I hope everyone is having a good 2014 so far!
I'd like to share a layout, a little about my year, and some thoughts about kit clubs.
I'll start with the layout-
I really wanted a layout with an overall look at 2013. I picked one or two pictures from each month, they weren't the best or prettiest necessarily, but ones that represented the highlights or the year. I edited them into a collage in Photoshop to fit an A4 size (that's slightly larger than 8.5 by 11 inches) and trimmed them down to size (final measurements are around 7.5 by 9 inches).
I actually had no idea which products I was going to use. I knew I wanted a double pager, with the same background. Eventually I chose that gorgeous paper from Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm collection (all the papers used here are from that collection). I wanted the photos to pop a bit more, so I matted them on some red patterned paper. After choosing the background paper the rest just kinda happened. I went with the more muted natural colors. I used this gorgeous stamp set from Glitz Designs and brown ink to stamp the months. I love wooden stamps, but rarely buy them because of the price. This set was so gorgeous and versatile that I decided to get it (I did wait for a sale). You could of course do something similar with letter stickers or your own hand-writing.
I kept the embellishments also simple using some wood veneers (thank you Petra!!), puffy stickers and enamel dots and hearts.
Then I decided I wanted to mat the background paper on another 12*12 to create a frame, but I wanted a frame around the whole 24*12 layout. So I trimmed the papers to 11.5*11.75 inch. Then I glued them down to the 12*12 papers.
But... I glued them down wrong. With a gap between the pages instead of around the edges. Clever me.
Anyway, I tried to take it apart but it was glued pretty good and I didn't want to rip the whole thing. Live and learn:) Life's too short to worry about such things anyway, right? Maybe:)
Isn't that cloud just the cutest thing?? I think so:)
As for me, 2013 was slightly frustrating at times. I've mostly been studying German, and even though I feel a huge improvement from where I was a year ago, it still doesn't happen as fast or as easily as I would like. Language can be such a barrier! But life in Austria is getting easier with time. I do understand a lot more, I can listen to the radio or watch TV, buy a sandwich in the deli section in the supermarket (that was a tough one!), and communicate somewhat reasonably. Speaking is still the biggest challenge for me, it's like a muscle, and I really have to train it more. My husband is Austrian but we've been together for almost 10 years, and it's very difficult to switch from English to German.
I blame him:).
When I wasn't studying I was spending time with my daughter (they have A LOT of vacation time here, including 2 whole months in the summer), which was and is great, I love age 4. And when I wasn't doing those 2 things I was probably scrapbooking!
I do hope 2014 will bring me more knowledge and confidence in the language. I will have to go back to university to make up a few courses (still waiting for final decision from the local medicine university). The thought of studying medicine in German makes my tummy hurt, I mean, it was hard enough the first time in English and Hebrew! I'd like to think I can manage, but mostly I just try really hard not to think about it at all. Denial is a wonderful thing sometimes! I mean, I'm gonna have to do whatever they say anyway, if I ever want to practice medicine in Austria, so what's the point of worrying about it??
But now back to scrapbooking. I had a lot of fun keeping the blog active in the second part of 2013, and I really hope I manage to keep it up. It does get more challenging when life gets busier, but I do believe that with some planning and better time management (I'm sooo good in wasting time!) it can be achieved.
And now to something not so completely different:)
In 2014 I signed up for a kit club! I was a Studio Calico kit subscriber for a year and a half, I stopped subscribing over 6 months ago. I loved getting those monthly packages full of goodies! I never had problems with customer service there, on the contrary. I do still like their style, and their DT has some of my favorite scrapbookers. I also saw the new design team for 2014, and it looks great, lots of inspiration to be found there, for sure.
My issues were mostly financial at the time, I didn't want that obligation every month. But also after a year and a half, I noticed I had accumulated quite a few things from the kits that I wasn't too keen on using. I didn't like every single thing that came in every single kit, and I'm not a huge fan of challenging myself to use things I wouldn't normally use. I know that's a great motivator for some scrapbookers, but not for me. I want to use stuff I like, stuff I would buy anyway. The fact that you have to get a kit every month was also a problem for me, especially if the kit wasn't really my style. I also noticed I didn't use all the stamps that came every month with the kits. I don't use or need so many.
I was a beginner scrapbooker when I just subscribed, and I am grateful for all the inspiration and exposure to different companies and designers that I got from Studio Calico.
So after more than 6 months without subscribing to any kit club, I joined the Scraptastic kit club. I decided I do love to get that monthly package. I do love getting brand new stuff (new to me and mostly very new/recent items) every month. Since I live in Austria, it's not easy to get scrapbooking supplies here, let alone brand new ones. Shipping costs from the US are high, and though I do buy occasionally at a couple of German online stores, the prices there are still higher than in the US (understandably), and shipment is still substantial. That means that I rarely order something every single month. Scraptastic has a shipping flat rate of 16$ for international shipping. It's still a substantial sum, but I do know the prices for shipping from US to Europe, and for that it's actually pretty cheap. But that wasn't the biggest selling point for me. Scraptastic is a non committal club, which means you can unsubscribe at any time. But the best part IMO, is that every month you get to choose between two main kits. That makes the whole thing so much more appealing! I've been following their kits for months before subscribing, and every single month there was at least one kit (sometimes both) that I adored. Another great thing is that the stamp set for the scrapbooking kit is sold separately. They have some great sets that coordinate with the kits, but if you (like me) have enough stamps, or you're just not a stamper, then you don't have to get them (with the kit, that is). The main kits always come with flair, and you can buy extra flair from their shop. I love flair, and knowing that I'll get some every month will hopefully lead to me using it more and hoarding it less! Every main kit has a coordinating add-on kit, with more goodies, so if you want more, you can get it right there and have it all delivered together. Another thing that I'd like to work on this year, is spend less time browsing online stores, and contemplating what to buy. I do enjoy that, but I just don't have the time, or rather I would like to just scrapbook instead. I'm hoping with a monthly kit of new things I can substantially reduce the time I surf the net searching for products to buy.
These are the main reasons I chose this club over others. I've seen a few other kit clubs that I liked, but being able to choose between two main kits is the big selling point for me.
So now all I have to do is eagerly await the arrival of my January kit, and I'll be sure to share what I've created with it!
Thanks for visiting!