. I used ephemera from my kit to embellish scraps of paper that I had die cut some leaves out of. I never like to waste paper, so I used both the leaves and the negative space left behind after cutting on my Big Shot, only I used them on a different set of cards-the one shown below as an example!

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This Spring card shows how I used the Maggie Holmes acetate specialty paper as a backing for the geometric planter. I also used those adorable vintage music paper butterfly confetti from the Clique Kits shop.

Here are the other products I used:

The Hero Arts Terrarium Die:

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Kesi-Art Metaliks Leafy:

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It figures that in 2018 after finally giving myself permission to NOT have to make handmade cards (even though I have enough supplies to make cards for the rest of my life) what do I do- I start whipping out some cards. Next I am going to give myself permission to NOT have to lose 10 pounds and see how that works for me.

-xGia

 

 

Take 5 Challenge for Traveler’s Notebook Layouts

Hi everybody! Today I am channeling my inner minimalist in my traveler’s notebook and wanted to share with you my take on a challenge I saw online somewhere-only instead of using it for full size layouts I am applying it to my recent traveler’s notebook spreads. You are probably familiar with some variation of the concept of selecting a handful of things from a list and limiting yourself to just those items in a layout. Yeah…that’s the one. Here are the 5 items I chose!

  1. Ephemera
  2. Washi Tape
  3. Stickers
  4. Stamp Sets
  5. Patterned paper pads

I did not “count” things that I consider to be staple supplies like something to write with, adhesive, and ink for the stamp sets, but otherwise I was fully compliant!

So first up I have a “divider” spread where I used washi tape to add a vellum page to serve as my marker for a new section ( and also because of its general prettiness.)

 

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I tend to be all over the spectrum from minimalist to maximalist in style depending on the day and the mood on my layouts but it never ceases to amaze me that when I do the simplest things to just get the memory documented I realize how much time is spent adding extra stuff to the essentials- a great photo, a caption or title, and a little bit of color to make it pop.

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This spread is shown pre- handwritten journaling- and did not end up quite this sparse but almost.

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And this last one only uses paper and one sticker, and yet I still love how it looks and how it conveys the memory perfectly. I mean, I will always know who, what, and when this memory happened. And that is the truly the essential part of scrapbooking.

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My overall assessment of this challenge and what I learned:

I love to strip back to the essentials sometimes because it gives me a chance to really focus on the overall design of the layout. You know those elements and principles of design we use all the time but sometimes we are not as intentional about?  Thinking about things like unity, rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and movement. Simple exercises like this help to practice, practice practice design.

I learned that sometimes I am so focused on how a page looks that I forget to record the crucial little details that will prompt the memory 10 or 20 years from now. (Trust me, I thought I would not need those things until I started looking back at layouts from 20 years ago and really wanted to kick myself!)

So what’s the down side? At this rate I will never go through even a tiny fraction of my stash by the end of the year. How will I possibly justify buying all the new pretty stuff that comes out? First world problems, I know.

-xGia

 

 

April Kits Combined= Lovely

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Hi there! I have another layout to share using the April Winter Park Clique Kits and this time I used both the main kit and actually mostly the Travelers Notebook kit together. I personally use them together more often than not. And its not because I couldn’t easily knock out five or six layouts with either one kit by itself. It is more because I love the way the products complement one another. For April, both kits featured the same collection which is often the case. But not true of every single month for variety- and sometimes due to product availability there are months where the TN kit features a completely different collection. Nonetheless I love using them together as they always work so well this way for  me.

This time I have beautiful Maui photo taken last summer and I searched the Silhouette Design store for a cut file with a Hawaiian motif. This hibiscus cluster outline was just right!

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This layout is also shared on the Clique Kits blog and I hope you will stop by there too as there is always fresh inspiration daily from the wonderful Clique Kits design team!

-Gia

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

 

Getting Started in a Traveler’s Notebook: Gratitude

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Aloha! I am still working on “catch up” posts to share projects I did this year but did not get up here on the blog. It is all in the name of trying to bring blogging back into the routine of my daily life, where it has been pushed aside and left on the back burner for far too long! A gratitude journal is a great way to get started with the traveler’s notebook format, if you have not tried it yet.

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I created this gratitude journal for a workshop that I taught last November in The Clique. We used the Maggie Holmes Gather collection from American Crafts-Crate Paper. I made the mini book in the standard TN size, but I stitched pockets into my pages to give it a twist. There was an interactive component of this project-tags where I asked all of the kids to journal their own gratitude thoughts, and later tucked these into the pockets.

Sometimes the simplest projects are the most satisfying. My favorite supplies for traveler’s notebook albums are Instax film to print photos on using my Instax Share printer, 

I also love using stampswashi tape, and a simple black gel pen. These large copper colored clips make it easy to keep my pages spread open flat on my desk when working and photographing.

If you have not tried documenting memories and journaling in a traveler’s notebook format, you might really like it. To test the waters, try picking up a kit like the ones here available a la carte before committing to a subscription. It is very easy to find pre-made inserts with decorative covers and different types of pages such as plain white, off-white, dotted, graphing, black, and lined. This section of the Clique Kits shop has traveler’s notebook inserts in plain white style that are very pretty, and also some options for purchasing a cover album.I also love to make my own! I simply cut paper 8.5 x 9 inches and fold it along the middle so each side is 4.5 inches. Then I staple the seam with my Sparco long reach stapler, which I found on Amazon. Once the book is constructed, I trim the pages so that they are even.

Now it is ready to be filled with grateful thought, memories, bits and pieces, scraps I want to use up, and lots of room for creative expression! I guarantee that once you start, you will get hooked like I did!

-xGia

 

January Clique Kit Layout

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Aloha! Today I am sharing a layout I made using the January Clique Kit called Hey, Sugar! This kit is still available to purchase here and is perfect for the month of love! I am one of those kind of corny girls who uses Valentine’s Day as a common theme pretty much all year long. I mean, when is it the wrong time to express love? Definitely check out all of the contents of this beautiful kit! And while you are there, many other fun Valentine’s Day products are available in the Clique Kits shop! And now for some close up views.

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Happy Ground Hog’s Day!

-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