Thursday, June 30, 2011

Front Porch Kits Cards!

It just dawned on me that I haven't posted any of the three cards I made with the Front Porch June kit - One Sunny Day, which is still available here.  So here they are.  Speaking of the Front Porch Kits, the new blog has been launched and you can find it here.  There was a garden glove challenge and the customer entries are so creative and fun!  Mine is still in the box, but don't nobody tell Lolly or Tracy!! lol. 

All right, so I must rave about these yellow balls again. I still don't know where I can get some of these adorable things.  They are tiny foam balls in yellow.  Seriously, how cute are they?  I died and went to cuteness heaven upon seeing them in the kit!
These fabric yoyo's are made from the fabric pieces included in the kit. The colors are so vibrant and fresh, I really do enjoy them so very much.  It's been forever since I've done any distressing of the edges, so I gave it a whirl here.  Really, it's an easy card, other than having to make those yoyo's!  I am not about to get a new sewing machine that does these for you. My MIL's 40 year old sewing machine is doing just fine! lol.
One last card and this one uses My Favorite Things' stacked die again.  This time I used the negative and the opening was perfect for the Bazzill Basics sticker. It's pretty cool that everything I have used here with the exception of the floss came from the Front Porch Kits' June kit.  It really is the ultimate full service kit!  
That's it from my neck of the woods.  I must admit that I did not do the palette release for the Color Room this week.  But please stop by later this evening at the Color Room to check out all the inspiring work done by all the artists there.  A long weekend is upon us for those of us living in the U.S..  I wish you and yours a happy weekend and lovely 4th of July! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

He Gardens

Last week I received the Big Book of Scrapbook Pages and layouts back from the editors of Memory Maker Books.  The call for pages for this book took place in Q1 2010 so all of us have waited a long time to see it in print!  The call were for pages that were never before seen, so now I can share some older new materials for my little old blog, yay! :) 

Here is probably one of my personal favorites ever.  I adore Crate Paper's Brook collection and I think the papers look amazing against Prism Paper's brown seaweed texturized cardstock (no longer available).  Couple these with a favorite pass time of my family (all except me) and DH looking fabulous amongst his vegetables, it's a winning combination in my book!

Speaking of gardens, how are yours growing?  We have been eating fresh peas and pea pods for a couple of weeks now.  Strawberries have been producing like crazy fruits, and even if they are a little tart, the flavors win me over.  If the weather cooperates and stays dry for a few more days, we could finally go on our annual strawberry picking field trip :)  My favorite from the garden this year are the Chinese chives.  Three years into growing them, we have ourselves many clusters that produce diligently and abundantly (as opposed to one strand at a time three years ago).

Oh summer is in full swing and I plan to enjoy it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bright and Cheery Color Room 64

My stash is deeper when it comes to bright and cheery colors :) It was relatively easy to pull together papers and embellishments for my layout using this palette. Come check out the release of palette 64 of the Color Room, there are so many absolutely stunning projects! 
This really is just an ordinary every day photo.  I mean look what they are wearing after all, lol.  They weren't getting ready for a photo shoot, that's for sure!  I used Fancy Pants' Beach Babe for this layout.  I actually had no idea what I was going to "title" it until I saw I used eight chipboard banner pieces.  The everyday series of stickers from SRM Stickers suited perfectly!

I guess I have found my thing... I like stacking label and element stickers on top of each other to create a border! I have done this multiple times so I'm declaring it my favorite!  It all started with me wanting to use some of my stickers collection instead of just, ahem, collecting them.  I have a special love for stickers that stem from childhood.  I still remember walking into my LSS for the first time and saw a wall of Mrs. Grossman stickers as a grown woman with a real job...  Let's just say that I let myself indulge fully that day in my childhood sticker fantasies...

Anywhoo... do stop by the Color Room and check out this most recent release, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For every Nine "No"s, There Is a "Yes!"

I rushed for my camera when I saw her sitting there on the couch with her arms crossed. With no time to zoom in or adjust any camera settings, I snapped as quickly as I could and only got a couple of not-so-great shots.  I cropped out most of the scene and only left her on the couch and printed the photo as a 4x6.  This was real life, and a not so happy one at that moment! This page was created with Work in Progress Kits' June Kit, which is still available and you can find it here.

Since I'm on the topic of how one really feels, I am grateful for a new opportunity with Sweet Peach Crop Shop.  Ever since I discovered this kit club via a free shipping sale last December, I've been following its every move. It feels amazing to have earned this wonderful opportunity.  I look forward to working with the rest of the design team, making new friends and re-acquainting with established ones :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Take Me to Lauderdale

The Lauderdale collection by Basic Grey is bold, vibrant, colorful and I absolutely love it!  There is a summer warmth about these papers that makes me wanna shout, throw my hands up and shout! lol. After inhaling deeply the new paper scent, I cut into this orgiastic feast of colors for this layout. 

They are some of my favorite photos from last summer.  How they make me smile :)  Seriously, how hilarious are these crazy people?! lol. Given the photojournalism nature of these pictures, this is now my new favorite layout, a slice of ordinarily happy life captured as it unfolded. How absolutely delightful!

I added an Echo Park border and sewed on some buttons.  There are several clouds from the sticker sheets by Echo Park. How about that adorable October Afternoon's jelly thingy from several years ago :) Good times indeed, with that water stream about to hit Second Child!
Gosh, I love scrapbooking :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest Designing for American Crafts

This was a fun opportunity for me to do some guest designing work for American Crafts. The theme of the week is Pow! glitter paper.  The best way I can describe them is matte glitter: all the glitter you want without any of the mess!  Also, these papers are thick but extremely bendable. I can punch these papers, diecut them, fold them etc with ease.

Here are my projects using an assortment of American Crafts products with Pow! glitter paper.  You can read more about my projects on the American Crafts' blog here.  Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Color Room Projects

Oh I have been bad and neglected to post last week's Color Room challenge and here we are at this week's release already!  Better late than never, this is what I did for palette 61. 

I actually really love this palette but I didn't get my act together to use the papers for a layout.  As I sat there staring at the papers I have chosen, I told myself: "It's okay to cut into 12x12 sheets of paper to make a card."  That took a lot of convincing but here it is.  Again, I'm using the My Favorite Things stacked dies to make this card. I'm getting my money's worth out of those dies, no doubt about it!!! Add an SRM Stickers sentiment, la voila!
This week at the Color Room is a whitewashed palette. The idea is a monochromatic palette + white.  This looked to be a huge challenge until I was at Christine's place and in the Ethan stash were several consecutive pieces of paper in the orange palette.  Then it was a matter of finding some photos that would fit the palette :) a little backwards from what I typically do. After an all important vintage family photo with a labyrinth of stories, time to scrap some light hearted food photos :)  They look better than they taste, them ebelskivers!  When they come off the cooking pan in their puffy and round gloriousness, there's no resisting them, lol.  However, I just much prefer the good ol' traditional American pancakes which I can drench in syrup and douse in toppings.
This wraps up two Color Room releases in one post. I hope you will come and try these palettes!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Family 1982

When my parents came back this year, they brought with them a big box of unexpected treasure... the stash of photographs we left with my mother's brother when we emigrated from China in the 80's.  My uncle had moved a few times and we had long thought or were told that our photos were thrown out, so you can imagine our collective joy to recover these tangible evidence of our lives. 
It is after examining some of the very early childhood photos of myself that I am finally understanding where Second Child gets her abundant and quirky facial expressions :)

There were some extremely rare "daily life" shots in the stash. I imagine dad was trying to finish up a roll of film, because otherwise, photography was strictly for when we were visiting places.

I was immediately anxious to scrap a photo from the stash.  I know I should scan the photo and preserve the original, but I figured that once it is scrapped, the original is preserved, lol. Serendipitously, the Front Porch Kits' June kit had just arrived, and it is so easy to interpret the papers and embellishments in the kit as vintage perfect.  I picked out this important photo, and because it is small, I framed the photo onto the layout like a wall hanging.

The year was 1982. That's right, I got it wrong on the layout and I'm too lazy to re-photograph! My father's birth parents held their only family reunion in Beijing.  They had eleven children, among them, the 8th (my dad), 9th, and 10th children were adopted by other families, and this was the only time when all eleven children gathered under one tiny roof for ten days. Talk about a logistical nightmare in the days when telephones were not available to ordinary Chinese people.  This was/is the only time I've met most of my uncles, aunts, and cousins, most of them known to me by their relationship to me, and not by name. Can you spot me in the front row? 
All in all, this is a family situation that I will never quite comprehend.  This is my dad's birth family, but he also has an adoptive family where he was the only child. That was the family I knew and grew up with, my birth paternal grandparents were in a separate reality.  Somehow, none of these things conflicted with each other?  I don't even recall when I was told about my birth grandparents, probably right before we went to Beijing in '82. Somehow my dad was always very clear about who his "real" parents were and the ones in Beijing were just extra bonus?  I don't know, and the Chinese do not ask...

If it is strange that I did not journal at all on this layout, it's because I have too much to say. I'm documenting the few thoughts I have in this blog post right now to go with the layout. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the passages here find their ways onto future layouts as journaling. 

I did some fussy cutting of the MME papers and layered them with 3-d foam dots.  Like I said, I'm trying to go for that framed look: layers with 3-d looks.  I used a little bit of yarn that came with the kit to "hang up" the frame.
This has been a verbose post, and before I go, here is the Front Porch Kits' June kit I used to create this family layout.  Isn't it a glorious display? :)  There are a few kits left yet, so get yours! :)

One last thing, thanks to Christine, I now have a new profile photo, woohoo!  Good thing this happened on Saturday because by Sunday, I got a full blown facial rash from sun exposure.  I am quite miserable right now.  In the words of Kramer from Seinfeld... "Look away, I'm hideous..."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Keen and Cards Making

Friday was the release of Front Porch Kits' June Kit: One Sunny Day.  I just love the deeply rich colors of this kit to pieces.  Tracy and Lolly took feedback from the last kit and made this one less thematic, so there are many directions you can take with this beautiful kit.

My family is very "Keen" on Keen shoes. They are definitely spendy so we are only allowed one pair each, but do we rely on them, lol.  I think it's the signature toes with all that room for the toes that attract me to them. Before Keen shoes, I would come home with black toenails every time I traveled somewhere where I did a lot of walking in tennis shoes.  Keen shoes solved that problem for me! 

I adore this wood grain paper from MME, it's just so beautiful and so versatile.  The tree is a die-cut designed by Lolly and included in the kit. Isn't it neat?
Saturday I was invited to Christine's place where we enjoyed a take-out pizza and some quality paper crafting time. She is obviously amazing at photographing her projects with close-ups and detailed shots, but it is nothing like looking at these projects in real life.  It's a bit like visiting a museum for me: I want to look and see everything, but there's only so much time, lol. 

I brought with me some older kits and asked Christine for her "Ethan stash" (from which I raided and now a bunch of awesome stuff are a part of my "official stash," sorry Ethan!).  Armed with a stack of SRM Stickers, I went to town making cards for shower gifts/prizes. It's pretty hilarious because Christine's feedback is always, "can't you add a little something more?"  To this, my response is consistently "Flat is good." How does one send out a really layered card with flowers, ribbons, pins, jewels, chipboards, you-name-it in the mail? with a padded envelope?  I am sticking with flat, lol.


All right, so there are a couple of cards with bulky embellishments, but let's not dwell on those...
I think I'm all set with shower gifts/prizes.  Now we just have to worry about the food, the cake, the punch, the decoration, you know, the minor details... oy vey... 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bright and Beautiful WIP Kit

Swoosh, time goes flying by... and it's now June!  Typically, it's just a couple of weeks away from strawberry picking season, I wonder if it would be a little later this year since we got a late start on spring and everything.

It has taken me till June to finally run outside, and boy do I ever hurt?  No treadmill, no elliptical machine, and apparently not even Body Pump can prepare me for that first jarring run outdoors!  To my surprise, I have sore sore sore leg muscles.  I would understand it more if I am not in the studio three times a week doing Body Pump, but apparently, you need a complete full body workout to cover your full body.  Why is exercising and keeping in some facsimile of "shape" so difficult?

It is June so I can share some projects from WIP's kit. You can still purchase the kit here to get a box of bright, cheerful, and beautiful papers delivered to you! These were taken from the first trip to the park in 2011 back in April.  I guess the kids got outdoors a lot sooner than I did :)
I am indeed completely addicted to My Favorite Things' new stackable dies and stamps, so here is another card combining the WIP kit and the dies, stamps, and an SRM Sticker sentiment. Let's just say these sets will make more appearances on this blog in the next week or so, lol.  Thank you for visiting and stay tuned for more complaints about my sad state of Running ordeals, lol.