December 31, 2013

My Favorite Online Classes 2013- Part 3

So last, but definitely not least, in my top 3 classes for 2013, are really two classes, but the second one is actually just more of the first one. If you've followed my blog a bit, you can probably guess that I'm talking about Wilna Furstenberg's Art Class and Art Class 2 at 2 Peas in a Bucket.
In February this year Art Class was released, I watched all videos (10!! of them, with two extra bonus videos added later in the year), and watched in wonder Wilna creating no less than 50 layouts. Art Class 2 was just as wonderful, with 50 more layouts to admire and be inspired by.
Shimelle Laine makes me want to scrap.
Ali Edwards makes me think about what I scrap.
And Wilna? Wilna just makes me happy.
Happy to play with paint, watercolors, gelatos, pretty papers and embellishments, and just feel a bit artsy and creative.
I've always been drawn to drawing and painting as a child and a teenager, but after I graduated high school and decided to study medicine, all hobbies got pushed aside. Then I started working in a hospital, then I had a baby, and my free time was virtually non existent. But in the last couple of years because of our move to Austria, I haven't been able to work, I have to be practically fluent in German first, not a simple task, and get my diploma recognized in Austria, a very lengthy and complicated procedure. That led to having more free time, which led to discovering again crafts in general, but mostly scrapbooking in particular. Taking Wilna's classes and learning these fun light mixed media techniques brought into my scrapbooking what is for me the perfect combination between creativity and memory keeping. I doubt I would hang on a wall a piece of white cardstock with gelatos and some embellishments, but together with the photos and the stories, it's the perfect "art piece" for me. And the process is just pure happiness, and practically therapeutic.
I've already shared many of the pages I created inspired by or just plain scraplifted from both classes (like here, here, here and here), but I managed to find a new layout to show here-

I got a few Martha Stewart paints last time I visited the US, and I really wanted to try them out, and see the colors. So I thought, what better way than to try it Wilna style? Took them all, and used roller stamps from Glitz (one is shown below, love those!!) to spread them around and create the background for this page.

 Here are a few close-ups:

In October this year, I was lucky to attend a weekend of workshops in Germany, and one of the teachers was Wilna. It was really great to meet the person behind the classes and the videos, and she was such a great teacher also in the non virtual world. You can just feel how much she loves all things art and scrapbooking. I'm so happy I got to meet her and her lovely good friend Annelie.

So that's it for 2013, I wrote these last three posts because I really wanted to acknowledge the women that inspired me the most this year. I hope they continue to do so in 2014!
Thanks for visiting and happy new year! May 2014 bring you joy, good health and happiness!

December 30, 2013

My Favorite Online Classes for 2013-Part 2

During the summer I took an online class at Big Pictures Classes called Hello Story with Ali Edwards. I've heard great things about Ali's classes but never took one myself. The price tag for this class was a bit high than what I'd like to spend for a class, but I decided to take the plunge. I have to say, this class was the most thought provoking scrapbooking-related class I've ever taken. This was a 12 week class, and every week there was new content, with loads of inspiration, videos, great layouts and story structures. My one problem with the class (that has nothing to do with the class), was that it was during the summer, so at some point when we left for our family vacation, I lost the momentum. I'm hoping to go back and make up the lost weeks. In the last post I was talking about Shimelle Laine's class, well, Shimelle makes me scrap, and Ali makes me think (and then scrap). Think about stories that are bigger than one picture, one event or one vacation, and I love the layouts that I made thanks to this class.
Here are some of them-

I love this layout because it's very me. It's also about me, which I try to do more (with a very cute daughter this is not a simple task!), but I mean the style. It has my favorite colors, the ones I always gravitate to, and those lovely sparkly flowers, for some bling. The layout is just about a few things I'd like to do in my life, I could probably make three more pages about this subject, and I probably should. Maybe I should try to do one every year and keep them all together. Would be really cool to see them 20 years from now!

This layout is all about the countries my husband and I explore together. I adopted Ali's more minimalistic style, used some classic shapes (circles here) and focused on the story.

Another layout that is about myself, just the major events in my life, with a baby picture to match:) Again, simple and very story focused, I think these layouts are really important for my memory keeping, and I hope I'll make more.

 I love this layout with different photos from different ages of my daughter, because it really shows how much she changed and grew.
In the spring of 2014 Big Picture Classes will run this class again. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper, make layouts that tell bigger stories, or just get really great prompts and ideas for layouts. The price is high, but there's so much content here (4-5 videos, print-outs, cut files, printables every week!), that I think for what you get, it's quite reasonable.
One last class to recommend, on the next post.
Thanks for visiting!

December 29, 2013

My Favorite Online Classes for 2013- Part 1

I love taking online classes. I wish I could take more classes in the non virtual world, but I live in a country where not a lot of people know what scrapbooking is, and until I went to a workshop weekend in Germany this last October, I didn't know any person in the non virtual world that scrapbooks (besides my very best friend, who rudely decided to live in another continent, but allowing me to visit her in the land of mega craft stores, so she's almost forgiven for being so far away...).
So that leaves me with online classes. As fun as it is to take classes in the real world, there are a lot of advantages to online classes: The price, the convenience, having the content available permanently, being able to watch videos again and again as needed, etc. I have to admit this year I took a lot of classes, which is not necessarily always a good idea. I learned that unless you have a lot of free time (and who does?), it's better to focus on one class at a time. Of all the classes I took this year, three really stood out for me.
The first class I highly recommend (not in any particular order) is Glitter Girl's Scrapbook Survival Guide with Shimelle Laine at 2 Peas in a Bucket. I have taken a few of Shimelle's classes (mostly on her blog), and they are always full of content and fun videos. This class is no exception. With numerous prompts and inspiration for using your products, great PDF hand-outs and ten videos, this class is just fun. But most importantly, I love Shimelle's classes because they simply make me want to scrap. Not shop, not think too much, just grab what I have and create a layout.
Here are just a few of the pages I made inspired by this class:
Create a rainbow-

I love colorful layouts, because they make me happy, but also because I can use my stash. Here I created the background with Jenni Bowlin ink pads, directly applying the ink to the paper. Fast and simple.
For a 5 min layout try this rainbow with patterned papers-

And on the other side of the color rainbow, we find the monochromatic look-

Monochromatic layouts are always a great way to scrap and use your stash, just grab whatever fits you color scheme! Here I used lots of pink washi to create that strip behind the photo. Add some stamped images in different shades of pink ink, some stickers and enamel dots and the page is done!
Another idea that I loved was to scrapbook in a series. I have lots of pictures from a trip we took to Slovenia about a year ago. I chose a limited range of products, mostly a few older embellishments I had that I wanted to use, and just kept adding papers as needed.
Here are a few of those pages-

And last but not least, the double page. This was the first time I made a double page with two different backgrounds. I usually don't have more than one specific patterned paper, and if I do, that means I really like it, and then am not very likely to use two as backgrounds for one layout. So this is really a great way to make double pages without needing two identical backgrounds. In this particular design 6*6 papers are also used behind the photos. Here's the layout-

If you have a lot of photos, a lot of products, or you just want more ideas and inspiration, then check out this class.
I'll share more about the other classes I recommend in the next posts.
Thanks for visiting!

December 27, 2013

My Favorite Collections for 2013

I feel it's been a good year for scrapbooking, I loved a lot of collections, and trends, so I want to share a few favorites.
My favorite summer line (probably ever) is The Pier from Crate Paper. This line is just beautiful, retro, nostalgic and very summery. It just makes me feel happy.

Here are a couple of layouts I did with some products from that collection, I love the pinwheels!

Next favorite for 2013 is Lucky Charm by Dear Lizzy for American Crafts. I think my all time favorite Dear Lizzy collection is 5th&Frolic, but I find that the Dear Lizzy collections grow more and more on me as time goes by. I like Lucky Charm more now than I did when it first came out. I love the color scheme and motifs. Here are a couple of layouts using it- 

And last but certainly not least is Flea Market by Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper. I loved Maggie Holmes's first collection for Crate Paper, but Flea Market is ,in my opinion, even prettier, with a softer color palette. Here are some newer layouts I made with it-

I just love everything about this collection, the papers, the colors, the gold touches, the embellishments... A definite favorite for 2013.
Needless to say I had many more favorites for 2013, but these three really stood out for me, as entire collections. 
More to come about favorite things in 2013 in the last days of this year. Thanks for visiting!

December 26, 2013

Favorite Layouts for 2013

I'm probably not the first one to say this, but I can't believe 2013 is soon ending. My grandfather always told me that time starts to fly by once you hit 20, and I have to say, he was so right. Last month I turned 34, and the last 14 years seem to have passed like a blink of an eye.
I've been living in Austria for over two and a half years now. It doesn't feel like home yet, but it feels more like home than any other place, which is also something. When I visit my homeland, everything is very familiar, it's so nice to understand everything people say, but I do feel like a visitor. Weird.
And now back to scrapbooking.
I've made lots of layouts this year, more than in the two years before combined. I only started scrapbooking in 2011, I think since then my style has really changed and evolved, and I owe that to a few inspiring scrapbookers and some online classes. I will give credit and write my recommendations in the next posts. Inspiration is important, very important, but I think what also helps to scrap more, is scrapping more. The more layouts you make, the better you know what works for you, what you like, what you tend to use, which colors, which papers, which embellishments. That helps you become a better shopper.
Today I want to share my most loved layouts for 2013.
So, I chose 5 layouts, that I really like, not just because I love the photos (that is still the most important part of the layout for me, and the story when there is one), but because they represent something important for my style and way of scrapbooking.
Here's the first one-

It's funny, or maybe I shouldn't be surprised at all, that my favorite layouts were also some of the most popular posts on my blog. I guess when you do something you really love, people can tell. Or it was just a happy coincidence:)
Anyway, this layout was all about using wood veneers. I really like the idea of taking something I have in large quantities, and making it a central element. It was also a new strategy for me, to start with a product I wanted to use, as opposed to a photo and all my stash. It really helps me focus and use products. You can find the original post here.

Next one is also a good example of starting with products.

I have quite a few colorful ink pads, that sometimes get neglected because of the gorgeous patterned papers that keep coming out. So here I went with white cardstock and lots of colored ink. And I think the effect is quite striking. I think I have become braver with colors, and I'm really happy about that. Here's a link to that post, it was a part of a series of layouts in rainbow colors.

Layout no. 3 is all about watercolors. I've written many times about Wilna Furstenberg's classes and how she influenced my style, like here in the original post.

I noticed that my layouts tend to divide into two major groups, the ones with lots of patterned papers, and the ones with more mixed media. I'm glad I saw this pattern, because it makes the process faster. I usually decide right from the start which type of layout I'm going to create. If I start with the patterned papers, I usually don't even think about all my paints and inks. If I want to play with all those lovely mediums, I will grab a sheet of white cardstock and create my own background. The stages after that are quite similar, photos, title, journaling, and embellishing of course.

The last two layouts I chose are more about my own story. I do find them both very pleasing to the eye, they just came together so easily, but what makes them very special to me are the stories.

The first layout is about my home, the first (and I'm totally ok with it being the last, wow that's a serious thought right there...) I've ever owned. I have moved way too many times in the last 14 years, including moving to another country, and I am soooo happy to settle down with my family. We can't believe it ourselves sometimes. We live in a small village, everything is green and peaceful, it's truly a dream come true for me.
I made this page thanks to a class I took, Hello Story, by Ali Edwards, but I will share more about that in a future post, along with other layouts. You can see the full post about this layout here.

The second one was a no brainer, and it might just be my favorite of all times. No explanations needed, this is truly what life is all about.


It couldn't have happened to a less romantic person, but I found my partner in Italy, during a vacation, and that was it. Just like in the  movies, it was so right. Ten years later, one wedding, one child, lots of love. I'm still a little overwhelmed with all this luck and love.
I made this layout for our 5th year wedding anniversary, I put it on my blog (here) with a few details about us, and I got the loveliest responses. This hobby attracts such lovely people, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for every kind word.
Well now, that became a little more emotional than I expected:) I'll share more of my favorite things till the end of 2013.
thanks for visiting!

December 16, 2013

Scrapbooking with Gelatos Part 3

Here's another layout I created using Faber Castell's Gelatos. This one was definitely inspired by Art Class 2 by Wilna Furstenberg at 2 Peas in a Bucket, but I would say it's more in the spirit of the class and less of a shameless scraplift (like the ones in the two preivous posts). I feel more comfortable playing with gelatos, watercolors and stamps thanks to that class.

Here's the finished page-

I used white cardstock as the base. and just applied some gelatos in a range of bright colors. I then used a little wated to activate the pigment in them and get a better distribution of the colors.

 I used some archival inks in different colors and Faber Castell Big Brush Pens (also permanent ink, so great to use with other mediums that require water, cause it won't smear) for the stamping.

 Then added some watercolors to paint the images.

 Added some embellishment, transparencies from Heidi Swapp's Mixed Company collection, puffy stickers, flowers, fabric bow (Maggie Holmes), stickers from Glitz's Wild and Free collection.

And for more texture- lots and lots of ribbon from the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm ribbon pack beneath the photo.

Thanks for visiting!

December 13, 2013

Scrapbooking with Gelatos Part 2

Here is another layout I made using Faber-Castell's Gelatos. Again, I basically scraplifted one of the layouts in Wilna Furstenberg's amazing Art Class 2 at 2 Peas in a Bucket.
Here is the finished layout:

This must be one of my favorite layouts in a while. Mostly because it features my favorite person in the world, and her lovely father:). But also because somehow it came together so easily. Obviously it was easier than usual, since I scraplifted the main idea, which is those circles, created with gelatos, a little water, and a layer of gloss gel medium on them. But having all those gorgeous gelatos colors really made it possible to create the color scheme, to pick up those golden and purple tones from the photo and bring them to the rest of the page.

I think my favorite part is always embellishing with all kinds of lovely products. Chipboard, puffy stickers, resin flowers, bows, epoxy stickers, I'm in love with them all...

Add a little bit extra something with an Amy Tan yellow doily type die cut and a dimensional sticker from Crate Paper, and the page was done.

More Gelatos pages to come, thx for visiting and have a great weekend!

December 6, 2013

Scrapbooking with Gelatos Part 1

I have been admiring these little gel color or whatever they are sticks for a while, especially after seeing all the lovely things Wilna Furstenberg makes with them. Well, I finally got to try them at a scrapbooking event in Germany in October, at a class taught by none other than Wilna herself. I loved playing with them. So last month when I was in the US for a week (everything scrapbooking is so much cheaper there than in Europe...) I bought a big set. I am happy to report that they are just amazing, totally fun, the colors are incredible, and you can make the prettiest background in minutes.
Here are the pages we created at those workshops with Wilna, they are kind of exactly the same as hers. It was my first live workshop, so it was a bit strange to scrapbook with other people around me, and have everyone working on pretty much the same layout, but I met some great people, and it was so much fun to just play and create for a whole uninterrupted weekend.
Here are the finished layouts-

To create these pages we used the Tropical Gelatos set, it has the most vibrant colors, and they mix beautifully to create more shades (I used all 4 here, and if you look closely, you can see where the original colors overlap).
The background for this page was also created with gelatos, and gesso. If you want to see the whole process of Wilna's original (and much more beautiful) page, you can find it in her Art Class 2 at 2 peas in a Bucket. There's a whole chapter there dedicated to Gelatos.

I'll be posting more layouts using gelatos in the next few days so stay tuned!
Have a great day and thx for stopping by!

October 31, 2013

Step By Step Layout

I love seeing other scrapbookers' step by step posts, so I thought I'd try it myself. It was more challenging than I thought it would be, because I had to remind myself to take photos, and as you'll see, sometimes I missed recording a step (or two).
Here's the finished layout followed by the step by step photos-

I started with white cardstock, a stencil and modeling paste, and let it dry completely. As usual, my stencil was not so clean, so I got some circles with colored edges, luckily it was pink, so it fit my color scheme.

Added a strip of patterned paper, from one of the basics dot collections from Echo Park-

Next I added a piece of pp I cut from the 6*6 Heidi Swapp's Mixed Company collection pad. I love the colors of this collection.

And here I forgot to take some pictures (quite early on... shameful). I got to the next stage by adhering some ribbon to the edge of the mint pp, going behind the pink piece. Those lovely ribbons are from the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm collection. First piece of ribbon was glued straight, and then I used another piece and I used some hot glue to glue it in a few places (so some parts of the ribbon were without glue, slightly raised), to create more movement and dimension. In the same 6*6 pad, there's a pp with different patterned circles, I cut some out, and used them as embellishments-

Next to the photo I chose a die cut from Dear Lizzy 5th&Frolic collection (which is one of my all time favorite collections, well, I've been scrapbooking for two years, so all time is less impressive, but still:))and added some Dear Lizzy thickers. These thickers are beautiful, they have a little glitter or something similar, and a very distressed print pattern-

Added a transparency from the Mixed Company ephemera pack to the left side of the photo-

Added a vellum piece from the same ephemera pack, and two more circles-

Another piece of vellum to the top of the page, just sitting on all the other layers-

This star/flower like shape came with the Thickers sheet-

 Now take a break to create some embellishments. I used chip board hearts and colored them with distress paint in Picked Raspberry, which was a perfect match to the pink in the patterned papers. I dotted the hearts with a paint marker in an aqua shade (it's actually the only color I have, that and white, but it fit great here).

I also colored some wood veneer feathers from Studio Calico (I think they don't make them anymore, sadly, but  I've seen other companies do, like Prima) with acrylic paint. Adhered those down between the other embellishments-

Another heart next to the title-

Then it was mostly finishing touches. That spot over the title looked a bit empty, and I wanted to use that camera clip, so I used a scalloped circle punch to punch another pp from the 6*6 pad and put the clip on it, along with some enamel dots and puffy stickers from American Crafts.

I added more ribbon, this time horizontally, as though going behind the photo, again gluing it in certain spots. I also added a ribbon bow from Maggie Holmes Flea Market on the heart. You can also see some ink spray splatters, I can't seem to make a layout without those nowadays-

I cut a small triangle from the pink pp and glued it to the upper right corner of the layout.
I tucked another scalloped circle behind upper left side of the photo, and made my own (much less pretty) bow out of ribbon, as an embellishment on that circle. You can see these details in the photo of the finished layout, here it is again-

Hope you enjoyed the post, thanks for visiting!