November 15, 2017

"Kletterwald" - Stuck?! Sketches


I cannot believe it is time for sharing another sketch! I had meant to share so many other things in between but just didn't get to it. Let's see if that is something I can get better at in 2018. Here is the November 15 sketch that Laura Whitaker created for Stuck?! Sketches. It calls for a circular element behind a strip of paper which holds a square photo and what looks like a journaling card.


I had printed this photo a while ago. Originally, I wanted to use it with a different kit but the colors of the photo went perfectly with the Cocoa Daisy September kits called "Early Sunset". When I went through the kit the 1Canoe2 Creekside Rings and Crosses paper sparked the idea of using those tree circles. Since one of them was too small I decided to go with four. And that is exactly what threw me off. I struggled with the layout for a very long time while trying to follow the sketch. It didn't look right with those huge mats and the squared photo. When I finally let go of that idea and started to bring in more "me", it suddenly came together very easily and odd things that I often would never think to put on a layout looked great. I'm talking about the huge toadstools and the tree and the proportions that weren't quite right.


As you can see, I fussy cut part of my photo and then back it on several journaling cards. I also added several pieces of foam to add dimension to the otherwise flat layout. Somehow the organic (hahaha, well, circular) shape of my sons' heads as well as the circular embellishments now tie in well with the tree discs.


I created two similar embellishment clusters that consisted of one word tag, one toadstool, a die cut heart and puffy heart. I love creating embellishment clusters that are very similar because this is an easy way to tie it all together and make a layout look cohesive.

We would love for you to join us this month and create a project off this sketch. Be sure to link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the process video for this layout where you can see me struggle for quite a while and then see the layout come together quite easily and quickly after that.

November 1, 2017

"Best Friends Forever" - Stuck?! Sketches


Today I have a fun layout and sketch to share with you that Laura from Stuck?! Sketches designed. What a great sketch to use more than one photo on a layout but still leave enough room for embellishments or patterned paper to shine.


Here is my take on the sketch, I used my September Cocoa Daisy kit for it since the colors went quite well with my photos and I had not yet had a chance to play with it. I had been meaning to use a dark background and use gesso behind the photo cluster. It worked so well with the colors of the photos and the papers.




Sketches for me are a starting point. So in this case the basic info that I took from it was:
  • three small, square photos,
  • frame behind one photo,
  • photos mounted on one patterned paper,
  • there are two embellishment clusters: a smaller cluster to the left, a large cluster to the right,
  • title placement underneath the photos towards the right and journaling underneath, and
  • two strips of patterned paper at the bottom of the page.
I layered several pieces of patterned paper behind my photo and used a frame again on this layout. This is the second layout in a row where I used a frame. All I can say: they are awesome! The colored splotches of paper were fussy cut from a kaisercraft paper that actually looked very mixed media-ish. So they worked quite well with my mixed media background without being messy.


I used a white gel pen for my journaling but it ran out before I was finished. Usually when I want to tell a story that tries to convey my feelings I write a draft. But this time I didn't, so I not only have to go back and finish the journaling but also make sense of it. Sigh. Next time I know better ...

We'd love for you to join us this month and create a project based off this sketch. Be sure and link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the video where I tell you more about my thought process while creating the layout and the story of the photos.

October 24, 2017

A roller stamp in a planner? Yes!


No, I'm not talking about a roller date stamp, I can see how that stamp comes in very handy in a planner. What I am talking about is the roller stamp that came in the October Planner Add-On kit. If you have been wondering how you could use this in your planner, then keep on reading!


I created a planner spread for you to illustrate three ways this stamp set could be used. All the stamping on this spread (except for the numbers) was created using the roller stamp. Let's zoom in:


First, I used black Versafine ink and the plus signs to divide the weekend section into two parts. One for Saturday and one for Sunday. I used black to show that I really mean it, yes - they are two different days!


Then I used the Memento Dew Drop ink in Pear Tart that I purchased in the shop and added a dividing line to all the rest of the days. I used the lighter color to indicate that this division isn't as harsh as the one for Saturday and Sunday. It is a guide for me to keep my spreads clean and usable: the right column is our family schedule, the left side carries my daily to do list and notes.


Then I used the arrow and black ink again because those laundry piles on Mondays usually are as high as the highest mountains. It indicates that the laundry needs to get done. Today!


Finally, I used one of the swirly, scribbly stamps to underline an important event in the week. To emphasize the importance even more I used yet another ink color: Memento Dew Drop in Cantaloupe. And the spread is done.

Do you use roller stamps in your planner? How do you use them? You could also use them to create subtle texture on your journaling pages. If you have great ideas for using the stamp, please leave a comment below!

October 15, 2017

"English?" - Stuck?! Sketches


Today I have a fun layout and sketch to share with you that Laura from Stuck?! Sketches designed. This sketch is perfect for showcasing large embellishments, using mixed media and layering patterned paper scraps.


Here is my take on the sketch, I dug deep into my stash and pulled old papers from studio tekturek that came in an older Studio Calico kit as well as a 6x6 paper pad that I bought at the yard sale of my local scrapbook store. I really enjoy pulling out all of those things that have been sitting in my stash for a while, it is such a satisfying feeling to finally put them to good use.


I layered several pieces of patterned paper behind my photo and also used two frames on this layout. Which is something new for me, even though I admire the look of frames on other designers' layouts, I haven't really used them yet. So this sketch was the perfect push to venture in this new world of frames.

The sketch suggests that we use a doily ... ahem ... well, there are no doilies in my stash. And there is a reason for that. But the layout works well without one. And instead of a tag, I repeated the patterned paper from the strips on top and created a shelf for the title. I always look at a sketch as a suggestion or starting point so replacing the tag with the strip of paper is just one way of interpretation.


We'd love for you to join us this month and create a project based off this sketch. Be sure and link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the video where I tell you more about my thought process while creating the layout and the story of the photo and the short title.

October 1, 2017

"This is us" - Stuck?! Sketches


Have you seen it on facebook or instagram? Or have you read the Stuck?! Sketches Design Team announcement? I'm still pinching myself because I made it! I'm so excited to be part of such a talented group of designers for the next six months. Above you can see the first sketch that will start our term. And below is my interpretation of it.


As you can see, I turned the sketch around. I thought the pictures worked better arranged in this order. And then I started working on the layout. It took me quite a while and I like the way it turned out but I'm not absolutely in love with it. I often have that happen when I want something to be extra super duper special like in this case, my very first layout for this team.
Did you see? I handcut the scallops, they turned out a bit wonky which gives them a whimsical touch. And I used so many things that were in my stash for quite some time. And that totally makes me happy: I used the blue glitter alphas, that came in my very first warehouse sale box. When I received those, I was bummed. These were my very first thickers and then blue glitter?! But here they worked! Yay! I used more of the black phrase thickers that I just had to have and then was too intimidated to actually use. And I used more of those chipboard speech bubbles, they were in that same warehouse sale box. Now that my stash is a bit bigger, I can finally smile about those first purchases, that were a total waste of money, and pull them out, use some and purge the rest.


In the bottom cluster I added the "Say Cheese" flair from feed your craft, that I wasn't able to use on one of my previous layouts. It worked perfectly because the photos were taken when my youngest discovered my old DSLR that I hadn't used in several years. He insisted on charging the batteries and adding a memory card and was the family photographer for several weeks during the summer. He brought out the tripod and we took our very first family photo on a timer. We had so much fun taking the photos and watching him setting it all up.


When creating clusters I try to add the same elements to each cluster, in this layout I made sure there were cameras, chipboard as well as puffy stickers in each one of them. This is such an easy way to make a layout look more cohesive. Doesn't this "my tribe" sticker just go well with the theme of the layout? I layered it on top of the chipboard speech bubble that houses the date.


I started working on the top photo cluster after I had a basic idea of the elements on the left. I didn't really know where to start, so I pulled in all the papers that I used previously. For my journaling I added one label to each of the photo elements.

We'd love for you to play along with this sketch. If you do, please be sure and link your project up to the site. You'll have a chance to win a prize from one of these two sponsors this month.



Here's a link to my process video if you'd like to take a closer peek at how the layout came together. Thanks so much and I hope you have a great day!

September 25, 2017

Scrap Friday - Cocoa Daisy "Under the Sea"

The past three Fridays I have been working with the Cocoa Daisy "Under the Sea" kits from June 2017. I beefed up my kit with some items from the freckled fawn July kits. I found out that they offer the items that are in their monthly kits as an individual purchase, so I splurged and got the amazing vellum alphabet stickers, some labels and chipboard stickers that in my opinion went perfectly well with the Cocoa Daisy kit. Here are the three layouts that I created and also links to the process videos.


The first layout was loosely based on this September 1 Stuck?! Sketches sketch. I wanted to use those tags that were included in the kit but they were just too big to be placed where the sketch suggested. So I had this idea and thought it was brilliant. I cut the paper in two pieces, created a pocket behind the page and then reassembled the paper. Lately, I have been enjoying combining different alpha stickers and creating fun titles, it seems to be a thing because there will be another fun, long title layout in this post. To find out more about my thought process here is the link to my video.


Then I created this "Summer Seifenblasen" layout. I wanted to incorporate three photos and struggled quite a bit until I realized that they did not have to be the same size. After that "aha"-moment, things came together quite easily. I was surprised how easily the leftover items from the Cocoa Daisy planner kits worked on the layout. I had never really considered using planner stuff for scrapbooking and just dumped all my matching items in my box. And then I constantly reached for them, so it was well worth the dump. I am definitely going to do that again moving forward. Here is the process video for this layout.


And finally another fun playful title. I found it on a journaling card that I used as a layering piece behind one of my pictures. I loved the background paper with the blue circles so I decided to repeat the pattern by using some texture paste with a dot stencil and blue watercolors. I then created my photo cluster on top of the dried mixed media so that only tiny bits would be visible. After I had a basic idea of the photo cluster, I worked on my title that I tried to nestle close to the photo cluster. If you want to see how this layout came together, check out my process video.

September 6, 2017

Planning and Memory Keeping: September Setup - Cocoa Daisy and foxyfix


September Planner Setup in foxyfix Boss Babe Kate No. 4 single
As you know I have been planning in a Daisy Dori from Cocoa Daisy since March. And ever since then I have been adjusting my planner system on the quest for planner peace. I have finally come to realize that having planner peace for me means having a system that will easily adjust to my needs. And that it doesn't mean having a fixed setup and layout each and every month. For September I tweaked things a little again and actually filmed two setup videos: My September Planner Setup as well as my September Journal Setup.



I tried having a separate social media insert in August and even though I really like the idea, it made me realize again that I am a "one planner/insert type of girl" - so I merged my daily planning and my social media insert into one. I gained some space in my daily planning insert by putting the weekend days together on one page since I never really plan on those days. This way I was able to have an Instagram list, a budget tracker, an ideas page as well as a monthly catch all to do list in addition to my usual pages: my meal planning and my goals page.


September Journal Setup in foxyfix Botanical Poppy No. 6 single
Even though I really like my monthly journals and how they turn out once they are finished, they are a lot of hard work. I actually stopped Project Life for 2017 because I was so overwhelmed by it and replaced it with the journals thinking this was much easier to do. This is clearly not the case. Creating these weekly memory planning spreads is something I really enjoy doing at the moment but then filling up the rest of the insert is becoming more and more of a struggle. First of all, I think I need to let go of guilt tripping myself when I don't finish an insert, having blank pages is not a failure. Then I need to rethink my approach: maybe printing larger pictures will do the trick or adding a quote, a beautiful card or adding more ephemera will also help. I am already thinking about my plans for 2018 ... right now, they are very frightening because I would move out of a traveler's notebook for memory keeping. *shock* I'm not ready yet to let go but I'm thinking about it. Here is my Journal Setup for September:

August 27, 2017

"Einschulung" - October Afternoon


I received the scalloped paper from October Afternoon in a warehouse box from danipeuss in 2014. Even though, I didn't know what to do with it and even though, I didn't really like it at that time, I kept it in my stash forever with the intention of using it on a school layout for one of my kids. When Christine asked me to participate in her "Back to School" youtube series, I instantly knew that I just had to use this paper.


Since I have started to collect quite a little October Afternoon stash, I decided to use it to create my layout. I didn't really own a lot of October Afternoon embellishments (I just went to our local Flea Market hosted by my local scrapbook store and bought all October Afternoon that I could find), so I looked through my embellishments and pulled items from crate paper "Craft Market" and Shimelle's "Starshine" and "Little by Little". They all went well with the colors of the papers and the colors in the photos. And so I went to work.


The layout came together very quickly and I was able to layer lots and lots of embellishments onto the page. Surprisingly so, because I usually struggle with lots and lots of layers. But - I am absolutely in love with it. It's just perfect in every aspect ... so perfect that I am actually afraid to work on my next layout because I am quite certain that it won't be as perfect as this one. If you want to see how the layout came together, watch my process video on youtube.

August 17, 2017

Planning in the Summer?! And what happened after.


Today I have a blogpost for you that was published on the Cocoa Daisy blog in June. Now, why do I make you read (parts of) this post now? In the middle of August? Because it didn't stop there!

"It’s Simone again with a blogpost for you that is very near and dear to me. As you know, I love having a pretty planner but even more so, I want my planner to work for me. Last year I had my very first planner crisis during June when we had family visiting from Germany and the kids being home from school. I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to use my DaisyDori insert and so it was mostly blank. I started feeling guilty because I didn’t use it and then actually cancelled my subscription because of that."

"This year I wanted to approach things differently. I had already learned that what works perfectly well one month doesn’t necessarily work the next. Earlier this year I came to the insight that yes indeed, with a system as open as the Daisy Dori I do not have to plan the same each and every month. I can totally adapt the layout and setup of my pages as I need them to be. So for June I decided to completely abandon the daily planning in a personal size Daisy Dori and plan and journal in a standard Daisy Dori instead. I am using the first part of the DaisyDori with the sectioned grid pages for a calendar with one week on two pages. The rest of the Daisy Dori is left for journaling. If you want to see what I prepared beforehand here is my June Planner Setup on youtube."

"My plan was to fill the first part of the Daisy Dori with little snippets of life. So that’s what I did: with black ink and stamps I added in our plans for the day and then I used stickers and washi tape (mostly from the Planner kit, Planner Addon as well as the DITL kit) to embellish the day."



Since the weekly spreads take up part of the Daisy Dori, filling the rest of the insert wasn't as hard as it was before. In June I used the rest for the highlights of our time spent with my parents. It turned out so great, here is a link to the Journal Share.


In July I did the same thing as in June: weekly memory planner spreads. And the rest of the Daisy Dori was filled with prompts from challenges, lists, tidbits and our everyday summer life. I just finished it this weekend and will be sharing more next Tuesday on my youtube channel.


My original plan was to go back to my usual planning style in August, but I had so much fun with the weekly spreads that I decided to keep on making them. This has led to minimal decorating in my personal Daisy Dori which is absolutely great because I seem to be more productive with a very linear planning structure. I have already made a list on how I can optimize my planner even more in September and I am looking forward to all the weekly spreads I can decorate in the coming months. I just finished the first one for August, here is the process video.

August 11, 2017

"Tomato Sandwich" Stuck?! Sketches


You all know how I love a good sketch - I sometimes even use them in my Traveler's Notebook. Earlier this year when I did some research for my challenge for iNSD, I came across the Stuck?! Sketches blog and found that those sketches really appealed to me. So when I saw the Design Team Call this week, I knew I needed to try out. So here is one part of my application: I am using one of the August sketches and working with it.


I am still working with Amy Tangerine's "On A Whim" collection for my Scrap Friday series on youtube, there are several layouts left from my layout selection and these two photos were perfect for the sketch. Instead of cutting them apart, I left them right next to each other and just started working. As you can see from the sketch above I mirrored the sketch so that my son would look into the page.


I created three embellishment clusters as suggested in the sketch using flair buttons as the focal points in the clusters surrounding the photo. When creating clusters I try to repeat the different elements in each of the clusters. The three clusters help to guide the eye across the page. Starting at the top left hand corner, your eyes move across the photo.


And automatically stop at the heart flair. Can you see how my son seems to look at it? Yeah, I placed it there on purpose.


When I received the Thickers with the whole collection from April Lilli, I did not think the alphas would go well with the papers and was very reluctant to use them. I was wrong, I used them twice already and totally love how they work on this layout. And now, just in case you made it down to the end of this long blogpost, there is a process video on youtube, where I tell you more about my design choices.

August 7, 2017

Studio Tour No. 1: My Planner Station

In May I was on the Cocoa Daisy Blog with my take on a Studio Tour. Yes, it is not a real Studio Tour because I actually don't have my own designated studio space. The only thing that I have is part of our kitchen pantry, a raskog cart from IKEA and a wooden planner station in our family dining room. And this is exactly what I am going to share with you today!


When we first moved here I was very sad that I had to give up my studio: I had been sewing and crafting in there all day everyday for the past six years before the move and now I would only have a dining room table and all of my supplies stored in various places throughout the house. But after we had been here for several months and the boxes had been unpacked and this house had become more of a home I started to enjoy creating at the dining room table.


Over time, I was able to set up a raskog cart with all of my tools and items I need all the time. And just recently, I moved this unused wooden box that I brought from Germany and had been using for Project Life into the built in cabinet and set it up as a planner station. Right next to it, I also keep my journaling pouch that I set up for Doris Sander's Journaling Challenge as well as my pencil pouch.


When I plan or journal in my DaisyDori I often take the box and place it right in front of me on the table so I have all the gorgeous Cocoa Daisy planner items right there. I have a video for you where I walk you through the station and talk a bit more about my "studio space".



Finally, this is where I keep all of my scrapbooking and crafting supplies. The right side of the pantry is all mine: in the cabinets on the bottom I keep my papers and projects in IRIS containers and all of my stickers and embellishments in various containers. The top left cabinet houses all of my mixed media supplies and the top right cabinet is home to journals, inserts, my old camera and refills for my Canon Selphy. On the countertop, I store my current projects, my large guillotine trimmer, all of my stamps as well as an IKEA box (Tjena) with my DITL cards.



If you ask me now I will tell you that I really like my studio space just the way it is: I need to clean up after myself every time I create, so I will never have a desk that doesn't have space for me to be creative. And I also really like that I have to create project kits, this makes creating a project so much easier and faster. And lastly, as much as I was annoyed at my pantry space in the beginning, I really love that I can sneak in the pantry while cooking and work on a project.

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day and reading my little "I don't have a studio" story. Now, please share your studio setup in the comments below: Do you have your own space? Or do you also create in the family space? And do you like it? Or what would you love to change?

May 18, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Two layouts with Flora No. 1


Yes, I actually made two layouts about boys with the florally, girly collection "Flora No. 1" by Carta Bella. And I really love how they turned out! They are both similar in the way I use the papers: rough edges, different layers and some kind of mixed media.

This is the first one I made: I used white cardstock as a background and stamped the botanical background stamp with three or four different shades of purple and green. Then I started creating a photo mat using patterned papers and and pieces of the ephemera pack.


I was very inspired by a layout by Zoe Guest where she took one of the photo mats and completely crinkled the paper up and then flattened it back out. I really wanted to try that and I love the awesome texture it created. I then took ephemera pieces from the ephemera pack: I just cut them so that they would fit in as layers. There were several flags in the pack as well, but none of the patterns and colors fit the layout, so I just cut my own flags using one as a template.

I had my layers, I knew what the title was going to be but I realized that my whole design was too far to the right and too far down. The latter was easily solved by moving the complete photo mat up a bit. To balance the lopsided design I added two strips of the main papers and a border sticker from the sticker sheet. After I had added the journaling I felt that I needed a bit more black so I stamped the heart from the Simply Stated stamp set in three places on the layout.


The second layout started with a gessoed square on the Peony Posy Bunch pattern paper, for iNSD Beth Soler challenged us to create a layout that used paint in bold strokes and that's what I wanted to try. After the gesso had dried, I applied green acrylic paint and then I did not like the way the green paint looked against the brown background. Now what?


I tried all kinds of different things, until I finally came to the conclusion that this wasn't going to work, so I cut the brown background off (yes, I wasted a piece where I could have fussy cut those beautiful peonies, sigh). It still didn't look right, then my friend Anna suggested ripping the edges instead of cutting and that did the trick. I assume (no, I know now) that the rough strokes of the acrylic paint just didn't go well with clear cut, straight edges. Then I went into my paper stash and found the striped background paper by Maggie Holmes (it is from her Open Book collection), I really liked the way both pieces looked together. But it needed more: rough edges call for layers, so I layered several papers behind the center mat.

To make the green photos pop from the green background, I added the bold black stripes as layers behind as well as some of the ephemera pieces. I used the alpha stickers from the sticker sheet to create my title and then journaled directly on the paint using a Sharpie permanent marker pen. I'm really happy how this layout turned out because I really struggled with it for quite a while.