December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!! And Hip Kit Club's Design Team Open Call!!

Happy 2015 to all of you!! I wish you all the best, lots of joy and success and may all your dreams come true!
2014 was full of new things, and I have to admit I do not know what 2015 will bring...

Anyway, if you haven't already seen these great news, Hip Kit Club has a design team call for 2015! I highly recommend applying, it's a great kit club to design for. I've enjoyed every kit since I subscribed back in June, and even more as a design team member in the last few months. You can find all the details in the blog post over at the Hip Kit Club blog.
Have a great year!!

December 29, 2014

New Layout Using the December Hip Kit Club Kits + Prcoess Video

Hi! I'm taking a short break from my 2014 favorites series here on the blog to share a new layout I created using the beautiful December kits. You can find the finished layout on the Hip Kit Club blog, and here's the process video-

The January kits are still available, but I suspect they will soon sell out, so take a look and grab some pretty goodies!
And here's a sneak from another layout I'm working on, playing with the December color kit-

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

December 28, 2014

2014 Favorites- Part 5- Collections

2014 was a good year in my humble opinion in scrapbooking collections. I've really enjoyed certain products, but somehow I think I'm slowly narrowing down my favorite brands... 2 words for you- American Crafts... Or associated with...
So here are a few of my favorite collections this year, in no particular order (though the first is probably my favorite...)

1. Studio Calico- Lemon Lush
I love everything about this collections. The papers were too pretty. Amazing color scheme. Modern, colorful and whimsical.

I actually had just a few products from this collection, but I just loved using them, I kinda wanna get some more...
If you can only buy two items, get the 6*6 pad, and the chipboard hearts!

Here are a couple of layouts I made using this collection-

2. Crate Paper- Notes& Things
Crate paper just keep getting it right. Love what they've been doing in the last couple of years with their own collections and the ones by Maggie Holmes.

 We got some items from that collection in the September Hip Kit Club kit, and here's what I did with it-

4. Dear Lizzy-Daydreamer
I love all of Dear Lizzy's collections, and in the beginning of this year Daydreamer came out. As usual, super pretty and feminine. I think Dear Lizzy's collections are my favorite cause I seem to love them the longest... Favorite items? The 6*6 pad and the puffy hearts. I went through two packages of those hearts without a problem.

I debated getting the stamp set, and finally got it on sale... Love the whimsical images!

The newest DL collection is called Serendipity, and I'll be getting my hands on lots of it very soon!

5. Maggie Holmes- Open Book
I loved loved loved Maggie Holmes' Flea Market collection that came out in 2013, but I wasn't totally into Styleboard. However, Open Book is just a lovely collection. I got lots of it in the October Hip Kit Club kit, and also got some extras on my own. Favorite pieces? Without a doubt my number one favorite item is the floral ephemera pack. I've been wanting someone to come out with a floral ephemera pack for a while now, since it's always my favorite pieces in ephemera packs (and hence, most hoarded ones).
Look at all these lovely flowers!!

But I really love the whole collection. Here are a couple of project using it-

OK, so that's it for this post! Part 5 is done! I'm really excited for winter CHA to see what is in store for us in 2015!
Thanks for visiting!

December 27, 2014

Earthquake Chocolate Cookies Recipe

These are my favorite cookies, my secret weapon, the ones I hardly ever make cause I know I'll eat and eat and eat them...
The recipe is by Carine Goren from her first book "Sweet Secrets", which is also available in English. They are soooo good.

3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar ( I use a little less)
12 ounces/350g bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Irish Cream (optional, I have also used rum)
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3/4 heaping cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup ground almonds

Sugar (I put a little in a bowl and refill as needed)
Powdered sugar (same as with the sugar)

1. In a mixer (I have a Kitchenaid stand mixed, but hand mixer will also work) whip the eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes until thick and pale in color.  

This is an important step, the eggs should turn light in color (very pale yellow) and triple their volume, when you lift the whisk with the mixture it should fall back in ribbon-like shape.
Surprisingly I didn't find a lot of videos showing how to whip whole eggs (as opposed to white or yolks), but this one, in a language I don't recognize (sorry about that) shows it well. Skip to the last 15 seconds to see how your eggs should look.

2. Meanwhile, melt together the chocolate and butter. Fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture. Mix the Irish cream and coffee powder and add to the mixture.

3. Add ( I sift it in) the flour, baking powder and ground almonds, and fold just until evenly combined. The batter will be fairly thin. Make sure you use fresh baking powder, otherwise the cookies will not rise properly and flatten out.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours until the mixture sets (I sometimes refrigerate it overnight).

5. Preheat oven to 190 C/375 F

6. Form the mixture into 1 and a 1/2 inch balls (I wet  my hands lightly and roll).

7. Prepare one bowl with sugar and one with powdered sugar.
Roll each ball in sugar and then in powdered sugar. Place the balls, spreading them out evenly, onto a parchment lined cookie tray. They rise and spread when baked.

8. Bake for 8 minutes. No more!! The cookies will flatten slightly, deep cracks will appear on their surface and they will be very soft to the touch. This is fine, they will cool and harden.
Cool thoroughly (if you have the will power. I don't.) and store in one layer, in a sealed container at room temperature.

I sometimes keep the mixture in the fridge for 2-3 days and bake a new fresh batch of cookies when desired... And they are oh so very desirable...

December 25, 2014

2014 Favorites- Part 4- Hip Kit Club

I've shared my tips for picking a monthly kit club in detail here.
My choice these days is Hip Kit Club. I subscribed to it in June this year, and after a few months joined the design team, which has been so amazing. I know everything I write might sound like a sales pitch, but it's all true... I don't think there's one kit club that is right for everyone, not at all. There are so many styles and budgets out there. But for me, Hip Kit Club has been the best fit. I love every kit, every month. I love the stress free shopping experience, the community, the choice of add ons, and I really appreciate the excellent customer service. There are all kinds of exciting things coming up in 2015, like exclusive products and Project Life style kit. Anyhow, here are some of my favorite projects using the kits-

Thanks for visiting and I'll be back soon with some more 2014 favorites!

December 23, 2014

2014 Favorites- Part 3- My Favorite Mixed Media Products

Hi! In part 3 of my 2014 favorites I'd like to share my mixed media favorites. I've definitely explored mixed media this year, and had a blast doing so. I love playing with paint, pastes, watercolors and all the fun colorful products in the mixed media world.
If only I could get them all... I'd need another room.
Anyway, let's get started. I'll start with the musts, the basics and then move on to the more fun colorful stuff...

1. Gesso-
A must for mixed media in my book. Gesso is a primer, it primes the surface for paint. Paint looks truer on gesso, and you'll need less of it when you use gesso first. It protects your surface and doesn't let all the wet media soak into the paper. This is especially important when using cardstock or patterned paper for your scrapbooking layouts. It is an essential product in my opinion. I buy what I can get cheaply from my art supplies store. I used this year a brand called Lukas, and I was really pleased with it. It was heavy body and not so gritty as some gessos are. I ran out of it, and bought a big jar of gesso from a brand called Guardi, and it is very very gritty. I'm not sure I like it, and I might go back to the other one. I've also heard wonderful things about Liquitex's gesso, so I might try that one too, even though it is more expensive.

2. Gel/Matte Medium-
Another basic supply. I mostly use mine as glue, and as a resist. I currently use both matte medium and gel matte medium by Liquitex. This medium comes in liquid form, heavy, super heavy, and different finished (ultra matte, matte, semi gloss, gloss). I like matte. I use the liquid one as glue, and the gel one through a stencil as a resist.

3.  Texutre paste/molding paste/modeling paste
I use it all the time, 95% of the times with a stencil. Sometimes I mix it with paint/ink. I love Ranger's texture paste, but probably won't buy it again because I use it a lot and that gets rather expensive (plus shipping).

So besides the Ranger brand I bought a huge jar at my local art supplies store. It's more elastic than the Ranger one, and to be honest I really prefer the Ranger brand. But for the price I'll stick with the cheaper option.

4. Paper-
For my layouts I use a combination of cardstock, patterned paper (from kits and online scrapbooking stores), mixed media and watercolor paper (from the local art supplies store). When I know I'll use a lot of water I go with watercolor paper.

5. Watercolors-
I wrote a very detailed blog post about watercolors for scrapbookers here and here. But the short version- As a scrapbooker, if you want bright clear watercolors, I'd go for Peerless watercolors. I've used them on many layouts and process videos, here's one of them-

6. Faber Castell Gelatos-
What is it about gelatos? I'm gonna say the colors. I know a lot of people struggle with using them, and I found that even though they are not as versatile as other media (like watercolors or acrylic paints), I love the look I get with them, probably mostly because of the colors. If you just want to give them a try without spending too much, and you like bright colors, I'd go for this package-

Every color is beautiful and you can mix them to make some more lovely shades.
Here they are in action, I made this layout in a workshop last year taught by the amazing Wilna Furstenberg.

I've used them on many layouts and videos, here is a link to all the posts featuring them on my blog. I also created recently a very detailed 2 parts tutorial, showing different techniques, starting from super basic.
Part 1-

Part 2-

7. Ink Sprays/ Mists-
Love them, need them all. Favorite technique- use them with packaging. I own a few brands. My favorites are Lindy Stamp Gang Flat Fabios, but I recently got the new Ranger Distress Stain Sprays, and they are fun too. When using gesso, I love to use Studio Calico Mr. Huey's, but they are expensive... I've used mists on so many layouts this year... Here are a few videos-

8. Acrylic paint-
The first color media I tend to grab are watercolors, but I also enjoy playing with acrylic paints. I've recently got some Liquitex heavy body paint, and they are lovely, but I also really enjoy the color palette Dina Wakley offers. This image is from her blog-

 Here are a couple of layouts using them-

 Love her choice of colors.
I think that's enough for now, these are the products I reach for the most, but I'm pretty sure this time next year I'll have some new favorites!
I'll be back soon with some more 2014 favorites. Thanks for visiting!

December 21, 2014

New Layout Using the December Hip Kit Club Kits +Process Video!

I'm up on the Hip Kit Club blog with a new layout, and there's a process video to go along!

Thanks for visiting!

2014 Favorites! - Part 2- The Process Videos

Hi! Welcome to my scrapbooking summary of 2014. I already posted my favorite layouts, and now I want to focus on my process videos. I started making them in March this year, after getting a confidence boost from a lovely Facebook page, the Nicolejones911 group. I started and never looked back! I love making these videos, and I love getting to know the lovely scrapbooking community.
So without further delay, here are my favorite videos for this year.
I gotta start with my very first video-

I love this page, and I was beyond excited when it was featured on the 2 Peas in a Bucket gallery (I can't believe that place is gone... ). I used Dear Lizzy's Lucky Charm collection here. Love how colorful and happy this turned out.

This layout was just really fun to make. I really enjoy focusing on a few products, Avery Elle stamps and ink pads in this case. And that photo is too cute!

This has to be one of my favorite pages. I used distress inks to create the background, and it turned out so pretty I couldn't believe it. This is what I'm all about, color. Love this look.

I love the colors and textures in this layout, so elegant and pretty.

This video is one of the most popular ones on my channel, it was a part of the 2014 National Scrapbooking Day video hop that I organized on YouTube. That photo is very meaningful to me, if you want to know why, watch the video :)

I just love everything about this. The colors are so pretty, I used Faber Castell gelatos here.

Layers and layers, love all the texture here.

And a few videos that are not process videos-

That's me! I was tagged and answered some very serious questions about scrapbooking!

And last but not least, my favorite products for 2014-

Thanks for visiting! I'll be back soon with more picks for 2014 favorites!

December Hip Kit Club Project Sneaks

Hi! Just popping in to give you a sneak peek of my next project for Hip Kit Club-

The layout will be up tomorrow on the Hip Kit Club blog as well as the video.
Have a lovely Sunday! Thanks for visiting!

December 20, 2014

2014 Favorites! Part 1- The Layouts

I love looking back and seeing how my style changed and evolved.
This year has been, in one word, when it comes to scrapbooking- Amazing. Simply amazing! I've had so much fun playing with new media, documenting my family's life, and the biggest change in my 'Scrapbooking Journey' (I copied that expression from my friend on YouTube Meaghan Russo)- making process videos on YouTube.
I've had this blog for a few years now, and even though it's been fun posting my layout here, I got so much more contact with the community through YouTube. I love reading all the comments, and also seeing other people's process videos. I find it really inspiring.
Here are my favorite layouts from 2014-

So many fun pictures and colors... Really makes me happy to look back on these pages...
I'll be back with my summary of favorite videos, favorite products and more...
Thanks for visiting!

December 17, 2014

January 2015 Hip Kit Club Reveal!!

After recovering from the shock that 2015 is right around the corner, I was so happy to see the new Hip Kit Club kits for January 2015. They are so pretty, so my style, and I can't wait to play with them.
So I just wanted to share the kits, and some of my thoughts about them.
Here's the main kit -

 I love everything Dear Lizzy, and the kits this month are full of goodies from her latest collection, Serendipity. The main kit is full of papers from that collections, as well as from Amy Tan's Stitched. Favorites? Tough one... But I'm gonna go with puffy stickers!!! And I'm looking forward to playing with those watercolor words, that seems like a really fun product.
Next is the Color add on-

This one is my personal favorite. And I think it's because it has such a great mix of products. This is less about embellishments, and more about adding layers and color to layouts. I LOVE that stencil from Basic Grey. Those tiny hearts will be so fun inked, misted or embossed, as a background or added texture, almost like an embellishment on their own. I've done this with a star stencil that came with the October Color add on, and I intend to do it with the hearts for a similar effect. Here's what I'm talking about-

This technique will work really well with that hearts stencil.
Another fun technique is removing media using a stencil, which basically means applying watercolor/gelatos/distress inks/other watersoluble non permanent media, and then positioning the stencil and using a wet baby wipe to remove
paint. I do this on this layout using gelatos and a star stencil-

The kit also comes with and ink pad called Mint To Be. It's pigment ink made by Avery Elle, and it's one of my favorite colored inks this year.

A couple of fun products in the kit are the wooden frames from the new Amy Tan collection, and the acetate sheets from We Are Memory Keepers. I think the combo of those two will be really cool.
But I love transparencies also on their own. They look great as layered pieces, you can die cut them or stamp on them with Stazon ink. I love the fun colors in the kit. And... You can use Texture paste on them! I will definitely be playing with that heart stencil, texture paste and those transparencies!

But... I have a special place in my scrapbooking heart for 6*6 pads. For many reasons. The main reason is that it is a lot of paper for a few bucks.  I love how many options, patterns and colors I have, and since Hip Kits are always so jam packed with embellishments, I tend to run out of paper before I run out of embellishments, so I'm really happy having more paper. Here's a layout I made using the 6*6 pad from Dear Lizzy's previous collection, Daydreamer.

In case you are new to Hip Kits, or my projects for the Hip Kit Club design team, I can tell you, that I make it my personal challenge and (fun) goal, to use the color add ons in as many ways as I can throughout the month and after as well. In the last two months I've also made a special tutorial showing many ways of using the products that come with the color add on, simple fun and easy ways and techniques.

The other gorgeous add on is the embellishment add on, which has a beautiful collection of products, including a couple of items from the new Crate Paper collection, Kiss Kiss.

Hello pretty! And did I mention how much I love roller stamps???

And there are also the paper add ons, more patterned paper and cardstock that coordinates beautifully with the kits.

All of the kits are currently available at the Hip Kit Club store, Hip Kit Club ships worldwide, so you do not have to be in the US to enjoy these amazing kits.
Thanks for visiting and I will be back soon with new projects!