Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Busy Crafty Bee

Ahhh I am back! After dealing with a nasty upper respiratory infection for the past four weeks, I am FINALLY feeling like my old self again. Thank goodness!

Since I have been daydreaming about another backpacking trip to Europe, I thought I would share with you some of the scrapbook pages I have completed for our 2013 Europe trip. I am not quite sure exactly how long it will take me to complete this album, as we were gone for 3 weeks, but I am going to love working on each page as it takes me right back to our adventure.

Layout #1: "Are We There Yet?"
Layout #2: "Amsterdam Halfway Point"
Layout #3: "Equity Point Hostel"
Layout #4: "Can I Just Eat?"
Layout #5: "The Statue Life"
For these layouts all items came from my stash. Back in January I had purchased the Vintage Travel Project Life cards which I am enjoying adding them where I can, even if I am cutting it up.

I also incorporated some travel themed collections into my stash that I purchased a few months ago which includes: Echo Park's Getaway, KaiserCraft's Wanderlust, My Mind's Eye Hello World and Heidi Swapp No Limits. In a couple of these layouts I used some of the Echo Park and My Mind's Eye collections.

I am printing my pictures out for this album in batches. I am finding it easier to handle all 5,000 pictures (the joy of digital camera) and not feel overwhelmed. I currently have another 5-6 layouts ready to be completed.

My plan is to work on these pages concurrently with the monthly scrapbooking kits I receive so it's not sitting for months and not being completed.

So, that's all for now. I can't wait to share with you all the layouts I completed using my February Hit Kit, some knitting related posts and a huge announcement!

Until then, talk to me. What craftiness you are up to right now? I can't wait to hear!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lost Time

Even though I have been away from my beloved blog, it doesn't mean I haven't been busy. I seem to have lost myself in the world of scrapbooking these past few weeks. Oh how I have missed all my scrappy goodies for the past couple of years. I think I have been making up for lost time!

I mentioned in a previous post that I had signed up for some scrapbooking kit clubs to try them out. Well I am two months into receiving my kits and I have decided that the front runners for my affection are Clique Kits and Hip Kit Club. Not only do I think their kits are amazing, but their customer service is phenomenal!

As with most scrapbooking kit clubs, you can purchase the main kit and then each month there may be some add-on kits (extra paper, embellishments, etc.) that you can purchase to compliment your main kit.

Today I am going to share with you the layouts I completed using the February Clique Kit. As my subscription started after the kit went live to the public, I only purchased the main kit. I did not purchase any add-on's from Clique Kit directly as the additional paper I wanted was sold out. I did, however, purchase a package of enamel dots, a full pack of die cuts and 4 additional 12x12 patterned papers (2 papers I fussy cut to use as added embellishments for my pages) from the same line and managed to eek out 14 layouts.

Please note that in some layouts besides the cardstock, I did embellish from my stash (i.e. alpha stickers, buttons, ribbon, washi tape, acrylic embellies, etc.), but very minimally. I really wanted to use only what I got, but there were time when I needed to use something else.

Layout #1 - My Sister and Her Husband
Layout #2 - One of my beautiful nieces showing off the cowl I knit her.
Layout #3 - My honey's niece and nephew on New Year's Day.
Layout #4 - My honey and I when we were first dating.
Layout #5 - First baby I ever held - my nephew.
Layout #6 - My sister's wedding day.
Layout #7 - Sis and I attending a knit night.
Layout #8 - Uh me!
Layout #9 - Surprise for my sister.
Layout #10 - Celebrating my honey's niece's birthday.
Layout #11 - Two of my sisters and I.
Layout #12 - Honey and I on the train heading to Monaco France!
Layout #13 - My niece being silly with her two brothers.
Layout #14 - Third baby I ever held - another niece.
When I first received this kit, I fell in love with it, but at the same time, I was like "How am I going to get my money's worth out of it?".

For me to feel like I got my money's worth out of the kit, I wanted to get as many layouts as possible completed from it. I think with the finally tally of 14 completed layouts, I succeeded in this. But how did I get this many?

Well adding my own solid cardstock definitely helped with this. I also stepped outside of my scrapbooking comfort zone and tried "new ways to me" to complete a layout. I fussy cut paper to use as embellishments. See the mason jars and big flowers I used? Yup those were 12x12 papers that I took my scissors to. Also, when I used a patterned paper as a border to my cardstock center, I cut out the center of the patterned paper to use elsewhere since it was going to be covered anyway. I learned to cut up embellishments and tuck them in several places on the layout so it looks like I had more than one of them.

By using this kit, I learned it's all about getting extra creative with your product!

So with only a few scraps of paper left from the kit, I am calling it killed. The remaining embellishments and alpha stickers will be put in my stash.

I am currently working through my February Hip Kit. I have 10 completed layouts so far. Working on number 11 now. I have been incredibly sick since last Friday and I cannot wait for the creeping crud to go away so I can get back to my craftiness.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Influencing Again

Influenster has struck again! I qualified for the #XOVoxBox back in February, but for some reason I just received it this past Friday! Eek's only a few days left to the campaign for me to test these items.

The last box I received was full of healthy/active lifestyle products. This one was a tad bit different...
I'm super excited to try those little Tide+ pods.

The box also contained a few John Frieda hair care products, which I think will be nice for when the warmer weather arrives as I received the Beach Blonde Collection in addition to the Luxurious Volume 7 Day In Shower Treatment. My fine limp hair will hopefully benefit from that treatment and I am dreaming that the Beach Collection with immediately transport me to the warm sandy beaches with a view of crystal clear blue water!

Not sure how I feel about the Colgate Optic White toothbrush and paste. I have rather sensitive teeth. We shall see how this one goes.

I've already dipped into the Skinfix Hand Repair Cream as soon as I saw it. My hands have been seriously suffering and after only one use, I already feel a huge difference!

I can't wait to try more of these products over the next few days.

Our regularly scheduled program of crafty goodiness will resume in my next post!

Note: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

WIKN

Yes yes it's been a few days since I last posted. I know. No real excuse except every time I sit down to write a post, I get distracted by all my lovely scrapbooking supplies staring me in the face at my desk. Those lovelies seem to win out every time during the past couple of weeks. I think I am just too excited to have my stuff out again and can't help myself.

So, while I have been scrapbooking this winter weather blues that I seem to have away, there has also been some stuff going on with the knitting needles too.

Today I thought I would catch everyone up with "What I Am Knitting Now".

My scrap yarn blankie had a good presence in my knitting life during the end of January. I did manage to finish knitting up the half row of squares needed to complete the row. I even got as far as picking out the yarns for each of the squares for the next row.
Sadly, I did not knit any squares during the month on February. So I am going to try to complete two rows for the month of March.

After I finished my Inlay socks, I picked up with the TTL Mystery Sock 2015 and managed to knock out sock number one the other week. I didn't let too much time pass before I started sock number two either.
The color of this yarn is much darker than what you see in the picture. I was in a hurry to snap a progress pic to try to get the real color. I am absolutely loving knitting with this yarn. I won it over at Ellen's blog last summer, right before we left for Europe. When I came home three weeks later, this lovely squishiness was a pleasant surprise in my mailbox amongst all the bills.

Recently I casted on for Color Affection using these three beauties from Madeline Tosh Sock.
After casting on three time, I finally got my first row of increases to the way I liked it and am now almost ready to join in the middle color. I am excited to see this get done. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

I have a few more projects that I am dying to start. But I am going to be good and keep my needles busy with these projects right now. I really need to finish these socks so I can start my next pair for the Sock Sampler KAL that I participate in on Ravelry. The only good thing about the KAL is that we have two months to finish the project.

So that's all I've got for now. Short and simple.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Testing My Patience

There is nothing better than a finished pair of socks. Well correction, nothing better than a finished pair of socks that were truly testing your patience.

Enter my Inlay socks by Hunter Hammersen.
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock - Glacier
Started: January 2, 2015
Finished: February 1, 2015
Needles: Knit Picks Size 1

It was truly a combination of things that had me almost frogging these babies and tossing the yarn in the trash. Yes. They were that frustrating. At least in the beginning.

My true issue was with the yarn. Though, not with the color.
It really is a beautiful color, and honestly, that color seduced me into purchasing it. One day last year I was perusing one of my favorite online shops for purchasing sock yarn, and I came across this baby. It's not a color I would typically purchase, so that is exactly why I bought it. It was beautifully different for me!

No no, my real issue is with the base and twist of the yarn. You won't be able to tell from the photos, but this yarn is what I call "fuzzy" and "splitty". Combine these two traits with all the twisted stitches in the pattern and what do you get? One big fat ugly mess. Because of the "fuzziness" I couldn't see where my size 1 freaking needle was going into the stitch and nine times out of ten I would end up splitting the yarn, which easily splits because the twist ain't all that.

Putting my gripes aside, this yarn knits beautifully, and problem free, when you are just knitting and purling it. Which is good, because I have another skein of it in my stash.

Now the Inlay pattern is wonderfully written and I had absolutely no problem with the directions, even with all the twisted stitches.
Please don't let all the twisted stitches scare you off from knitting these socks. I found the repeats were easily memorized within each row, and really, the twisted stitches give these socks a little extra oomph!

I mean look at interest they add to the sides of the socks...
They also make the socks feel more substantial.

The real question is, would I knit this pattern again? Yes.

I have to say it feels real good to have two pairs of socks finished. I am hitting my goal of one pair per month. I currently have a third pair on the needles. I am almost done with the first sock. Not sure if I will have the pair finished by the end of February. I will try, but honestly, my knitting time is during my lunch hour right now, as I am slightly distracted with scrapbooking after work this week. Trying to find balance with all my hobbies!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Long Crafty Weekend

When I was home visiting my family in Georgia a few weeks ago, my sister and I took to doing a little shopping. We hit up a few of my favorites - Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's - in search of fabric and scrapbooking supplies.

I knew that within a couple of weeks my beloved built-in cabinet would be installed, so I wanted to pick up a few items that would assist me in my craftiness. I flashed some of my scrapbooking haul on Instagram:
It had been a few years since I did any kind of scrapbooking supplies purchases as when I moved in with my honey three years ago, my scrapbooking was put on hold due to space constraints.  So I knew I wanted to stock up on items that I could use in my Travel and Christmas scrapbooking pages.

While I wanted to purchase everything I could get in my hot little hands, I was rather controlled with what I bought. I knew that I had supplies at home, I just needed to see what was salvageable before buying too much.

After spending last weekend getting my crafting space all set up, I was ready to start scrapbooking again this weekend. During the week, I printed pictures and tried to pull papers from my stash to use. The funny thing is that when I sat to scrap on Saturday and Sunday, I ended up using totally different papers on my spreads. But that's just the way things work out sometimes. It's the nature of the creativity beast.

On Sunday morning I finished my first spread in three years. I could tell just how rusty my scrapping brain was, as this one page spread took me forever to complete.
"Feeling Beautiful" - I took this picture of myself during my visit to Georgia in January one morning when my sister and I were heading out for the day. I really wanted to see how the new red lip stain I was wearing looked in natural light. I ended up loving this picture of myself and decided it was worth scrapbooking as I truly felt beautiful.

One of my goals is to try and use up as much of my scrapbooking stash this year, so all the paper I used was indeed from my stash. The only newly purchased items I used on this spread were the two Project Life Cards from the Vintage Travel Edition and the K&Company Layered Accents camera.

I had greater success with the amount of time it took me to complete my second spread of the weekend. I sat down at my desk Sunday evening and a couple hours later it was complete. Yes, I know that a couple of hours isn't fast, but it sure does beat one and a half days to finish a spread. I know in time I will get faster.
"Travel" - Back in 2013 when my honey and I were preparing for our first backpacking trip to Europe, we went to our favorite store, REI, to purchase what we would be wearing on our backs for three whole weeks - Backpacks.

It's amazing at what you have to think about when purchasing a backpack - size, weight, what you are planning on packing in it, etc. - and I couldn't resist snapping this series of pictures of my honey trying to decide if this pack was the one.  Looking at these pictures takes me immediately back to that day and I remember the giddiness and excitement of our upcoming trip as if it were yesterday.

I again used the majority of stash for this spread. The only new items are from the Teresa Collins World Traveler 6x6 paper pad (used 2 sheets for layering), Project Life Cards from the Cinnamon Edition (purchased last spring, but since I have never used it, I don't consider it stash), The Paper Studios Stick-a-bilites Geo Cardstock Tags (arrows) and the Simple Stories Snap Travel card at the top of my spread.

I have to say I am quite pleased with how these two spreads turned out to be. For some reason I am a tiny bit more enamored with my second spread. I don't know if it's the colors, or the layering of my pieces or that it just takes me back to Europe, but I love it.

I am really excited to be back scrapbooking again. To help supplement my really old stash, and the fact it's really hard for me to get to a supply store, I signed up for a couple of scrapbooking kit clubs. I have already received one and I can not wait to play. My plan is to do a "Kill A Kit" post when I've used up all that I can of the kit. Not sure if I am going to step into the "Process Video" arena at this time, but maybe something I will consider it down the road.

My plan is to dedicate at least one post a week to my scrapbooking. I will continue to post about my knitting, sewing and healthy lifestyle adventures. So if you come here for that, they will still be around for you.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, and a long one too if you celebrate President's Day. What crafty things are you up to?

___________________________
("Feeling Beautiful" Supply List: Bazzill solid cardstock, Paper Refelections black cardstock, misc white cardstock, misc patterned paper, EK Success Stick Stickers - Black Small, Stickopotamus Mini Brush Alpha stickers, K&Company Layered Accents, Provo Craft Art Accentz - Flower Brads, misc. clear colored flowers, misc fabric flower, Project Life Cards - Vintage Travel Edition, misc camera ephemera)

("Travel" Supply List: Bazzill solid cardstock, Paper Refelections black cardstock, misc patterned paper, Teresa Collins World Traveler 6x6 paper pad, Project Life Cards from the Cinnamon Edition, Simple Stories Snap Travel card, The Paper Studios Stick-a-bilites Geo Cardstock Tags (arrows), Sandylion Essentials - Mini Travel Tags with brads, Making Memories Journey Rub-Ons, American Crafts Elements Large Brads, Close to My Heart My Acrylix Stamps - Sans Small Caps & Small Numbers) 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Organization Love

This past Saturday was a day that I have been waiting for since December! My custom built-in cabinet was installed and can I just say how much I love it?!?!?!

Let me tell you though, I almost didn't think they were going to get it into the space. As with any old construction, nothing is square or straight. Custom builder said he took that into account and "left" a 1/2 inch clearance when he built the cabinet. Hah I say! At least that's what my honey and I said to ourselves in our heads as we watched him and his worker try to get it to fit.

Attempt #1:
Fail!

Attempt #2 (After chiseling our wall away in one corner inside the space where cabinet is going.):
Fail!

Attempt #3 (After chiseling another part of our wall away.):
Fail!

Attempt #100 (After taking the cabinet outside and sanding the heck out of it.):
Success!

I have never been so freaking happy to have this cabinet. I am so in love with it. It completely changes the space. Well really anything would of improved this space even if it was a shower curtain. But, I am truly thrilled with the way it turned out.

The doors are perfect! They tried to match the paneling on our closet doors and came pretty close.
And look at the inside...
I need a step ladder to reach the top two shelves, but that's ok. It's worth it!

On Sunday morning my honey drove me over to IKEA, so I could get a couple of items to add to my crafting space to make it truly complete. Then, I spent my entire afternoon organizing all my beloved crap crafting items.

Here's a before picture of the cabinet space:
Here's the after picture with almost all of my stuff organized inside:
From top shelf to bottom shelf, I have them organized as such:

Shelf 1: Holds all my stash yarn and miscellaneous knitting tools (i.e. swift and winder)
Shelf 2: Will hold all my sewing stuff (i.e. fabrics, bin with tools, etc.)
Shelf 3: Scrapbooking shelf that houses my photos to be scrapped, die cuts, stamping stuff
Shelf 4: More scrapbooking stuff which are all my papers and stickers
Shelf 5: Sewing machine, die cut machines and miscellaneous scrapbooking tools live here

I bought this Raskog Kitchen Cart from IKEA:
I chose the charcoal color and am very happy with the choice. They also have it in a cream and turquoise color.

The cart is where I am organizing all scrapbooking items that I want at the ready for when I sit at my desk to scrapbook. I love that it is on wheels and I can store it by my desk in front of the cabinet when I am not using it.

I also purchased from IKEA two Antonius plastic insert trays to use on the cart. Love them! They are perfect to hold my Project Life cards and other miscellaneous odds and ends items.

My final purchase from IKEA was a Kallax shelving unit.
I knew I wanted a short bookshelf by my desk as I didn't want to block the beautiful natural light from the window. I also REALLY wanted a shelf that would fit on the same wall as my desk and let me tell you, this one was a close call. My honey and I measured the space twice before we left for the store and when we got it home I held my breath while we shifted the desk down towards the cabinet and made space for the shelf. I let out a huge sigh of relief when it just fit!

The organizing of the shelf is still a work in progress. Right now the shelves hold my scrapbooks along with some books, magazines and a container filled with 8.5x11 solid cardstock paper. On top I placed my recently purchased Epson Picturemate Charm printer as my older printer died, couldn't be revived and being a scrapbooker, I want to have the ability to print pictures at home. Over time the shelving unit will be organized to my liking. Right now, I am just seeing what works and what doesn't.

From a distance this is what my little crafting nook looks like. Please excuse the stuff in the foreground that I must still go through.
Eventually I will put up my gallery wall. We framed all of our purchased artwork from our trips to Europe and San Francisco last Fall and I have reserved a few pieces to place on my wall.

When I was going through all my stuff, I found a couple of prints that I had purchased during one of my trips to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival that need to be framed. They will also make it up on the wall. I mean, seriously aren't they adorable?
So while I have been in organization heaven since Sunday, my knitting has taken a back seat. I do have a new pair of socks on the needles. I also recently purchased some yarny goodness from Eat.Sleep.Knit to make a Color Affection shawl and an Edith Hat. One item is a gift and the other will be for myself. And lawd help me, I am foraging back into color work knitting!!!!

What have ya'll been up to? Any new projects on the needles? Any projects finished? Any projects that have been remanded to time out for bad behavior? Tell me tell me.