March 15, 2018

"Lucky You"- Stuck?! Sketches

I cannot believe that this is already my last layout for the Stuck?! Sketches Design Team. Time sure has flown by! Here is the March 15 sketch that Laura Whitaker created. During the past 6 months I usually started looking for photos and stories that would suit the sketch. Asking questions like: How many photos do I need to tell this story? Can I use several smaller ones or should I use one large photo? After finding the right photos I then built a page kit around those always checking back with the sketch. Laura's sketches are very detailed and (if you choose to read them like that) even suggest the volume of each paper.

After I had assembled my page kits, I then went to create and most of my layouts came together so quickly. Except for when I chose to use mixed media. Which to my surprise I used fairly often with these sketches. One reason could be that I felt secure knowing the layout would come together due to the sketch and so I could focus all my energy on trying out new techniques with mixed media. For this layout I used my Distress Oxide inks and stencils and started adding some texture to the background. Unfortunately, most of it got hidden by the embellishments I added later on. And then I built my layers according to the sketch.

When I started embellishing I went all out. And I loved adding all of the different die cuts and chipboard pieces everywhere. Sometimes I have such a hard time just placing one die cut and finding the perfect spot for it, trying it in so many different places. But this time, I went with quick decisions and stuck them down as soon as I thought it would look nice. And I love the how much dimension the many embellishments add to the layout.

The original title placement is to the bottom left of the photo cluster. I chose the top right instead for two different reasons: the title was quite large and bold and would have put too much weight to the bottom of my layout and with the added journaling the layout wouldn't have been balanced properly. The other reason was a lot more practical since the chipboard banner made it quite hard to place a title there nicely without a lot of adjusting and tweaking.

Here is a link to my video on youtube where you can see how this layout came together. Please make sure to check out the Stuck?! Sketches blog and have a look at all the other layouts by the Design Team. We would love for you to play along and link your layout to the link up to win some lovely prizes!
Thank you so much, Laura for having me on your team, I had such a great time in the past six month and find I created some of the best layouts with the help of your amazing sketches. I'm so sad my term is already over!

March 1, 2018

"... and I love you" - Stuck?! Sketches

It's March! How did that happen so quickly? Let me share this new sketch with you today that was created by Laura Whitaker for Stuck?! Sketches. Look at all the possibilities the sketch offers: you could stitch the circles, layer different patterned circles behind each other. Use washi tape for the stars, replace one of the photo spots with a journaling card or do something completely different. My first idea was to use differently colored embroidery thread and stitch the circles.

But then I accidentally stumbled across this free cut file from Paper Issues, I think what made me connect this file with the sketch was the circle obviously but also the stars in both. I was excited about using another cut file (you might have noticed that I am really starting to like them) and so I decided to go "that route". I kept the whole layout very simple: I used five different patterned papers, three photos, black card stock for the cut file, water color to do some mixed media on the background, a star stamp from feed your craft, alpha stickers and a date stamp. But even though I really love heavily embellished layouts, I don't think this layout is missing a thing. It is perfect just the way it is.

The title consists of two parts and is placed along the outer edge of the circle. Before adhering the cut file circle and photos onto the colorful background, I added tiny star stamps to several places along the circle to emphasize those areas where the photos and star embellishments would be. I really love this effect. The star cluster is from the feed your craft Plattern Play stamp set.

I love how the watercolor mixed media background turned out. I started using the packaging technique but then went in with my brush and just added color and water where I thought it looked right. Since I'm still in the beginning stages of using mixed media on my scrapbooking layouts, I'm still excited about it every time I use it and curious to see if what I envision in my head will come to life on paper. Luckily, it is just paper and the worst case would be a paper that ends up in the trash can instead of my album.

Here is a link to my video on youtube where you can see how this layout came together. Please make sure to check out the Stuck?! Sketches blog and have a look at all the other layouts by the Design Team. We would love for you to play along and link your layout to the link up to win some lovely prizes!

February 26, 2018

"I only have eyes for you" Layout | Shimmerz Education Team

Remember my journal background that I created using Shimmerz Coloringz in January? I loved the effect of the spread and decided I wanted to do a layout based on it. So I brought out my Coloringz and Vibez again and in a first step mixed them with white acrylic paint and created a rainbow effect in the middle of my 12x12 card stock. I did this so that there would be one part of the card stock that was completely covered in paint.

After the paint was dry, I used the mists with a paint brush and dipped it to the top of my colored background and let it drip down the page holding the paper vertically. I mixed the colors as I went and loved the effect that I was able to achieve. I did not treat the card stock with gesso so the mist would run smoothly across the acrylic paint but once it reached the plain card stock it slowed down and started to soak into the paper. I loved how the color started to feather and intensify the individual streaks.

When my background was finished I started working on the layout and used a cut file to create part of my title which is the most prominent part of my layout. I backed each letter with scraps of patterned paper that matched the rainbow background. Then I added my photo and embellishments and called it done. Ok, maybe this sounds a bit too easy and I should add that I spent quite some time with the decision making process of where exactly each individual embellishment should be placed. And this description also lacks the fact that I didn't like my square photo. But I have a process video where you can see me make all the decisions and find a solution for my photo, which I now like much better!

Here is a link to my process video on youtube. If you place an order in the Shimmerz Store, don't forget to mention my name Simone in the comments at checkout to receive a free mini surprise product! Thanks for stopping by today!
Coloringz - My Bleeding Heart, No Yoking, Don't Citron Me, Oh Say Can U Sea, Well Blue Me Down, Heidi Ho Blue, Pink Stilettos
Vibez - Jeni B Bleu, Blue Jeans

February 15, 2018

"We had such a blast" - Stuck?! Sketches

Oh the doilies on the sketches ... there is another one here on this sketch for the February 15, 2018 challenge over at Stuck?! Sketches. I love this sketch - it is such a great way to feature one special photo prominently on a page. And that's exactly what I did.

You know I couldn't use a doily, so I replaced it liberally with mixed media and a free heart cut file from Paper Issues (unfortunately I wasn't able to locate it in their store). That's the great thing about sketches, you do not have to take them literally, the doily simply suggests a "something behind the main photo cluster that sticks out unevenly on multiple sides". And that's exactly what my mixed media background does too. I scrapbooked a photo from the photo booth at my sister's wedding. Originally, I wanted to make a lovey-dovey layout for my husband, but somehow that story didn't really go with the crazy layout and so I decided to document the wedding instead. And I think that was the right decision.

I used Shimmerz Vibez and Inklingz to create the background using the packaging technique and then decided to leave the cut file white in order for it to be visible on the page but still take a back seat. I was debating filling the hearts with patterned paper but then quickly decided against it in order for more of the pretty colorful background to be seen.

This close-up of one of the embellishment clusters shows how all the different layers complement each other and add to the beautiful texture of the page. I really love this specific part of the layout, especially because I was able to use that holographic unicorn on the page. When I purchased the ephemera pack I wasn't sure about if I would even use any of them. And then I get to use one on the very first layout that I made using the beautiful "Glitter Girl Collection" by Shimelle.

Here is a link to my video on youtube where you can see how this layout came together. Please make sure to check out the Stuck?! Sketches blog and have a look at all the other layouts by the Design Team. We would love for you to play along and link your layout to the link up to win some lovely prizes!

February 2, 2018

A different kind of POCKET LETTER using PACKAGING

I am sharing a pocket letter today that I made from different bits and pieces from my January and February Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping kits. I especially used those things that you would usually not consider as paper crafting products: mainly all different kinds of packaging. This pocket letter was greatly inspired by Moon Hulsman who shared a very similar idea on her instagram last year.

As you can see, I used one of the big brown paper bags that our kits used to come in as my base and just folded the paper "harmonica style" to create pockets. Then I decorated the paper using the acrylic paint and layered papers and die cuts on top. Then I went on to create the filling for my pocket letter. Once I had gathered all the different pieces, I then went on to mark the width of each pocket and sewed lines along each pocket.

I used the stamp from the Classified kit: memory keeping edition and some lined paper to create some fun stationery for my pen pal and set aside one of the pages to write my own letter.

Here are some of the items I included in the letter: a glassine bag with some sequins and a flair button (all from the Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping kits "Shine Bright"), a partial pack of enamel shapes (from the Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping kits "Always") where I cut down a piece of the backing paper from one of the packages and added it all into another little bag of packaging. A bag with leftover die cuts, I again removed the backing and replaced it with a scrap of patterned paper and added a piece of ribbon to the top. And finally some washi samples from the Planner kits as well as the Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping kits "Shine Bright" that I wrapped around a used Cable Car ticket.

Finally, I used the new yellow polka dot bag that contained our Memory Keeping kits this month to create an envelope. Because I am not so sure about the paper holding up while traveling all the way to the Philippines I used packing tape very liberally.

Here is a closer look at the pocket letter! I can't tell you how excited I am to send it off to my friend who has been waiting for a reply from me for such a long time. Thank you so much for letting me share this with you today!

February 1, 2018

"DARE Culmination" - Stuck?! Sketches

I don't know if this happens to you, but I tend to fall head over heels in love with new scrapbooking collections and have to have them and then, once they are here I put them away because I'm too intimidated to use them. Last Fall I purchased several items from two collections: Wild Child and Glitter Girl and put it away to hoard it. For the February Stuck?! Sketches I decided to make an effort to pull out the new stuff and use it. Laura's sketch was a great jumping off point to get me started!

I decided to scrapbook these two photos of my oldest son at his DARE culmination. I remembered I never scrapbooked them when I worked on the same (but different) layout for my middle son. After I pulled out the photos I did not only go through my new papers and embellishments but also looked for coordinating patterns in my stash of patterned papers and created a page kit. And I'm so excited about this discovery! I know page kits aren't a new thing, but they are new to me and I loved having everything there in my bag: papers, embellishments, photos and the sketch. And once I have some free time, I can just grab an scrap.

Here is a closeup of the upper embellishment cluster. I primarily chose the lion for the color and it just felt right there. But then I remembered when voicing over the video that the DARE mascot is DAREN a lion. And so this quite random embellishment makes sense after all. When playing around with my embellishments and the placement of them, I noticed a diagonal tendency that I then emphasized by choosing red embellishments to be placed on the diagonal and by adding the star stickers as a final touch.

This closeup photo shows the title and the chipboard camera that is so old I don't even know what collection it is from. And yes, it's pink and I don't even care: It's close enough to red. I love the dimension it adds to the page and think the combination of old and new embellishments working together so well makes it even better! I added my journaling along the bottom of the

Here is a link to my video on youtube where you can see how this layout came together. Please make sure to check out the Stuck?! Sketches blog and have a look at all the other layouts by the Design Team. We would love for you to play along and link your layout to the link up to win some lovely prizes!

January 29, 2018


I'm up on the Shimmerz blog with my first blogpost and video for the Shimmerz Education Team. I have started a new to me form of memory keeping for 2018 in my weekly vertical traveler's notebook insert from Midori. And I love it, I love spending a little time creating a colorful mixed media background before the week starts and I love using stickers, ephemera, practically everything that I can find around the house to decorate the weekly spread when I journal daily about my day! It is so much fun and doesn't take a lot of time out of my day so I have actually kept up with it so far! I hope that I can carry on way beyond the first excitement of January and share my spreads every week on Instagram using the Hashtag #seemownaysweek.

For this spread, I wanted to try the Blow Painting Technique with a straw! I remember doing this as a child and thought it would be fun to try out my new COLORINGZ and see how well the paper takes the mists. I wanted to create a rainbow effect, so I pulled out a piece of packaging as a palette and added the first color. I then took it up with a brush, added a colorful blob to the top of the page and then used my straw to move the color down the page. I actually turned my insert upside down to be able to control the paint better. Then I just went on, adding the different colors and mixing them along the way to get a bigger and more colorful palette.

After prepping the background, I went through my stickers and my ephemera and created a little kit to use throughout the week. Then each night when I sat on the couch I would pull out my traveler's notebook and quickly journal about my day, adding bits and pieces as I wrote. This photo shows the progress after the first days. Isn't the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on the tea tag just perfect? I love it: "Earth laughs in flowers." I never paid any attention to the tags on my tea bags before and didn't even know they hid little treasures, but that day it fell into the hot water and so I had to get it out with a spoon. And there this beautiful quote was waiting for me. I dried it with my heat tool, remembered that I had just seen this beautiful die cut in my stash, pulled it out and stuck it right into my journal.

Whenever possible, I tried to match my stickers and ephemera to the rainbow background to intensify the rainbow effect! I absolutely love how this all turned out! Unfortunately, this was the week when I had to record my very first trip to the ER since moving here. Luckily, I'm back to walking at the moment and hoping that I can omit knee surgery. The accident happened on Friday night but as you can see, I'm not too strict when it comes to sticking to the given page design: I just add my journaling wherever I think it fits best into my own design.

After I was done with my journaling, there was still lots of empty space left at the bottom of the page, so I decided to add a quote that relates to GO, my word for the year 2018. I love collecting quotes and never know where to put them. Adding them here whenever and wherever possible, makes them more visible, which I love.

Here is another look at the finished page. It's so much fun to do, it doesn't require a lot of material and time. And the best part for me is that I am less intimidated to try different techniques. Often I am paralyzed by the size of bigger projects and don't even know where to start. Now that I have seen how easy it is to create such a fun rainbow background, I am thinking about trying it on a larger canvas. What do you think? Wouldn't this be fun as a a background for a 12x12 layout?

Here is a link to my process video on youtube. If you place an order in the Shimmerz Store, don't forget to mention my name Simone in the comments at checkout to receive a free mini surprise product! Thanks for stopping by today!

Coloringz - Don't Citron Me, No Yoking, My Bleeding Heart, Pink Stilettos, Heidi Ho Blue, Well Blue Me Down